Before I write what I want to write, a little announcement! First off, I decided to expand my platform and create an Instagram to go along with this blog and to keep you all up to date on what I’m reading, do Q and A’s, and other fun things as my following grows! Feel free to head on over to Instagram and give it a follow, and tell your friends! You’ll find me @emandherbooks. Secondly, part of this blog is a platform for my creative writing just for fun, so I’m going to be posting short stories, poems, chapters in books (once I get mine started) and other things along those lines! If you are someone who is interested and okay with having your work published on my blog, feel free to message me on my Instagram (@emandherbooks) or email me! You can find my email address on the Contact page. Now on that note, I just stumbled across one of the short stories I wrote for one of my high school English classes a few years ago, and while I’m still working on some new things I’m gonna use some of my older stories to start up an archive! So please enjoy my first ever stab at a semi-thriller.
They all assume he keeps to himself because he’s been truly alone since his wife left him and his daughter went missing. They’re so naive to think that he is in complete solitude in this giant house of his. I know it’s giant only from pictures he has shown me when he comes down into the room. Every day people walk past, and every day they are more and more unaware of the fact that I am in the house with him. I wish he would forget that I was here, but I guess that would be hard for him to do, since he’s the one who locked me in here.
I’m not sure how long I’ve been down here. The number of days and nights have gotten too high for me to remember. My time is running out quicker than ever before. I’m pretty sure they’ve stopped looking for me, if they even realized I was missing to begin with. He thinks I’m actually her. He dresses me in her clothes and calls me by her name. I don’t think he quite realizes that I am not the girl he thinks I am. He’s trying to thrust an identity upon me that isn’t mine, and I can barely remember who I am. It’s already significantly more difficult for me to remember even the simplest things, like what my name is, where I’m from, my cell phone number. I can feel myself getting weaker as the days pass. If you can even call them days, I haven’t seen the sun for what seems like forever. It feels like an endless nightmare that I just can’t wake up from.
Day after day it’s the same thing. He comes down the ladder with a tray of breakfast, even though I never eat it, which is a contribution to my growing weakness no doubt, but I don’t want to eat that for fear of poison. Although at this point I think poisoning would be a pretty painless way to die as opposed to my other option. I choose not to think about that though.
When I don’t eat, he forces me to drink something. Its not great, but I assume that’s what’s kept me alive this long without food. I don’t understand why he’s kept me so long, calling me Rachel, I guess that was his daughter’s name. The room he keeps me in is dank, with no windows or doors except the trap door on the ceiling. The faded mint green and white striped wallpaper is peeling off to reveal the grey cement underneath, which is the same color as the floor, always cold as ice against the sensitive skin of my bare feet. There’s always a thin layer of water covering the bottom of the room as well. I don’t remember why, but I feel like it has something to do with the well he talks about having in the backyard. Every afternoon he asks me, “Do you want some water Rach? I can get some from the well.” Usually when I denied water, he would just hit me and walk away, but lately, he’d get even more mad. He would yell at me and accuse me of leaving him.
Today, however, just started off worse than all the others. He storms down into “my” room, frantic and terrorized by something, though I was never entirely sure what. I shrink back into the corner, for my bed was placed against the intersection of two walls. I pull my knees into my chest, but he grabs my ankles and puts my feet on the floor, holding them there.
“Why? Why would you go away like that?” he shouts at me frantically, his face turning bright red, “How could you?” His hands are clenched in fists, like he was about to hit me. I raise my forearms to my face to protect myself.
“I’m sorry, I promise I won’t do it again!” I shriek, gasping for breath. I have no idea what he’s talking about, but my energy to fight with him and try to convince him that I’m not Rachel is wearing thin. I can’t help but wonder that maybe if I act like he wants me to, he’ll let me go. At first it seems to work. He shies away from me. I feel my heart fill with something as I look at him. He is haggard. His green eyes are far too tired for a man his age, he only looks to be about thirty five. From head to toe he is insanely lanky, but I can’t tell if he has any muscle or not. I feel hope. Hope? Why hope, of all things? Oh my God, I’m losing my mind. Then, I see light. He left the trap door wide open.
I take the chance when it is presented to me. I scream at the top of my lungs and kick him in the shin, bolting for the ladder while he is on the ground. I run as fast as my legs can carry me, hearing his footsteps grow closer and closer. I underestimated his strength. But, I still have a head start. I dash through hallways full of tapestries and bookshelves, looking for a window to jump out of or a door that leads to the outside. I round a corner into a hallway with a bay window at the end on one side. I hear his shouts and footsteps growing louder and louder. I will myself to run as fast as possible, my arms are pumping with every stride. Almost there, you’re almost there. I ignore the fact that my lungs are screaming for air, I can breathe easy once I am out of here. I think of my mother, my friends. At long last, I reach the window. I push it open and jump out. He tries to follow me, but the jump has injured him. I ignore his cries for help and run as fast as I can away from the dilapidated old house.
I am older now than I was then. After my escape, it felt like a dream. I didn’t remember a lot of what had happened to me, and I was deemed crazy for a while. Now I remember. The water on the floor had been there because each night, he tried to drown me. My lungs had needed oxygen so badly when I was running because I’d had broken ribs. I am not aware however, of whether or not my captor has been caught. But I have since discovered the identity of the girl who he used me to replace. Her name had been Rachel. She went missing from outside her mother’s house after returning from a night out with friends. Her body had been found at the bottom of her father’s well a few weeks later.