Sharon Dylan was stirred from her sleep by a noise. There was something eerie about the noise. Dazed, she tried to open her eyes, but darkness flooded her vision. It was pitch black – everywhere. That was when she realised she was blindfolded.
She squirmed slightly, only to flinch in pain as the ropes around her wrists rubbed against her delicate skin. She was tied to a chair, and the ropes were tied so tightly that she could barely feel her hands, let alone move them. Alarm bells started to go off in her head, and she let out a low whimper, trying hard to remember how she had ended up like this.
The last thing she recalled was leaving a party with a cute guy. What was his name again? She hadn’t even bothered to ask for a name. Could I be any more stupid? What was I thinking, anyway, leaving a party with a stranger without the slightest sense of self-preservation? She bit her lips, unable to recall anything else. How on earth did this happen to her?
A low chuckle echoed through the room as the eerie noise continued, coming nearer to her. Suddenly, she recognised the noise. It was the sound of someone sharpening a knife. A knife.
She swallowed hard.
A quiet voice spoke, sounding nearer to her than she had expected. “Hello.”
Her back stiffened at the unfamiliar voice. It was a guy’s voice – that was for sure. But whose was it? She couldn’t be sure if this was the cute guy who brought her away from the party. Somehow, this voice sounded different – colder, crueller. Feeling unsettled, she started to wriggle in her seat, only to make her wince from the pain at her wrists again. A fearful gasp escaped her mouth as a heavy feeling tugged at her chest. This wasn’t going to end well.
The voice spoke again, sounding gentle. “Hush, my dear. Stop squirming around, or you will hurt yourself even more. I have no intention of inflicting pain on you.”
The gentle, quiet tone of her captor’s voice sent a chill down her spine. She took in a shaky breath in an attempt to calm herself. She swallowed again and opened her mouth to speak.
She tilted her head in the direction where the voice came from and asked, “Who are you?” Her voice was trembling a little.
“Wrong question, darling.”
She could hear the smile in his tone. Tears pricked her eyes. Was this some kind of joke to him? Maybe it was, given the fact that she was still in her party dress. Whatever he was planning for her, he wanted her to be awake to go through with it. Her gut told her that this wasn’t going to be a rape but something much, much worse. She drew in another shaky breath, suppressing the urge to cry. She tried again.
“Why are you doing this?” Her hands shook violently. Her heart was banging against her ribcage, beating so fast and hard that she felt out of breath.
“Try again.” His gentle voice sounded closer to her.
She bit on her lips hard, whimpering. What was he trying to do to her? Wait. That was it, wasn’t it?
She bit back a sob as she asked, “What’s going to happen to me?” Her voice was low, impassive, and barely audible.
But he heard her. “Finally, a question that makes sense. I was starting to think that you don’t care for yourself at all.” He laughed softly. “Well, to answer your question, all that I can say is that you won’t have to suffer pain.”
The words were clearly supposed to sound comforting to her, but they had the exact opposite effect. She pressed her lips into a thin line as she held back a cry. This sick man was going to kill her. She was sure of that. What else could he be referring to regarding that? She felt him placing his hand on her shoulder, and she flinched from his touch.
“Why are you doing this?” she asked, repeating her earlier question in order to stall. Her mind was racing to come up with an escape plan.
She frowned, dissatisfied with his answer. Then the thick, metallic taste of blood filled her mouth, making her realise that she was biting her lip too hard. Why couldn’t he at least let her know why he wanted her dead? Then she remembered the string of murders that had been taking place around town over the past few years. Young women around her age disappeared and were found dead in deserted areas.
Harsh realisation crashed through her head. I’m his next victim, she thought with sudden despair. He’d already done this before. She didn’t stand the slightest chance in this. Not anymore.
“Make it fast,” she whispered, losing hope. “Just kill me already.”
He chuckled lightly at her words. He seemed to be enjoying this very much. “What’s the rush? I have just promised you that I will not torture you. Are you suicidal?” He sounded merely amused. His hand left her shoulder. Then the sound of a knife sharpening echoed in her ears again.
She cringed at the unnerving sound. “You are already torturing me with all this talk,” she cried out in frustration. “I want this to end. Just do it now. Please …” Her pleas trailed off when she heard him sigh loudly. Fear clouded her thoughts once again. Did I upset him? Is he changing his mind about not torturing me?
After a long period of silence, her captor finally spoke again. “Darling, that’s not the right way to speak to your abductor.” Although he was scolding her, his tone was still light and relaxed. “You do not make requests. You accept what I give you. Do you understand?”
At this point, she was defeated – completely. She could not even choose her own death. Perhaps she should just do what he said and just accept her fate. After all, she was going to die. It would not have made any difference to her.
“I don’t understand why people get so depressed at times like this,” he continued, seeming to be speaking both to himself and to her. “I mean, they do realise that death is coming to them anyway. Everyone experiences death at some point …”
She tuned him out as he droned on. What he was saying meant nothing to her anymore. It did not matter now. Nothing mattered anymore.
“The truth is, death isn’t something to be feared. I think it’s the journey to death that people should be afraid of. Some people have to suffer so much before they finally reach the death part. Some just feel a long period of emptiness before they go. Personally, I think the latter sounds much more bearable, don’t you?” He sighed loudly again. “You are not much fun, you know.” The sound of knife sharpening stopped. “Well then, let’s get this over with.”
Her hands were almost numb, being tied by ropes, but she could still feel something graze against her wrist. There, she thought ruefully, he had finally done it. He was not lying when he said that she would not have to suffer physical pain. He had chosen the perfect place to cut her. She could hear her blood dripping to the floor, but she felt no pain.
Drip … drip … drip …
She smiled humourlessly. This was surely a good way to go.
He was leaning against the door. From a distance, he watched her silently. He wore a grim smile as he watched the life drain out of her. His gentle touch, his comforting words; it was all carefully cut out for this. The girl would die thoroughly, both physically and mentally – he made sure of that.
Her breathing became shallower, and a glossy sheen of cold sweat covered her forehead. He smirked coldly. This was only the beginning. Her heart would weaken along with her will. He shook his head at the limp figure in the wooden chair. If only she had not given up that easily, she would not be going through all this.
But she was only human, after all.
And a human’s will was always fragile. No matter how strong humans thought they were, all it took for him to break them into pieces was a blindfold, a knife sharpener, and a bottle of water. How pathetic. It was almost too easy for him.
Drip … drip … drip … drip …
He could see that she was getting weaker. He wanted her to feel the hopelessness, to feel the life being sucked out of her. That was what he felt, and he would make sure that she would suffer twice as much as he did.
Drip … drip … drip … drip …
He stared at this innocent little girl, her heartbeat fading slowly. A small part of him felt remorseful for using her as a painkiller today. He swore to himself that he would stop this kind of notorious act, but he would only stop when he made sure that she had paid her price. He let out a quiet sigh. Too bad she was always out of reach. If only she didn’t make it so hard for him to get to her, he could have finished this once and for all.
Now he was walking towards the girl. He checked her pulse. As predicted, her heart had stopped beating. Feeling smug, he took his own sweet time putting away his tools and left the room, leaving no evidence of his presence behind. The dead girl was just another piece of the puzzle now.
This was his design.