In this scary kidnapping story, a young girl discovers that her family has been murdered, and that she must quickly find a way to escape from her kidnappers.
The stiff, yellowed canvas of the straight jacket chafes Melody’s skin. She fights off a fresh wave a despair, which threatens to overwhelm her, and sits back into the corner of the concrete cell, and wonders for the millionth time, “Why me?”
A dim red light on an ancient security camera blinks every five seconds, as if to remind Melody that they are watching her. Melody pushes herself farther back into the corner of her cell. Small gears within the camera whir as it scans the room, and then zooms in on the small figure huddled in the corner. Melody takes a deep breath, sighs, and focuses on forming a plan. The camera whirs once more as it zooms out, seemingly convinced that Melody is not a threat.
A black rat falls from the sagging ceiling, looks up at Melody, whiskers twitching as it sniffs the air, and then scurries away, squeezing under the door and out into the corridor. Melody can’t help but feel a bit jealous at how easily the rat escaped from the cell. With her eyes closed, she patiently moves her arms back and forth beneath the foul smelling straight jacket that is slightly too big for her. Melody tries not to think about what might have happened to all of those who have worn that straight jacket before her, probably in that same room too. Her movements are slow, and deliberate, so as to not raise the suspicion of her captors.
The camera has gone quiet, giving Melody renewed confidence in her plan. The tightly wound straight jacket begins to loosen, centimeter by centimeter, until Melody frees her left arm, and then her right. She grits her teeth, ignoring the burning pain of skin rubbed raw, and begins to undo the brass buckles on the back of the straight jacket. She doesn’t know why they took her, instead of killing her as they did the rest of her family, but she knows that she is going escape.
A loud bang echoes down the corridor. Melody lets go of the straight jacket buckles, and sneaks a look up at the security camera, and wonders if they have been watching her this entire time. Heavy footsteps sound off on the concrete floor of the corridor, pausing every few minutes, and then continuing, drawing ever closer to Melody’s cell. Melody senses that this is her chance to escape, her hands clench beneath the straight jacket as she waits for the footsteps to reach her cell.
Moments later the footsteps stop outside the steel door, and a gruff voice says from the other side of the door, “Is this the one that came in this morning?” A soft voice, responds, “Yes, we will make a lot of money off this operation.”
Melody knows there is no way that she can overpower two of them, even if she has the advantage of surprise.
The viewing window in the door slides open, and a pinched face with beady eyes appears. The black eyes casually survey the cell before finally resting on Melody. The pinched face smiles cruelly, revealing yellow and broken teeth.
Melody’s stomach lurches as the sight of the ugly man, but forces a smile. If she can’t force her way out of this place then maybe she can sweet talk her way out, or at the very least, get information that might help her. She says, “Who are you two? And who is the doctor? Why did you take me, and kill my family?”
The ugly man sneers at her, whispers something to the person standing behind him, and then slams the viewing window shut.
Melody panics, begins to stand, but thinks better of it. The security camera is still on, and she doesn’t want to risk them seeing that she has undone the straight jacket. She calls out, “No, wait, don’t go yet!”
The viewing window slides open again and a startlingly handsome man with cold, gray eyes devoid of any emotion stare at her.
Somehow his gray, empty eyes make her feel less than human, and she shrinks under his gaze. At that moment, Melody realizes the severity of her situation, and that there is no way she was going to talk her way out of this. They had, after all, murdered her entire family, and whatever they had in planned for her was likely more terrible.
The viewing window slams shut, and the lock clicks into place. Melody heart skips a beat, and she decides to act. If she is going to get out of this place, then she is going to have to take control, sitting around and waiting isn’t going to work. She stands up and sprints to the door. She stands beneath the security camera, out of its field of vision, and finishes taking off the straight jacket. She is about to start banging on the door, when she hears a muted conversation, and presses her ear against the cold steel of the door so that she can hear what they are saying.
The voice of the ugly man says to his partner, “Why did you keep this one alive, I thought your orders were to kill her, along with her family?”
The gray eyed man responds, “Director changed the plan at the last minute, We got an order for an organ transplant. Records shows that one of the sisters might have a matching blood type.”
The ugly man laughs, and says, “As long as I get my cut. Who should we start with first, her, or her sister?
A brief pause, and then the gray eyed man says, “Her sister, let’s go.”
A distant door slams shut with a crash, and the corridor again falls silent. A chill runs through Melody, and she fights to keep herself from shaking from the uncontrolled emotions tugging at her. She paces back and forth, careful to stay under the security camera, and out of their view, and tries to make sense of what she just learned. Her sister is alive, how? She tries to remember them taking her from the house in the middle of the night. She remembers the gunshots, the masked men pulling her out of her bed, and dragging her past her dead parents, and the smell of gasoline and smoke.
Melody tries to sort through the emotions running through her. Joy that her sister is alive, terror at what her sister must be feeling right now, and anger at her captors. Melody pushes away all other feelings and focuses on her anger. She can grieve for her parents later, now is the time for action. Her sister is alive, and somewhere in this building.
Melody looks around the decaying room and takes stock of her options. There is only one way out this room, through the locked steel door that only opens from the outside. The only way out is for them to let her out, no way around that. The problem is, how does she get them to open the door, without causing them to raise their suspicions. Her only chance is if only one of them comes down to open the door, preferably the ugly one. Melody knows she has no chance against two grown men, but she likes her odds against one of them, since she has the element of surprise on her side.
Melody again looks up at the ancient security camera, and sees that there is nothing protecting it. She looks closer, and sees that there is a small red wire running from the ceiling, and plugged into the back of the camera. If she can find a way to pull the wire out, then the camera would be off. They would certainly send someone down to fix it, and she had a feeling it would be the ugly man from earlier. He seemed like the kind of person that gets tasked with the menial jobs. Melody picks up the straight jacket, and rips off one of the straps with the brass buckle at the end. She tosses it upwards, hoping to loop it around the cord. After three tries she decides to pull another strap off the jacket and tie them together. With the added length, she is able to loop the strap over the cord. She gives it a hard pull, and the plug slides out of the camera, and the red light on the front of it goes out.
Soft footsteps echo down the corridor, and Melody knows that they have sent the thin man with beady eyes to investigate the disabled security camera. She quickly adjusts the untied strait jacket over herself, and sits down in the corner of the room farthest away from the door. The viewing window slides open, and the ugly man’s black, rat-like eyes peer suspiciously into the room. Melody looks down, as if the expression on her face might give it all away and spoil her plan. The viewing window slides shut, a lock clicks open, and the rusted steel door swings forward on greased hinges. A surge of adrenaline surges through Melody, and she can feel her muscles tighten in anticipation. The man steps in, holding a stun-gun in his left hand, and is pulling a step-ladder in the other. Melody’s eyes narrow and she asks “Who are you?”
The ugly man ignores her question, gestures to his stun-gun, and says, “I suggest you stay there in the corner. This is a stun-gun is capable of bringing down an elephant.” Melody nods, curling herself in a tight ball in the corner of the room, trying to look as if she is intimidated by the ugly man.
Satisfied that Melody is properly intimidated by him, the man mutters to himself, “Why do they always gotta send me to fix things around this place. I ain’t no handy man.” Melody slowly looks up and watches as the ugly man sets up the stepladder. He has hooked the stun gun onto his belt, and is inspecting the front of the camera. Melody rises onto her feet, crouching low to the ground, like a tiger stalking its prey. The ugly climbs the stepladder, and stands on his toes to look at the wiring behind camera, and lets out a loud curse when he sees that it is unplugged. Melody launches herself from the corner, and sprints across the concrete floor towards the man.
The ugly man fumbles for the stun gun on his belt, but is unable to undo the clasp tethering it to his belt. Melody tosses the strait jacket into his face, and then dives forwards, tackling him at knees. The man topples over her, his head slamming against the concrete floor. Melody quickly removes the stun gun from his unconscious body, and then ties the strait jacket around him. It is a little tight, but there is no way he is getting out of it. The ugly man is beginning to stir, and Melody places the stun gun below his chin and pulls the trigger. His body convulses for a few seconds, and then lies still, his tongue hanging limply from his mouth. Melody smiles and says aloud, “It’ll be a few days until you’re able to speak again.”
A loud scream echoes down the corridor, brining Melody back to the reality of her situation. “Now is not the time to get overconfident.” She whispers to herself as she steps out into the dimly lit corridor, locking the cell door behind her with the keys she removed from the ugly man.
Melody creeps down the dark corridor, unlocking each cell door she passes in hopes of finding her sister. The first and second cell she checks are empty. The third cell had a large blood stain in the center of the room. A shrill scream echoes down the staircase at the end of the corridor, and Melody is certain that it belongs to her sister, Grace.
The door to the staircase squeals on rusted hinges as Melody opens it. A gruff voice at the top calls down, “Bert, what took you so long down there. We need you up here to help prep the girl for surgery… Bert?”
Melody freezes in place, and slowly creeps backwards into the corridor. The man at the top of the staircase curses, and heavy footsteps plod down the metal staircase. “Bert, I’m gonna kill ya myself if you’re pulling another prank on me, you sorry rat-faced, good for nothing piece of…”
A giant of a man exits the staircase and lumbers past Melody. Melody darts forward and plunges the stun gun into the middle of the large man’s back and pulled the trigger, cutting him off mid-sentence. His body spasms, but somehow, he remains standing. Melody’s eyes widen and she pulls the trigger tighter as she pushes the stun-gun deeper into the flesh of the man’s back. The man continues stand, his entire body convulsing. Smoke rises from the stun gun, and Melody released the trigger after it catches on fire. The smell of burning flesh filled the room. Melody pulls back the stun gun, and the large man topples over, wisps of smoke rising from a small hole in his back, where his flesh has melted away to reveal his bone-white spine.
The sickly-sweet smell of burning flesh and overheated electronics makes Melody’s stomach lurch, but she grits her teeth and searches the large man’s pockets, searching for anything that might be of use. She finds a small revolver tucked into the man’s pants. Melody picks up the gun, checking it to make sure the safety is off, and silently thanks her father for teaching her how to shoot his gun on her thirteenth birthday. She repeats his advice out loud as she ascends the staircase, “Aim, breathe out, and squeeze the trigger.”
The heavy weight of the revolver reassures Melody as she tiptoes up the metal staircase. The bright fluorescent light temporarily blinds Melody as she emerges from the staircase and into the brightly lit corridor. The linoleum floors are freshly mopped, and smell of bleach. Melody pauses, unsure of which way to go.
Muffled crying floats down the corridor. Melody’s heart begins to pound, and her grip tightens on the revolver, her trigger finger millimeters above the trigger. She moves as quickly as she can towards the room at the end of the hall, and chances a quick look inside the room. Inside the room, she finds her sister lying on a surgical table, and a tall man dressed in surgical scrubs placing an anesthesia mask over her face. Next to her sister lies an older woman, who had already been knocked out with anesthesia.
The doctor says to my sister, “There, there, you should be grateful that you are helping to save the life of another. Your spirit will live on in the body of Mrs. O’Neill, and I will be paid a lot of money.” My sister’s eyes lock with mine as I step into the room. The man must have seen my sister’s reaction, and spins around, resting one hand on the tank of anesthesia that is flowing through my sister’s mask.
The man smiles at me, and says with a slight German accent, “Ah, the brave sister rescues her younger sister. How heroic! Though, it wouldn’t be such a happy ending if I were to release the full contents of this tank of anesthesia into your sister’s lungs. She would simply stop breathing. Completely painless. It is preferable to what will happen when my employer discovers this… complication of today’s procedure.”
Melody points the revolver at the doctor’s chest, knowing that there is no way she can miss at this distance. Melody smiles at the doctor, stares into his lifeless grey eyes, and says “We both know that’s an idle threat, I’d have two slugs in your heart before you move your hand an inch.”
The doctor sighs, slumping his shoulders, and says, “Okay, okay, you win. Take your sister and go.”
Melody smiles, and says, “Take the mask off my sister, now.”
He removes the mask with one hand, and slowly moves his free hand towards his hip. Melody does not notice, too busy focusing on her awakening sister.
The doctor grabs a pistol from his waistband and fires two shots before Melody can react. Melody feels the first bullet graze the side of her cheek. The second bullet enters her shoulder, sending her back against the wall.
The doctor squeezes the trigger a third time, but nothing happens. He pulls out the gun magazine, and pushes it back in, clearing the jam. Melody knows she only has seconds left, she ignores the pain in her shoulder, raises her gun, aims, and fires.
The doctors head whiplashes backwards, painting the wall behind him with blood, and his body crumples to the ground. Melody gingerly helps herself to her feet, and finds that her sister is now conscious on the operating table next to the older woman. She checks the doctor’s pockets, and finds a set of car keys, and wraps her wounded shoulder in bandages. Melody helps Grace off the table, and leads her out the door.
Once outside the building, Melody decides that she must put all this behind her. There can be no evidence left behind. The doctor’s employers can never know that Melody and her sister escaped. Melody rushes back into the building, and opens the valves to all the oxygen tanks in the operating room. She turns on every light switch she can find as she sprints towards the entrance, knowing that an old building like that will have faulty wiring. She finds the doctor’s car parked out back, and helps Grace into the car. In the back of the car is a suitcase of money, likely from Mrs. O’Neill. As they pull onto the highway, a loud explosion rattles the car’s windows. In her rearview mirror, Melody watches as a plume of black smoke rise into the sky.