Dazed and disoriented from drugs, Abigail awoke to a scene that confused her.
She was in a brightly lit bedroom, but she was not on the bed. She was sitting in a chair, next to another girl a little younger than her, who had dark hair and thick-rimmed glasses. Both were secured to their chairs by plastic cable ties that allowed for very little movement, and had been gagged with material tied securely at the back of their heads. Both were wearing only identical plain white nightshirts.
There was a feeling of despair in the air that she had never experienced before. She had experienced stress and shouting at home, but the silent fear, lingering in the air in that room, suggested that something terrible was about to happen.
In front of them, naked and tied to the single bed, was a red headed girl of a similar age. The scene reminded Abigail of her own restraints during the previous night.
She remembered the kidnapper speaking harshly to her, rebuking her for not showing respect. I guess I’m about to learn how he attempts to command respect. He was going to punish this girl, hoping to strike fear into the two that watched on. We have a perfect, side-on view for something I don’t want to see.
She looked around the room, able to see more than a metre or two ahead for the first time since her arrival. The house looked new, and so did all of the furnishings. Everything seemed neat. It felt like a show home.
Lights were on and the curtains were drawn. With no clocks and no signs of daylight, she had no idea concerning the time of day. Her best guess was something like mid-morning, but the drug-induced sleep could have lasted any length of time.
I wonder if I can attract the neighbours with a scream. New houses were rarely built on their own. She had noticed several new housing developments in recent years, each one producing a collection of seemingly cloned houses, imposing themselves on the local landscape. I hope I get the chance to make enough noise to draw attention. Scream long and loud first, deal with the consequences later.
As she started to hope (for once) for nosey neighbours, the man walked into the room wearing a bathrobe. She suspected that there would be little or no clothing underneath. From the bare legs and chest that she could see as he walked, her suspicions were near enough confirmed. What is this man about to do? What kind of horrific act am I about to witness?
He walked up to the red haired girl and put his hand on her stomach. The girl flinched. She was wide awake and would be fully aware of this man’s actions. She lifted her head up slightly. Abigail hadn’t previously noticed the cloth crammed into the redhead’s mouth. She had seen enough TV (without her parents’ knowledge) to guess at this man’s intentions. It’s there to dull her screams. Abigail felt a surge of panic rush through her. She needed to help this girl. I can’t fight free of this chair. The sharp plastic ties will see to that.
She tried to shout, only to have her words muffled by the rag around her face, preventing the full use of her mouth. The kidnapper, clearly interested to see what she had to say, moved away from the red-headed girl and lowered Abigail’s gag whilst standing by her side.
Abigail screamed for all she was worth, “Help! Somebody-”
A soap-tasting hand covered her mouth, instantly muffling her cries.
“No one will hear you,” he said, his cold, dark stare seeming to pierce straight though her. “I’ve been careful in my choice of location, so you should save your screams.”
He put his mouth next to her ear and whispered, “You might need them later.”
Without warning he moved backwards and slapped her hard across the face with enough force to knock her head sideways. For the briefest of moments the chair stood up on its two left legs before once again settling on all four.
When the hot, sharp pain in her cheek dulled slightly, without waiting for anything else she asked, “What are you going to do?”
The man stood up and walked back towards the bed before turning to face her, untying his robe, and smirking at Abigail. “I told you I was going to teach her a lesson.”
“But why her? What has she done?”
“She has allowed herself to be defiled. She isn’t pure enough to make it into my collection, not like the two of you.” There was a sneer on his face that made Abigail feel as if a thousand spiders were tap-dancing along her spine. She had seen an ugly menace in the eyes of others before, but the look in their captor’s eyes at that moment could only be described as pure evil.
Abigail looked to her left at the other girl. Her eyes pressed closed behind her glasses, her face twisted with a grimace. She was probably cursing the fact that her vision was good enough to witness this torture in perfect clarity. She clearly had no intention of witnessing it, and feared for her own safety when this man was finished with the redhead tied to the bed.
The anger within Abigail surfaced again. There was an uncontainable rage whenever she was reminded of the horror and the injustice of the situation. “Doing something to this girl won’t make me do what you say,” She said. “I’m not going to listen to you. I’m not going to let you do what you like with me.”
“I’m not going to do this to you, Abigail,” he replied. “I wouldn’t deprive you of your innocence. I wanted to show you and Bethany the kind of thing that happens to girls like Sandra who don’t behave as little girls should behave.”
He turned around, picked up something from the nightstand beside the girl and walked over to Abigail and Bethany, his robe flailing and flapping as he moved, revealing a fairly slim, hairless body. He had a mobile phone in his hand. After tapping on the device a couple of times whilst looking intently at the screen, he turned the phone around, showing the screen to Abigail. “This is what cute little Sandra has been doing in her spare time.”
Abigail saw several naked pictures of the girl in front of them, and several other grotesque pictures of hairy, overweight men, naked and pleasuring themselves. She had not seen images like these before and had to resist the urge to throw up. Bethany seemed to refuse to look.
“Look at the phone, Bethany,” he demanded. She didn’t open her eyes. “Look at the phone!” he shouted in the same menacing tone Abigail had heard previously. He sounded like a crazed lunatic when his anger took over. Bethany recoiled as if she had been hit with the full, freezing force of a garden hose. Still, she refused to open her eyes.
The man dropped to one knee beside her and whispered in her ear, loud enough for Abigail to hear. “Bethany, if you don’t look at the phone, and at the punishment I’m showing you, I’ll put you to sleep and cut off your eyelids, so you won’t be able to choose what you look at ever again.”
Abigail had never thought a whisper could strike so much fear into a person. Bethany’s eyes shot open immediately. She watched as the man flicked through the same images, causing the girl to grimace and gag, just as Abigail had done.
“Right, now you know what Sandra has been doing, or should I say who she’s been doing.” He sniggered slightly, clearly impressed by his own wit. “She has been giving away her virtue and innocence like it was a bag of sweets. She needs to know that such things are not meant for little girls. She needs to understand that some men will do horrible things to girls to give their bodies away.”
“People like you, you mean?” Abigail said, almost spitting the words at him.
“I’m merely impersonating such a person, Abbie,” he said. “You would be wise to keep quiet. I treasure virtue and innocence more than this girl tied up in front of you. I wouldn’t do this if she was like you.”
“You said this was a warning to me,” Abigail said. “How can this be a warning if you’re not going to do this to me?”
“The punishment is in two parts. The first is sexual, the second is more... physical.”
I wish I hadn’t asked.
He returned to the side of the redhead she had learned was called Sandra. Once again he stood by her side, placing his left hand on her midriff. As if the earlier scene had been recorded and replayed, the girl flinched exactly as she had done moments earlier.
Her flinch turned in to a full-bodied struggle against her restraints as he moved his hand up her body, groped her breasts before putting his hand on the right side of her face. It was difficult for Abigail to see Sandra’s face from her position, but she thought she could see a grimace. Who wouldn’t pull such a face and try to struggle free in her position? The initial sounds of Sandra’s fruitless fight against her captor died down. She seemed to accept her fate. In a few seconds of silence Abigail could hear Sandra crying. This man was certainly going to go further. A lot further.
She watched as he clamped the girl’s face with his hands and kissed her, kissed her neck, and worked his way down to her chest. Abigail couldn’t stomach watching any more. She turned her gaze from suffering Sandra, still able to hear her whimpering.
After several seconds she heard an attempt by the restrained girl to shout something. Abigail looked again and could see the man, naked on top of the girl. She noticed the complete absence of body hair, unlike the men in the phone pictures.
She remembered watching an episode of Law and Order, no doubt far too young for their demographic. It involved a man who captured and abused children who shaved his body hair before an attack. If the TV shows are right, this is an attempt to avoid being caught by DNA evidence.
The thought served as a welcome, temporary distraction from the horror show. She had a front row seat and no option but to witness it all.
With the girl’s legs tied to the bed, they were apart enough to be forced into sex by this man. Even with the rag back in her mouth the girl screamed loudly as the man took advantage of her. Abigail closed her eyes so hard that they hurt. Why is this man doing this? Why is he making us watch it all?
The shouting and screaming, accompanied with the horrid grunting of the man continued for some time. She had no idea how long. She wasn’t counting the seconds that ticked by on the clock in the hallway. His grunting grew louder. Abigail managed to squeeze her eyes together even tighter, as if doing so would block out the sound of this enforced animalistic ritual. With her arms fastened to the chair she couldn’t hope to cut out the terrible sounds. The grunting stopped and she heard the man get off the bed.
Abigail dared to look again. Beside the distraught girl, the abuser opened a drawer in the bedside cabinet again and withdrew a knife. It was the length of a standard school ruler and it looked like something that belonged in a warzone.
He cut the ropes attaching Sandra’s arms and legs to the bed. She immediately sat up and shuffled to the end of the bed, hunched and ashamed. With her feet barely touching the floor, her defensive posture was a clear indication of her feeling like less of a person as a result of the abuse of this monster.
The man stood there, touching himself with one hand, his knife in the other. He placed the knife at the throat of the girl who froze in terror. “Okay Sandra,” he said as if introducing a new, light topic of conversation, sounding slightly out of breath. “I’m going to remove the rag from your mouth. If you scream, no one will hear you, and I’ll slit your throat. If you try anything I wouldn’t want you to do, the same thing will happen. Do you understand?”
The girl nodded, shaking more tears onto her lap. He removed one hand from his scrotum, and grabbed the rag from her mouth. Abigail didn’t know what else to expect. What other horrible activities can he force on this poor girl? She closed her eyes again. She heard the struggles of the girl again, knowing she didn’t dare object for fear of being killed by the sexually frustrated nutcase.
Abigail looked over at Bethany, who was trying equally as hard to ignore the things taking place a few feet in front of them. I wish I could hold Bethany’s hand. We could reassure each other. Stick together through all of this.
Eventually the noises stopped and the girl collapsed, hiding her face, her wailing muffled by the bed sheets. It’s over. Thank God. Abigail’s eyes widened as she remembered his description of the upcoming show. She shook her head. It’s not over. It’s time for the ‘physical’ part.
The man turned around and walked over to Abigail and Bethany. He crouched in front of them, making no attempt to hide any of his naked figure from them. Why would he need hide anything? We’ve already seen far too much.
“Abigail, you asked why I was making you witness this. I thought you might like to know we’re now entering stage two.” He stood up and walked back to the girl and grabbed her by her hair, dragging her up to a sitting position again before letting go. With the knife still in his right hand he slapped her hard across the face with his left, then caught her other cheek with a backhand.
“You wanted to grow up, Sandra,” he said. “This is the kind of things grown-ups do. They have sex, they have oral sex and they can give or take a slap in the face.”
There was a kind of sparkle in the eyes of the kidnapper and a smirk on his face. He’s actually enjoying this. This isn’t punishment for her. This is pleasure for him.
He squatted in front of her and stared in her eyes. He spoke in a patronising voice, “Do you still want to be a grown-up Sandra?”
She shook her head, balling her eyes out, still unable to speak. She covered her face with her hands and made a shrieking noise which sent a shiver down Abigail’s back. I feel like I could save this girl from this, but I’m utterly powerless.
“Maybe I should let you rest,” he said, still looking into her eyes. “Have you done things like this before?”
She lowered her hands and stared at him. She tried to look stern but her lower lip trembled, giving her true feelings away. She didn’t speak. She probably wouldn’t speak for some time.
In a deep, throaty whisper he said, “Maybe I should go back for more. You seem like a girl with more to give, like a little whore.”
Sandra slapped him in the face, a reflex action she would certainly regret. She withdrew her hand instantly, looking at it as if it had just acted independently of the rest of her body, against her wishes. She looked frightened for her life, and with good reason.
The slap had enough force to knock him slightly backwards, catching him off-guard. He wasn’t hurt by the slap, but his pride certainly would be.
After several seconds his face straightened. He stared into Sandra’s eye, the wide grin of a mental patient on his face.
“You’ve got fight in you. I thought Abigail was the fighter of you three. Maybe I was wrong.”
With an ear piercing cry he threw the knife to the side. It bounced and hurtled through the small gap between the two girls on the chairs. He didn’t seem to care where it landed as he launched himself onto the girl and put his hands around her throat.
He squeezed her neck with his eyes wide and his teeth gritted, saying the foulest of words. He lifted her head up and threw it down again. He was flinging her around like she was a stress toy.
Abigail felt her eyes widen. She tried to stand up with no success. “Stop it!” she screamed, to no avail, making no attempt to hide the desperation in her voice. “Get off her!”
She threatened him, accused him, she called him every name she could think of, offered herself for punishment, and begged the man to let the girl go.
Bethany was still sitting there, the scowl on her face and shaking her head, wishing it all away in silence. I wonder if she’ll need counselling to get on with life. I wonder if I will. Somehow Abigail was stronger. She was surprising herself with her ability to endure the scene in front of her, unaware of the source of her inner strength.
Sandra had stopped struggling and she was lying motionless on the bed. She expected the man to let go and move away from the bed. Instead he continued to kneel over her with his hands around her neck.
He glanced towards Abigail, and then looked back at the girl whose neck was caught in his vice-like grip. He spoke aloud, with confidence, as if giving a lecture. “Most movies and television shows would have the strangler let go about now and lead you to believe that the victim is dead.” He paused, glanced over at Abigail, then at Bethany, and then back at Sandra. “In actual fact, you need to keep blocking the airways for another minute or two to complete the task.”
She was horrified. This isn’t a crime of passion now. He’s consciously killing her.
“When they stop moving they have simply passed out. If I let go now she would wake up in a few hours with a sore neck, but otherwise feeling like she had just woken up from a restful sleep.”
Abigail thought this man acted irrationally and out of some kind of predatory instinct. He’s just let us know that he’s an experienced child rapist and killer.
She waited, frozen in her current position. Even if the cable ties were removed, she felt certain that she would be unable move. She could feel nothing except her eyes bulging out of her head and her heart pounding like the base line of a death metal song.
The man’s next acts were all too familiar to the girls by this point. He left the room, returning with a bottle and a cloth. Neither could do anything to stop the chloroform taking effect again.
She would no doubt wake up in a few hours in her assigned bedroom. Tragically, the memories of this scene would stay with her. Vivid, real, far worse than any nightmare.