Part TwoThe world was cut off from this place… there was nothing outside of here, there was nothing away from here, here was here and here was the only place, the only place. But that couldn’t be right… this couldn’t be the only place, this had to be a temporary place, didn’t it? She could remember the little things, the odd itchy sensation of laying down in freshly cut grass for too long, the sunlight… but that was only that it was light, she couldn’t remember what the light’s warmth felt like, not now in this place, here.
It was wet almost all the time, it was never right, it was never dry. Goose pimples were always on her skin except for in the rare moments where he thought she was being good enough to have a blanket, but it was gone the moment she closed her eyes and she’d wake up shivering in the middle of the night. It was something like a relief that he wouldn’t be there, but at the same time… she gave a large shudder and started coughing, the hacking sounds echoing and bouncing off the brick walls. The small, pale body wracked until she grabbed the little bucket she used as a bathroom, thankfully empty, and retched, dry until there was something burning in her throat and it pooled out of her lips. Disgusting.
It was a rare moment of lucidity in this little place. This little cage she was so afraid would become her tomb. “Are you feeling ok, little pet?”
A electric jolt seemed to wrack her body and she flung herself against the back wall, crying out as the uneven bricked surface slammed into her side, before curling up in a lump on the poor excuse for a mattress He allowed her, barely making it all the way down before the heavy, thick metal and leather brace around her neck stopped her, chocking her until she managed to scramble into a crawling position, her forehead pressed to her crossed forearms. The Voice gave her these things because he loved her, He said, the Pretty collar and bed. But if he really loved her, then why did he chain her to the wall?
“Tsk, tsk, tsk” heavy footprints as the wooden door swung open, obscuring the light for a second before it swung shut again, gently, it made no sound. Why could no one hear her in here? Was this why? She whimpered and tried to look up at him, long hair matted and filthy, she could barely see through it, his shape, large, looming over her as he kneeled down, touched that filthy hair, pulling it out of her eyes. “What’s wrong, little pet? Are you tired?” he pulled her head up with a finger underneath her chin, petting the side of her cheek with his thumb, she shut her eyes as tight as she possible could against the tears that wanted to flow but he wouldn’t like it, she couldn’t show it.
“I wrote them, I’m certain the letters reached the FBI at this point, a little cliché little pet, but I couldn’t help myself. Knowing that they’re looking for you makes you all the more precious, because if they still can’t find you… then maybe you truly are mine. You love me, not like the others, don’t you…?” another shudder, eyes still shut tight “Don’t you.” a statement this time… she swallowed a sob and nodded, biting her lip so hard it nearly bleed “… yes…” the whisper was so small he could barely hear it, but she’d said it, that was what mattered. He was going to kill her, wasn’t he? He was going to kill her and she was just going to let this happen. “Good, yes… your beautiful, you know that…” he let the words roll from his lips and she let out a choked sob as his fingers dragged gently over the curve of her spine, down to the hem of her shirt and then poking underneath it. She shuddered…
“This area is massive; do you even think that there are enough people in the towns to organize into a search party?” Standing next to a large pine Spencer looked twice as thin as he normally did, the circles under his eyes darker from staying up on the jet to read the minimal case files and reports, trying to find something hidden in the scenes before him, but for the moment there was nothing. The only thing that seemed remotely possible was the Unsub’s reference to The Fool, a card in the Tarot deck, the minor arcane. Of course knowing that wasn’t enough, it was only a reference without knowing more. “I don’t know, kid. It’s not like we’ve got much to go on. Our Unsub’s smart and pretty methodical if he’s going to keep coming back to this spot” Derek Morgan was standing on the edge of the reservoir, looking out over the water and just below the surface for anything useful.
“It’s also brazen. The first missing girls were found in the water, some of them with weights on their legs. He wanted to hide them, but something eventually happened that he stopped caring.” Agent Hotchner was walking up, hands at his sides, eyes hard as he glanced around the trees “They were are strangled, but sexually assaulted before death, but it appears to be getting more violent with each new body they find, in the order of first missing to the last, it seems the ending few were choked repeatedly. He was playing with them.” “Just like he’s playing with us…” the black cell phone at his hip rang out and Morgan slipped it from its case and flipped it open in one fluid motion “Hey angel, what do you have for me?”
“We only have a partial profile… I don’t think that I need to tell you the statistics of us finding her without a more concrete file are exponential at best. Not unless…” Reid trailed off, his feet fidgeting slightly in a little nervous side step, but he didn’t need to finish his sentence, because Hotch did it for him. “Not unless we find her body, and then we’ll be looking for another girl.”
“Right…” It was hard to think that sometimes they needed more victims before they could catch this people, the world’s proverbial bad guys, and the monsters in our nightmares. Reid leaned his back against a tree a little farther up the hill, away from Morgan and Hotch, lifting his hands to his head and pressing his palms to his temples. Lights danced underneath his eyelids and he muttered to himself, no, to the trees around him “We know she’s here… We know your hiding her here…” a sign and his arms fell, longish soft brown hair falling into his face “It’s not like talking to you is going to help, I already know this is more something for my own benefit than anything that’s going to track you, something to give my mind a little ease in the situation, but it’s now going to give her any ease…” there was another pause as something hit him that should have hit him earlier “They all have dark brown hair…”
A loud, piercing caw interrupted Reid’s little moment of clarity, or momentary insanity, however you wished to look at it, and he jumped to find a crow on the branch a few feet above his head. The bird big black eyes stared at him, tilting, reflecting his face, gaunt and pale… He knew it was impossible, but it still felt like the man was listening, still taunting them. A flock of crows was called a Murder. “… I will find her” he assured the death black bird before it nodded, turned and cawed into the woods, flying off through the trees.
He was gone now, he always left after he finished with her… she couldn’t stop crying, it was like this time he meant to hurt her, the finger shaped bruises on her thigh were enough to show he was starting to get tired of her taking it like a ‘good pet.’ How much longer until he tired of her completely? Her tattered shorts were draped over the wooden chair He had in the room for when she was bathing, when He wanted to watch her. But it was all the way over on the other side of the room… the chain around her neck barely let her get that far, but maybe…
Crawling forward, dragging herself across the pine needle covered floor as they stuck to the blood and sweat on her body. She swung her body around until her rear was pointed toward the door and extended her leg all the way out. She never hated be short so much than she did in that moment, the collar was angled cutting into her chin, tears springing into her lashes and making her gag, but she got it by wiggling her foot in just the right way… and hooked the pants, kicking them up onto her calf and bring her leg in with the pants, what passed as pants anyway, and quickly managed to put them on, hiding herself.
Just before she settled down for something resembling rest a loud screech jolted her awake, choking her with the chains, but as the tears managed to blur her vision she looked up toward the damp ceiling, to a corner hidden in the dark room. She couldn’t see because her glasses were taking away, so she didn’t know that there was something there in the corner, a metal pipe… The noise sounded again, a loud caw, a bird. “… H-help me… help me, please…” she whispered to the bird, hearing a scrabble and another caw, very mute… but there was no more from the creature, and she curled up on the mattress and just finally, finally let herself cry.