My feet pounded against the sidewalk as I ran as fast as I could to the meeting place. By now the sun had gone down and it was just me running through the streets. With each footstep that hit the pavement a new thought echoed through my clouded mind.
What have I gotten myself into?
Maybe I should just try and call the cops? That was a stupid thought. They would do more harm than good.
What if Haley is hurt?
I don't have a choice. I have to go find her.
I promised Mom and Dad I would keep her safe. Great job I've done at that.
Why couldn't that stupid girl listen to me!
My lungs ached with the force I was putting on them. I never really ran. I wasn't out of shape, but I definitely wasn't athletic. Books and computers for this girl. Never in my life had I imagined something like this could happen to Haley or I. That's why we lived in a small town, nothing bad was ever supposed to happen.
The closer I drew to my destination the more I couldn't help but think, have I just handed my life over? Who knew what these men were going to do to me. Were they rapists? Serial killers? Slave traffickers? Whatever they were, I knew it wasn't good. All I could hope was that they would stick to their deal and let Haley go. Maybe they would change their mind and let us both go free.. Tough chance, but hey. A girl can dream.
An hour had passed since I had spoken to the two men on the phone, and I now stood outside the shop they directed me to. It was run down like everything in this town and looked like some sort of abandoned office building. The once new wooden paneling now stood moldy and breaking along the structure. I was surprised it was still standing. I peered in windows to find no lights inside the rustic place, although I did hear voices. Panic and dread coursed through my already tired body as I imagined what awaited me beyond these walls.
Well, it's now or never.
I crept up the old steps trying not to make a sound. However, the creaking of the steps kept me from doing that. I stood outside the door trying to listen once again for voices. This time I heard faint echoes of what sounded like two men arguing. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but they were loud enough so I could try and open the obviously squeaky door. I took hold of the handle and twisted it, pushing the door in at the same time. It creaked unbearably loud. After I had it opened enough for me to step through, I stopped and listened once again. The voices were still arguing, oblivious of the girl who just walked through the door.
Once through the door a plan started to form in my head. A simple one at that. Get in, find Haley, and get out of this town forever. Couldn’t be that hard, right? I stepped through the door and into the hallway. All the lights were out, except for one at the very end of the corridor. From the light showing through the glass window of the door, I could see the rest of my surroundings. I was at the beginning of a straight and long hallway. To my left stood two doors with windows, the kind that you can only see a silhouette through, nothing distinct. To my right was a plain concrete wall with dents, scrapes, and multicolored stains of who knows what. At the end of the corridor there is a small series of about 10 steps leading up to the door with the light streaming out of it. The voices became louder but I didn’t stop to listen to what they were saying. I had to find my sister.
I crept up the hallway peering into the first door on my right. Of course I couldn’t see anything in there, it was pitch black. I decided to try and open the door. To my luck it was open, but just as I started to push it open the rest of the way a loud creak sounded throughout the building. Abruptly, the arguing coming from the door stopped. I saw silhouettes of two people head towards the door and the sound I made. Making a split second decision I opened the door once again and slipped inside to complete darkness. Once in the room I fell to the ground and scurried around on all fours to hide in a corner.
I waited breathlessly with my heart pounding in my chest as two sets of footsteps echoed outside my room. From what I could tell I was in a small closet huddled in the corner. Trash bags surrounded me and there was a rancid smell in the room. My eyes slowly adjusted and I could see I was sitting on a tile floor and the trash bags around me were overflowing with something slimy.
Suddenly, a familiar gruff voice rang throughout the building. “Find her! I know that sound was Samantha. She’s going to try something. The stupid brat.” Now, to my terror, the man spoke directly to me. “I know you can hear me, Samantha doll! Come out now and nothing will happen to you.”
Yeah, right. That's probably what they told Haley before they knocked down my apartment door.
I continued to huddle in my corner in the fetal position wondering what I could do now. Just as a sob broke through my lips, a harsh white light was turned on in the hallway outside my door. I blinked a few times as my eyes adjusted. From the light in the hall I could now see my surroundings, and the slimy things that were falling out of the trash bags. Now I knew where the smell was coming from.
All around me sat trash bags that were overflowing and torn. Their contents were terrifying. Each bag contained different body parts and limbs, pale as the moon and cut at odd angles. The limbs ranged from arms and legs to feet and torsos. They all were covered in a thick and white sludge that was spilling out of the bags and onto the tile. Starting to hyperventilate I looked into the bag next to me only to meet another pair of eyes- dead ones at that. A decapitated woman’s head with her eyes still open sat staring into my soul. Her mangled hair was all but gone and her lips were parted as if she was trying to tell me something.
I couldn’t help myself. I screamed.
As soon as the scream escaped my lips I knew that all hope was lost. “I heard her! This way!” With no other choice I stood up and ran out of the horrible room and I didn’t stop to look where I was going. I only looked up long enough to see the front door I had come through a foot away when strong and rough arms snatched my waist. I screamed once again as the arms took me away from my escape and hauled me to the room at the end of the hall. I fought and kicked with all my strength, grabbing and clawing whatever I could get my hands on. With each futile attempt the arms only grew tighter around me. A door was opened and I was shoved into the room I once heard the voices arguing from.
With a gasp I took in the gruesome and horrifying scene in front of me.