(The following is my latest submission to Dark Side Thursday. It’s the continuing story of a woman within the clutches of a serial killer. Parts 1 & 2 can be found under the category: Amy’s Freedom.)
Amy’s Freedom (Part 3)
He pictured Amy, hanging in the root cellar. He knew of her excruciating pain. He had once endured the same from the hands of his father.
He would never ask Amy to endure anything that he himself had not experienced first. No, he loved her way too much for that.
The aroma in the tiny kitchen tantalized all of his senses. Yes, of course he could smell the perfectly charred flesh, anyone could do that, but he actually saw, tasted, heard and touched the aroma as he stood with his eyes closed. All of his senses were heightened to the point of combustion.
He had always been that way, even as a child. At first the strong sensations frightened him but as time passed he realized he was special and was indeed unlike any other. He kept this secret and told no one, not his weak pathetic mother and certainly not his self-righteous father. This revelation of himself created an euphoria that often erupted from his mouth in mad laughter. He tried to contain it as much as possible because he knew others would think him “crazy”.
Being different made him lonely. He craved someone as extraordinary as himself and so he began “the search”. There had been so many “disappointments” through the years but he was confident that Amy would be different. He smiled. He knew “the search” was finally over.
He lifted the fillets from the grill and carefully plated them upon delicate bone china. He then poured the Quinta Do Crasto, Vintage Port, 1997 into crystal goblets. This particular wine, crafted from Portugal’s indigenous grapes, was thick and juicy and pared well fillet mignon. The steaks were resting and the wine poured; the only thing missing was Amy.
He opened the cabin door to an autumn forest. The aged root cellar was visible from the porch. He stood for a moment, surveying the crumbling stone and then took a step into the fading sunlight.
Amy hung limp from a splintered plank that ran the length of the underground hole. The cellar was old. It had been built by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the early 1800’s. The hole was barely six feet high, so Amy’s hair fell into blood, tears and a dank soil that reeked of mold and decaying vegetables.
Amy shivered. She closed her eyes to the dark and began to picture the two loves of her life, Rudy and Sky. Her heart ached as she pictured Sky’s smile and Rudy’s wagging tail. She determined, there in the darkness, she would live to see them again. Her focus upon them would be her survival.
The screeching sound of rusting hinges caused her to open her eyes once again to the blackness around her. She held her breath and listened intently. There was a brief silence and then a faint creaking of wooden stairs.
Amy realized she was no longer alone. She heard footsteps, slow and methodical…
One…two…three, and then a pause…
four…five…six …another pause…
seven…eight…nine…and then breathing…slow rhythmic breaths…in and out…
Amy’s heart seized with fear and she wanted to scream, but then, with the strike of a match, her face was bathed with golden light. She squinted from its shock and tried to focus. The flickering light threatened to die, but a dank breeze quickened the flame, and she found herself staring into the bluest of eyes, inches from her face.
He smiled when he saw her eyes widen with recognition. Slowly he pulled the tape from her mouth, freeing her question of…