Things to do in Freehold

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Chapter Seventy-one:

Sue Mackenzie (Night of September 13, 1994)

“Ma!” I heard Jake’s voice call out as I slowly opened my eyes. When I did, I found myself back in the comfort of my own bed. That’s strange; I don’t remember ever coming home. “Ma, is that you?” Jake sounded to be far away, but not too far, as if he were at the top of the stairwell.

“Jake?” I responded, crawling out of bed and drowsily making my way towards the door, where the light in the hallway had been peeking through its cracks. Opening it, I could see Jake, cautiously going down each step of the staircase. I walked a bit closer to him, yet he didn’t seem to acknowledge me at all.

“Ma, is everything alright? I thought I heard a noise,” he said, continuing on, not even looking in my direction. Can he not see that I’m up here?

“Jake, I’m right here!” I shouted, following him down the steps and into the foyer. However, he still ignored me. Can he not hear me either?

Jake soon came to a halt once he had reached the living room. “What are you doing here?” While still in the entryway, I watched as he gasped then covered his mouth. “And what have you done?”

Now, right beside me, I could see that what he had been at was the horrific scene, near the pool table, of Adriene standing over Pat’s body with a bloody crowbar in her hand. I put my hand over my mouth as well, waterfalls of tears streaming down each side of my face. My sweet, baby boy, I thought. How could I have let this happen?

Out of the corner of my eye, I witnessed Jake then fall to the ground. The back of his head, a gruesome sight, looked to have been hit with a blunt object. When I turned around, I saw that it was none other than Adeline with the same hammer that killed the McNealys. She was about to strike him again when I attempted to stop her by lunging in front of her. However, my body seemed to be paralyzed from the neck down. Therefore, I couldn’t help, but stand there and watch his skull take another hit...and another.

“What the hell did you that for?” I heard Adriene ask as Adeline finished up beating Jake’s head into mush.

“No witnesses, remember?” Adeline replied, wiping blood off her cheek. She then walked to the pool table to meet up with Adriene.

Finally, I could move again. Although, there was no point anymore, now that both my boys are dead. Still, I dropped to my knees, blubbering over Jake’s corpse. Why God? They didn’t do anything wrong. Why them? It should’ve been me.

“Don’t cry, Sue,” I heard Adeline tell me. I glared up at her and found her, flashing me a sinister grin. “You’ll be seeing both of them again soon enough.”

All of a sudden, the sound of bones cracking and popping rattled my eardrums. Turning my attention back towards Jake, my jaw instantly dropped. His slowly spun around like something straight out of a horror movie. “Run,” he uttered, the moment his head stopped, making me back away, screaming. That was the moment I woke up.

Dripping in sweat, I seldom catching my breath due to having my mouth taped shut. Scanning my surroundings, I found myself on the floor of someone else’s bedroom. Looking over at the nightstand to my right, there had been a lantern placed next to a framed photograph of a couple on their wedding day. Squinting at it, I realized that the couple was none other than Joey and Olivia Grace. I then felt a sharp pain in my forehead. However, when I went to reach up and touch it, I was restrained by the steel cuffs around each of my wrists. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw that I was chained to the bed frame. Fantastic.

Beyond my muffled cries for help, I could hear the faint sound of moaning and groaning coming from the far end of the bed. Positioning myself upright, on my knees, I inched my way towards it, as close as the cuffs would let me. I could then see a person’s leg sticking out. They looked to be wearing a pair of charcoal slacks. Jeff? Is that you? I tried to get a closer look, but any closer and I would’ve both of my wrists. Luckily, the person had lunged forward, screaming through their own tape, and I could tell, just from the back of his head, that it was, in fact, my Jeff. Tears of joy trinkled down my face as he shifted his attention towards me. Swiveling himself around, one hundred eighty degrees, he faced my direction. We may not have been able to speak, but it was obvious we were both relieved to see that the other was alive and well.

Behind me, however, I could hear the bedroom door open and close and a sudden chill went up and down my spine. Turning around, I saw that it was Adeline, strutting in. “There are my two favorite lovebirds,” she smirked, crouching down in front of us. “You sleep well?”

She ripped the tape from each of our lips and a single tear dripped down from my left eye. “What is this?” I asked, breathing out, heavily. “Why did you bring us here?”

“Isn’t it obvious?” She tilted her head at me, giving me a pitiful expression. “You didn’t really think this was gonna end well for you, did you?”

“Where’s Jake?” Jeff intervened.

“He’s around,” she smiled, directing her attention towards him.

“Is he okay?” I raised my voice.

“Of course; we wouldn’t want you to miss the show, Sue,” she noted, brushing a lock of hair out of my face.

“If you brought us here just to kill us, why not do it already? Jeff questioned. “I mean, why bother having this conversation?”

“Adriene likes the theatrics of it all,” Adeline answered. “And, frankly, so do I. They keep things more interesting, more satisfying.”

“You both are fucking sick,” I uttered.

“Eh,” she shrugged. “I prefer the term ‘disturbed.’”

Before any of us could say anything else, there was a banging on the door. “Adeline, time to wrap it up,” a man’s voice said through the painted piece of lumber. “The boss is here. She wants us all downstairs.”

“Fine,” Adeline sighed, rolling her eyes. After retaping mouths shut, she stood up and began to walk away. “Looks like we’ll have to cut this short. Don’t cry, though; we’ll be seeing each other again soon enough.”

I watched her leave the room the same way she entered it: absolutely pleased with herself. Well, shit; what do we do now? There has to be a way out of these handcuffs. Think, Sue, think. As I was scouring around for something to pick the locks with, the door creaked open once again. A man with large neck tattoo of a phoenix came tip-toeing in.

“Don’t make a sound,” he whispered to the both of us, slowly removing the tape from our lips once more. He then reached into his back pocket to pull out a small key. “I’m gonna get out of here.”

“I don’t understand; who are you?” I asked, disregarding his instruction.

“I’m the guy risking his ass to save yours,” he responded. “So I suggest you do as I say and keep quiet.”

As Jeff and I were freeing ourselves, the man went back to door and opened it ever so slightly to poke his head out. It was then I could hear several voices echoing from downstairs, including Adriene’s.

“A.G. is here, which means she’ll probably send someone up any minute to come and get you two,” the man explained, closing the door. “Which means you won’t have any time to escape.”

“So what do we do then?” Jeff inquired, crossing his arms.

There was a brief moment of silence before the man finally answered. “I think I have an idea.”

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