Lucia Wilson, an extremely hyperactive woman, valiant and astute. She had a peculiar habit of pushing her thin steel rimmed spectacles all over to the tip of her nose so much so that they touched her eyelashes.
Lucia was super protective about me and the hotel’s surroundings. Me and her would talk frequently but sensibly. There was nothing suspicious about her.
It was morning and she was making breakfast for me and her. Lucia was an employee at a small company which was a couple of miles away from the hotel. Me and her would leave together, at the same time and it was an everyday routine for me now.
Later that day, I returned earlier from work so having the chance of being alone in the room, I decided to call Mom. But she wasn’t picking up the phone.
Let me clear this puzzling thought, even though I was always anxious about my ambience and was always trying to immobilize the thought of me being watched, Lucia’s advent didn’t surprise me much. I was always feeling bizzare about this as to why I wasn’t feeling weird about living with her but I felt like Lucia made me feel as if she doesn’t even exist.
About a couple of minutes later, my phone rang. It was from Mom. I picked it up instantaneously and said ‘Hi mom!’
‘Oh hello Cloe! How’re you doing? And how’s Lucia? Hopefully, you’d be feeling protective being around her’ asked Mom.
‘I’m perfectly fine and so is Lucia. She’s very nice. But there’s just one thing about her. She appeared so unexpectedly and I didn’t even get the time to prepare myself. And why did you even have to make her come to me?’ I answered.
‘Darling, I supposedly know you’re feeling lonely. Lucia was my colleague. She is trustworthy. Furthermore, she wanted a place to settle in for a few days. So, I thought about both of you. Look, if you’re not feeling cosy then ….’
‘No! It’s totally fine. It’s just.. I -- I can’t stop thinking about Teresa’s tragedy. What if..’
‘Cloe, please stop thinking about that incident. Think of it as a forgotten side of your memory. Just let it fade away in your thoughts. Keep yourself occupied’
Mom’s advice did sound good. I hung up the phone. Minutes later, Lucia arrived. She looked excessively joyous.
‘Hi Cloe! How was your day? Aren’t you quite early today?’ She asked, looking at the clock.
‘Oh hi, yeah I returned early from work. Was just talking to mom. What about you?’ I answered.
‘Oh! My day was very peaceful. Let’s have dinner. Out?’
‘Um.. No, I have already ordered pizza from the hotel,’ I answered.
Lucia frowned and then went inside the bathroom. Now that was the only issue. We had to share the bathroom. Before something else was ready to be shared, I planned to buy a well built house for me and Lucia. Even though, She’d leave within a few days. I still needed a proper house to dwell in.
The next morning, I left for work but on my way, I noticed a beautiful street which I hadn’t seen before. It had magnificent houses embellished with fancy flowers and artificial trinkets. But there was one house in between which looked abandoned. I didn’t have enough time to visit the street thoroughly, so I passed through it and planned to visit the street on my way back.
‘Excellent Work, Cloe!’ said Stephanie Williams in a high pitched voice. ‘Thanks.’ I answered. Me and Stephanie were good friends since we were almost working in the same department and we both were professional managers apart from the fact that Stephanie joined this company from the very beginning.
After work, I decided to take a short tour outside the building. As I came out, I saw a lavish car and a beautiful woman coming out of it. She had dark brown hair with a little touch of blonde. At first, I presumed she was walking towards the family mart built adjacent to our building but later, I saw the woman coming towards me. I was still protected by another glass door just in case the woman attempted to intrude.
She saw me and asked ‘Is there Stephanie inside?’ I nodded and opened the door to welcome her inside.
As soon as I turned away to call Stephanie, I blacked out! My eyes went out of light and into the darkness. I was struggling inside something, more like a sack or a big bag full of something furry and a nauseous whiff of bloody bones filled the backdrop. I could hear some voices outside. They seemed to be familiar. There was no time for me to overthink at the moment so I waited for the worst. I still had my phone, I was endeavouring to breathe. None of my body parts were tied up but I still felt like my mouth was covered with tape. A thick and strong tape containing torture, agony and spasm. I soon touched the end of something hard in my pocket.
It was my Phone!
I immediately took it out, the signals were at hand but they weren’t entirely reachable. I dialed 911 as quickly as I could but before I could call, I felt that I didn’t even know the address. So, I just kept my phone back. I screamed in irritation and squalled to the highest volume.
The vehicle where I was in, stopped. I heard footsteps. Then, I saw the light. Someone untied the ropes of the thing in which I was dumped. I didn’t have any sort of vigour at the time and my muscles were numb.
‘Clever, huh.’ A voice said. ‘I didn’t know you were so strong to live longer.’ Another voice.
I couldn’t see anything clearly at the time. But I could hear everything properly. And then, I saw it. Two young women sitting in front of me, watching me with wonder and desperation. I recognized one of the women.
I let out a bewildered gasp. There was nothing to say. I was speechless.
‘Oh hey, little angel. Agitated?’ The woman said. I just kept staring at Stephanie. She was laughing and letting out treacherous giggles.
I finally said ‘What do you need from me!?’ My voice echoed in the vacant space.
I could see my reflection in the water which was right in front of me. My legs were tied only. But that was my only weakness. Soon, I recognized the other woman. She was the same lady who had asked for Stephanie the previous day and then, I blacked out. I couldn’t understand what they wanted from me. And the thing which made me more perplexed was Stephanie’s betraying companionship.