The Doll Collector

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Chapter 25

Abigail awoke, tied to a badly upholstered chair in a cheap looking hotel room. I’m getting tired of this. How long do I have to wait before being released… or killed?

The room was dark with the only light shining through from the en-suite bathroom. After waiting several minutes, her captor emerged wearing a towel around his waist and turned on the light.

His long hair was gone. His head was completely bald with the exception of a modified goatee beard. The moustache part and the upside-down triangle on hair just below the lower lip were still present with everything else clean shaven. He reminded her of the stereotypical villain in a number of old children’s television shows and old movies. It’s not a convincing disguise, but maybe he’s just trying to look different.

The man picked out something from a bag on the floor and returned to the bathroom. He was in there for another half hour before emerging, looking different yet again. His eyebrows and facial hair were now a much lighter colour, giving him a less threatening look.

As the man moved closer to her, Abigail noticed that the now mouse brown hair was streaked with grey hairs that had not been there before. Could people actually buy grey hair colouring? The new hair colours seemed to soften his features and to make each small wrinkle look more established.

The man turned to inspect his new hair colour in the mirror. “What do you think Abigail, do I look older?”

She didn’t answer.

“This is the first time I’ve brought a girl with me, did you know that?” He shook his head, and then answered his own question with a string of words so quick that they were almost unintelligible. “Of course you wouldn’t know that. How could you?”

The question was hypothetical. There was no sensible response, so Abigail continued to be quiet.

He turned from the mirror to face her, a sneer on his face with scheming in his eyes. “I like how you look in that uniform. It’s just a little bit too small for you, which is just perfect.”

She felt her flesh crawl. Just having this man’s eyes on me is enough to make me feel dirty. She needed a bath but there would be little chance of that. Even if it was a possibility he would be watching her. She wouldn’t feel clean. She wouldn’t feel right at all until she was free of this man, however that was going to happen. I wonder how much cleaning and scrubbing it will take before I feel clean again.

“I’ll move you out of the chair in a minute, but you need to promise me you’ll be good.” He picked up a gun from a desk, built in and occupying most of that wall before adding, “Do you promise to do what I say?”

Abigail nodded, wide-eyed.

Joshua picked up a bag and removed a bag of crisps, a chocolate bar and a bottle of cola. He slid them in her direction along the surface of a desk before picking up the firearm again.

“You need to eat these.” He said, pointing at the food with the barrel of the gun.

Abigail stared at the junk food with one eyebrow raised. “This is it? This is all I get to eat?”

“Count yourself lucky you’re being fed.” He said.

She nodded in defeat. Then she looked up at her kidnapper with a slight scowl. “How do you suggest I eat whilst being tied up?” she asked. “Are you planning on putting the food in my mouth, or are you going to untie me?”

He looked as if he was deep in thought for a second, pondering the pros and cons of loosening her. He shrugged. He walked over and untied her hands and her feet.

“Abigail, I have the nightshirt for you,” he said with a straight face. “I’d like to keep that uniform in pristine condition.” My parents have said things like that before, but they weren’t holding a gun at the time. With his free hand the kidnapper reached down into a suitcase and withdrew a familiar-looking nightshirt, throwing it so it landed on the end of the bed next to her chair.

“Do I have to get changed here?” Abigail asked, her voice trembling.

The kidnapper smiled again. “Yes you do. I’ve seen it all before. You have nothing to hide from me.”

With a gun pointed at her head, and knowing that she was not in a position to demand privacy, she decided that she needed to do as directed. He loosened the remaining rope that had been restraining her with one hand, unwilling to lay the gun aside. He would probably drug her and do it for her anyway if she refused. I’m fed up of the taste of that stuff he uses to knock me out, and I don’t want him touching me.

She started to undress by removing the school tie. With every item of clothing she removed she could see him leering at her. It was, without a doubt, the most uncomfortable moment of her life. She could do nothing for fear of retribution. Any time she considered objecting to his wishes, she remembered Sandra, being strangled and left lying naked on that bed, dead. Joshua’s threats, as well as his ‘lesson’ had proved to be effective in quashing her need to rebel.

She put on the nightdress with such speed that the man would have had little chance to see anything. She took her seat again and wolfed down the crisps, chocolate and cola. On the kidnapper’s instruction she used the bathroom and brushed her teeth.

She exited the en-suite and stood for a second or two, looking her captor in the eye. “What now?” she asked, fearful of the answer.

“Bed time”, he responded, returning a stare that made Abigail shudder. “I tend to sleep nude. I hope that’s not a problem.”

He walked around to the right side of the bed, showing his palm and gesturing that she occupy the left. Abigail obliged, too tired to fight against this man’s wishes. I don’t have to look at him or touch him. I’ll just pretend he’s not there.

There was some rummaging around under the sheets, several clicks of something metallic. Abigail’s left leg jerked as something cold was clasped around it. A series of clicks, followed by another was enough to alert Abigail to the situation. Handcuffs. Definitely no chance of escape.

He turned off the light with a switch by the bed. In a tired voice he said, “Remember, the gun is still within reach, and struggling won’t get you very far.”

A minute or so later, she was lying on her back, staring up at the ceiling, its textured pattern still visible in the darkness. She suddenly felt a hand on her left leg. The hand stroked its way up her leg towards her crotch. She batted his hand away. I’m not going to let him touch me.

His hand returned, more forceful than earlier. She grabbed his hand with both of hers and pushed it away. The man was attempting to create sensations that she didn’t want to feel at the hands of this monster. She loathed him and she didn’t want this man to cause her to shy away from future relationships, having linked that loathing to physical sensations. The hand returned for a third time. She pushed it away with a force powered by her rage for this monster and his desire to make a mockery of her virtue.

The hand did not return as it had before, but instead squeezed her left breast hard. She felt tears welling in her eyes as she froze. It hurt, but trying to remove the hand would hurt more.

She became aware of a sound. Short, sharp movements underneath the duvet. The sound sped up gradually as she could hear the man’s breathing accelerating. She heard a grunt that reminded her of his noise amongst the screams, during the rape she had been forced to witness that very morning. Tears streamed from her eyes. I hope he’s finished with me for now.

The hand moved away and she was left alone. “Thank God” she mouthed in the darkness without making a sound.

Moments later, as the tears subsided, she could hear the heavy breathing of the man linked to her by the ankle. The final ordeal of the day was over.

Despite her fears, guilt and rage, Abigail succumbed to tiredness. She made a promise to herself as her eyes closed. Tomorrow I’m going to fight this man. Tomorrow I’ll ignore his threats and fight until I’m free.

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