Fuck. How much had he had to drink last night? Shit, had he passed out on the toilet? His head rolled from side to side, the room swum; at least he had his boxers on, green and white stripes, no piss stains on the crotch, hooray for small miracles. He shook his head, drool dripped out his mouth and landed on his knee. What the hell had happened last night?
He tried to stand up. Ugh, what was that? He tried again. No. His arms were dead, his legs felt like he had just run a marathon, his head dazed; none of that mattered. He was tied up.
Rope was tied around his wrists and elbows. Yellow and bristly it cut his skin but only when he flexed or tried to sit up, there was a little slack there. His legs were tied tighter, he couldn’t see with what but it was some type of cord, wrapped right under his knee and around his ankles. He was tied to a chair.
He looked around. It was dark, not pitch black. He could already see better than when he first opened his eyes. In front of him, a bit to the left, the outline of a door, slightly cracked, light pouring thru the corners. Sunlight.
To the right of the door was metallic and dirty, the garage door. To the right black plastered to the wall. Trash bag. Someone had taped a trash bag over the window. He turned his head all around, at least as much as he could, dusty red, a car behind him. He looked back to the window.
Why did the trash bag over the window scare him more than the ropes around his wrists? Premeditation. It definitely would take several odd series of events to tie someone up but the fact that this person had a ready-made place to keep him scuttled the spur of the moment kidnapping.
Or did it? Bags over the windows could be that his captor didn’t want people looking in, or it could mean that the glass had cracks in it and they didn’t want the elements coming in. He shouldn’t start ascribing malicious intent to everything around him. Except of course being tied up to a chair, that was malicious.
He grinned, good to keep a sense of humor, situation wasn’t ideal but panicking wasn’t going to help. He paused, why exactly wasn’t he panicking more? He was calmly looking around, cracking private jokes, occasionally swearing and that was it. He was glad he wasn’t screaming or anything but an elevated heart rate would help.
He had been drugged, he felt like he did after he had got his wisdom teeth taken out. The ropes seemed impossible to break but he was in no position to do anything right now. At the bar? Yes, that made the most sense. Shit, was it still night? He had no reference for time, had he been out for… stupid. The sunlight, it was morning, at least. What did that tell him?
That whoever had done this was serious. As unlikely as a prank as this was, as it definitely had broken several laws, keeping someone for the night seemed to discount the prank idea. His chest was cool with sweat but it had no crude slurs written on him in marker. No mirror so he couldn’t check but he doubted that there was a phallic image drawn on his face. He sighed, no prank.
He blinked, stuck his tongue out, and licked his lips. There it was, that moment when the Vicodin or laughing gas wears off, he was back. Hooray. He was also in his underwear tied to a chair in a garage. He lifted his arms up again, at least as much as he could. Midway between the wrists and elbow he was getting less than an inch, shit, he was getting nothing, though he could feel that the left was slightly weaker.
He tried moving forward. More movement there, his chest wasn’t tied so he could lean forward. He did that several times. He stopped. That was getting nowhere; all he was getting was a better view of the floor, cracked cement with stains.
Not blood he told himself, not blood. No, clearly not blood, it was just light discoloration, not the copper tinged splotch blood would have surely left. He checked his legs again. There! His ankles were tight, tighter than the wrists, but his right knee had hope. He couldn’t move forward for shit but he could lift it up towards his face a bit. If not for the ankle he might be able to bring it out of the rope.
Rope and cord. Two different types. This was the persons first time, they had the foresight to block the windows but not have enough rope on hand. Or to shut the door completely. Or to use a basement instead of a garage. He might be able to talk his way out.
Talk his way out? That can’t be the plan he thought. That was stupid, lazy, and cowardly. Yes, if someone came, the fact he wasn’t dead yet and had been passed out for at least eight hours, he stood somewhat of a chance of talking his way out of it but that couldn’t be plan A. He needed to get out.
He took a breath, with each passing moment he was feeling stronger. His limbs still felt a little weird, lack of circulation or drug side effects who cared? He felt good now, his mouth wasn’t open, his eyes were focused, his limbs, while tied up, were not limp. This was it. He flexed his right leg and lifted, he sucked in, moved his arms up… all of one inch. He exhaled. The ropes and cords were too tight, wrapped around the chair.
The chair! That’s what he had to do, break the chair. It was wooden. He looked over to the right. The table with tools was his best bet for getting a weapon to defend himself but there was no saw laying fortuitously off the edge nor a vice grip attached to the edge, nothing to ram his chair against. Could he even stand though? He smiled. He kept on answering his own questions. He wondered if it was his hobby that made him so analytical, so careful. Probably.
He looked to the left, looked to the right. Nothing in his way. Forwards meant face first and behind was a car. Go left, to where the table was. He tilted his head to the right, no point in knocking himself out. He lifted his left arm up, as much as he could. Took a deep breath and rocked to the left, a tilt, more, one more, he felt himself falling…
…”Fuck.” He had hit the ground hard, moving his head to the right hadn’t really helped, his head had just whiplashed to the ground. He blinked, it hurt but that was it. His head was the last thing he needed to be worried about.
He had heard a crack, though it could have just been the thud of impact. He had landed perfectly on his left side, too perfect, he was exactly on his left side. If there had been any change on the left side of the chairs structure he couldn’t tell, he was stuck, sideways like a turtle on its shell.
He twisted again; he closed his eyes, bam. Another hit to the head. Now he was face forward on the ground, ass in the air, chair stuck to his back. For a brief moment he felt like laughing. He moved his arm. He gave into the urge and let out a little laugh.
There! His right arm. Movement. It was the wrist, the elbow was still tight. He should have gone to the right; his left arm was still as immobile as ever. He tried moving his legs, it was hard, from this angle he couldn’t try to stand, he could only try to push. His right leg definitely had more slack now; if he could get right side up he might be able to…. No, his ankle was still stuck, though the left seemed like it had some give to it.
Smile. A little give here, a little loosening there, he could roll over to the left, roll to the right and continue doing that over and over again until he was free. His head was on the ground, it didn’t hurt but blood was rushing up there and given the drugs he had taken he needed to be careful, rolling around and knocking himself out wasn’t going to help. This one he didn’t need to worry about, a shift to the left or right would have his head away from the ground, looking at a sideways prison. So, left and loosen the ankle more or right and loosen the upper leg and wrist? Either way would be fine but he needed to…
Slam. A door. His first instinct was to shout out, help, come here, anything. He held his tongue. The door was really close. He heard the crunch crunch crunch of leaves being stepped on. His stomach tightened. The door opened. He closed his eyes.
A soft kick to his shoulder. “I know you are awake.” His eyes remained closed. Don’t let them know anything. A sigh, the footsteps walked away, outside? No, to the bench, they came back. Cold metal pressed up against his cheek. He grimaced but kept his eyes shut.
“I heard you, I heard you,” reverberated through his ear and the garage. “You said fuck and were trying to escape.”
He opened his eyes, not metal but plastic, a walkie talkie pressed up against his ear, his captor spoke into the other one. The walkie talkie was set down; now something metal was placed against his face. A knife.
“I’m going to prop you up, if you try anything I’ll cut you, understand?”
A pause. “Are the ropes loose?”
Tug. Tug. His captor checked all, let out a little hmmph. He struggled not to smile, by checking it loosened his right a little more. He wasn’t mobile yet nor did he have an arm free but he was closer. Time, he needed time.
He was grabbed, struggled with, his captor was not strong, a grunt and there, he was upright, no, he almost fell to the left, he jerked out and his captor steadied him.
The husky voice and situation he was in had clouded his mind. Husky, but not deep. He hoped his face didn’t betray his excitement. His captor was a female.
She grabbed the chair next to the table and sat it in front of him. She went back to the table and grabbed a small duffel bag and set it by the chair. She sat down. Tall and big for a girl, he figured five nine somewhere near two hundred. Large shoulders for a girl, maybe she played volleyball or basketball in high school but she still had a pear shape and dollars to donuts she hated her ass.
Dark brown hair cropped short and pushed to the side, he hated that look. Most every girl who had it either regretted it or was a lesbian. Maybe both. Her clothes weren’t helping her case, who wore sweaters like that anymore? Certainly none of the straight girls that frequented the bars he went to. But weren’t gays supposed to care about their appearance or was that just guys? Careful here, she might be a chunky girl with a bad haircut but she still had the upper hand.
“So Alex,” she said, leaning forward, “how’s it going?” Say nothing until you know what kind of game you are playing he reminded himself. “Heh, stupid question right. God, I’ve wanted this for so long and I don’t even know what to say to you. I set up the walkie talkie because I couldn’t stand to be in the same room as you, you horrible little…” She caught her breath, gripped her knees and looked down. If he had his arm free he could reach out and finish her. He flexed, a little better, he needed to prolong this conversation. She had let him know she wasn’t violent but also that she was angry with him.
“Okay, let’s try again. Alex, I’m using your name, do you know how?”
“Nope, wallet is still in pants.”
“I said it last night?”
“Don’t know how then.”
“I’ve been following you; have now for the past two weeks. Been to your apartment, inside in fact. Yes that’s right; I’m not the only one breaking the law here.”
His breath caught, he offered up what he hoped was a puzzled glance.
“You do know why I’m following you, right?”
“No. I mean, I’m flattered but…”
“Stop, just stop,” she snapped. “I am not attracted to you, you are scum. Lying rotten scum, though you put up a good act, I can see how you were able to fool the cops.”
“Oh geeze that, no, you can talk with them, I wasn’t anywhere near the park that night, I mean a block away but so was…”
“But nothing, you raped and killed her. Along with four other beautiful young women.”
“I was at the bar with her, I don’t know when she left, I went outside for a smoke and I came back in like five minutes. My waitress remembers that, it’s not like I was gone for thirty minutes or something.”
“No, but you were gone long enough and you did kill her.”
“Look.” He paused, she didn’t give a name, he continued, “I told the cops this, they checked it out and it checked out, there were a lot of other guys at the bar.”
“But only you match the description.”
“You weren’t there, I don’t know what you’ve heard but take it from me, there were several other white guys in their mid-twenties with brown hair and a slight build, whatever that’s supposed to mean” he said with a chuckle.
“You are good. I wonder if you’ve rehearsed this or are you just playing it by ear? Not that I’d believe you if you told me. I know you’re lying, I guess I just wanted to see if you would lie.” She reached down into the duffel bag and pulled out a necklace. “She was wearing this the night you killed her. Heather Robinskie, the fourth girl, I gave this to her.”
“You broke into my apartment and found a necklace that is similar to one you gave your uh, friend and…”
“It’s the same, it’s the goddamn same, there’s a scratch on this that’s just the same as hers, she got it, never mind, I’m not telling you the reason, you took her life, you don’t get to have her history. Did your ex-girlfriend leave three other pieces of jewelry in a box you keep in your dresser?”
There it was. She had stalked him, she had gotten evidence, and she had captured him. All because she knew that slut? The Calendar Killer done in by some dyke.
“Then call the police, I’m sure they could do a DNA test, fingerprint analysis, something that…”
“And then it gets tossed because I broke in, no, I don’t think so Alex.”
“So…” he asked, regretting it immediately. The perfect opening for her to cackle about torture or murder.
“I see it on your face; you think I’m going to kill you. Well, I’m not you, I don’t kill. I do want you to hurt. I want to stop you. Any physical pain you receive is a merely a byproduct.”
“So, what then” he asked, hoping his question landed him on safer ground.
“We talk. You about Heather. And Catherine. About Kelsey and June. About why. And I’ll talk about what it did to me and all her loved ones.”
“You want me to confess.”
“That’s the idea.”
He sat in silence. Let her think it was his reluctance to confess. He had been dying to tell someone. The problem was not the tape recorder she had either in her bag or on the table, that was an easily solved problem. The problem was her. Was she really not going to hurt him? He bit his lip, she raised her eyes, he struggled not to laugh. I’m not grappling with my conscience you dumb bitch, I don’t know if you’re going to hurt me or not he thought.
The way she had said she wasn’t going to kill him was with the same smug superiority vegans announced their lunch plans, the way nonsmokers passed on a cig; the way bitches had refused him. As if the idea was beneath him. He breathed in, and twisted a bit. Arm was still tight, her eyes on him, maybe he wouldn’t even need another fall if the dumb cow wasn’t going take her eyes off of him. Story time.
“Yes, I killed them, I’m the uh, Calendar Killer.” He tried to back up; the look on her face was not one of approval, why had he said that?
“Go on, I swear, I am not going to kill you.” She looked him square in the eye, “to take a life when a life has been lost is revenge, not justice.”
Alex smiled, her look of disgust returned. It was better than laughing. That last line had been recited. He wondered how many arguments had she thought she had won by delivering that line? He shook his head, he had been captured by an overweight liberal slogan spouting dyke. He only needed his legs free, he doubted she could even throw a punch, he could just ram her against the wall. And then later? No, she was definitely lesbian by choice. What guy would want her? You don’t need to rape every girl you kill he told himself, valiantly suppressing a smile.
“Uh yeah, so what do you want to hear?”
He could see the shake in her shoulders, the hitch in her voice. Ideals were just that, don’t give her a reason to give them up. “Uh, last girl, the one by the dumpsters, right?” She nodded. Stupid broad, he was already laying the seeds to get out. “Well uh, I uh saw her walking down the street, I followed her and uh grabbed her and uh killed her I guess.”
“Why do you rape, why do you kill?” Her voice was small and whining, he was in control.
“Hmm” he paused, wait a couple seconds here. Important to do that. He couldn’t sound too eager but how exhilarating was this? Being able to tell someone finally. “It started with uh a neighbor at an apartment. She wanted me to help her move and I uh, after I was done with her sofa, I uh, raped her.”
“What a gentleman.” She shook her head, “I asked” she muttered to herself, “Go on.”
That you did. It felt so good to talk about; he couldn’t tell the whole truth of course. He hadn’t raped the bitch in two twelve. He had gotten the slut in one eighteen, friends apartment, drunkenly fumbling for her keys. He was, ha, the gentleman. “Yeah, well, after that I uhm, let’s see, got worried so next time I killed so there would be no witnesses.”
“Catherine, her name was Catherine.”
“Her, no, she was my second. My first was this skinny little bitch from across the street, bad dye job and uh…”
Alex didn’t bother hiding the smile now, he was in complete control now, he was talking of killing her friend, of raping other women, insulting her and she was doing nothing. Christ, she’d probably let him go. Then the real fun could start. “Anyway, she was my first kill but I buried the body, didn’t want to get caught but that was no good, took too long.”
“What was her name?” He shrugged. “Well do you at least remember where you buried her?”
“Oh sure, ten steps away from the signpost in Nolan Woods, going toward the street, can’t miss it.” Of course you couldn’t, he played there all the time as a kid. And there was no dead woman there. See detective, I was just humoring her.
“Okay. Why the deal with the dates?”
He had gotten away with it! The non-existent dead girl. Could he tell the truth here? He supposed he could, or at least close to it. “Uh first two uh, just kinda happened by accident and after that uh, I just rolled with it.”
She glared at him. “You’re telling me that the dates, how everything just fits, it’s just coincidence?”
Yes! I had no idea that the first two had birthdays two months apart. I knew I was killing four months apart but I didn’t think that’d be that strange, seventeen is just a lucky number. After that I decided to have fun with it. And the last girl, June? Only because I couldn’t find a May. They think I’m some nutjob; I’m just going with what they gave me. They have numerologists trying to find out my next move. I can do what I want whenever I want because they think I’m going on some set schedule and whenever I do kill next they’ll make it fit their theory. Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a blast. If I could find some twins I’d kill them on the goddamn winter solstice and watch their heads explode.
Alex sighed. “I don’t know what to tell you, that’s the truth.”
“Okay my turn. You killed my roommate and best friend, oh fuck you. She wasn’t a lesbian, she liked me for who I was and I her. She didn’t have a boyfriend. There was a guy at work, I didn’t really like him, but it would’ve happened. You killed her and you took away a four month relationship that she would’ve learned from. You killed everything that would have ever happened to her, good or bad.”
“We were going to go tubing that weekend. Going to barbeque with the rest of her friends afterward. I can’t see watersports without thinking about her. I can’t see hot dogs and hamburgers without thinking about her. Or eggplant because Lyssa and Amy were bringing that. Anything pink, because her mom survived breast cancer and had to bury a daughter. A raped brutalized daughter.”
“It’s not just birthdays or holidays, it’s every day. Everything. A TV show we didn’t like, I remember how we laughed at it. Frozen dinners, dogs, the color yellow. It’s not just the stuff she liked, or disliked, it’s what we shared. And you took that from me.”
And you say you guys weren’t lesbians. Maybe not her, but you wish you had what I have; a dick. And you wish that you had used it on your friend.
“Anything, do you have anything to say?”
“Uh, sorry for your loss.”
“The loss that you made.”
“Uh yeah, sorry.”
“I don’t believe you. Are you turning yourself in? Seeking help? Suicide because you can’t live with yourself?”
“No, guess not.”
“You’re just sorry that I caught you.”
“Yeah, so how did you, I mean the newspapers didn’t print my name or anything.”
“Didn’t see me coming did you? I succeeded where they failed.” A triumphant grin. Whatever, keep smiling bitch, he now had space between his arm and the chair. Ten more minutes, tops. “No, not a name, but I talked with the victims friends, with witnesses, not just the witnesses that talked with the police but everyone and your face kept popping up.”
“The description is vague.”
“Not your car, and once it came up twice, well pretty easy from there. I even had help from a, well I guess I shouldn’t say her name, she was sure you were innocent but she didn’t mind me ‘playing Nancy Drew’ as she put it.”
There it was! A cop or at least someone working in the police department. Harassment. He could sue. Or, threaten to sue because he didn’t want them looking to close into him anymore than they wanted a lawsuit.
“Pretty much, I think we are done with the interview, I know what I want to know, and that is that you are unrepentant in all aspects, you think only of yourself.” He nodded. “Never turn yourself in, never kill yourself, right?” He nodded. “You will rape and kill again, you are twenty four, let’s say you go to jail for sixty years, you’ll be eighty four, who knows if you will get it up, but I know you’ll try.”
“Wait a sec, you said you weren’t going to kill me” he cried, backing his chair into the car. “No please, if you hurt me the tape will be worthless” he cried as she reached into her duffel bag.
She looked up puzzled, “Tape? If I was recording you it’d be worthless because you’re under duress” she said as she plunged a needle into his leg. He screamed and shook, she pushed the top and the liquid emptied into him.
“You promised” he said stupidly, head already spinning.
Whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. He opened his eyes. Grass. White door. Garage door. He was in the garage again? He looked around, grass and trees everywhere. No, he was outside the garage. Trees to the left, it looked like a forest. A house was far away to his right. Go to the forest when you get your legs under you.
Whrrrrrrrrrrr. He looked up. There she was, by a woodchipper. She turned it off. He grinned, he wouldn’t need to run. He looked to the house once more, no one was outside, the windows were dark. Groggy or not there was no chair, no ropes. He pushed himself up and fell down.
“Even without thumbs I could get a good grip when I practiced” she said flexing her fingers with her thumbs tucked into her palms. “When I went like this, I couldn’t grasp the neck at all, I could still hold a key and a fork, so you’ll be fine on that, not too much power though so I don’t think stabbing is a concern.” She held her hands up with her thumbs against her palms and the ring finger halfway down; he looked down at his fingers, white gauze covered his stumps.
She grabbed a bag by her feet. White plastic with a small red lump sagging down. It looks like the bag dog owners put their crap in he thought. Except it’s my thumb and finger. Part of finger. Partial finger? This didn’t matter, was it the drugs or shock from blood loss? He tried to stand again and fell on his ass, sitting like a rapt kid listening to a story she continued.
“Your murdering tools, your digits, I have taken them from you” she said dramatically. Going from a prepared statement, she’d be prone to a rush. She might have a weapon but, and he checked once more, no one else was here. No one was hiding, if she had recruited anyone else they would’ve shown themselves. He blinked. Just like before he was coming to. He’d have a chance, a moment and he’d rush her. A syringe wouldn’t help her now. She paused and looked in the bag. That smug look, did she think that a little disability would save her? He bit his lip, good he could feel it. Soon so would she and…
“Testicles, now they provide the sex drive. I left you those. I want you to know that you are being punished with what you can’t have anymore. You’ll be able to look, and touch, just not as well” she laughed twirling her fingers around, “But nothing else. You took my friend from me, I have returned the favor.”
She continued talking, he didn’t hear. He stared down. Still in his boxers, still striped green and white, now with a red crotch. He reached his mangled hand down. He tried to scream. The whrrrrrr of the woodchipper came back on and he watched as white and red confetti sprayed everywhere.