Yes, I know. I haven’t been here for awhile, but that’s because I’ve been very preoccupied with end of the year schoolwork. But good news! 1. It’s my birthday today, two I have a short story for you guys to read! Keep in mind, it’s not a very “happy” story…So here you are!
The white van cruised down the road, following a young red-headed girl walking home from volleyball practice. Tires screeched on the pavement, as the van pulled in front. Two pairs of arms and hands reached out, engulfing the girl and pulling her in. Christina Marie Evans was gone…
…Earlier that day…
“Mom! I’m gonna be late for practice!”
“I don’t care, you have to unload the dishwasher and put away the dishes before you go anywhere”
“Mom!” I said, attitude in my tone. “It will take too long!”
“NOW Ms.Marie!” I knew that tone and what it meant; there was no way I was getting out of it.
The dishes were still steaming and slippery. As usual, my mind was somewhere else, so I hadn’t realised I had dropped a porcelain plate until my mom’s voice pierced through my muddled thoughts.
“Whatever! Just GO, you can’t do any chores right anyway! Oh, look, now you’ve cut your finger!”-At this point in her lecture, I didn’t care if she made me do them or not, I just wanted to get out of there.
Quietly collecting up my stuff, I stuffed my phone in my duffel bag and silently rushed out of the door.
The morning air was sharp in my throat, making it harder to breathe evenly during my walk to school.
As usual, my best friend Jake was patiently sitting on a concrete picnic table, waiting to watch me practice. Jake was 5’4”, classic brown hat hair with blue crystal eyes and chiselled features. He was on the swim team, so naturally he was fairly muscled, deep voice, with slightly tanned skin, and that, of course, made a lot of girls show up to watch the swim team practice. Jake wasn’t really popular, but he wasn’t necessarily unliked either, he had a few friends, along with me as his best friend. But that was about it.
“Mornin’!” He cheerily greeted.
“Yeah…” I mumbled.
“What’s the matter?”
“My mum gave me another lecture this morning about how I am supposed to do all my chores perfectly. Every. Single. Time”
“Oh, yeah… that sucks… want some?” He offered his bag of Skittles; it showed he knew me well enough to know how to cheer me up.
I accepted the bag and started picking the purple ones; they were my favourite after all. I grabbed a handful and dumped them in my mouth, twisting closed the bag. Before I knew it, his arms were around me, warm and inviting. My head rested on his shoulder and we stood there together, enveloped in each others arms. When he finally released me, I was unsure how long we had stood.
“Uh, thanks” I thanked him.
“Come on, your gonna be late for practice”
We walked side by side, in through the doors, and as I looked at him beside me, I knew I was safe well I still had him there. At least that’s what I thought.
Volleyball practice was tedious; I didn’t get much done, because one of the girls, Holly, didn’t show up until it was almost over. So we didn’t get to play any practice games. Jake had left already and I had just changed and left the building, when I heard a car driving up behind me…
I remember seeing a van, then getting grabbed, and a wet cloth over my mouth. But that’s it. Now I’m in a small room, more like a closet, four bare walls, yellowed and peeling wallpaper with only one small, barred window and a door.
My wrists are handcuffed, and a gag chokes my mouth. It’s been what I think is about half an hour since I woke up. No one has come yet, but I can’t help wondering where I am, or what they are going to do with me, not to mention why.
I hear footsteps and a man enters the room, he is white, almost 6’0” tall, dressed in all black, and he has a gun.
He points it at me,
“Get up!” he growls.
I stand. He walks towards me and grabs the chain of my handcuffs.
“This way little missy” I’m too scared to speak, and I let him lead me down a long white hallway, lit with industrial lights. We must be in a warehouse; I was probably in a storage room. The hallway is lined with blank doors, having only a number, 234, 235, 236…It seemed like it went on forever, the minutes passing by as we walked in an ominous silence.
When we finally stopped walking, we were in the doorway of a very large factory room, filled with abandoned machines and forgotten stations. The ghosts of workers, having perished in factory accidents, were no doubt lurking in the shadows.
There are three men, one Caucasian and sounds like he’s from the deep south. The other two are jacked, most likely on some type of steroids. From what I’ve gathered, the two have thick foreign accents and seem to be arguing about something, the white male seems to be their ‘leader’. I’m sitting in a rusty metal chair, handcuffed again – this time behind the back for the chair. The rusty chair is digging into my also bound legs, but squirming doesn’t help. It’s like it almost makes it tighter every time I move.
I hear more tires, and then another man enters. Outside I can see a tip of a van through the dirty windows of the factory. He talks to them, pulls out a gun, and starts walking towards me. His face is distorted and tanned, a chiseled jaw and rough stubble dotting his chin, and he has the heaviest footsteps.
Circling me, he checks every little bit of me, top to bottom. All I can look at is his gun, waving back and forth loosely in his grasp as he sways back and forth, examining. Turning around, he walks towards the leader and whispers something in his ear, which I can only make out the bits of…
“…$100,000…at most….no more…yes…I know…”
He comes back, circling around one more time, before he stops directly behind me. I can hear his breathing and feel his presence behind my back. A cloth scarcely comes into view as I feel it on my mouth, a damp and a raw odour filling my throat.
“Have you seen Christina? She didn’t come back after volleyball practice” Said Ms.Evans.
“Sorry, no. I left before it was over” Jake was worried; Christina always let someone know where she is or is going. It was just strange.
“Well, I can’t find her anywhere and she’s not answering her cell phone”
At this point, Jake knew something was not right, Christina wouldn’t just go off somewhere without asking-let alone not reply back on her phone; she always answered her phone.
“Well…let’s try calling her one more time”
Mrs. Evans started towards the car, leaving Jake standing on the front steps of the school, cell phone in hand; her mom had waited in the car outside the front steps of Kalmang High School since three o’ clock- it was six o’ clock when she had seen Jake taking his 5 year old boxer, Maggie, for a walk on the school grounds.
“No answer” Jake looked at his feet.
“It went to the operator, which means she’s in an out of service zone” He was running out of options, and he had two choices left; just leave it and hope she goes back home, or report her as a missing person. But he couldn’t just sit there, he had to do something.
“We… need to report her… missing” Jake suggested.
“Uh…well, she hasn’t been gone that long, only a few hours-she’ll be back soon!” Christina’s mom replied hopefully. “Okay, fine-but don’t get your hopes up…” Jake said.
“Mom—– ?“ I inquire, half-asleep. How long have I been asleep…? The air seems musty, almost dirty. When I open my eyes I realize I am lying on a simple twin sized bed. The ceiling tile is cracked and chipped, a maze of tiny crevices. There is a small piece of metal on the floor, and I feel an overwhelming feeling of worthlessness…
I felt the cool metal against my wrist, with a dizzy, fluid motion; I slashed, making me feel fuzzy and warm.
There’s white everywhere, a vast fog covering a pale white floor. “Uh…” I choke out. It seems I am wearing a beautiful white ball gown, with a huge skirt and jeweled strap curling around my neck. “Ahem” coughed a deep voice, emanating from behind me. I spun around quickly enough to make me slightly dizzy; it didn’t help when I realized the voice came from a huge man, probably 10 feet tall, wearing Greek battle armor and a uniform, he was also holding a clipboard and pen. He remarkably resembled Jake, and part of me wanted it to be him, with perfectly tanned skin, his broad shoulders and gentle smile…
“I assume you are Miss Evans?” boomed the man.
“U-u-u-uh, yea-h…” I stuttered.
He checked off something on his clipboard.
“Very good. And do you know why you’re here?” he asked. Honestly, I had no idea, I could remember who I was, who Jake and my mom were, even my principal, Mr.Berry.
But for the life of me, I couldn’t remember where I was, or how I got there.
Another check on his clipboard.
“Well, you see little miss, you were given a drug while unconscious from your kidnappers knocking you out. The drug was a very powerful one, it induced such a mood swing that when you finally awoke to consciousness, you felt so depressed that you slit your wrists.”
My mouth was almost to the ground, I couldn’t think of anything to say. Me? Commit suicide?! It was impossible, crazy, downright insane…
“That is why you are her- ‘
“-but where is-‘ I interrupted.
He held up his hand, signaling for me to shut up and listen.
“That is why you are here, and ‘here’ is a special place in the afterlife where all the suicidals get sent to” it was hard to swallow, the afterlife, that meant I was… dead.
“Wait, wait, wait. Where was I before I died?” I inquired.
“You had been in an orphanage. The kidnappers had dumped you on the road. Social services had found you, and were sorting out who you were and where your parents were when you slit your wrists”
But, no, I couldn’t die… I had to live, see Jake, my mom, my classmates…
“But Sir, I didn’t mean to die, I didn’t want to… It’s unfair!” I pleaded.
“Now don’t get all worked up for nothin’. You see, I was going to offer you a second chance at life, because taking your own life wasn’t your own conscious thought, it was the drug.”
“Really? Do you mean it?” I really wanted to live, I hadn’t realised it when I was alive, but, I couldn’t bear to be without the ones I love, including Jake.
“Yes, I mean it” he stated.
“Thank you… So much..” I whispered, my voice barely heard.
Well then, time to get you home, he’s waiting for you, y’know.”
A silvery mist started shimmering around me.
“Wait, who is waiting…?–”
I felt his warm, firm grip, his voice pleading…
“Please, Christi…please… I.. love you so much… don’t go” he whispered.
I opened my eyes slowly, taking in he smells and sounds before my eyes settled on the hunched over figure, bending down; forehead resting against the bed. I felt my cheeks flush,
“Jake…” I whispered slowly, it was painful to speak, and felt like I had been hit by a train head-on. He jumped with a start, falling back while still holding my hand, taking me with him. The sheets flew off the bed and by the time we hit the floor, he was lying next to me, hugging me close.
“Don’t ever leave again, ever…” his words were soft and spoken gently; I knew he was speaking from within himself. All at once he realized I heard what he said, pulled back, sat up and covered his face, but I could still see him go red through his fingers.
He pulled me back in again, and stroked my hair with his hands, gently kissing my forehead.
Right then I knew why I wanted to live, I wanted to live to experience.