tracked the progress of the day by watching the shadows creep their way around
fought the need to pee for as long as she could, but inevitably lost the
struggle. Two hours later, thanks to the dampness of the basement, her jeans
were still wet from her urine. The duct tape on her face and around her wrists
combined with the cramps in her legs were an added bonus to the overall misery.
Judging by the fading light that made its way through the small window, she
decided she had been there for at least eight hours.
she heard the door open and the footsteps on the floor above, she was oddly
comforted, even though she knew she should be afraid. Just to be able to move
her arms and legs would be a welcome feeling.
man’s figure made its way down the stairs. When he emerged from the shadows,
she recognized him. Everybody called him Spanky, but she thought his real name
was George. Maybe it was his lack of hygiene, or the way his eyes seemed to be
looking off in two different directions, she wasn’t sure, but there was
something creepy about him.
or not, at least he wasn’t Lorenzo.
knew the next time she saw Lorenzo he would be there to kill her. Spanky wasn’t
the guy Don sent on such assignments, he was more of an errand boy. At least
she had that working in her favor. Now she just needed to figure out a way to
take advantage of it.
duct tape prevented her from asking the question, but her eyes conveyed it.
sent me over to check on you,” Spanky said.
hard as it was to believe, he smelled worse than the basement, and his breath
was absolutely toxic even from two feet away.
He released her and pushed her toward the
stairs. When they emerged in the kitchen he pointed toward the bathroom.
late,” she said, indicating her stained crotch.
shrugged and took a container of milk from the refrigerator. After downing a
few gulps he offered it to her. She wanted a drink more than anything, but the
thought of sharing the milk with this repulsive man turned her stomach, not to
mention the prospect of being left tied up in the basement again with no
opportunity to relieve herself later.
casually glanced at the front door…and the secured dead bolt. The windows, at
least the three she could see, were all closed.
was the only way she would leave this house alive, and this was probably her
best, if not only, chance.
had his back to her while he checked the contents of the refrigerator. She
scanned the kitchen for a weapon.
always carried a box-cutter in her purse. Could she get to the other room and
get it out fast enough?
she could overpower him—he wasn’t much bigger than her—then run away. She
casually lifted one of the old wooden chairs at the kitchen table. It was heavy
enough to put a good hurting on the slender Spanky, then she could make a run
pain and stiffness in her legs dismissed that plan. Unless she knocked him out
cold, or killed him, she wouldn’t be able to run fast enough to escape.
straightened up and closed the refrigerator.
you don’t need the can, I guess it’s time to go back downstairs,” he said.
was no sympathy in his voice, so appealing to his chivalry wouldn’t work. There
was only one card left to play.
reached back into the buried parts of her mind and recalled her dancer’s
mentality. The ability to disconnect from the situation and ignore the
reactions of men wanting a piece of her while she smiled and coaxed them into
giving her money they could ill-afford to part with.
was part of her skill set she had hoped she would never have to rely on again,
flipped the mental switch and slipped her arms around Spanky’s neck.
he knew what was happening, she kissed him hard. She felt her stomach clench at
the foul taste and fought it with everything she had. She ran her fingers
through his greasy hair and grinded her pelvis into his already swollen crotch.
hands quickly found her ass and Mercedez increased the passion in her kiss and
added more pelvic pressure to his crotch. She slid her mouth to his ear and
allowed her tongue to dance around it as she feigned heavy breathing.
you want,” she groaned. “Nobody has to know. You tell them I was gone when you
hands released her ass and pushed her away.
way,” he said. “No friggin’ way.”
moved back in and massaged his groin. “Come on, we can have a good time. We can
make it look like I surprised you. They’ll never know.”
knew it wouldn’t matter to Gammino if she had somehow produced an assault rifle
and shot her way out of the house, Spanky would pay with his life anyway. She
just prayed that he didn’t know that.
pushed her away again.
he said, adjusting his crotch. “I’d love to take you around the world, but if
you get away on my watch I’m as good as dead.”
quiet. There ain’t no we. We ain’t doin’ nothin’. You’re going back downstairs and I’m going back to tell Lorenzo you’re
still here. Done deal. Now let’s go.”
extended his arm toward the basement door.
went for one more stall.
guess I should go to the bathroom after all,” she said.
windowless bathroom offered no chance of escape. She searched for some kind of
weapon. With the exception of a sliver of soap on the rust-stained sink and
half-a-roll of toilet paper, the bathroom was empty.
reached for the doorknob, but stopped short. She spun around and pried the
dried soap from the back of the sink.
Spanky wasn’t leaving.
television in the front room was on.
started working her wrists. The soap had definitely helped prevent the duct
tape from bonding to her skin completely and after several minutes she was able
to slip free of the tape. She removed the tape from her ankles and finally the
piece covering her mouth.
stretched her arms and legs as she took inventory of the options.
basement windows were too small and too high to allow her to get out through
one. There was a workbench along one of the basement walls. At one end of the bench were several old cans
of paint. As quietly as she could she searched the bench for a weapon—a hammer
would be ideal. The only items she found that could serve as weapons were a
screwdriver and a rusty old bow-saw, the kind used for trimming tree branches,
neither of which gave her any kind of tactical advantage. She would have to get
too close to Spanky to use them, which would result in a skirmish that she
would probably lose.
looked at the stairs and remembered the noise they made when used and knew her
chances of sneaking upstairs undetected were not promising—and even if she were
successful in making it to the top of the stairs, was the basement door
if she got out of the basement she would still face the problem of overpowering
Spanky, unless she could slip out a back door or window undetected.
odds were not in her favor. She needed a better plan.
Gammino had once said came back to her…The
reason I am where I am is because I learned to turn my disadvantages into
now her biggest disadvantage was being trapped in the basement.
just like that the pieces fell into place.
flipped through the channels and stopped on an episode of Man vs. Food. The
host was in New York City eating hot dogs. Just as it was getting interesting
he heard a loud noise from the basement, like somebody had knocked over a bunch
the fuck?” he muttered.
down the stairs into darkness he called out.
what’s going on down there?”
flipped the light switch. Nothing happened. He flipped it back and forth
several times with the same result. He took a zippo from his pocket and lit it.
Holding it in front of him he moved down the stairs. About halfway down his
foot slipped in a thick liquid.
tried to maintain his balance, but his other foot slipped as well. Before he could
stop himself he had tumbled to the bottom of the stairs and landed in a heap
against the concrete wall. He didn’t have to try to stand to know that his
ankle was twisted badly and maybe even broken.
He ran his hand over his body, feeling a thick, wet, slimy substance, which, in
the limited light, he assumed was his own blood.
sudden movement to the right caught his attention and in the blink of an eye he
knew he was in deep trouble.
watched from the shadows as Spanky slipped on the paint-covered steps and
tumbled to the bottom. She sprang from her hiding place and emptied the
contents of another can of paint on his face. When he was sufficiently blinded
she took a third gallon and slammed it across his head repeatedly until he stopped
trying to get up.
dragged him across the floor and duct-taped him to the same column she had been
moaned several times, but offered no resistance. When the roll of tape was
empty she was satisfied he would not be able to squirm out the way she had. For
good measure she kicked him as hard as she could in the groin. His body went
stood over him for several seconds to make sure he was out.
he wouldn’t be a threat, she carefully climbed the slick steps and locked the
basement door behind her.
found the keys to the van on the kitchen counter, and retrieved her purse. She
locked the house behind her before driving away.
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