The computer monitor and tower slam onto the bottom of the grody dumpster, chipping the tower on contact. “We tell no one what happened, we never saw Becky, and we never go on the dark web again.” Maddie says.
Donald rubs his hand over his left shoulder and continues to glance around the alleyway, his lip quivered in consistence with his rapid heart beat, fear pumped through his veins at an accelerating pace. “They said my name Maddie, and the message sounded personal. And how did your computer turn on? We should tell someone.” Donald wipes sweat from his cheeks until they turn into cherry rubes.
“I’m scared too, but Maddie has a point, telling the cops or our parents could make things a lot worse. What are we gonna do?” Karla inquires.
“I got rid of the computer, I guess we’ll just go home and try to forget about it, I don’t know what else to do,” Maddie kicks a rock with her torn sneaker as she begins to walk up to her back gate then asks, “Hey has anyone heard from Sara?”
Karla responds, “I talked to her before coming over to your place, she was attending prayer meeting so she couldn’t talk long.”
“Religious parents, they sound more like cult leaders some days,” Maddie jokes.
They knew she was only trying to make light of the situation and help them forget, though nothing could shake the worry and fear drilled to their cores.
Fellow members from church said their goodbyes as the exited the large home in the upscale society of town, Sara’s parents were wealthy, and very strict. Her father closed the door and turned to her with a firm expression sculpted into his wrinkled face. “Clean up after our guests, then shower and get ready for bed.”
He always treated her more to the likes of being a servant, rather than a daughter. Her mother followed him behind up the stairs without giving Sara a second cold glance. Both held their reputation at the church and in society, knowing how to love others and treat them with such compassion, until it came to parenthood. Sara was an accident, she was supposed to be an abortion but was too mature when they found out. Instead of being a miracle, she was more of a curse to them. Needing to vent their aggressions and obscure feelings, she became a personal voodoo doll, do anything you want to it without regret.
She gathered the dishes, crusted with pie and hardened cool whip, dropping them into the sink of bubbly water. While washing the dishes her pocket vibrated for a moment. Drying her hands on her shirt she pauses her chore to check her phone. An unknown number had sent her a message.
“Hey it’s Maddie I need a favor”
Sara replies “Did U get a new number?”
“Dad had to go to another phone company. Couldn’t pay the bill. Anyways I need a favor”
“Oh OK what U need?”
“Was gonna make mac and cheese but had no milk. Can I borrow some? I’ll come by in a minute if thats OK?”
It wasn’t unusual for Maddie to borrow things to make cheap simple meals, her dad usually bought the bare minimum of groceries and expected Maddie to fend for herself. It also wasn’t unusual for her to change numbers often, due to her dad letting a bill scrape the ceiling before trying to make arrangements or getting cut off.
“Meet you outside in 30 minutes” Sara replies. It was about a twenty minute walk from Maddie’s run down house to Sara’s uppity part of town. She continued to wash the dishes without a second thought. Hanging the plates to dry in a dish rack, she grabs a half empty jug of milk and heads out to the front yard. As she sits in a wooden chair she awaits for her friend to arrive. Her phone vibrates once more with a message “Im at the back gate.”
Perplexed she thinks of responding asking why the back gate but figures she wanted to come down the alley, as she’s done before on these errands. Sara walks around her house and clicks open the steel lock on her red painted wooden fence. Pushing it open as it fights against the alley rocks, she sees no one around. Pulling out her phone she texts Maddie’s new number asking “Hey where are U?”
A slight vibration catches her ear’s attention in the darkness piercing from behind her, the darkness she could of sworn was void of anyone. As she turned around a blunt object was struck against her frontal lobe splitting it apart, forcing through making contact with her shy bone.
Sara peels her eyes open to see a rat chewing on a molded piece of cheese before running away startled into a small hole. She cries out and slides back on the floor crying yet louder this time, her bare arm she was laying on burned with sears of burning rage. She sits up realizing she’s in nothing more than her training bra and p*****s, the ground glistened under dim lights exposing a path of halfway glowing trails. Blood slid down with choking shards of glass embedded in her upper arm. A number written on her stomach in what looked like red paint, or so she hoped, displayed the number “1”.
The ground she sat upon was broken glass, some shattered to thick chunks, some grinded down to grains of dust, some protruding out from the walls that created the pathway before her eyes, the dying light above flickered in teases.
She was enclosed in a small square box of four walls excluding the two walls that formed a hallway. A voice boomed from the sky.
RUN NOW IF YOU VALUE YOUR LIFE. IF YOU ABANDON HOPE, KNOW YOUR CORPSE WILL SELL FOR EVEN MORE. THERE IS NO MERCY, ONLY JUSTICE.
A bottle drops to the ground next to her fizzling on the ground eating away at the floor. As it bubbles in an abnormal way, her brain forces her body to move concluding that whatever was in the bottle had to be acid. Regrettably looking above she sees a rainfall of more bottles flying down. Sara dives forward sliding onto the glass slicing her forearms to shreds while they shielded her face. Her stomach punishes her brain in regret as it wrecks open her pain department describing every anguish she should be feeling, all the while her adrenalin combats it numbing her struggle. The floor behind her bubbles as she scrambles to her feet and tries to run. Each leaping step is worse than tip toeing on hot coals, she hits a wall and quickly comes to her senses, she’s in a maze.
Glass cracks barely missing her head reacting against the wall behind her. She fights against the pain and continues to run. Turning a corner she sees a bright yellow door. Against her better judgement she flings it open hoping to see an exit, instead a clown greets her panic attack. A pick axe festered with dirt clods was gripped in his gloved hands. His yellow teeth peaked through his tightened lips; his rainbow painted wig swayed before thrusting his weapon swiftly towards her.