Day of Reckoning Chapter 5: Born Again

Red Eye

Let the day perish wherein I was born…

let that day be darkness…

let darkness and the shadow of death stain it…

Why died I not from the womb…

Why did I not give up the ghost when

 I came out of the belly.

Job 3:3-11

Amy’s body ached with the pain born from the hours of hanging from a splintered beam in a cold, dark root cellar.   Her ankles, where the shackles had been, hurt the most.  She had watched her masked captor wash away the blood and gently wrap them with gauze.  Then without a word he abruptly stood and walked out the front door into a snowy night.  It frightened her how he went from gentle caretaker to cold stranger seemingly at the flip of a switch.

Amy, still wrapped in the blanket he had given her, lay on the sleeping and looked around the room.  The log walls of the cabin were chinked with what had once been red clay.  Its hues had faded over time, it was cracked, and in some areas, it crumbled to the point of letting in the cold outside air.  The only window in the room was boarded over and a squad of nails held the plywood in place.  Amy felt confident, that if given the time she would be able to pry the barrier away with the hope of creating a way of escape.

Amy’s gaze went to the front door.  It was solid wood with what looked like a new, brass doorknob that came with two large, deadbolts inches from the top right corner.  Just below the deadbolts hung a heavy chain about a foot in length.   Adjacent, on the door-jam, hung another chain with an open pad-lock swinging from the last link.

The door suddenly opened and he came inside.  He shut the door quickly but not quick enough to deflect the snow from outside…the entryway turned white from the dusting.  She watched as he locked both deadbolts, and then linked the heavy chains together and secured them with the padlock.

He turned to catch her watching, and she did her best to avoid the red eyes that glared through the burlap mask.  Every time she looked at them a wave of horror rushed through her body sending her into fight or flight mode.  Amy wanted to run but her body failed her and for that she cursed it silently.  She contemplated the other option…fight…but again her body was not up to the task; furthermore, something inside warned her to keep her mouth shut and to bide her time.  Amy closed her eyes tightly hoping to ward off the boogie man with the evil glare.

Amy heard him rumbling around in what she surmised to be the kitchen.  He seemed to be opening and closing cabinet doors and pulling open drawers probably filled with knives and eating utensils.  Finally, the clatter ended and she heard his footsteps coming her way.  She counted them in her head until they stopped at which point Amy knew he stood over.

“Look at me.”  The monotone command was quiet but it seemed to split the air like thunder.

Amy closed her eyes even tighter.  There was a long pause and then again the quiet thunder.

“I won’t ask again…”  He let the last word linger as if to warn her of coming consequences.

Laying in a fetal position and wrapped in the blanket Amy opened her eyes and looked at the monster standing over her.

His legs in tattered gray slacks seemed to tower over her.  Her gaze continued upward to see his upper torso wrapped within a black woolen jacket.  His arms also clad in the jacket hung limp by his side and to Amy’s horror she saw in his right hand a large butcher knife, and in the left something that looked like a bottle of cooking oil.  She looked to his face, and it was bent downward-looking back at her.  The mask looked tightly stretched across his face, so much so that the burlap appeared to have become his skin as opposed to material.  She could see the outline of his jaw and his cheeks that appeared sharp, lean, and strong.  Finally, she looked at what she had dreaded the most…his eyes.  They were large, red, and set with a determination to accomplish what needed to be done.

Amy mentally crumbled beneath his stare and began to cry.  She knew this man was going to kill her.  She didn’t want to die…she thought of Sky and longed to be with her…longed to be held safe in her arms one more time…  She cried for the life they would never share…

Amy watched him raise the knife slowly above his head, and in one swift motion, he fell to his knees and plunged the knife hard into the floor inches from her face.

Amy screamed.

He ripped the blanket from her and began to pour the oil over her naked body.  He poured some in his hands and rubbed them briskly together and grabbed her head and began to wash her hair in the oil.  His grasp was strong and Amy limp as a dishcloth was helpless and utterly at his mercy.

He continued to baptize her body in the oil and began to chant in cadence…

“You must be born again…

you must be born again…

you must be born again…”

He unzipped the mummy-shaped sleeping bag and stuffed her body inside…all the while chanting…”…you must be born again…” over and over.

Amy heard the sound of the zipper and then her world was dark.  She felt her sarcophagus rolled toward the fireplace.  She heard the crackling of the roaring fire and began to feel the burn from its heat.  She heard what sounded like logs being thrust into the fire.

The heat became intense and her oily body began to sweat profusely.



Read Day of Reckoning from the beginning here.


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