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The Fatal Love of Green ch.2
The Fatal Love of Green
I awake with a start. The sheets, a sweaty bundled mess, constrict around my legs. Trickles of perspiration snake down my back, and I hear the blood pulsing in my ears. The clock glows the time: four o’clock AM. Another nightmare. Sighing, I shake my head and try to clear my brain of the disturbing images. I press my tongue to the roof of my mouth. The inside tastes as though stuffed with cotton. I pad silently down the staircase, parched.
After taking several large gulps of icy, relieving water, I set the glass down on our marble top counter. Wandering to the massive window that defines most of our kitchen, I find myself once again evaluating our luxurious backyard. At least I used to think it luxurious. The yard takes on an obnoxious and gaudy air. As a matter of fact, I sometimes feel embarrassed by the area. Crumpling my forehead in distaste, I look around the place. A small swing set stands hidden in the back right corner. My father used to push me on it at the age of six, making me believe flying possible. Feeling sad suddenly, I force my eyes away from it. Dad remains absent most of the time now; he gained the status of CEO of some major company. I lack motivation to know the name, for he seems to lack motivation to come home and say goodnight.
A movement near the bar catches my eye, bringing me back, and I see a shadow dart across the lawn. With my heart pace quickening, I drop to the tiled floor and peer out from behind the dining table that overlooks the yard. Suddenly I’m thankful for the wall of glass that separates me from the outside world. Horrible scenarios involving death and news reports flash across my mind. I lose the ability to breathe for the fear that grips my chest. Looking closer, I realize the shadow belongs to a rabbit. Giving myself a mental slap I whisper aloud, “You’re just paranoid.” I chuckle and breathe a sigh of relief. Standing up, I will my heart rate to return back to normal. I walk through the large kitchen, around the island that stands in the middle, running my fingertips across the smooth surface of our stainless steel refrigerator. Excessive. With my breathing back to normal, I walk towards the steps that lead to the safety of my bedroom. Just as I reach the bottom of the stairs, a gloved hand clasps over my mouth. My stomach plummets to the floor in pure terror as a deep voice hisses, “Gotcha.”
I attempt to scream, but my kidnapper squeezes my mouth shut with the force of an Olympic body builder. I thrash around, trying to twist free of his grip. In response, he holds tighter, causing me to cry out. Laughing at my pain, he thrusts me against the corner of a wall. Warm liquid oozes down the back of my neck, and the sharp pain in my skull forces me to my knees. I fight to stay awake as the room spins and changes colors. The man stands over me, his arm wound backward with the same tension as an arrow strung on a bow, straining for release. The slap comes in slow motion, and the last image in my vision is a sickening clown mask staring mockingly down at me. I’m going to die. Then, I slip into unconsciousness.
* * *
The dream never changes. I find myself standing in a meadow, clothed in a simple, white nightgown. A lone tree stands erect in the vast expanse of flowing grass and flowers. A light breeze whispers through, causing my long brown hair to dance around my shoulders. The tall weeds scratch my skin, and small red bumps rise up on my ankles.
In the shade of the tree my father stands unmoving and silent. He sports a sleek, black suit, no doubt expensive. I try to run to him, but my legs refuse to budge. They feel as though cemented to the ground.
“Dad!” I call out, hoping he decides to come save me. My voice echoes around me, sounding low and slowed down. Yet, he remains still as stone, watching me. I seek some sign of warmth or care in his chestnut eyes, but they are cold and show no emotion. Finally I regain the ability to move my legs and sprint towards him. He turns away from me, walking in the opposite direction. My heart drops, and I pick up the pace. But, no matter how hard I run, the distance between us increases.
“Daddy!” I sob, tears streaking down my face. He strides further still, not stopping. Just as he disappears over the horizon, I reach the spot under the tree where he stood. I lean against the rough bark, physically and emotionally worn. In a last effort, I take a step forward.
The ending result stays constant. The black hole is always in exactly the same spot. I’m falling, screaming even though no one can hear me. I wake up then, drenched in sweat.
I attempt to sit up, but find my wrists and ankles bound tightly together. What the hell? My back is stiff, and I realize I’m in a ball on a hard, disgusting floor. I try opening my mouth, but realize that, too, lacks mobility. My joints ache, and I come to the conclusion that someone brutally threw me down here. Suddenly I remember what happened, a sickening feeling spreading inside my stomach. Looking around, I find it impossible to identify the place. God, where am I?
The room is dark, save for a lamp hanging from the ceiling that illuminates only about three feet on all sides of me. A foul stench invades my senses, dumbfounding me even further. A deep, menacing chuckle eludes from the darkness on my right, and I twist my neck around, trying to find its source. The man with the clown mask steps into the circle of light, and I begin to panic.
“Scared, Princess?” he crouches down close to my face, stroking my cheek. I rip my head away from his grasp, fighting the urge to retch. He strikes my cheek with a forceful blow, and I whimper in pain.
“Awe, that’s not even my worst. If you think this situation you’re in sucks, just wait until you meet my boss.” he growls. With a kick to my ribs, he laughs and stands up, walking back into the darkness. There are two of them?
“Don’t go anywhere,” he laughs.
I hear a door shut and lose the will power to hold back my tears. The sobs wrack my body, quieting into silent streams that pool around my face. I fall asleep on the hard floor, dreaming of my father, Luke, and Jason.