Connie had just finished shopping. It was a pleasant day, the sun was warm, the light was high, and she was in the sort of mood where catchy, summertime pop songs spring to mind. She would never see the two men ready to grab her when she looked up toward the other man who’d asked for help. Such a pleasant smile, she thought.
This is the sixth installment in a fiction serial by Jason Kettinger. Be sure to catch up with the first, second, third, fourth and fifth parts.
Though she didn’t know it then, that smile was hiding a sinister purpose.
They covered her head with a black hood, and ushered her into a van with roughness. It seemed like hours passed before the hood was removed, and Connie found herself in a dark, dusty warehouse in the wrong part of whatever city this happened to be. She guessed Cleveland, and she’d be right. She’d been dispossessed of her cell phone, her purse, and wallet. It was a large warehouse, and she’d been led through narrow corridors of boxes that opened up into a wider open space.
“Welcome,” said the evil man with the pleasant face. Connie might have thought the whole thing was cartoonish and worth a laugh—abandoned warehouse, thugs, ringleader with manners—but she sensed the danger was real. And she was right again, though the depth of her peril she didn’t yet realize.
“You’ll be very useful to us, one way or the other,” said the demon in the form of a man.
“I don’t think so,” Connie blurted in defiance. At that, he motioned to the thugs to take her to a side room that was soundproofed. Before they grabbed her, they injected her, and she was out cold.
When she awoke, she was tied to a chair. The man was next to her, smiling. He volunteered, “You’ve been injected with a fertility booster along with the sedative; we can’t have your advanced age spoiling our plans.” Connie was 43 now. She quickly realized that this man wanted to use her. She fought him with everything she had, aided by the angels. She earned her reward; she was about to suffer greatly before she claimed it.
“If you won’t help us, someone will,” the ringleader snarled. He sent the other team of men to capture Blaine Stevens and bring him there. Soon after, the man found himself in the same warehouse as his wife. The assailant thought politeness and ease was in order, so he found a scantily-clad young thing, put her with Blaine, and figured nature would take its course. But of course, the man who raised Peter Thomas Stevens had long disciplined himself against these attacks; his love and his body belonged to the woman in the other room. Blaine didn’t know she was there, and he didn’t know why he was there. Yet he called to the ringleader, opining that this was the most ill-conceived kidnapping he’d ever seen or been the victim of.
This enraged the demon, and he decided then that these holy ones would pay dearly, if he could not turn them.
“Hello, lovely,” said the thug with a grin. Connie opened her eyes and felt wires and pads all over her chest and arms. It connected to what looked like a large car battery with a large circuit switch.
“Alright, Blaine. This is what we want. You have sex with this woman here”—he pulled her close roughly—or else.”
“Or else what?”
The ringleader commanded the door to the other room be opened. He set the electro-shock equipment on maximum pain with minimum damage, for now. Connie let out a tortured shriek seldom heard. Blaine knew his wife, even if he’d never heard such a sound.
“Let her go!” he roared, attempting with all his might to break away. It was fruitless. “Take me instead, please!”
“You cannot help us, except this one way,” intoned the evildoer. “Make your choice.”
Blaine hesitated for just a moment, and the head demon took advantage. “Damage her now, only slightly.” Now, not only volts but deadly amps began to pour into Connie’s body. Blaine couldn’t allow it. He consented. But just before the woman made her way there, Connie’s eyes met his. They’ll kill me anyway, she said with her eyes. He nodded invisibly as he and the woman made their way to another room. They made sure he could see that Connie was being freed.
Once inside, they mutually agreed to fool their masters. But he wasn’t fooled. Connie was re-fastened to the device in silence, and the leader set it to end her life. She died in seconds, in horrible agony, but a martyr’s death. The wicked one burst through the door, finding the two people exactly as he supposed. In fury, he injected them with a pain-inducing serum. The pain was worse than Connie’s, but the two people would not die for half an hour. The son of promise would lose his parents in the battle, unaware.
Jason Kettinger is assistant editor of Open for Business.