It wasn’t late. I wasn’t in anything that could be considered suggestive. I wasn’t alone.
Yet it happened anyway.
And I fell for it.
I’ll set the scene. I was on a date with my girlfriend, Jordan. Or, it wasn’t so much a date, rather we were just out together, hanging around the local target. It was an odd standalone block, seperate from the rest of the shops, and although we went inside for a little bit, we mostly just hung around the side of the building, in a secluded part of the parking lot where no one could see us making out.
Even though we lived in a pretty accepting area, there were still the occasional vocal people that didn’t appreciate seeing two women kissing. Sometimes it was the gay thing. Sometimes it was the making out thing. Most of the time it was a bit of both.
So we stayed around the corner, away from the sight of others.
It was the first thing I did wrong.
After a particularly heated session, Jordan suggested we go to her place, to the private, because her parents were out at work. I eagerly agreed. She told me before we went, she just needed to go to the bathroom.
So she ducked around the corner and I waited for her alone.
That was the second thing I did wrong.
Mere seconds after she disappeared, I saw the lady. She was barely more than a girl, maybe in her mid twenties. She was limping, covered in grime and what looked like blood, heading from the back of the building, where the hill dipped off down to the old highway.
When she was close enough, she started to speak, her voice a breathy groan. “Please, you need to help us. I was in a car crash, down on the old highway. My husband is injured, and I need someone to help me get him away from the wreckage.”
In truth, the warning bells in my brain should have gone off the moment she spoke. If I was thinking rationally, I would have noticed that there was no way she could climb the ridge, as it was steep and rocky, and crumbling with unstable dirt, and almost impossible to climb even without a leg injury.
But any rationale was overtaken by my concern, and worry.
“Oh god, I’ll go get someone from inside, and call emergency.” I said, already pulling out my phone, but fear filled her eyes.
“No! I mean, there isn’t enough time! The wreckage is already burning, it could explode at any minute. We need to get him out of there now!” She said, and grabbed my arm.
I should have been more careful. But all I could think about was getting that man to safety.
I had no idea.
The lady pulled me towards the ridge, hurriedly. In retrospect, she probably just wanted to get me away before Jordan returned.
When we stood atop the ridge, I looked down, expecting to see the wreckage the woman was talking about.
Instead, the road was empty.
“Where’s your husband? Where was the crash?” I asked, confusion and doubt beginning to twist in my mind as I turned to the woman.
She shook her head. “It’s around that bend up there. Come on, we need to get to him before it’s too late.”
I stepped back from the ledge, her mania suddenly seeming less urgent and more forced. “How did you get all the way up here from there? And why didn’t I hear the crash?”
Her demeanour changed instantly. The woman straightened up, and the fear left her eyes.
I was suddenly aware of how far away we were from the nearest building and the precarious spot we were in, with no one around to see.
But before I could run, before I could scream, the woman pulled a dirty cloth from her stained coat and shoved it into my partly open mouth, her grip tightening on my arm as she pushed it in. I tried to struggle away, tried to spit out the fabric and scream, but only succeeded in making some muffled cries, the woman grabbing my other arm with her other hand.
She was surprisingly strong for a woman her size, and try as I might, I couldn’t pull away. She started dragging me further behind the building, to where a sleek white minivan lay in wait. It scared me how normal the car looked. It looked like the kind of car my mum would drive.
A man was waiting by the car, a sickly grin on his face as we stopped in front of him. For a moment I thought he was going to say something, but then, I heard a ripping sound, and his hands were bringing a roll of thick grey tape to my face.
“No!” I cried out, and though my pleas were muffled by the fabric in my mouth, I knew he understood.
Yet he just let out a small chuckle, and plastered the tape over my lips.
Then, to my horror, he continued wrapping the roll around my face, lifting up my hair with his heavy calloused hands, then continuing it around my head a few times for good measure.
The layers of tape made it impossible to scream for help, and even worse, was that he began moving the tape to where the woman was forcing my hands together.
I watched in horror as he wrapped my hands together, winding the gray tape up towards my elbows before tearing the roll and going back to my wrists. The woman let my hands go, obviously content with the restriction of them.
Yet they didn’t wrap my legs.
I spun and started to run, trying to get around the corner of the building where hopefully someone would see me and help me. Yet, with my arms wrapped, my balance was warped, and I ran like a flailing fish. Within seconds, I was yanked back, knocking all my breath out of me and almost causing me to fall backwards. I heard the man chuckle behind me.
“Not the brightest of the bunch, is she?” He muttered, easily lifting me in the air and carrying me bridal style back to the van.
The woman took the tape still in his hands and forced my legs together. Though I tried to give them a fight, I was no match for the both of them, and the woman easily wrapped the thick grey tape around my ankles them up towards my torso.
“Alright then, Sir, I think she is ready to go.” The woman said when she was satisfied I was fully wrapped. I watched as she opened the back of the car I tried to struggle, and scream, but with my limbs wrapped in tape I couldn’t do much more than wriggle in the mans arms. He carried me to the back of the car and tossed me in, a crunching sound filling the air as I landed in a pile of junk.
The man grinned down at me, smiling at his handiwork. Just before he closed the lid of the back of the car, he spoke, his voice filled with lust. “Sleep now, my rose. All will be well in the end.”
Then he slammed the door closed, trapping me in the darkness.
It was then that I started to cry.