Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Payment Denied – The Story Continues, Part 2


By M. J. Joachim

Payment Denied, Part 1

Elise cautiously led the captives into the woods, knowing it would only be a matter of time before James realized they were gone. Briskly, they ventured deeper into the dense, dark forest, heading toward a nearby town on the other side of the ridge. Getting there would be treacherous, especially since every effort must be made to avoid suspicion. 

Elise was their friend now, an ally promising to keep them safe. The girls felt compelled to put all their faith in her. Natalie nudged her sister, Amanda, expressing misgivings in her eyes. Elise caught her by the hair, “You have a better plan, you worthless heap of trash?” she whispered. “I saved your skinny ass from James! Now who would you rather believe in, me or some drug-crazed, psychotic lunatic?”

“Stay close. Don’t say or do anything that might give our position away. I’ve traveled these woods dozens of times, and the only time there’s trouble is when squirrely girls like you get out of hand. Do exactly as I say, and you might have a chance in hell of getting out of here alive,” she murmured to the girls.

Hours of walking in darkness – no food, no water, only the constant insistence of Elise to keep moving. Finally, she stopped. The note on the tree in front of Elise directed her next move. She had definitively passed Phase 1, allowing her to move on to Phase 2 of her evaluation.

“Dig,” Elise ordered. “Dig hard, fast and furious,” she screamed, pointing at the base of the colossal tree. The girls appeared dazed and confused. “Why is she suddenly screaming at us now?” Natalie uttered. “Weren’t we supposed to keep quiet, so James wouldn’t find us?”

“James,” Elise cackled out loud. “Oh, poor, poor, sweet and innocent little James, a promising specimen for sure,” she laughed, as she slammed Natalie against the tree. “Now listen, you insignificant, power hungry parasite! If you don’t start following orders and quit stirring up trouble, you’ll be the first to die,” she sneered. “Dig,” she screamed again at all the girls!

Four girls bent down and started clawing at the cold, damp ground with their broken, bloody fingernails. Three more slowly joined them, fear dominating their every move. Natalie alone stood tall, unmoved by Elise’s harsh determination. “You’ll never pass Phase 2,” she calculatingly warned Elise. “The town can’t be reached by the tunnel beneath this tree. You have failed this phase of the test, Elise, and the glory will be mine, all mine,” she calmly said.

Happy Halloween! Thank you for visiting FlashTyme!

M. J. 

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Photo credits: Courtesy of Jackie & Dani