While He's Away - Part Three



When Jen finally awoke instead of being glad she was alive, she wished she dead. The pain that she thought was bad before was a thousand times worse now. Her mouth felt like it had been filled with boiling water and then stuffed with cotton. She wasn’t even sure if she was breathing. It didn’t feel like she was breathing. Every so often what felt like thick blood would run down the back of her throat making her gag and she would regurgitate it back out through a tiny gap at the front of her mouth.

My mouth must be completely swollen shut, Jen went to touch her face so she could gauge what kind of damage had been done but her hands wouldn’t move. Well, they moved about a quarter of an inch and then would just stop.

Jen realised she had been tied to something and she screamed as loud as she could. It killed her mouth and throat and it felt like her jaw was about to dislocate, if it hadn’t already. The effort from screaming had made her head throb and she could hear the sound echoing round the room.

Where am I? And whys it so dark, oh shit am I going blind? Jen tried to calm herself as much as she could. She was alive, that was good. That meant another chance. Another chance to get away. To get away from him.

But it wasn’t dark, she wasn’t blind and as Jen’s eyes adjusted she found that she could see light. Tiny flecks of light. That was okay she thought, just focus on these little things and it might take your mind off the pain. The flecks of light gradually became slightly larger, and when she turned her head she could see objects appear in the tiny scratches of light. Jen squinted and tried to focus on the objects but it was hard. Her eyes were puffy and swollen and her left one had almost closed. Then she realised why she was seeing tiny patches of objects. She wasn’t going blind, She was looking through some kind of fabric.. . There was something over her head.

Desperately trying to acclimatise herself with her surroundings she tried to keep completely silent to try and pick up any sounds that may help her figure out where she was. This proved to be impossible as each breath she took made a rasping sound in her throat, and breathing through her nose was out of the question. Her nose felt solid, each nostril was full of crusty copper smelling blood.

Deciding that doing nothing was the worst option she could take, she slowly started to twist her wrists in small circles, her arms and legs had no pain at all, in fact, they felt strong. She twisted her ankles as well in circular motions, but they seemed to be tied tighter than her hands.

Ok, she thought, let’s focus on the hands first.

If she could just work them backwards and forwards she might be able to loosen the cord enough to slip one out. She hadn’t heard the man since she woke up and thought that perhaps he had left. Maybe a car had pulled up and scared him off. Maybe he had slipped in her blood and fell downstairs.

I hope it’s that one, I hope you’re lying at the bottom of the stairs with your ugly fucking head twisted right the way round.

This was good, the angrier she felt the harder she worked her wrists against the cord.

I’m going to get out of this chair, and then I’m going to get out of here and come back with Mick and his friends and we’re going to see how you like having your face smashed in. I’ll use that fucking frog statue that’s by the front door.

Jen was seething now, her wrists were burning from the friction the cord was causing but she didn’t care, she would have kept twisting them until smoke appeared if that’s what it was going to take. She could feel her left wrist was slowly starting to become free. There was much more movement on this side than there was on her right side. Another minute and she would be free, then she could undo the other cords and run. Run as fast as she possibly could until she found someone.

Anyone. . .  That wasn’t him.

Thirty seconds now, that’s all she kept telling herself, thirty seconds. Her wrist was on fire now but she wouldn’t stop.

But then she did stop. . .

She could hear a sound, a sound that wasn’t coming from her. In the distance she could her metal. A grating, squeaking sound that she recognised from somewhere. It was getting louder. Tick tick squeak… tick tick squeak. . .  as Jen realised what was making the sound she felt a light pop as the cord that held her wrist to the chair snapped.

One down, one to go then I’m free. The sound was getting closer still and Jen could imagine the object in her mind. The old metal trolley was slowing making its way down the corridor. She hadn’t used this trolley for years, it had been her grandmother’s and she had hated it since she was a child. The only reason she still kept it was because it was one of the few things her Gran had left her when she had died. It had been in the attic though, and now it was here.

The thought that she was still in her own home was of some comfort, but the thought that this man had been in her attic looking around filled her head with fears. Jen wondered how long this man had been hanging around her house. Maybe he had been in the attic for weeks just waiting for her husband to leave.  As Jen was thinking that this freak may have been right above her while she slept she heard the trolley approaching from right behind her.

The squeaking sound was accompanied by a rattling noise and Jen’s imagination began to run wild. What could he possibly have on the tray, fuck I bet its knives of something. Oh god he’s going to cut me up tied to this fucking chair. She was crying now silently, she assumed tears were rolling down her cheeks but her face was still so swollen she couldn’t be sure.

Come on. . . pull yourself together. You can cry later. You have to keep it together. One hand’s free right? Inside her head jen nodded. One hand was free, and that was better than no hands. As long as he didn’t notice she might be able to grab something and use it against him. Perhaps if the tray was covered in knives it might not be such a bad thing after all.

The trolley had stopped moving now. It was just to the left of Jen and she sat in the chair, her whole body stiff with anticipation. She was about to speak when suddenly the bag was lifted off her head.




              .....................................................................................



The light from the room burned her eyes and she squeezed them closed again. They pain was immediate and a burning, itchy feeling was making them flicker like butterfly wings. As they became used to the light she looked around the room. She was in the living room. Her living room. . . but it was different. The couches were gone and the curtains had been taped shut with thick black tape. In front of her was the dinner table from the dining room and a large vase stood in the middle. It was full of dry, dead roses. Her chair was at one end of the table and she could see the top of another chair directly opposite her. The fire was lit to her right and she could feel the heat radiating across her right side. To her left was the trolley and on it surface were plates, wine glasses and cutlery.

What the fuck, does he think we’re going to have a fucking meal?

Jen slowly turned her head back round to her right, the muscles in her neck felt like they had torn and every movement was agonising and slow. This time, there was something blocking her view of the fireplace. He was standing next to her. Right beside her. She could smell him, there was a sickly sweet smell coming from him. The smell was familiar. She recognised it, but couldn’t quite put her finger on where from.

The man walked round behind Jen and started taking things off the tray. His large body was surprisingly sprightly and when he went to lay his side of the table he was almost skipping. He placed a plate and then lay a knife and fork next to it. Jen noticed that he had placed the cutlery the wrong way round, but didn’t say anything. He then repeated the same on Jens side. After he had finished he stood with his back to her. As if he was trying to think of what to do next.

Jen used this time to try to get a good look at him in case she needed to identify him later. He was tall, very tall, he must have been well over six foot and he looked strong. His back was wide at the top and looked wider on the right hand side. On the back of his head he had a large circle shaped patch where there was no hair. His clothes were brown and looked like he had been made out of cloth or sack material. Jen thought they looked handmade.  As she looked down to his feet he suddenly spun round and dropped to one knee. He grabbed her knees and she started screaming.

A large hand covered her mouth and he brought a curved finger up to his own in a shhhhh gesture. Jen nodded and stopped screaming. The man looked pleased with himself and he started clapping his hands together. It wasn’t really a proper clap though, he just pressed them together resulting in them making a dull thud sound. Not knowing what to do Jen just tried to smile. This seemed to please the man and he clapped again, and a smile spread across his face. He moved his disgusting head in front of Jen’s and opened his mouth. It smelt like dog feces mixed with cabbage and she could see he only had three brown teeth in his entire mouth. He moved closer still, and began to lick her swollen lips. The stench from his tongue made Jen gag but she tried not to show her disgust. Saliva seeped out of the sides of his mouth and trickled down to his neck. After what felt like an eternity he stood up.

 He looked excited. He began tapping the side of his head with his finger and rubbed one of his hairless eyebrows. He stood up so fast he nearly fell onto the table and he held his arms out toward Jen like a magician does when he’s trying to show you that the object has in fact vanished.

Jen vaguely understood the gesture but wasn’t sure what he wanted her to do.

“I . . I cant stand up” she muttered, “I can’t stand up, I’m tied down see?” she looked down to her wrists as if to emphasise this but then regretted it as she didn’t want to draw attention to the broken cord.

The man however didn’t look at her wrists and seemed frustrated. He made a squealing sound like a hurt dog and held out his arms again. Jen still didn’t understand and shook her head.

“I don’t know. . . I don’t know wha. . “

The man let out a large screetch and started thumping his hands against the sides of his head. He paced back and forth as he did this and Jen was worried he would hit her again. She didn’t think she could take any more pain. Not for a long time.

All of a sudden he stopped and grinned again, before Jen could say anything he ran out of the room.

When he came back he was dragging something. Something heavy. He was gasping and panting and straining and it sounded like something large was being moved across the living room behind her. As he came into her line of sight she saw that he was dragging in the mirror that had been on the dining room wall. He pulled it in front of Jen and pointed into the mirror and then back at jen.

Jen looked at him, “It’s the wrong way round”.

The man looked at the mirror and then at Jen and started laughing. A childish laugh. A laugh that said “Oh god I’m such a fool” and he started to turn the mirror around. As the mirror swung round Jen’s reflection came into view and at first she didn’t recognise the person starting back at her.

Her face was swollen twice the size and the lower half was covered with thick congealed blood. As she let out a whispering cry she saw that she was missing at least 3 teeth from the bottom row. She couldn’t see her top teeth as her top lip was so big it looked like it was about to burst. Her eyes were blood red and she had a large along down her jaw line. Jen felt sick. She couldn’t believe that this was her in the reflection. She couldn’t believe that he had done this to her. And now he was standing there like they were old friends or something. Her face was so bad she hadn’t even notices what she was wearing.

As she looked down she saw her wedding dress. The one she had worn only three months ago. It was covered in blood and was ripped along the front, actually it wasn’t the front, it was the back. He obviously hadn’t known which way round to put it on and just put it on backwards. She thought of her husband now and of their day.
Their special day.

She knew that even if she got out of this that every memory of that day would be ruined now. She lifted her head and began to sob.

“what do you want? Just tell me. . . please. . . what do you want?”

The man looked concerned now and he almost looked like he was about to cry. He tapped his forehead and his eyes opened wide. ”Ahhh” he said in a grunt. He slid the mirror over to the side of the room and came back and crouched by the chair again. As he reached into his pocket jen thought he would pull out a knife and end it right there and then. She was exhausted and afraid, she hadn’t had time to make up any kind of plan but she didn’t care. She was too tired to care about anything and she just closed her eyes, and waited for whatever was going to happen, to happen.

But there wasn’t any kind of sharp pain or anything bad, just a gentle tapping on her shoulder. When she opened her eyes he was there holding out a lipstick.

What does he?. . whys he got that? . .

The man pointed to Jens mouth and acted and traced the outline of his mouth with the lipstick. Then he made a kissing action. Saliva spat out of his mouth and landed on Jen's face. She tried not to act repulsed after her last "kiss" and just nodded. The man took off the lid of the lipstick and started to twist the base. Jen watched the red lipstick rise out of the base. But it wasn’t lipstick. It was a finger. The end of the fingertip was missing and around the jagged skin was dark blood. The man moved the finger lipstick over to Jen’s mouth but she twisted away.

“No! No!. . . you’re not getting that near me. What’s wrong with you?”

Jen tried to kick him away but he was too close and she could barely move her feet anyway. She gripped the chair with both hands and tried to twist her head away but it was no use. 

She was just too tired.

He grabbed her hair with one hand and then smeared the lipstick around her mouth. Jen could feel it on her face, and the thought of having someone else’s blood on her made her feel sick. The man stood up and clapped again. He made a gesture to Jen. One that said shall I get you the mirror so you can see.


“No thanks” said Jen, and her head sank to her chest as she wondered what horrors were to come next. . . 


For Part Four please click HERE