The blood flowing from the ceiling finally slowed to a trickle. Mary tried her best to reposition her body in this sea of fluids. She was trapped in a concrete grave that was filling up slowly with the drainage of her captor’s victims.
“Let me out!” she would scream every time that the blood began to rise and fill her underground coffin. “Please! Can you hear me?”
Her voice would echo back to herself. She had no idea how far down this grave actually was.
Moments before the waterfalls of blood would occur, she would have a short moment of warning. She could hear the muffled screams of people just before they would be disemboweled and drained of their lives. She could hear them scream, but why could nobody hear her scream? Maybe they could, but they were ignoring her? Maybe they just couldn’t do anything about it. Or maybe they heard her but could not locate where her voice was emanating from.
“I used to be a nobody. I still am a nobody. But at least before I was free to be nobody. Now I don’t exist to anyone. I’m all alone, dying a very slow death with absolutely no escape.
It wasn’t very long ago that I was at home enjoying the little things in life – ice cream cones, the sounds of birds in the morning, sunlight…oh, to see and feel the warmth of the sun would be magnificent! How did I even get here?
I remember that I used to just lounge outside by the community pool. I wouldn’t bother anyone and nobody bothered me. We all just kept to ourselves. That’s the way they liked it; and more importantly, that’s the way I liked it. Nobody was in anybody else’s business.
But somehow I ended up here. Ended up here, in a small concrete cube slowly filling with blood. It won’t be long before I am completely overtaken and will drown in a pool of other people’s blood. None of it’s even my own blood.
I’ve tried digging as much as I could, but all I have done is wearing down my fingernails all the way down past the fingertips.
I don’t even have enough space to sit up, let alone stand or even stretch my legs. My head is always angled from the low ceiling and the narrow walls. The blood has gotten so deep now that even if I tried to kneel to get a new position that I would end up drowning within a few minutes.
I don’t know what else to do...”
A black car came barreling down a dirt path. Swerving around trees and kicking up gravel it made it’s way easily and fluidly through the natural obstacles. The car pulled up to the door of a large shack made of old plywood and metal sheeting.
The rain just began to fall as the car door opened. A tall athletic woman made her way out of the car. She was wearing tight blue jeans, black sneakers and a plain white top. Her hair was covered by a trucker’s hat that kept the rain from getting in her face. She rushed to the door of the shack and fumbled a little with the key for the padlock before getting the chain loose and opening a way inside.
She slid the door as far open as it would go and ran back to the driver’s seat of the car. She pulled off her hat and waved her hair lose before shagging her hair with her right hand. She pulled off her large-lensed sunglasses with her left hand and threw them onto the dashboard, hitting the windshield with them first.
She glanced up and saw her reflection in the rear-view mirror. She adjusted the mirror to get a better look at herself. She pulled down the eyelid of her right eye and examined it carefully before letting it go and cranking the car. The engine purred and a clunking metallic sound echoed in the cab of the car. She pounded on the top of the car, “Stop that!” The sound immediately stopped and a grin grew across her face.
The car’s axle squealed a little from the rain as it pulled into the barn and parked as soon as the door would be able to close behind it. She cut off the engine and pulled out a pack of cigarettes with a lighter. Instead of smoking them, she placed them on the passenger’s seat and stepped out of the car.
She walked over to a rope and pulley system hanging from the ceiling. She tied one end of the rope to the wall and began to tie a noose with the other end. She was careful to make sure the noose end could reach the ground before setting it completely down.
She stepped slowly back towards the car making her way to the passenger side, sliding her fingers along the hood of the car, then over the passenger-side doors and along the trunk. Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out her ring of keys and found the key fob. She pressed a button as a latch unhooked and the trunk opened up.
Immediately a young boy popped out of the trunk and ran straight into the garage door that was right up against the bumper of the car. The boy was about 12 yrs old. His hands and feet were both bound and his mouth gagged.
After falling back into the trunk, the boy just lay on his back breathing heavily. His eyes were dancing across the room trying to gain bearings of where he was and why he might be there. The woman’s head came in to view and his eyes fixed upon her glare.
“Don’t worry. I am here to help you. Do you understand? I am here to help you.”
The boy’s breathing began to slow down and his body began to feel calmer.
“Here, may I take that off of you?” she asked, referring to his gag.
The boy nodded as the tears stopped. He sat up closer to her so she could reach his head.
She pulled the gag off and he gasped for air.
“It’s ok. It’ll all be ok.”
“Thank you.” he could barely get the words out.
She slipped her arms under his and picked him up out of the car. His legs almost gave out when she set him down, but he found his footing enough to hold himself up against the car.
“Where am I?” he asked.
She stood close to him and stroked his hair out of his face, leaving her hand on the back of his head.
“This…this is freedom. This is redemption. They may not look like it, but boy – these here are the pearly gates!”
“I don’t understand…”
“I know you don’t. Nobody out there does.” Pointing towards the outside world. “Nobody out there does, and I am sick of it!!” Her head twitching, “I am so sick and tired of nobody out there understanding; nobody out there caring; nobody out there who gives even the slightest damn about me. Do you even have the slightest clue about what I am trying to say??”
The boy was in tears again. Her rant left him speechless, and barely able to shake his head ‘no’ at her question. His lower lip began to quiver and urine began to stream down his leg.
Mary’s ears perked up as she could hear voices. She could pick out two distinct voices. They sounded so distant to her, very faint. One was a woman and one belonged to a boy. But where are they? Where are the voices coming from?
Mary screamed as loud as she could, “Help me! Please!!”
The woman’s head twitched again.
“Come on! I don’t have all day, and you don’t either.”
She grabbed him by the arm and pulled him towards her as she walked away. He tripped on his bound feet and his body began to be dragged across the floor as she refused to let go and refused to stop moving. His body squirmed back and forth trying to get free of her grasp.
She brought him over to where she had tied the noose. He was fighting for air as she put his legs into the noose and pulled the knot tight. As she stood up, she kicked him in his side, breaking one of his ribs with a loud crack.
“Oh, no. Not one more.” Mary thought to herself. “One more and I’ll be dead. I need to do something.”
Mary screamed some more and began scraping the top of her cage with her fingernails. “You need to stop this! Please!! I don’t want to die! You’re about to kill me! Do you even know that?? Please don’t kill me!”
“Please don’t kill me!” the young boy pleaded.
The woman pulled the end of the rope off of the wall and she began to tug on it. The pulley on the ceiling let out a squeal with each tug. The boy’s body began to rise up off of the ground feet first.
“Soon you will be free.” She reassured the boy, “Soon.”
Mary struggled more and more. Every movement she made was forcing the blood surrounding her to splash against the ceiling of her cell. She had to stop moving and stay calm so she wouldn’t drown herself before the amount of blood enveloped her. Her throat gasping and choking as the fluids settled. She pressed her left cheek hard against the ceiling and began to sob.
“This is the end,” she thought. “This is the end.”
The young boy was now hanging from his feet. The blood rushed to his head making his face the color of a plum. He squirmed like a night crawler about to be pierced by a hook and soon to be eaten.
His captor just stood there, watching him struggle. She had both arms folded across her chest and a blank stare on her face.
“I’m doing you a favor. Remember that, son.”
“I am not your son!”
“It’s a figure of speech, you ass.”
She lowered her arms and turned around scanning the room.
“That’s right - under the straw. I left it under the straw.”
Casually, she made her way to a pile of straw about the size of a car and began to dig her way to the center of it. The boy paused as he watched her pull out a trunk. It scraped across the gravel like nails on a chalkboard. His breathing grew faster with each heave closer.
She stopped about five feet in front of his suspended body. With an arm wipe across her brow, she sat down to gather her breath and thoughts.
“What is that…?” he asked cautiously.
Without raising her head up, she just looked at him.
“What are you going to do?”
Her head twitched, but it didn’t even faze her. She stood up slowly and turned around to open the trunk.
He tried to swing his body up to see inside the trunk. All he could see was blackness. The sound of metal against metal rang inside the box as she moved unseen items around.
The clanking stopped suddenly.
She looked over her shoulder approvingly, keeping her hand in the trunk. She pressed one finger against her lips, and then tapped it a few times.
“Yes. Yes, I think this will be perfect.”
She stood up, keeping an item hidden behind her back.
“I have a dream!” she stated as she took a step forward, “A dream that one day all men…” one more step, “…white men and black men…” another step, “Protestant and Catholic…” She stopped, standing directly in front of him, “…will sing in the words of the old negro spiritual…” she revealed a fireplace poker and he began to scream.
The scream pierced Mary’s ears. She tightened her eyes and the voice strained her inner soul. Mary opened her mouth but was unable to scream from the pain.
Urine filled the boys pants and began to stream down his torso. His tears fell to the ground as his sobs grew stronger every moment.
“Free at last.”
She raised the poker and took it full swing as it gashed into his thigh. Red began to spill and stain his pants. She pulled it out immediately and the stain grew faster. She placed a finger from her free hand into the wound. She scooped up some of his blood onto the tip of her finger. She held up her finger into the air, examining the shine and glimmer on the crimson.
“Free at last.”
She placed her bloody finger into her mouth and swished it around.
Mary could hear the sound of rushing liquid around her. She pressed her hands as hard as she could against the ceiling with a scream.
The woman swallowed the blood with a hard gulp.
The woman swallowed the blood with a hard gulp.
Gallons of blood came pouring down into Mary's cell. She struggled trying to find any way of escape, any way to gather just one more breath.
“NO! NO! Please, God, NOOOO!!!”