The Revenge

“Hey. Dream of me?” Alice says playfully. Her knife scrapes the stubble of my chin. The gleam catches my widened eyes. My heart stutters.

“Alice, please. Please.” The thick, rough restraints rub my wrists behind this cursed metal chair. My senses are heightened to extremity. Dust flits in rays of light. The basement is musty. The tap sprinkles an individual drops.

Doomed. From a fight about what to watch to me breaking up with her last night. Too many red flags despite her cuteness. She was sweet. She liked iguanas. She was human.

Now she’s a different person, thrilled on a crazy level. I don’t know how I got here. I remember a solicitor asking for help, the children of Pluto are struggling, the stranger claimed. I signed her empty petition, then blacked out.

The knife moves toward my nose. Closer.


The knife taps.


I feel a loss for what I’ve missed out on in life, a whimper in my throat. A psychopath hiding in plain sight leaving me eternal regret. I clench my teeth in fear, in disgust, in a last attempt to maybe die with dignity.

She seems to know this. Seems to know all of it. Like she is… experienced.

Alice smiles fondly at me, rubbing a hand through my slick, black ringlets. “Handsome,” she murmurs. “Loyal… not so much. Anyways. Bryant. I’ve decided you’re my new project.”

You really don’t need to do that, I think.

“Let’s play tag. Ok? I’ll cut the ropes and you can try to escape.”

She turns away. “Am I forgetting something? Oh! Right.” She lays her fist on her palm, realizing. Such an innocent gesture. “They try to go for a phone.” Her once alluring blue eyes flit before intensifying on me again. “Just so you know, your cell’s destroyed. Hmm. How about a 15 second head start? I’m so generous!”

I think she hears me swallow but she claps her hands before pulling brown waves into a makeshift ponytail. It’s like the zoo we went to.

It was a sunny day. Hot. Our water bottles were empty but we matched paces as we explored. A yellow balloon floated off in the sky and I was sure a child was being comforted. A snarl interrupted the content atmosphere. We looked to the lion. He was a newer animal, crazed and vicious. His mane settled on his back and his mouth was parted to reveal frightening teeth. Even the feeders dared not enter until he adapted. Alice’s grin is just as frightening. Now the lion is free and I am caged.

Alice saws the rope, all the while bouncing from leg to leg. She’s excited, I sicken. “Ok. Woohoo! Oh it’s gonna be great. Ok here you go!” I flee from the chair, stumbling. Adrenaline is combining with desperation.

I’ve always wondered why captives don’t hide within their enemies compound after escaping. After all, why would the enemy guess they’re right under their noses?

Now I know. The captive is afraid. The only thing on their mind is getting as far away as quickly as they can. Away from the whiff of death.

My heart gallops like a horse, my mind racing just as fast. Up the stairs. Up more stairs. Briefly I wonder how her house is so below ground? What kind of rich, homocidal woman builds a house with stairs instead of going on a freaking cruise? The kind of woman who sunburns easily, like Alice.



Light ahead. I can hear birds.

I slam open the screen door to find myself in a gray room with television. “1 Hour Bird Noises To Make You Feel At Home Before Your Early Death” is playing.

I wonder if I’m dreaming. Or am I already dead?

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