A woman stepped out of the shadows.
Rachael scooted her chair backwards.
“Are you scared?” the woman asked.
“Why are you doing this?” Rachael asked whining.
“You should know that better than anyone,” the woman said and walked closer.
“But I don’t.”
“No. Well let me show you,” the woman said. She walked away from her and went to the television. Grabbing the cart with two hands, she pushed it closer to Rachael. “Tell me if you recognize the person on the screen.” She turned on the TV; a still picture of a man came on. He hung upside down, dangling from a chain.
Rachael gasped and cried.
“Yeah, you know who that is; Professor Jenkins and that would make me Mrs. Jenkins. Did you think I wasn’t going to find out about you two?”
“You don’t understand,” Rachael cried.
“Oh, I understand perfectly,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “You have your beautiful looks and age, but that’s not enough.” She slapped Rachael across the face.
Heat filled Rachael’s cheek and blood flew across the room. Her tears now mixed with the blood and streamed down her chin. “Please…”
“Please…, that’s probably what you told my husband before he took you to bed,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “I have a murder on this screen that you caused.”
“No,” Rachael cried harder.
“”Yes, you caused this. You seduced him and took him away from me. Now neither you nor I will ever have him.” Mrs. Jenkins turned on the VCR recording.
The tape played and displayed Mr. Jenkins hanging upside down. Mrs. Jenkins entered the screen carrying a cattle prod. She took it and stabbed him and sent electricity through his body. When he screamed, she poked him again.
Rachael lowered her head so she couldn’t see it. Her stomach got queasy.
Mrs. Jenkins came closer and yanked her hair back, bringing her face up. “Oh no, you’re going to watch.” She yanked her hair more. “I said you are going to watch. If you don’t, I’ll cut you eyelids off, then you’ll never be able to shut your eyes.”
On the tape Mrs. Jenkins probed her husband over and over. She badgered him with her words and shocked him unconscious. Her husband hung, swaying as she kicked him in the face and body, drawing blood. Hoisting her husband higher in the air, she took an old-time straight razor out of her pocket, opened it, and sliced the blade across his throat, slicing a big gash. His blood gushed from his neck.
Mrs. Jenkins turned the VCR off and ejected the tape. “That’s just the beginning. Now that you’ve taken my husband from me, I’ll take your family from you.”
“Please, you need to stop. I didn’t seduce your husband. He made the move on me; he approached me,” Rachael pleaded.
Mrs. Jenkins slapped her. “Liar, you lying whore. You’re all the same. The next thing you’ll watch will be one of your family members dying. Oh, yes, you’ll watch it happen,” she stammered and walked away, leaving the TV’s static blaring.
“No, come back, please,” Rachael cried. A click sound echoed in the distance, and the light went out.
Rachael sat shivering. She had hardly slept. Her toes hurt and throbbed. She screamed, but her voice didn’t come out loud, only breathy. Her body ached too badly, and she didn’t have the energy. She wiggled her arms and shoulders in hopes of loosening her restraints.
The TV stopped buzzing.
Rachael raised her head, and the TV displayed a split screen like a two camera views; one was the outside of a building, and the other view was the inside of a building. A man walked into view of the outside screen. Who is that? She leaned her head towards the television. Dad? The man reached the door, and his face was clearly displayed on the camera. It is Dad.
The TV volume rose. “Hello... Is anyone here? I’m here like you asked,” Rachael’s dad said. No one answered him back.
“Dad,” Rachael called out.
Her dad knocked on the door. “Hey, I‘m here. Where in the hell is my daughter?”
It was clear to Rachael that her dad was now outside of the same building that she was being held captive in. “Dad, go away, it’s A trap.”
Her dad opened the door and stepped inside.
The first camera view changed to view another room displaying a shotgun aimed at a door. A string was tied around the trigger, and the other end of the string was tied to the door. “No,” Rachael shouted. A door opened in the distance, and a cold breeze blew. “Dad?”
“Nope, it’s me,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “Your sweet dad’s up there on the screen. Yes, that’s live footage. I don’t even know what the outcome of that‘s going to be, but I can imagine.”
“Oh, don’t be so bitter,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “After all, you have it coming. I’ve experienced a lost and now you will too; it’s only fair.”
“No, he’s innocent. He had nothing to do with this,” Rachael cried.
“I’ve learned there are no innocent people. Oh, you better watch, you don’t want to miss what’s coming next.”
“Please, don’t do this,” Rachael pleaded and cried.
Her dad called out for someone. He grabbed the door knob and turned it. “No, Dad, don’t,” Rachael screamed. He stood in another empty room. She sighed heavily.
“Wow, that looked like a close one, huh?” Mrs. Jenkins chuckled.
Rachael cried harder. “Please stop, I learned my lesson.”
“No, you must feel a lost,” Mrs. Jenkins shouted.
A bright flash and a loud bang came from the TV screen. Her dad flew backwards.
“Dad,” Rachael screamed “You killed him.”
“No…like I said…you did,” Mrs. Jenkins said calmly. “You made all this happen. You killed your dad.”
Rachael slumped in the chair. Only thing that held her up was the rope that bounded her. She passed out.
Fire rose in Rachael’s cheeks. She opened her eyes to Mrs. Jenkins slapping her. She moved her head side-to-side, dodging the slaps.
“Wake up, Sleeping Beauty. We have the finale coming up,” Mrs. Jenkins said and switched the channel on the TV.
“What do you mean, finale?” Rachael asked.
“I just called your mom and told her that her husband had been in an accident. I gave her this address and told her she better get over here.”
“No, leave her alone.”
“I’m not bringing her here. Unfortunately, she’s not going to make it this far. What you and she don’t know is that last night I cut her brake lines. By the way, I believe she’s got your sister with her. You can watch them both crash and burn.”
Rachael cried hysterically. She lowered her head to her chest and balled.
“Quiet down,” Mrs. Jenkins said. “Pay attention or you’ll miss it. I said shut up.” She smacked Rachael on the side of her head. Walking behind her, she gripped her hair, jerked her head back, and put the point of a knife near her eye. “I said be quiet. You are going to watch this.”
The action played on the TV; it showed Rachael’s mom and sister in the car, leaving the garage. The camera view was shot from the back seat, fitting both of them in the view as they traveled.
“What did the phone call say, Mom? Is Dad hurt bad?” her sister asked.
“She didn’t say, Honey; just that he’s been in an accident,” her mom said.
They stopped at a red light. Rachael cringed and held her breath. The light turned green, her mom took off, and turned onto a curvy road with guardrails. Her mom tapped the brakes around the curves. She came to a steep hill. Hitting her brakes, the pedal went to the floor. Her mom’s face filled with panic.
“What’s wrong, Mom? Racael's sister asked.
“The brake pedal’s going to the floor.
“So we don’t have any brakes.”
“No, we don’t.
Rachael’s heart beat faster and so did her breathing. “I can’t—”
Mrs. Jenkins ripped back on her hair and stuck the knife’s sharp point near the corner of her eye. “You close your eyes, and I’ll cut them from their sockets,” she said and pressed the point harder against her skin.
Her mom and sister drove uncontrollably down the steep hill. They screamed and flew downward with no way to stop. Their vehicle gained speed, tail spun, and flipped end-over-end, landing on its top.
The camera grew still and showed Rachael’s mom and sister moving a bit. “They’re still alive,” she blurted and cried joyfully. A hissing sound filled the air, and the car exploded.
“Ooh… that almost sounded like a happy ending,” Mrs. Jenkins said and laughed.
Rachael screamed uncontrollably and wiggled franticly in her restraints.
Mrs. Jenkins pushed over the TV cart and the set crashed on the floor. “I’ll leave you for the rats. They can clean your bones,” she said.
A click sounded and all of the power went off in the building. A door opened and shut. November air blew inside.
Rachael sat in the bitterly cold darkness. She shivered uncontrollably. Her stomach growled, and her strength faded fast. Every sound in the building made her panic and search in the darkness. In the distance, a door opened and then shut. The noise that followed sounded like something crawling; something with size. The sound inched toward her, but she didn’t have a clue on what it was. Her breathing quickened to the sound of grunting. Something grabbed her foot and she screamed.
“Rachael,” a week voice said.
“I found you,” her dad said before making a gurgling noise.
“Dad? Dad? Dad? Dad?”