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Chapter Twenty-Five: Houdini

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A vibrant green. That was the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Paul's eyes were very close to me, shivers ran up my spine. Why was he so close? Wait, is he going to kill me? "Would you mind backing up?" I meant to say but all that came out was a wheezing breath and gagging. He laughed lightly, backing up a little. He shifted a little brushing up against my body. He was on top of me, his arms on either side of my shoulders and his knees by my hips. Why was he on me? I tried once again to talk sounding even more hoarse. He covered my mouth with his hand. His hand was sticky and had a rusty scent to it. I tried again to say a single word. My eyes watered as my throat burned and ached. It felt like my windpipe was crushed. I coughed hard. Paul leaned back a little as I began coughing up blood. What did you do to me?!? I thought this as he pressed his lips on mine. I frantically tried scooting away. I couldn't even breath now. My lungs felt like they were overflowing with acid. I knocked my head as hard as I could against him. He jerked away, swearing. I was disoriented as I felt an intense pressure and pain. Damn! I moaned, wrenching my wrists away. He let go, surprisingly. I rammed him in the chest causing him to fall off and hit the ground, hard.

Now, I could see my surroundings. I was on the king size bed that had been in Paul's room with the whole cult gathering. However, instead of a t.v. and couch; there were porthole windows and steel walls. Oh, no! Not another boat! Was this the same boat or was this just another one that Paul had? As soon as I thought of Paul, my thoughts returned to how to deal with the monster on the floor. My fist clenched the bed post in a death grip, I need to see if he's awake, I thought, I might have a chance if he's asleep. I slightly shifted my hips as I turned to look over the side. The bedspread loomed in my vision as I drew closer. I prepared myself, gripping the bedpost even tighter. Nothing. There was no one on the floor. I inhaled sharply, was he beneath the bed? "Paul?" I coughed out, covering my mouth. When I drew my hands away, they were covered with spittle and blood. Paul giggled beneath the bed. Chills ran down my back. I slowly leaned back until I was in the center of the bed. Shit! I got on my knees little by little crawling to the nightstand on the other side of the bed. There was a lamp along with a champagne flute filled with a crimson, thick liquid. Swallowing my nausea, I yanked on the lamp expecting to able to pick it up. However, the lamp didn't move. Damn, the lamp must be screwed into the table. Okay, what about the table? I pushed as hard as I could, however the table was screwed to the floor as well.
"That's not going to work,Rika. Besides, it's too late for you." Paul called out from the bed. I ignored him and got up on the bed. The door was right near the bed. If I reached out, I could open the door and run out. This wasn't the best escape plan I'd come up with but it would do. I hooked my leg around the bed post as I streched my left arm out to the doorknob. My fingers barely grazed the edge of the doorknob. I let out a sob of frustration. Now, I had no choice but to jump off. Without even thinking things through, I jumped off the bed and yanked the door open. "Rika! Wait!" Paul called out behind me. I ignored him surging to a door that had a huge window at the end of the hall.
    I counted silently to myself as I passed the doors. 1...2... Past the first door....6...7.. past two more doors...11...12..only three more to go...17-- Seth and Ben shot out from one of the doors on the right, hooking an arm under my armpits they started dragged me between them back towards Paul, who leaned against the doorway casually, smiling. The only hint to his anger was the hardness of his eyes as he smirked.
    "It's ok, Sweetheart. It'll only hurt for a second." Paul stated, inspecting his nails, "Though the more you make me wait....well, it has been awhile since I've done this."
I dug my heels into the brocade carpet running the length of the hallway. "Nooooo!" I wailed, "Don't let him hurt me." Ben glanced at me before staring down, a hurt expression on his face. Tears ran down my face. "B-Ben!"
. "Rika, come on. He needs to do the ceremony. Then we can hang out." Ben chided me while Seth simply said "Moron."

"Screw you!"I snarled as I clawed at their hands. Paul was casually waiting, leaning up against the door. Seth immediately let go of me when Paul reached out for me, Ben held for a second then let go. "You'll be fine kid, just relax." Ben said messing up my hair. Paul without looking at me, threw me over his shoulder. "I'll see you guys in a couple of hours." He laughed shutting the door. He turned and threw me roughly on the bed "I waited a long time, Rika, I wanted to wait until you were ready. " I backed away knowing in my heart that this was the end. Paul smiled bending down towards me as his other hand reached underneath the bed. I held my breath as I waited for my death to come.

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