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!
Last 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!