Alone In The Darkness is a novel I wrote in early 2016. I will be releasing a new chapter every Monday and Friday, starting on July 18th 2016. If you enjoy the book and would like to support me please click the link and purchase my book through Amazon. You can also find my book on the mobile reading apps: Wattpad, Jukepop, and Inkitt.
The rain had stopped to give way to a soundtrack of insects and frogs crying out into the night. Tyler and Kora stood next to Steven in the blue gravel driveway facing the car.
“What’s wrong with you, man? Are you not thinking straight?” Tyler shook his head softly. Steven could feel the anger in his voice. He respected Tyler and hoped that he might be able to help. The sound of disappointment stuck in his mind. He had hoped that the pressure would lift once he was free of his debt, but now it was pouring down over his head threatening to drown him.
Tyler had been leading the prep teams for nearly a year when he pulled Steven out of dealing and gave him a job with his group. Tyler told Steven that if he wanted to survive, he would need to give up selling. It was a dangerous job and he was better suited on this side of the transaction. Like any job, there were some ups and downs, but even Steven would admit the risk of bodily harm was less. There was just one point that was stressed by everyone in the team, the job required a high level of trust. The trust was a requirement and a necessity. There are two rivers in this organization, the production river and the money river. They would be entrusting Tyler and his team with a well of responsibility. The amount of product they produced on a weekly basis would lead weaker individuals to bad decisions. Every weekend the team would assemble in a new house and prepare for distribution. The organization picked up the cheap houses during the recession. They carefully distributed their purchases across the counties in order to limit suspicion. This weekend was like all the rest, the expectations. the same produce and then go home.
They all stood staring into the passenger side window. Steven lifted his hand to his forehead rubbing hard and finishing through his hair. Sweat had begun to build on his brow as he let out a strained sigh. An undiscovered cut on his finger trickled blood down the back of his hand.
Kora looked to Steven, “Why did you bring her here? She’s a liability.”
Steven fought back, “She’s ’out cold. She doesn’t know where the house is.”
“It doesn’t matter. You’re now tied to her. What are you going to do when the cops find out? When they ask what you do for a living? What are you going to tell them? Are you going to rat us all out?”
Tyler lifted his hand and Kora quieted down. They had been seeing each other for over a month, but when it came to work, he still controlled the floor. “I don’t give a shit what your excuse is right now, Steven. You fucked up real bad. First, you mixed yourself up with Juan which is not good for your health in general and is in conflict with my boss. Second, you work for me and by that fact you also work for my boss. That means when you jeopardize my operation, you jeopardize his.”
“I just needed help. I didn’t know what to do.”
Tyler was calm, “Again you chose to jump into quicksand and now you’re asking me, Kora, and everyone else in this organization to jump in with you.”
“What do you want me to do? Just drive away?”
Kora looked at Tyler, “He’s still connected to her and he’s connected to us.”
“I understand,” Tyler motioned to Kora. He looked at Steven, “Now, we’ve got to take care of this. We need to be able to trust you and this is a big breach of our trust.”
Steven knew that he was in deep and he remained silent. Kora stood with her eyes piercing Steven’s face. “You saw the pool house?”
“Yeah,” Steven replied looking up at Kora.
Tyler turned his head, taking a deep and thoughtful breath. “Are you paid up with Juan?”
“Yeah. But he didn’t like me leaving in a hurry.” Steven looked at Tyler, “Dude, I know I messed up, but I need help. Just tell me what I should do.”
Tyler lifted his hand and pointed at the white facade of the house, “I won’t let this woman in this house. Do you hear me?” Steven nodded. “I can’t make this decision. This is something my boss needs to know about. I am not about to jeopardize my job and my life for your mistakes.”
The front door of the house was still open and the lights illuminating the kitchen showed tubing, trays, and materials stacked high on the table. Two other cars sat in the driveway alongside the group. Beyond the house were rows of dormant apple trees, overgrown green grass, and a small wooden house alongside the faded red pole barn. A small path was carved in the grass leading from one house to the other and a small well with a hand crank sat as a sentry to anyone passing by.
Tyler looked at Steven, “Are you emotionally attached to this woman?”
“What?” Steven shot back, surprised at the question.
Tyler’s eyes narrowed and a deep breath signaled the seriousness of the response. His voice lifted to a yell, “Are you fucking her, you fuck?”
Steven recoiled and shook his head.
“No?” Tyler asked.
“No. I just met her tonight.”
“I’m not trying to be an ass, or splitting hairs, but you two didn’t meet tonight. I wouldn’t define it in the same vain as picking someone up at the bar after a beer and pleasant conversation.” Steven lowered his eyes. “You kidnapped this woman. I don’t give a fuck what you do in your personal life. You want to torture little doggies, get your rocks off with some meth whore, or be a fucking birthday clown because you have an untapped fetish. I don’t give a fuck. I do give a fuck about your stupid ass rolling up in here, not in your fucking car might I add, with a woman who is bleeding from the head and sitting in the front seat. Not to forget we have a Mexican psychopath likely looking for you.”
Steven took a breath to start but was cut off.
“You were supposed to come to work.” Tyler pointed at the car, “This is not work. This is play time. Your play time. I’m going to ask you again and I want an answer. You obviously only meant for this to be a temporary thing, unless you were going to put her in your basement. Are you emotionally attached to her?”
“No I am not,” Steven lied. He felt remorse for the whole night, and regretted it when he rode up to the house. From the first moment Steven told Tyler the situation he knew he had screwed up. He never started the night thinking this is where he would end up. He never wanted this and know it felt like he was in more trouble.
There was a pause from Tyler, “Let me be clear once more, are you going to be upset if I shoot her in the head and scatter her body across the valley for coyotes to eat?”
Steven spoke quietly, “We don’t need to do that.”
“Now you step up and speak. Eh? You’re going to tell me what I need to do when you take a shit on my driveway? We are working tonight. We are processing hash and making up balloons. I did not intend to have to deal with this, but now you’re forcing me to. You don’t get to dictate to me.” Tyler closed the distance and finished inches from Steven’s face. Steven pulled back as the closing words were shouted into his ear, “Do you understand that?”
From inside the car Jennifer began to stir. Her legs shifted and she rolled over. She leaned back in the seat with her head looking up to the ceiling. She took a deep breath and raised her arm up over the welt on the top of her head. The semi-dried blood smeared across her forehead and left a streak on her arm and palm. Her eyes opened slightly looking through the window and across the driveway to the house. She began to take deeper breaths as she slowly regained consciousness.
Tyler calmly stated, “Steven, lock the car.”
Steven looked up and saw Jennifer stirring in the front seat. He reached down and clicked the key. From inside the car Jennifer could hear the doors lock. She turned quickly left and right but saw no one in the car. Movement pulled her eyes to the house as she saw a man quickly walking up to the front steps and stepping through the open the door. She turned and saw a man and woman staring down at her. Horror came across her face as she saw Steven and her memory flooded back. From the kidnapping, to the shootout, to being dragged over the road. Her knees rose up, she lifted her arms, and she began to scream through the window. The sight of Steven was enough to unleash all of her anger and rage. She brought her hand down across the window, blood smearing on each strike and obscuring her vision. Jennifer heard the door from the house slam shut as an angry man crossed the gravel walkway. She saw the rag in his hand and a tin container. She continued to scream as her hand struck the window, “Let me out!”
From outside the car she heard a muffled voice, “Unlock it.”
At that moment she knew this man was coming for her. She scanned the car to look for a weapon. She saw the push lighter and pressed in the button. The pop let her know the heating element as working. She began to crawl across the middle console to the driver side when the doors unlocked. The passenger side door opened as the man lunged into the car to grab her legs. Kora and Steven stood behind him unmoving as they watched the scene play out.
She kicked Tyler as he pulled her back. She grabbed for the door, but it was just out of reach. A click sounded and Jennifer grabbed the lighter and rammed it into the Tyler’s arm. He yelled in pain as she kicked again. She lunged and grabbed the door handle and pulled the latch. The driver side door swung open. She kicked again and connected on Tyler’s shoulder. She lunged for the door, her head staring out the open door to the trees in the distance. She began to crawl across the seats with her arms reaching out for holds. She looked up only to see the face of Steven in the doorway. Their eyes met as Steven’s hand grabbed the door and slammed it shut. She turned back to see Tyler pulling on her leg. As she looked back, Tyler smashed a rag into her face. She screamed and her breath gave out. She pulled another breath but her head fell limp. Tyler caught her and dragged her to the seat. He kneeled on the gravel and turned his head back to Kora. He took a deep breath, “Get me some rope. She is going in with the heads.”
“The heads? I don’t think she needs to go in there.” Steven replied.
“Get me the rope, now.”
They dragged her onto the grass and rolled her over onto her stomach. Her arms were pulled back and twine was wrapped around her wrists then slung together forming a bind. A piece of duct tape was pulled and placed across her mouth. Tyler reached into his pants and pulled out his knife, flipping the blade. He brought it close to her face and cut a short slit in the tape. They tied twine around her ankles and then bound both wrists and feet with additional duct tape. Steven and Tyler lifted her up onto their shoulders and carried her across the yard following the path that passed by the open well. They walked up the steps to the second house as Kora slid by and opened the door. They entered the dark house. Kora quickly scanned the nearest bedroom pushing papers and boxes around to check for bodies.
“All clear,” she said.
They lowered her onto the old wooden floor as dust plumed up around her body. They slid her towards the open closet. From inside the room, you could hear the group leave the house, their muffled voices becoming more distant.
The room fell silent as Jennifer breathed quietly. The house creaked under the weight of slow moving ghostly bodies. The soft moans and fingers scratching along the walls could be heard from the living room. Bodies lined up along the wall, slowly trying to escape from their nightmares. The moans gave way to occasional shrieks as a body would leap into the air, its head bobbing under its weight. Its eyes rolled back, sores lining its arms and legs, as its mouth hung open, teeth long gone. Steps would give way to stumbling causing the room to groan under the disruption.
Jennifer’s body lay on floor in peace.