Justifiable Homicide

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The car stopped. There was a moment of silence, and then Selena heard a car door open. He – it had to be a he – was getting out.

She heard footsteps walk alongside the car, then stop. And even before he put his hand on the trunk to open it, she imagined that she felt him standing there looking at her sheet metal and steel and carpet prison.

There was a flood of natural daylight. She was blinded by it as the lid of the trunk rotated upward. She saw the person who had taken her. It was a man, but she couldn't see his face.

That's good, right? she thought. If he wanted to kill me, he wouldn't be afraid to show his face.

She observed what she could, knowing that it might not help her survive, but at least it gave her something to do other than cringe and shake. And false hope was better than none. She saw that the man was wearing a camo balaclava and reflective aviator RayBans. He was over six feet tall, and everything about him was thick. His neck and shoulders and arms and thighs screamed exogenous testosterone! He was in jeans and a wife-beater.

His choice of shirt wasn't lost on Selena. It had to be intentional.

“Up you go, missy,” he said.

She tried to say let me go, but all that came out were muffled grunts through the gag. She felt herself drooling from the corners of her mouth.

The big man reached in and lifted her out of the trunk, slinging her over his shoulder.

She looked at her now inverted surroundings and didn't recognize the place. There was a dirt parking lot. There weren't any other cars. There was a warehouse with a rusty sheet metal corrugated roof. There were evergreen trees around the parking lot. She kicked her bound legs in tandem in a feeble attempt at a struggle.

“Easy, now,” said the man. “Easy.” He said it to her the way people talk to old horses before leading them into the kill room of a slaughterhouse. If he had any intention of future violence, he wasn't betraying it in his tone. His voice was a smooth mask, which only made it more threatening.

She grunted again and stopped her kicking. She could smell him, and the twin aromas of Old Spice and tobacco reminded her of her dad. That made everything worse.

They got to the warehouse door. The man reached forward and opened it and carried her inside.

It was dark.

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