Held Captivated – Speakeasy #130

Rebecca rolled her head from one side to the other and lifted her free arm to rub her neck.  “It’s no use!” Her frustration echoed against the unfinished basement’s walls.

She’d watched the rotation from daylight to darkness through a small window for over thirty-two days.  In the beginning, when she first saw sunlight, she pricked her finger on a sharp link of the handcuff that bound her right wrist to a sturdy metal pipe.  After a bead of blood formed on her fingertip, she’d touch it to the wall behind the chair.  After thirty-two smudged fingerprints, she lost hope and quit counting.

A thin sliver of light from the quarter moon shone through the window.  Light should’ve offered comfort, but instead it toyed with her mind.  It made her see things that blurred the line between real and imagined.  The prelude to insanity, she feared.  Something moved in the shadows.  She stiffened.

She prayed it was another mirage, but the creaking wood was real.  Her stomach knotted, as it did every night.  Like a coward, he only descended the stairs under the cloak of darkness.  Rebecca supposed that suited his spirit well.

“Darling, I brought you dinner.”

She refused to acknowledge him.  She heard a tray scrape across the concrete floor.  The stew’s smell, a pleasant distraction from the otherwise musty room, made her empty stomach rumble in protest of her denial.  She turned away from the outline of his slender body.  Damned that moon, she thought.  In its absence, the darkness would have spared her by swallowing his entire figure.

“I wish you’d give me a chance,” David pleaded.

Rebecca snorted.  She detested him more now than when she first rebuffed his advances in middle school.  He always professed his love, even the day he leapt from the bushes and placed the chloroform-laced cloth over her face.  She’d clawed at his hands and tried to wriggle free but her muscles wouldn’t work.  Her mind screamed, but her voice remained silent.

“I’ve loved you for ten years, and I know you can love me back.”  He rubbed her arm.

She flinched.  Had it belonged to someone else, she would have enjoyed the caress.  Her memory of human touch had begun to fade, yet her apparent fate was one she couldn’t accept.

The first notes played.

Please, God.  Not again. 

David began, “Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation…”

Rebecca’s throat tightened, not because she was touched by his song, but because it made her miss home.  Her mom had taken her to see Phantom of the Opera in 2009.  She swiped at her tears with her free hand and sniffled.  Her reaction encouraged him.  He knelt down, his face mere inches away.  She wanted to retch.  If he’d worn a mask she could’ve pretended he was someone else.

“I will never love you!” she shouted, her voice sharp with defiance.

Undeterred, his ballad continued.

In his mind, he probably expected her to stare, transfixed; to dance with him as Christine did with the Phantom.  He’d have to keep dreaming because Rebecca refused to willingly touch him.  She yanked her right hand, but the cuff didn’t budge.  She fought the suffocation gripping her lungs.

As if sensing her distress, David leaned in for a kiss.

Like a caged animal poked with a stick, she raged against his propensity to steal what didn’t belong to him.  She kicked him, sending him stumbling away from her.

“You shouldn’t have done that, Christine,” he growled.

The cloth covered Rebecca’s mouth and nose.  She flailed and held her breath for as long as she could.  The familiar helplessness returned as muscles relaxed and her consciousness grew fuzzy.  The metal slid off her wrist.  She felt weightless.  His thudding heartbeat reverberated in her eardrum.  Each creaking step jostled her.  He squeezed tighter.

Shrinking and trapped within her body, her soul offered a weak plea.

No, not his bed again…


This is another disturbing post in my personal challenge to practice writing creepy for the month of October.  This story was written for the Speakeasy weekly challenge, which is to write a fictional piece of less than 750 words using the line,  “Something moved in the shadows.” anywhere in the piece, and, to make it more challenging, we needed make some reference to the song, “The Music of the Night”.

On Tuesday, the challenge opens for submissions.  At that time, you can click on the badge below to read other interpretations of the prompt, or even better – submit a story of your own!

speakeasy2Last week was my first attempt at a Speakeasy prompt.  My story, “Life of the Party” placed third in the popular vote, and was chosen as the Editor’s Pick for the week. If you haven’t read it, and you’re up for another creepy story, click here to check it out.

Thanks for stopping by.  Oh, and if creepy isn’t your thing, I’m working on some “normal” posts that I will also publish throughout the month.  Have a beautiful Sunday!


35 thoughts on “Held Captivated – Speakeasy #130

  1. Tonya R. Moore October 6, 2013 / 1:06 PM

    Creepy is good. I like creepy. This was a delightfully creepy read.

    • jannatwrites October 6, 2013 / 9:28 PM

      Thanks, Tonya! I’m glad you enjoyed the creepy story 🙂

  2. J. Milburn October 6, 2013 / 1:17 PM

    Another awesome story! Does it surprise you, like it does me, the dark places our minds can take us? Great job!

    • jannatwrites October 6, 2013 / 9:29 PM

      I found this story quite disturbing and I’m not sure I like the creepy side of my brain (it makes me think I might need professional help :)) So, yes, it does surprise me that I feel mostly well-adjusted and I come up with something this twisted. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment, J. Milburn!

  3. nrhatch October 6, 2013 / 3:25 PM

    Eww . . . this reminds me of Ariel Castro ~ that guy who kept 2 women captive for a decade while he attended church every Sunday.

    The only good thing about that story is that Castro committed suicide once his ass landed in the slammer. Good riddance.

    Glad that taxpayers will be saved the expense of keeping him alive.

    • jannatwrites October 6, 2013 / 9:44 PM

      I wish you’d write what you really think, Nancy 🙂 Only kidding…

      I remember that crime in the news. It was bizarre and creepy. It’s fascinating (but scary) what triggers an obsession and fantasy to be carried so far.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nancy!

      • nrhatch October 7, 2013 / 6:30 AM

        Strong writing evokes a strong response. And this writing is stellar, Janna. Not really my style, but definitely evocative.

        And I meant to say CONGRATULATIONS on being Editor’s Pick your first time out. And third place finisher in the popular vote.

        • jannatwrites October 7, 2013 / 9:05 AM

          It’s not really my style either, Nancy 🙂 I tend to prefer stories of hope, but I couldn’t find any in this one. But it fit the ‘creepy October’ bill 🙂

          Oh, I do have a “normal” post scheduled to post later today. I don’t want to get too immersed in the creepy!

  4. Eric Alagan October 6, 2013 / 10:18 PM


    He’s really into the Phantom of the Opera story, isn’t he, calling her Christine.

    Yes, she’s right, a mask would have made it a little more complete.

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2013 / 9:03 AM

      He’s a little (okay a lot) out of touch with reality, Eric! Thanks for reading this creepy tale 🙂

  5. Sean October 7, 2013 / 11:30 AM

    From creepy to disturbing, you are increasing your portfolio quite well. Did you struggle with writing this? Ooohh, thought of a new book. 12 creepy and disturbing bedtime stories to keep the little ones out of their own beds and most likely up most the night. It’s always fun to see what you write and the versatility that you have with this art. Thanks

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2013 / 8:51 PM

      Haha, yes, this one was disturbing, Sean! I actually did struggle with this one. When I first wrote it, she was able to get free, but it left me with too many unanswered questions, like ‘why did it take her so long to fight back?’ ‘How did she get free from the handcuffs?’ and ‘Does this feel realistic?’ When I went back and wrote it, I went back to the “The Music of the Night” video where she ends up fainting and he carries her to his bed before the curtain drops.

      Funny story idea, Sean. The book could also be called, “Twelve Stories Guaranteed to Send Your Children to Therapy.” Yeah, some of these October stories I’ve been jotting down are not ones I’d share with my kids (I like them in their own beds, thank you :)) Thanks for reading even the creepy stuff!

    • jannatwrites October 7, 2013 / 8:56 PM

      Thanks, Allen! This was probably the most disturbing story I’ve written 🙂

  6. Takei Inspired October 8, 2013 / 5:07 AM

    Great writing very sad I could feel her pain and sadness!

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:00 PM

      Thanks Takei – I appreciate you taking time to read and comment 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:01 PM

      Thanks, Michelle – I appreciate you reading my story 🙂

  7. jwilliams057 October 8, 2013 / 12:07 PM

    Well this is definitely creepy so you are leaving your mark for October. I would love to find out what happens next and next and next.

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:02 PM

      I’m glad you were sufficiently creeped out by the story, Jennifer. I’m afraid to explore what happens next!

  8. Angela Death October 8, 2013 / 8:34 PM

    Excellent use of imagery. I could envision the entire scene perfectly.

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:02 PM

      Thanks, Angela! I had hoped it would feel real.

  9. Debbie October 9, 2013 / 7:37 AM

    Playing catchup again, Janna. Well done with the creepy!

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:03 PM

      Thanks, Debbie! This month, creepy is a good thing, I guess 🙂

  10. grace black October 9, 2013 / 8:23 AM

    Delightfully creepy and fitting for the season. Well done!!!

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 3:05 PM

      Thanks, Grace! I’m glad you found it creepy 🙂

  11. Suzanne October 9, 2013 / 5:42 PM

    Janna, you really have quite a dark side, don’t you? 😉

    This is another great piece. Really creepy and unsettling. You did a fantastic job bringing us into Rebecca’s ordeal. I’m so glad you’re exploring this side of yourself as a writer! 🙂

    • jannatwrites October 9, 2013 / 9:26 PM

      It seems that I do, Suzanne! I appreciate your feedback on the story 🙂

  12. Justice October 9, 2013 / 9:45 PM

    I think you succeeded with the “creepy” part! I’m listening to The One I Left Behind by Jennifer McMahon, and the beginning has similar tones.

    • jannatwrites October 11, 2013 / 9:00 AM

      Thanks for reading, Justice – I’m glad you found it creepy! (Only in October would this make sense :))

  13. nataliedeyoung October 10, 2013 / 4:12 PM

    “I love you. I think I’ll handcuff you in my basement…”
    I just love that. Very dark, and what a creeper!

    • jannatwrites October 11, 2013 / 9:20 AM

      Haha…it sounds funny, and even creepier when you put it that way, Natalie! Thanks for reading 🙂

  14. pattisj October 16, 2013 / 9:03 PM

    This showcases your writing talent, Janna. Creepy, but you did it well.

    • jannatwrites October 16, 2013 / 9:44 PM

      Thanks, Patti! I appreciate you reading it 🙂

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