Chapter Twenty-One (Part Two)
The stillness all but confirmed my worst nightmare. "Hadley?" I whispered quietly. "Hadley, are you okay?"
My chest rose and fell rapidly. Struggling against the straps restraining me to the cot, I could feel my skin turning a deep shade of crimson.
Forcing myself to relax, I caught my breath and inspected the bag. My neck ached as I tried to hold perfectly still, waiting for a sign of life from the oversized canvas bag.
"Hadley, please wake up," I urged quietly. "Please be okay."
The bag remained still.
Big fat tears rolled down my cheeks as I let my head fall back against the thin mattress. Why? Why does this always happen to me? I'm happy and then it's taken away.
I clenched my fists and let out an anguished cry. Arching my back, I tried unsuccessfully to pull my legs to my chest.
Chilling memories that had been buried for ages, forced themselves forward. I still remembered the first time I had been strapped down here, in the basement. My family had just celebrated my fifth birthday and after eating cake, Pops declared that I had been disrespectful to my mother. He immediately went into a rage. He grabbed me roughly and threw my tiny body over his shoulder. I thought he was going to take me to my room and possibly give me a beating, but instead, he brought me down here.
He strapped me down and pointed to a dark figure in the corner. "If you tell your mother what's down here, I'll kill you," he hissed into my ear. Without another word, he blew out the candle, which was the only source of light, and slammed the door behind him.
My cries went unanswered for hours as I struggled against the straps holding me to the mattress. Finally, a timid voice emerged. Scaring me half to death, I screamed until my voice went hoarse.
"Don't be scared," said the soft voice after I finally quieted down. "I'm being held down here too."
"Who are you?" I asked.
"My name is Isabel Rosas," she said.
"Eeesabell?" I repeated.
"Yes, Isabel," she responded.
"What are you doing in my basement?" I asked.
Chains lightly clanged together from the direction of Isabel's voice.
Tears welled up in my eyes. I remember thinking it was all a nightmare.
The sound of metal scraping against floor sent shivers down my spine.
"He took me," she finally admitted. "Your father, he kidnapped me."
Being young and naïve, I didn't know how to respond. Instead of showing compassion, I threw my head back and shrieked until my throat had gone raw.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, a door creaked open and a small amount of light shone in.
"Are you ready to apologize to your mother?"
"Yes, Pops," answered, praying that he'd never take me to the basement again.
Unfortunately, it was only the first of many times. Only I never saw Isabel again. Sometimes I was left alone in the dark for hours, while other times; there would be a new terrified girl keeping me company. Olivia, Lauren, Vanessa, Savana. The names all started to blur together. I never told my mother. Too scared of the repercussions, I kept my lips sealed and I obeyed my father's every command.
By the time I turned ten, Pops told me that it was time for me to learn how to hunt. Terrified of having to take an animal's life, I ran to the barn and hid. It didn't take long for Pops to find me. He slapped me firmly against the face before carrying me to his rusted old pick up truck by the overalls.
Instead of heading into the forest, Pops took me to an abandoned mall close to town. He pointed out a number of young women with circles under their eyes and ill-fitted dirty clothing. He said something about them being stung out. Too young to understand, I simply nodded in agreement.
"Which one you like?" Pops had asked me.
I shrugged my shoulders only to be met with a knock upside my head.
"I said, which one do you like," he repeated.
Blinking back tears, I lifted a shaky finger and pointed to a thin girl wearing a faded blue shirt and a jean skirt.
My father wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "Now that's a good choice."
We waited for the sun to set before approaching the run down mall. The girls had scattered off in different cars. Only the one I pointed to earlier remained in the abandoned parking lot.
Pops cleared his throat, "Ah, want to get something to eat?"
"Excuse me?" she responded, scrunching up her nose.
"Do you want to get dinner with me and my kid?" he asked.
"I don't do stuff with kids," she said holding her hands up and turning around toward the derelict building.
Before she could take her second step, Pops had reached out and grabbed her by the shoulder. He clamped a rag over her mouth and didn't let go as she squirmed. A few moments later, her body went limp.
Trying to make sense of what had just happened, I ran back to the car and began rocking back and forth in the passenger seat.
A loud knock startled me.
"Move over," said my father in a gruff voice. "And remember, if you tell your mother, I'll kill you."
My first victim, I thought shaking my head as excitement and sadness swirled together in my stomach. While most kids were playing with dolls or at baseball practice, I was in the basement, learning how to make women behave. When they didn't, Pops taught me how to punish them. If they refused to love me as much as I loved them, he taught me how to kill them and hide the body.
My trip down memory lane came to a sudden halt as I caught the top of the canvas bag quiver.
"Had? Hadley? Are you there? Are you okay? Thank goodness, I thought you were dead!"
The bag began to shake and finally, in the light of the candle, a hand emerged from the top. Desperately clawing at the outside of the bag, the hand finally managed to untie the knot holding it together.
With a tug, the top of the canvas sack finally expanded and a thick head of curly blonde hair emerged.
My mouth twisted in horror as an unfamiliar face stared back at me.
Ooooh! It feels good to be back at it and working on Under! What did you all think of the second part of Chapter Twenty-One?
Definitely a creepy chapter to write! Hope I don't have any nightmares tonight... 0_0
Kelly Anne Blount xoxo
P.S. If you liked this chapter, please don't forget to leave me a comment and/or click on that little star and vote! :)
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***Optioned for film/TV by Komixx Media! More info coming soon!*** Selected by @Unfriended for the Best of Horror! A serial stalker is on the loose. When detectives find a single wolfsbane flower under Hadley Jasper's bed, they fear the worst. Wil...