Friday, 17 April 2015

Cold




I woke shivering looked around nothing recognizable in this room. Where was I?

All I remember was leaving coworkers to head home after a farewell party for Jenny who was leaving to join her husband in Reno. I had only a glass of wine staying away from the greasy hot food that Joe’s wife had served at the bar. Joe had owned this bar for many years his wife helped but certainly was not a gourmet cook.

It was dark and damp as I sat up from a bed with a smelly mattress, the musty stench hit my nostrils my stomach reacted as I held back vomit from my throat. I could not remember how I became to being in this place. Trying to concentrate I remember a man watching me from the bar offered me a drink I refused, headed off to the ladies room Then my mind was a blank.

Only a sliver of light showed under the door, moving towards it listening for any sign that someone was on the other side, I could hear traffic in the far distance. Trying the handle it did not turn, I squinted at my watch to see it was three o’clock in the morning, I had left the bar at eleven, who had brought me here and why? I lived alone nobody would miss me until work tomorrow.

My head throbbed, my eyes kept closing, I was sure someone had drugged me.
  
A gnawing sound woke me I must have dozed off again. Something was beside me I felt a scurrying noise then squeaking, this place was alive with mice or rats.

Going back to the door it was now five in the morning. Would someone come if I started to yell, shaking the handle pulled and pushed, my hand felt a light switch, a small light lit up a dismal looking cellar, lying in a corner was a bundle, my first thought was it was clothing until I went closer and could see a body breathing ever so lightly. Blond hair lay matted on the cement floor, bending down I could see it was a woman then her eyes stared up started to scream.” I have been brought here like you” trying to sooth her. “Do you know why we are here?” I asked my voice catching.

Her voice was hoarse probably from screaming for help. “I was hitchhiking home a car stopped and picked me up I thought he was a nice man.” “He brought me here raped me he kept hitting me when I would not do what he said.” “What day is it”.
She had been here for three days, him only bringing her soup and water once a day, then he would rape and leave her after giving her a needle. She thought he would be here soon.

Looking around for something to protect us, I pulled the mattress off the bed, four metal bedposts was all I could find. I tried to pull them apart breaking my nails and drawing blood to my hands, working furiously before he came back, my hands raw, then they finally came loose. Sally sat looking afraid from the corner, “He will kill us both”

I told her to look for rope or cloth to tie the post together to make them stronger. She found a few oil rags in a corner we tied them together. I explained we would have to surprise him when we heard him unlock the door, “You distract him I will hit as hard as I can.” We have to get the keys to lock him in here then we run for help. Tears were running down her dirty face she looked like a scared teenager so young. She smelled of urine her clothes filthy.

Turning off the light we waited. Sally huddled beside me the urine grew stronger.  

Footsteps, he was coming, pulling Sally to the floor beside the door, feeling for her hand squeezing , whispered in her ear ‘be quiet until he sees you” The key sounded in the door, then light from the hall showed his face, the man from the bar.

He was about to switch on the light when I slammed the bedposts into his face, the soup splashed over him he let out a yelp. I swung again with all my strength in his face blood spurted all over, he was down scrambling to get back up, he grabbed for my leg holding it to try to get his balance from the blood on the floor. I kicked him slipping going down he grabbed for my hair swinging aimlessly I connected with his kneecap swearing he fell back. A cracking sound as his head hit the cement.

Slowly I went to see if he was alive, he lay so still. He was up and on top of me before I had time to react. He punched me hard right in the face, I could hear my nose crack, I was on my knees blood all over, and he kept hitting me like a punching bag. He picked up the bedpost ramming it against my throat, I could not get a breath. Sally was screaming, he made a slicing motion across his neck, she was getting hysterical he charged towards her lifting his leg kicked her hard in the stomach.
 
His phone rang, he answered I could hear a woman’s voice. All he said, “I will be right home.” I grabbed the bedposts ran swinging and caught him in the skull.

He lay flat out, taking the oil rags from the bedposts, I tied his hands behind his back. Sally sat frozen, I yelled to her to get moving hitting him again to the face making sure this time I got his nose then to the head to make sure he would be out until the police arrived.

Grabbing Sally she had the keys in her hand, she had regained her senses, locking the door, we took the stairs two at a time. Running towards the traffic noise, we hailed a passing taxi, telling him to call the police to come here.

When the police arrived, we explained what had gone on they went to the cellar his name we found out later was Barry Nichols, married with two children. His wife appeared in court where the judge sentenced him to ten years for kidnapping and rape, his wife would be raising her kids on her own. Her face had a look of relieve.

I still see Sally, I pay for therapy for her, as her Mom is single and has two other siblings to raise.
Maybe some guilt on my part as I had not been raped. 

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