Featured Review on this writing by Joe Stuart


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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Hey all, i hope you like this. This is the first time I've tried to write something darker. This is about two survivors that connect and make a final decision.

Submitted: October 17, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 17, 2019



Tia is walking down the street, holding tightly to her book. He asked her to come back, didn’t beg, didn’t yell or even threaten. He asked. Said he wasn’t right in the head and that he needed to make amends. She never told anyone who he is, she is certain he has done this to others, although she only knows of one other survivor. But he doesn’t know she knows. The other one knows, they’ve met. Once. But once was all it took.

The horror of that day will never be forgotten, the knives he used, she small blades he delicately ‘touched’ her with, as he would say. He made all of that horror sound sensual. That’s why she never screamed, and he knew this too. He knows how to scare you silent.

She stops walking and steps into the bushes nearby to check her book, she opens the cover and checks, yes, everything is still there. He will let her hold a book. He asked her many times to read to him. She will read, the first page, then she will skip to the ending. His.

~~ ~

Kyra debated for many hours about what to do. He found her in public, he asked her to come, told her the exact time. She knew the place, she will never forget the place.  She hasn’t been able to eat with a knife since. She hasn’t been able to use her right hand the same since. Eight hours of sweet talk, four hours of mental anguish and another twelve hours of slow and painful torture with a knife.

Then she made her escape, she faked where the blood was coming from, he thought he had hit a major vein and he said to her, words she will never forget, ‘damn, I should have known better than to get another scrawny one,’ then he lifted her up and threw her in the back of his truck. Drove her out to the backwater creek and literally dumped her body and drove away. She sat there until the sun went down and crawled to the street and was found by a police officer. Her family didn’t come. They told her if she is in trouble from the guy she went to against their wishes, she had to deal with the trouble she is in.

She has shouldered this all alone, this whole time. Why is she headed to him? Why go back? Does she want him to finish the job? No, she tells herself. She lived for a reason. Then, a month ago, her therapist called her in, she found another survivor and it had to be from the same person.

She went to find out. They sat their and looked at each other, looking at the scars that were visible and knowing how they got there. The therapist simply said, “I read your account of your attack and it reminded me of someone else’s so I called you in. Please ladies, sit down and read each other’s account.”

They did, they sat and read, Kyra recognized every line, she is the one who looked up and said the number on the house. Tia had nodded. That is all. “I’ll leave you two be.” The therapist said.

Kyra didn’t want to speak out loud, she wrote down her words, ‘did he invite you back’, this woman Tia nodded. Kyra handed her another paper with her number and walked out. She nodded to the therapist.

~~ ~

Tia is a block and a half away now. She is holding tightly to her book. Kyra, the other one who got away, and she planned today. Today, this all will end. She can’t look at any man she knows with a beard, she can’t dance any more, even with her father because he is the same height.

But she is not sure she can do this either. She has never been able to hurt anything, she doesn’t even step on spiders, she scoops them up and drops them outside. She talked to the other girl, her time with him was so much longer, Tia was able to get away faster because he became distracted by someone else. The phone rang, she was already bleeding from so many places he assumed she would be gone. He dropped her in the back of his truck and dumped her in the dumpster outside the building he was going to. He threw a blanket on top of her so no one saw her, she had no voice at the time. She doesn’t have much left now either.

However, she has family. She has people on her side. This other woman did not. She still does not. He is not right in his head, he told her. He was on medication and needs to apologize. His voice, always sincere.

Kyra is going to do this, she vowed, then she is going to take all of his precious gold coins and run away to a better life. She is going to….

“Tia!! Don’t do this. Don’t!!” Tia looks up. She sees a car stopped a couple houses up, calling to her. She knows that voice.

She stops walking. How does he know where she is? She stares at him, holds her book closer to her chest and stares at him. “Last night, you couldn’t sleep darlin’. I came by your apartment and we talked, only you were talking in a trance. Please, Tia, please. He is not worth going to jail for. I want you here on this side. I want you with me. I will always protect you.” He says with tears in his eyes.

“But you’re…”

“I know what I am. I also know that you will never feel safe with another man. I will protect you. I took the job out of state last night. I called them this morning. I’m moving tonight and I’m taking you with me. Your parents love me, they’ll never know our truths.” He pleads with her. This man in front of her is her best friend. She knows he prefers men and that he will never touch her.

“How?” she asks looking forward at the house she is supposed to go to.

“You were in a trance, you told me about the plan with the other woman. Do you want to call the police? Make sure she is ok?” he asks.

“Not yet.” She says and takes a step forward.

~~ ~

“Ah, little one, you brought a book again. How nice. You remembered me too. I see the book is small and fits nicely in your hands like you did in mine.” He smiles at her in his smooth voice. She steps in and she quickly moves to the side.

She says nothing. She keeps him in front of her at all times. No more surprises in the back, she thinks to herself. She came through the back fence and walked around to the front. She made sure to keep the back fence open. That is where she will leave from.

She follows him up the stairs. He opens the door to a room and she shakes her head no. “Ah, not so trusting today I see. I’ll forgive you. Look. I’ll walk in first.” He does. He walks all the way in and to the front window. She follows him in but sits on the other end in a chair. Her back to the wall, her book tightly in her hands holding it to her chest.

“I’ve been lonely little one. I guess I’m not as good looking as I once was. How long has it been, eight years already? No one wants to follow me any more. No one comes to me. I’ve been lonely. We have company coming today little one. Another little sprite like yourself. You will like her.” He says smoothly, still staring out the front window.

“Come, you will see her coming down the way now.” He looks over his shoulder to her.

“I’m staying here.” Kyra says.

“Ok, but I knew she’d come. Same as I knew you’d come. You missed me, I saw the longing in your eyes the minute I found you. I’m not the same person as I once was. I was in an accident and my right hand doesn’t work as well as it used to. See?” he shows her how he can no longer make a fist, she sees the struggle in his hand.

“Today, you two will play a game. It will be fun.” He turns back and watches the window. She has stopped. Why has she stopped? Who is she talking to? She shouldn’t talk to strangers. Ah, she is looking at him, he can tell. He puts a hand on the window to show her he sees her too. He watches, she takes a step forward but the step is to the car and not to him. “Why is she stalling? Who is in that car little one?” he asks and turns to see her sitting there with a gun in her hand.

No words come out as she clips on the silencer. One shot, she knows she only has one shot. Now! She pulls the trigger, the look of shock on his face is all she needed to pull the trigger.

~~ ~

Tia looks up, before she walks closer to the car. She has done what she needed to do. She distracted him at the window. Now she sees the mess on the window. Kyra did what she came to do. The man with her looks where she is looking. He steps towards her. “Should we wait for her?” he asks.

Tia looks at him and knows he understands what had to be done today. He told her that one day, she was talking in her sleep, a day after she had been to the therapist, and she told her whole tale to him. He knows the whole thing. No one else does.

She looks at him and down at her book. “You were going to do what had to be done. Now we will drive to the lake and we will dump that there, on the side where no one walks. Again, Tia, I ask you. Are we to wait for her?”

~~ ~

Kyra has never seen a person’s face explode. He hadn’t even taken a step towards her, he was in such shock. Now she listens to the quiet of the house, only the house is not quiet. She hears the sounds of crying. Others are here.

She flashes the light in the room to tell Tia to leave. They planned to come fifteen minutes apart. If Kyra hadn’t done the deed by then, Tia was going to come in and save her and do the same thing. Now Kyra has done what needed to be done.

She walks over to the dresser she knew to be there, opens the top drawer. She sees the gold coins. With her gloved hand, she picks them all up and puts them in her backpack. She methodically walks to the next room and takes the pieces of silver he had shown her.

She hears the cries of others, she tunes them out and continues to collect all that he had shown her. He promised her that she could have all of this if she only behaved. Well she did, she did everything he asked and now she is collecting. She stands at the front door and sees Tia waiting with a man. She is not sure what to do.

Tia nods, as if she sees her. Are they waiting for her? Does she not have to run? She watches again, there, her finger, one little finger, Tia has signaled for her to come. She rushes to one more place and takes all of his hidden cash. She casually walks out the back door towards the front of the house.

~~ ~

He watches as she walks, she is trying to walk calmly. He can see the trepidation in her steps. “Welcome.” He says softly and opens the door to the car. Tia gets in the front with him and they drive off.

No one speaks. He drives to the river, they take a walk along the path that many people take. No one notices anything odd about them. At the water’s edge, under the cover of the thick trees. He takes the book from this other woman and throws it as hard as he can into the water. He looks at Tia and opens his hand for hers.

She looks down and is almost afraid to hand him her book. Kyra reaches for the book and takes it from her hand. She hands the book to this man, he tosses this one too. “Anything else?” he asks looking at this other woman.

She looks down at her hands, she is trembling. Tears start to fall for the first time in eight years. Tia begins to cry too, they are both on their knees and crying out in pain. A pain he can’t stop, but maybe this will help them both. He stays a few feet away and watches them.

Tia is the first to speak, “I tried to wave, he saw me.”

“Yes, he was distracted by you, I heard him talking he was wondering who you were talking to, he turned to aske me and that is when I put the silencer on and shot. The look of shock on his face made me happy.

But there are others there, I heard cries.” She looks to the man.

“Give me your phone.” He says.

“I don’t have one. I threw my phone away after talking to him. I have this temp one. I am getting rid of this today too.” She says.

“Good. We’ll dump it somewhere they won’t find. Please. We need to save them. He may not be the only one to use the house.” He says.

“Emergency line, how can we help you.” A voice asks.

“832 Wicker lane, screams, many women, trapped. I hear them all day. Save them.” He hangs up and shuts the phone so it can not be traced.

~~ ~

He drives to the truck rental place and gets a moving truck. He drives to Tia’s place and they pack her essentials. They drive to Kyra’s place and pack hers. They drive to his place and fill the truck with all that he has. Someone needs to take furniture.

He does all the talking to each landlord. Then, they are on the road. Two hours out he finally speaks to the women with him. “Tell me when you want to be dropped off. I’m going to my job. I promised to keep Tia safe. Forever, she will never be hurt again.”

~~ ~

She hears his words, safety. Sounds nice. She wants Tia to be safe. She is better off. Kyra thinks to herself, I am too troubled. I will never get that image of the blast out of my mind. Never. She thinks and thinks.

She did a good thing, the other girls will be saved. But they will never forget, no one forgets, except maybe Tia. She has forgotten a lot. She is strong. I want strength. She sits and watches the road go by.

They drive through the night, he does not tire. Tia sleeps. I do not. I never close my eyes when a man is around. Never. Tia trusts, I do not. He drives more. I watch.

~~ ~

He exhales finally. He can see she has been fighting sleep this whole drive. He had looked this up, he found a women’s commune and has pulled up to their front gate. He stops the car. “Ladies, any interest?” he asks.

Kyra shakes her head, she fell asleep. She actually slept. Trust, maybe she can learn to trust. She looks out the window, what place is this? She asks herself. A gentle looking woman comes to the window of the driver.

“Dropping off or picking up?” she asks, then she sees two women in the car and she walks to the other side, he opens the windows for them.

“We are a small commune. We cook for ourselves, we each have skills that we use. We have no men here. If there is a repair, we do everything ourselves. No fears are here. We trust. Many work online, some leave for errands, others haven’t left in years.” She finishes and steps back.

“Tia….I” Kyra starts to say

“Go, take the treasures with you, I want nothing. You are a little broken, yes. We all are.” Tia tries to smile.

She sits in the car an fiddles with her bag. “I don’t want anything from him.” Tia says softly with pleading eyes. Kyra looks up at her and nods. She scoots out of the car. She takes her stuff from the back and watches as they drive away.

The truck stops, she sees a hand sticking out of the window, something falls from that hand, she grabs her bag and searches. Tia knew, she knew she had more than one, she runs to where the car was, there she is, waiting to be picked up. She stands and sees the truck has stopped to watch. Tia smiles and nods.

Kyra thinks a moment, yes, she is right, I can’t be here. The blast is loud, everyone jumps, no silencer used this time. Tia stares the woman comes running, Tia runs from the truck, he runs too. “I didn’t mean that!” Tia screams.

“This is not your fault young lady.” The woman says. “Your nod released her. I’m pretty sure she was thinking this all along.”

Tia looks to her friend, she nods again. “Please use the money in her bag to make sure she has a proper burial. She has no family. Use the rest to help other women. Please.” He pleads

“Where can I send the details to, of where she is buried?” she asks.

He gives her the mailing address of his brother. He will tell him later to expect a letter addressed to him.

He pulls Tia away and she looks at him and back down at what is left of this woman. “No Tia.” He says softly.

Tia slides a ring off of her finger and puts it on Kyra’s He gave them that ring to marry him so what they did was not ‘in sin’. She nods to her friend.

~~ ~

One year later Tia stands in front of the grave those women made for Kyra. They must have known her turmoil for they gave her a beautiful headstone, the kind that make you think the person buried here must have been very important.

Tia had read about the invasion of his home a year ago. They found his body but never the killer. They found five women locked in different rooms. One didn’t live long afterwards. Tia and her friend got married in the eyes of the law so he could take care of her as he promised.

Tia had found the gold coins Kyra stuck in her belongings when she went into the back of the truck. Only the gold, the rest was given to the women in that bag, they told them they had more than enough cash, jewels and silver to pay for the burial and headstone. The rest they used to do some home improvements.

Tia stands here and cries, she is bound to this woman. Her friend is there to hold her. Tia holds him tightly. “Ok now?” he asks.

“She had many more hours than I did, many, more.” She tells him.

“I figured as much. But Tia. You’ve grown so much this year. We’ve buried all our demons, together.” He says.

“Yes, but I was telling her I was ok with dropping this, not that I wanted her to use it.” She tells him.

“I know and so did she but I believe living was harder for her, living was her own demon. She had to beat it.” He tells her.

~~ ~

Kyra watches all those who come, they pass her by all the time but seem to admire her stone. She is grateful they did this, more than any of her family ever did for her. She hears every word around here.

“Hello little one, I see you met my twin brother but you left before we could play our game.” He laughs out loud and the ground beneath him shakes.




© Copyright 2019 C.A.A.. All rights reserved.

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