So, the masses have spoken – there’s a lynch mob out for my head because I kinda left everyone hanging with my Tuesday Tale yesterday. Sorry, everyone, but I had to. It’s much more fun for me that way. Besides, what’s Halloween without a few tricks?
What you’ll find today is the second part of this story, which is not at all romantic – let me just tell you guys that right now. It’s not a romance. It’s going to be bloody and scary. And even I’m not sure how it’s going to end yet. So… be prepared.
Also… I’m giving stuff away! Check out my Halloween Giveaway page for more information. The contest has officially been extended through 10:00 PM, October 31st.
And back to that story:
Trick or Treat
“Babe, I’m home!” Robert called through the front door, still puzzled by the fact that it stood wide open well after midnight. The lights in every other house on their street were already out, the kids long-since put to bed after their adventures. It was now November first. The time for celebrating was over.
He glanced around the living room, still in perfect order save the two candy wrappers lying on the coffee table – evidence that Kelly had been in the candy. Nothing else was out of place except the damn door. And his wife still hadn’t answered him.
Pushing the door closed, Robert turned the deadbolt and started down the hall, calling after Kelly again. Still no answer. His son lay in his bed, face turned toward the wall, sleeping soundly. With the baby still here, she couldn’t have gone far. Pulling the door toward him to block some of the light from the hallway, Robert turned around and opened each door in succession – the bathroom, the office, and finally their bedroom.
Maybe she’s just outside, he thought, battling the panic rising in his chest. He took off down the hall again, jerking the front door open and screaming her name into the darkness.
Her car sat in the driveway. Her keys hung on the rack next to the door. He coat was in the closet. Even her shoes still sat on the welcome mat by the door. She never went outside without shoes. That small detail told Robert one thing with absolute certainty.
His wife was not in their home.
He fumbled twice pulling his phone from his pocket, and immediately punched the emergency number.
“911…what’s your emergency?”
“My wife… oh, my God, my wife is gone!”
Kelly came to in pain. Every part of her body ached, from the roots of her hair all the way to her toenails, which from her dangling position scraped painfully against the ground with the gentle sway of her body in the breeze. The very, very cold breeze.
Her first instinct was to panic – to suck in a deep breath and scream at the top of her lungs while struggling against whatever held her just out of the floor’s reach. But rather than let her fear and her emotions get the best of her, she drew in a breath through her nose – shallow from the way her shoulders bent back at a violent angle and constricted her lungs – and began to take stock of her situation.
Something heavy covered her head. It felt like burlap against her skin. Whatever it was, it wasn’t breathable material, and it smelled of old sweat. Thin dots of light filtered between the fibers, but keeping her eyes open hurt as the material scraped against her eyelashes.
That same cold breeze blew against her skin – someone had removed her shirt, but her pants were still there – she couldn’t feel the wind on her legs. The cool air came in bursts – someone had obviously turned a fan on her. With each gust, her nipples tightened further, drawing up into painful little knots on her chest.
Her shoulders ached. Her arms had been pulled behind her with some sort of heavy rope, her elbows close to touching, which threatened to pull her shoulders out of their sockets, and something ran beneath her elbows, holding her from the floor. Her hands, she assumed were bound, but she could no longer feel her fingers.
Her toenails continued to scrape against the hard floor – what she assumed was concrete. Warmth against her toes told her that her feet were probably bleeding. There was no telling how long she’d been hanging here. Or why. Or who had done it. She couldn’t really remember anything except the mask.
“I’m sorry, son, but we can’t list it as a missing persons case until twelve hours after her disappearance.”
Robert had never, ever wanted to punch someone the way he did this man. He knew the detective was only doing his job and they couldn’t go on the gut feelings of civilians… but damn it, this was his wife they were talking about! Kelly never left the baby, even to go to the store – she loved him, and she took him everywhere!
“I understand, but the circumstances…”
“The circumstances are unusual, yes, but I cannot bend the rules for one family.” The detective tucked his notepad into his shirt pocket. “I’m sorry about this, I truly am. When we reach the twelve-hour mark, I will file the paperwork and we’ll see what happens.” With an apologetic nod, the uniformed man stepped out the door and pulled t closed behind him. Unable to support himself any longer, Robert collapsed to the floor, his face buried in his hands as panic-stricken tears began to fall.