Here's a small taste of my story in this fabulous anthology. The book will be available in e-book, paperback and hardcover by May 1, 2011. Enjoy!
This tale by Nomar Knight reminded me of the SAW films, and brought to mind one of the other evils of addiction: when some people have their vice taken away, they’ll do anything to get it back.
Sins of the Flesh
By Nomar Knight
A loud screeching sound woke me. At first, I thought my dreams still held my consciousness…
Until a tightening pain around my wrists heightened. I moved my arms and chains rattled.
My heart pounded when I saw a man’s button eyes peering at me through a curtain of hair. His crooked smile did nothing to reassure me of my safety. With his hands restrained behind his back, I recognized the contraption that held him in place. I blinked in disbelief. His neck was trapped in a guillotine.
“Oh, good, you’re awake.” His familiar, nasal voice irked me.
I scanned the well lit chamber, noting our captor’s taste for ancient torture toys. A wooden table used for stretching body limbs lay empty to my right.
“Tell me, lady. Can you see what’s above me?”
“I’m not sure, but it looks like a blade.” I broke out in a cold sweat. Then I realized I hadn’t gotten high in a couple of days. “What is this place?”
A scream overtook the rattling of chains. The terrible shrill seemed to originate beyond a closed bronze door. I fought to move my limbs. Metal bracelets latched my thin wrists in place. Another pair of shackles held my ankles at bay as I hung on a cinder block wall.
Caught in an alien spider’s metal webbing.
The man said, “We’re in hell.”
Again, someone screamed. The wail of agony jolted my eardrums like the sudden crack of thunder. I shut my eyes, hoping that when I reopened them the dreaded nightmare would be over. But when I did, the burden brought forth by reality heightened my hunger for crack. Shaking my head I said, “I need to get out of here, now!”
The trapped man struggled to move his head until enough hair brushed out of his eyes. From my vantage point, I noticed he had a pot belly and unusually long arms. “I know you.” He sounded as if we were at the supermarket and he was pleased to see me. “Christine?”
“You sound familiar, but I can’t place the face,” I said, probably because his hair kept falling on it.
“I’m Hadley. We went to high school together.”
I recalled the long arms almost reaching the ground as he walked. The kids teased him. They called him ‘Magilla Gorilla’, after a cartoon character.
“You do remember me. You’re smiling.”
I wiped the grin off my face and jumped when the unseen man screamed again. “Who is that?”
“That’s Potts. Mr. Riverton is doing…God knows what to him…in the other room.”
My stomach churned upon hearing the name of our captor. There was no way the town’s most prominent citizen would stoop to torture tactics. “No…you’re wrong. Mr. Riverton would never hurt anyone.”
Hadley mocked me with his laugh. “Think about it, Christine. What was the last thing you remember before waking up here?”
I recalled visiting the Riverton Estate unannounced. I was surprised when the butler let me in. He guided me to the study where I saw my last source of income and my only chance to get a fix: Peter Riverton.
I had lost everything. I’d sold everything I owned to buy crack, then robbed whatever I could from my husband, until he’d thrown me out. Then I robbed whatever I could from my parents, until they’d thrown me out. I’d been the Prom Queen of 2002, and I was a scrape away from turning tricks out of the back seat of my beat-to-hell station wagon.
The scream reached a new decibel. A rancid odor permeated our prison. I said, “I was in Mr. Riverton’s study.”
Hadley grinned, “What a coincidence! I was in his office at the casino. You’d think to a man like him two thousand dollars would be a drop in the bucket.”
Mr. Riverton owned the only casino in town as well as most of its ‘legitimate’ businesses. Everything I knew about Peter Riverton made my current reality impossible to grasp. Hadley was right. Our incarceration didn’t make sense.Hadley sighed, “How much are you in for?” He grimaced while trying to remove his shackles.
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