Ashes2Ashes – Part 3/3
WARNING: The following story may be offensive to some readers.
Afterwards, when he’d invited her to walk with him along the beach, it had seemed like such a perfectly romantic notion that it never even occurred to her that he might not be all that he appeared to be…
His animalistic grunts were interrupted by the ringing of a bell. He growled and rolled off her, leaving her sprawled across the table, pausing only briefly – almost as an afterthought – to strike her solidly in the right temple with the balled hammer of his fist. Dazed – but driven back into the moment by the blow – she lay where he’d left her as he rushed from the room.
She could hear hushed voices; his sounded a little anxious; but couldn’t make out the age or gender of the visitor. She tried to tell herself that it didn’t matter; nothing mattered but that she lay still and silent, and wait for a time when her mind would no longer connect with her bodily tissue. She told herself it would happen soon; that shortly she’d be freed of this torment forever… and all she need do was maintain perfect motionlessness.
But though she cautioned herself to stay silent, she could hear a strange mewling wail rising in her throat. Without making a conscious decision to call out, she suddenly heard her own voice issuing from her cracked and swollen lips. “Help,” she rasped. And then again, much louder, “Help me! Please… please… help me!”
She heard the voices rise in the other room. She heard his nervous laugher, the door slamming shut and then the thumping of footsteps as he barrelled back towards her.
All at once, she knew that calling out had been a terrible mistake; no one was going to help her and all it had done was unhinge the physical calm she’d worked so hard to achieve. Panic washed over her, swept through her and threatened to drown her.
She found herself scrambling off the table, but her limbs weren’t responding quite right. She rolled to the floor with a loud thud, knocking her elbow against the leg of a chair. She winced at the new agony in her knees and arm, and immediately began crawling in the opposite direction of the approaching footfall. In a lurching creep, she managed to make it across the threshold and into the kitchen. She could see a sliding glass door peeking out at her from beneath heavy drapes and felt the first surge of hope she’d known in… was it weeks… or months? She kept scrambling forward on all fours, telling herself she could make, she could make, she could…
One hand closed around the nape of her neck, the other reached around to clasp tightly on her throat. He yanked her – flailing and screaming – off the ground, twisted her around so that she could see the horrible amusement in his eyes, and half pushed-half threw her towards the doorway she’d just scrambled through. The side of her skull erupted with pain as she connected with a corner, and her vision swam with the brilliance of stars. He took two quick steps forward and reached down to twine his fingers through her hair. With the other hand, he took hold of her throat again, and pulled her into a standing position with his face just inches from her own.
“It’s good to have you back, Ash,” he hissed. His lips curled into a grin and she could see that awful delight in his eyes that denoted the beginning of a new lesson. His grin widened, and he smashed her head against the wall at her back.
She heard herself whimpering and fought to reclaim the silence that had been so comforting just minutes earlier; but she’d given up that control, and couldn’t seem to relocate it now. She tried to look away, to disappear into the safety of dreams, but they wouldn’t come to claim her.
With his hand still in her hair, he dragged her – scrambling in his wake– across the tiled floor. He flung open the basement door and she heard him chuckle as he shoved-kicked her across the brink. She felt herself toppling – felt something in her side crack, and a finger dislocate – going head over heels as she flailed downwards. The floor seemed to appear too quickly and she went sprawling – face first – into the cement. Instinct spurred her into movement as he began the decent behind her. She slithered forward on her belly trying to get her legs moving beneath her.
And then he was on her again, a horrid growl rumbling from his throat, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing, Ashley? You know you can’t leave me… you know you need me you little bitch.” For just a moment, his laughter filled the air before dropping off as quickly as it had begun. His tone grew poisonous as he said, “Oh… you will thank me later for this lesson.”
She whimpered, “No… p-please, no more…” And he kicked her in the ribs once and then again. He gripped her by one arm and flipped her over so that she was lying on her back. He knelt with a knee on her chest; pinning the air in her lungs even as she struggled to release it and draw a fresh breath; and began battering her face with blow after blow.
The room around her began to sway… began to swim… and the last image in her mind before she slipped into the merciful embrace of unconsciousness, was the sweet illusion of his face below her, and her fists battering against it.
A girlfriend had suggested the chat room as a place to meet people. “It’s fun,” she’d said. “You’ll like it,” she’d claimed.
Ashley’s schedule made it difficult to get out much, and it had been ages since she’d last been on a date, but the idea of hooking up with strangers seemed dodgy at best. Still, she’d allowed her friend to set her up an account, and after an hour or so of watching the colourful text constantly scrolling up the screen, she’d found enough courage to join in on the conversation.
That was the first link in the chain of errors she now dangled by, and it all began with a shy, “Hi!” typed in neon pink, Tempus Sans ITC.
For the following month she’d spent her evenings on the site. Gradually, it ceased to matter that the room seemed an unlikely place to meet Prince Charming, since she found herself enjoying the general camaraderie, with or without romance. It was nice to socialize without the hassle of going out to a noisy club, even if she’d likely never meet a single person behind the vibrant font.
By the time he introduced himself, she’d moved past the idea of finding true love through the medium of her computer, and so it came as a complete surprise when it appeared to have found her.
It all began with a simple “Hi” typed into an IM box in navy-blue, Times New Roman font.
Ashes2Ashes: Hi 🙂
By the end of that first week, she was staying up too late each night just to get an extra five minutes longer with Devon27. They talked about everything; their day to day lives, their dreams, their goals, their likes and dislikes; and she found herself sharing things with him that she’d never imagined herself sharing with any man.
By the end of the second week, they’d moved from typed conversations to voice calls, and within a week of that they’d began having sex with no more than the power of language.
By the time he suggested meeting in person, she was so head-over-heels in love with Devon27, that meeting with the man in the flesh seemed like the only natural progression…
There was heavy footfall and shouting.
There was a loud boom – like thunder resonating in a steel drum – and a moment later it was followed by a second.
There was commotion and swirling movement all around, and then the sensation of being lifted.
She blinked her eyes against the brilliant light as a voice whispered near her ear, “It’s going to be alright sweetheart… everything’s going to be okay.”
And then more movement; like the gentle rocking of a boat.
As she ascended the stairs for the second time that night; this time strapped to a board with strangers supporting her weight on either end; she was vaguely aware of a group of people standing in her prison below. They hovered in a semi-circle around a black-shroud covered heap, and she thought, poor Amy… or is that me?
The fresh air felt amazing, and there was cool rain falling on her face.
There were lights strobing blue and red and white all around her, and so many people.
She heard someone say, “… been missing?”
And someone else respond, “Twenty-three weeks.”
And then she drifted away.
As she stood over him, watching him squirm in terror, she didn’t see the pretty blonde man she’d seduced earlier that night. She saw only Devon27; they were always Devon27.
She grinned and licked her lips as he struggled against the ropes that bound his hands to the bedpost. She lifted the heavy blade in her hand – relishing the comforting weight of it – and let the light dance off the steel as Devon’s eyes widened in terror.
She straddled his naked body, leaned close to his face and whispered, “You’ll thank me later for this lesson.”