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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Amerena


Updated: Oct 25, 2023

Adrienne’s eyes finally adjusted to the dim lights of the room, nothing looked familiar. Where the hell am I? She looked around the small room, trying to find some kind of sign that would tell her where she was, but she found nothing in the cellar-like room she was trapped in. The walls were a thick grey concrete with no windows, stained with spattered patterns of what looked to be a dark brown paint. Crooked wooden shelves lined the back wall, stacked with rusty tools and dusty boxes. A chill washed over her skin as she turned around to see a single metal chair occupied on the other side of the room.

Slowly she walked across the length of the room towards the front of the chair. The man’s hands and feet were carefully knotted to the back and legs of the chair, and his eyes were covered by a thin black cloth that wrapped around his head. His head seemed to just hang limply; his thin body slumped in the chair. Adrienne carefully unwrapped the cloth from his eyes, finally recognizing the brunette boy seated before her: Kyle, the new trainee from work.

“Oh no! Kyle, wake up!”

She tried to undo the knots on the chair, desperately attempting to pull at the taut ropes.

“Damn it! Come on Kyle, get up!”

Kyle’s body stayed motionless in the chair as Adrienne continued to try to wake him. The creak of the metal door made Adrienne jump.

“Fuck.” She whispered under her breath. She quickly hid behind the shelving as two shadowed figures walked over.

​“How much did you drug this fucker?” the shorter one asked upon seeing Kyle's slack body.

“Just enough boss. He should come to soon.” The large one answered.

As they walked closer to the light, Adrienne recognized the shorter of the two from her previous dream. It’s Sawyer; dressed in navy slacks with a tight white French cuff shirt, rolled up to his elbows. His partner must be new, a large muscular man in black slacks and a black button down shirt. Sawyer refers to him only as Doyle. They walked in front of the chair. Sawyer kicked the legs knocking the chair over. The crack of bone to concrete seems to echo against the walls.

Wake-y, wake-y bitch.” Sawyer mocked. The impact of his face to the concrete finally brought Kyle to consciousness. He immediately spit blood onto to the floor.

“What the hell?” Kyle mumbled, groaning in pain. Sawyer bent down to face him.

“Surprised to see me? You see, I told you if I didn’t get what I was owed I was going to have to do this.” He faced Doyle. “Pick him up.” Doyle set the chair upright, blood dripped from Kyle’s nose and lip.

“What do you want from me Sawyer?” Kyle asked.

Sawyer snickered, “I wanted the five grand. I supply, you pay. Simple as that my friend.” Sawyer grabbed a sharp jack knife from his right side pant pocket. “Now I even gave you extra time. So, the way I see it, somehow I’ve got to get paid. Whether it be money or well…pain.”

Terror washed across Kyle’s face. “Don’t do this please.”

Sawyer ignored Kyle’s plea. “Lucky for me, I’m going to enjoy this. You know, I really don’t give a shit about the money. I have more than I need. But this,” he waves the knife “this I don’t get to do enough.”

Kyle struggled against the ropes. “I’ve almost got all the money Sawyer. Just a few more days please. I’ll give you what I have. Just please, don’t.”

Sawyer held up his hand to silence him. “How about this? I’ll do you a favor. Let’s call it my little game, shall we? You survive? I’ll take what you have, call it even. You die? Well, guess I know there’s some cash in this me both ways.” Sawyer only laughed as he stepped behind the chair. Doyle walked over with a roll of duct tape, but Sawyer stopped him. “Oh no my friend, that ruins the fun. No one can hear us down here. No matter how loud he screams.”

​ Adrienne’s heart raced, realizing that there was no way she could save Kyle without endangering herself. If she died in her dream, would she die in reality too? She couldn’t risk it, but could she risk Kyle’s? Think Adrienne. As she scanned the tools on the wall, hoping for a gun, a scream startled her.

​ Sawyer’s movement was quick, slicing across Kyle’s right eye. His eye immediately shut as blood rushes out. He continued to whimper, holding in tears. Sawyer wiped the blade on the black cloth that once covered Kyle’s eyes.

“We’re just getting started my friend. Don’t wuss out on me now.” He inspected his clean blade. “Hold this for me will ya?” He plunged the blade straight into Kyle’s upper thigh.

Sawyer walked towards the shelves, surveying the tools and rummaging through the boxes. Adrienne held her breath as he walked closer, hoping not to give herself away.

“You know Doyle; I’m not the type that likes a quick way out of things. No man, that’s not me. You see, my father? He liked the simple way to do these things. A quick shot in the head, bada bing, you’re done. Sometimes you gotta mix it up a bit. Sometimes you got to take things a bit slower.” He grabbed a dirt encrusted red container and a hammer from the bottom shelf. “Got the matches big guy?”

Doyle reached in his breast pocket. “Sure do boss.” He tossed a small pack over to Sawyer as he makes his way over to Kyle.

“You see, it took years of me wasting time on deadbeats like you, buying and never paying in full to realize that waiting wasn’t going to solve anything. Sometimes you have to make an example of someone. Then all the rest will fall in line. Just business, at first. But oh the rush! You ever feel the adrenaline coursing through your veins witnessing the other’s pain?” He twisted the knife in Kyle’s leg.

“The beautiful sound of breaking bone?” Sawyer raised the hammer, smashing it into Kyle’s knee. Adrienne winced at the crunching sound of bone and Kyle’s scream. Sawyer dropped the hammer to the side.

“The look on your face brings me more joy than any amount of money you can give me.” He crouched down to meet Kyle’s gaze and lowered his voice, a smile across his face. “But I tell ya one thing, nothing compares to the high of the kill.”

Kyle lurched forward in his chair with all his strength. “You sick fuck!”

Sawyer laughed hysterically twisting the knife further into his thigh.

​ Adrienne felt the stomach acid rise in her throat. Kyle was right, she’d never seen anyone as twisted as Sawyer. She peered around the corner trying to make out the lettering on the side of the container placed next to the chair. She watched as Sawyer wrenched his blade from Kyle’s leg, swiftly slicing his left eye as Doyle took the black cloth and gagged him. She closed her eyes, terrified.

“Now keep your mouth shut. We’re almost through.” Sawyer warned.

Kyle groaned in pain loudly, his face covered in blood and sweat. Sawyer began to dump liquid from the container on the chair, making sure to cover all the ropes and Kyle’s clothing. A strong smell filled the room and reached Adrienne’s nose: gasoline. Sawyer set the container down and stood behind the chair. He grabbed Kyle’s hair, pulling his head back so he could see his face, his blade resting on his neck.

“You had months my friend. Gave you plenty of time for five grand. Now you got to pay my way.” Kyle mumbled something against the gag. Sawyer grows angrier and tightens his grip. “You’re quite the talker. Speak up mother fucker!” He rips out the gag.

Kyle’s breath was heavy, but he was just able to say a few words. “Fuck. You. Fucking coward.”

Sawyer’s face turned a dark red and with a final movement he stabbed his blade into Kyle’s neck. Once then twice, three, four times, as if some demon has taken him over. He screamed as blood sprays upwards onto his face, covering his crisp white shirt.

Adrienne’s face turned white as she watched Sawyer. The gleam in his eye, the smile on his face; what kind of psychotic person finds enjoyment out of this? Wake up Adrienne! Wake up! She couldn’t watch anymore, she had to get out of this dream. If Sawyer saw her now…

He stepped back, breathing heavily and smiling, admiring his work. “If he kept his mouth shut…” his voice trailed off. Without another word he lit the match, flicking it onto Kyle’s lifeless body. The flames quickly engulfed him, Sawyer watched calmly from afar with Doyle. “Our work here is done. I’ll send Horner down for the fire later.” Sawyer wiped the blood from his face and turned towards the stairs, Doyle silently followed a dead expression on his face.

​ Adrienne woke suddenly at the sound of the door slamming; the taste and smell of gasoline filled her senses.

Copyright © 2016 by Danielle Cooper

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