Addison, Kansas - July 7th - 4:18 AM - Present Day:
Ray opened his eyes to one hell of a headache.
"What the f..." He blinked trying to clear his eyes of what seemed to be caked on blood. His eyelids wouldn't cooperate and the pain coming from the back of his head took away all common sense.
His girl, Tammy, had been trying to keep him from swearing, and since he loved her he censored himself. Most of the time that is.
The pain increased and he felt as if he needed to vomit.
Ray tried to move and realized his hands were tied behind his back. "What the...fuck?? Hey!" he yelled, his breath causing a small dust storm on the dirt floor where he lay face down - he had no idea where he was, but could sense that he was not alone. He could hear movement upstairs, whoever it was probably reacting to his voice. "Hey! Come down here, right now! You fuckers! I don't need this shit."
In the back of his mind he knew that Tammy would not approve. She was a "Jesus Crispy" and did not condone the use of profanity. He had often discovered that those who condemned the use of dirty words were proficiently good at sucking dick. That alone gave Tammy power over him. He caught himself smiling at the irony before reality brought his mind back into focus. She had been about to leave him, but hadn't found the heart to tell him. He frowned; it was his own damned fault. Prince Charming, he was not!
Ray struggled to adjust himself, fighting the bindings holding his hands behind his back, and noticed that he was in a basement of some kind.
"How in damnation did I get down here?" he squinted, blood still trickling into his eyes. The injury didn't feel serious, although outwardly it felt like he had a lot of caked up dried blood on his forehead. This could only mean that the wound wasn't a fresh one.
Above him, footsteps went from one end of the room to the other. He could hear, faintly, the sound of a water faucet turning on and off. The owner of the footsteps seemed unhurried, moving slowly, and without concern.
"All right, Ray, who did you piss off this time?" His thoughts, such as they were, turned to the events of the night before. "I can't remember a damn thing." He was starting to panic and struggling against his bindings worked against him.
He tried to get up and fell, face down, in the dirt.
He struggled some more and managed to roll onto his back. He saw his feet, ankles, and knees had several wrappings of what appeared to be duct tape.
His frustration was maddening. "Hey!" he yelled, focusing on the wooden unfinished ceiling. "You! Up there. What's with all of this? Come on, man. The joke's over."
Was it a woman?
Inching his way across the dirt floor of the basement, Ray surmised that he was in a farmhouse of some kind. Modern houses had concrete flooring in the basement, and he saw nothing but riverbed rock lining the walls.
"Definitely an old house," he huffed.
It took a considerable amount of time, but Ray was able to prop himself up against a support beam, sitting up. He imagined that he must look like Harry Houdini in one of those old-fashioned filmstrips showing the master escaping from a straightjacket. Gasping for breath he was quite proud of his accomplishment.
"What the hell happened?" he asked himself.
He remembered he had waited all week to go out with his co-workers to Diamond Jane's - a local strip club. Although most went there for the tits and ass, Ray thought that they made the best bacon quesadillas in the universe. That and a few beers were his only vice. Of course, hanging out with the guys and looking at a few naked women wasn't bad either. Tammy was wonderful, but she had the tits of a twelve-year-old boy. She knew he went every Friday, but tried to ignore the fact. Sex with her hadn't been stellar as of late - one more reason he suspected that there was trouble in paradise.
Vaguely, he remembered someone buying him a drink, it had been a rather fruity mix, and he was certain that a girl had kissed him. Caught between remembering and guilt, Ray adjusted his butt so that he sat up more comfortably.
What if this weren't a joke or had nothing to do with the night before?
Ray paused, thinking. How could he be sure that he had been out for only one night? Was this actually Saturday? He didn't know.
What if he had been taken by a serial killer?
The basement, although quite small, was neat and practically appointed. An old tool box sat with its lid propped slightly open by the wooden handle of a hammer. As he looked closer, he thought he saw a substance that resembled blood dripping from it.
An old card table stood at the room's center. The table reminded him of the type his pain-in-the-ass grandmother had forced him to sit at while he played hours and hours of Yatzee. Damn! How he hated that game. On the table were a small desk lamp that lit a medical kit, and a plate of food.
Ray was starving. He hadn't felt this hungry since he had gotten sick at fifteen and hadn't been able to eat for three days. His stomach grumbled and he found himself sniffing at the air and licking his lips. Was the meal meant for him?
Ray turned his attention to the sounds of more footfalls from the floor above him. Music - jazz - was softly playing. It sounded like Billie Holiday, but he wasn't sure. The voice sounded too pure. Was it his captor's? Was his captor a... woman?
"Hey, up there!" he shouted. Ray bit his bottom lip to keep himself from sounding scared and to keep from crying. "What's going on, please?"
The singing stopped. The music turned off. There was silence, as if his host were listening to him struggling. He imagined they were pleased to have him under their control.
"Jesus!" Ray pleaded, his hands were starting to fall asleep. "I have a woman who's worried about me. I will be missed." Ray suspected that was far from the truth, but they didn't need to know that.
The footsteps moved and they sounded like they were heading for the basement's entrance.
A sliver of light invaded the semi-dark basement as the door to the upstairs opened.
"I love it when a man says 'please.'" The voice was female, but something was odd about it, he thought, it was just too female - if there was such a thing.
Two long and heavenly legs started down the staircase.
"Holy..." Ray found himself whispering. Then, cutting his thoughts short out of tact, he simply stared. From a singularly male perspective, he couldn't have been in lovelier hands.
"That's it," the woman jeered, as she reached the bottom of the steps. "Take me all in."
The woman slowly turned in a circle making sure Ray got the full effect.
He found himself gasping for breath, not to mention fighting down a full erection. Simply put, she was the most amazing woman he had ever seen. Venus had nothing on her!
The woman was about five foot one. She had a rather healthy olive complexion, long hair that hung down to the small of her back, and sharp, green eyes. She wore a tight-fitting red dress that could distract a blind man, well-manicured hands, full lips, and a healthy hourglass figure.
"38-28-36," she giggled, clearly reading Ray's mind.
Caught staring, Ray lowered his eyes.
"Oh, come, now," she purred. "If I didn't want you to look, I wouldn't have worn this for you."
Ray cleared his throat. "What's going on here?"
She shook her head, her long hair swished like a sultry tide hitting the beach, softly covering her left eye. God! She looked fantastic. "Wrong question, love," she said, waving a finger in the air.
Ray paused, thinking.
"Then, who are you?"
The woman sighed with happy relief. "Wonderful. He can be taught."
Ray's mysterious captor bent down, exposing cleavage from her ample breasts, and stared him in the eyes, smiling. "Others failed to get as far as you have come. Bravo!"
Ray's eyes squinted in curiosity. Others? He thought.
As if reading his mind, the woman chuckled - her laugh soft and perfect - and pointed toward a darker corner of the room.
"The others cared only for their fate." She paused, staring at Ray longingly. "I feel you're not like that, are you...Ray?"
From that corner of the basement wafted the smell of raw meat and decay. She stood and moved to the lamp on the card table. She tilted it to shine into the dark corner to show off her work. She looked back at him, studying his reactions, testing him.
Ray remembered the blood dripping from the hammer. Now he saw the source. Several dead bodies, stacked one on top of the other like old books in a forgotten library, lay rotting in the dark. They were men of all ages and races. Swallowing panic, Ray counted at least seven. He was lucky number eight. All showed evidence of having been bashed between the eyes, probably with the hammer. Each set of eyes stared blankly out at Ray with potent warning. Do not ask or say the wrong thing!
Ray held himself perfectly still, fighting the simultaneous urges to scream and fight to break free. He was dealing with a madwoman, so he rationalized that it was best to let her play her hand. Ultimately, someone was bound to find him. He had friends who would worry. Tammy would demand that the police help find him. At least he hoped that she would. All he needed was time.
Then it hit him...she had called him Ray.
He stared with surprise at the woman.
"Come on, honey. Do you think that I would go through all this trouble to get you, tie you up, and not look in your wallet?"
"Well...who are you, then?" Ray started to shake with terror. What kind of crazy world had he fallen into?
Sensing his fear, the woman sauntered back across the room and, crouching down in front of him, did the last thing in the world Ray expected. She kissed him.
And...damn, what a kiss!