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.
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Nick pulled up to the house. He reached into the back of his car and pulled a small duffle bag into his lap. The bag contained two handguns wrapped in a shirt along with a magnetic metal box. Nick’s paranoia had increased over the last few weeks when delivering finished units for distribution. His job was delivery to and from the house. As it was explained to him, “You’re a jackass. Understand? A car mule. Drive slow, drive responsible, and always deliver. You’re an in-and-out man. Raw product in, finished product out.” He took the liability and risk in transportation. His deliveries had been increasing in size and value along with his paranoia. For Nick, a hundred grand of drugs in the car increased the risk of bodily harm, and the guns were his way of cooling that fear. The box was a tax on transportation. A skimmer by nature, he felt he deserved more than his normal wage.
He sat for a brief moment staring forward at the collection of cars and the flickering porch light. He pulled his hand to his face and took the last drag of his cigarette. He flicked the butt out of the window, the orange end glowing and spinning in the night. He was late to work and he knew he would get an earful from Tyler. His teeth pulled back on his lower lip and he closed his eyes. His finger pulled back on the lever and the window began to roll up closing him in. He opened the door and quickly walked up the porch with his small bag in tow.
“Sorry I’m late,” he said clearing a small path between bags and boxes. He lowered his head preparing for the onslaught that never came.
From the other side of the room, Tyler coiled his body to see Nick, “I need you and Steven on bud sorting and med setup.” Nick’s face softened to Tyler’s tone. The verbal beating never came. He shifted between Steven and Kora who had not turned to greet him. Their heads were down and busy cutting material, processing, and bagging.
“Good evening to you all too. Lover’s quarrel?” His arm arced the room. His sarcasm was ignored as he dropped his bag against the wall. There was a dull clattering of metal on metal as the bag settled. Everyone was too busy working to notice the odd sound.
“You’re fucking late.” Tyler said. Nick’s mouth curled slightly. He knew Tyler would have something to say.
“I’m here now, amigo.”
“Where have you been? You knew when we were starting tonight. I tell you that time and you need to be here at that time or you don’t have a job.”
“Hey man, I know I’m late. I fell asleep this afternoon and woke late. I got my shit together and hurried out, but I had to drop a friend off and it took longer than I anticipated. I was texting Kora to let you know. Hey, that’s responsible right there. I didn’t keep you in the dark.”
Tyler was now fully turned and facing Nick, “You’re a shit liar, Nick. There’s a fucking child’s art painting on your face.”
“Hey, I’m telling you the truth, but I’m here. Just forget about it. Time to sort some bud, right? I am on it. Bud, bud, and more bud. I love sorting bud.”
Tyler saw his arms and his palms lift to the ceiling. It was Nick’s tell and Tyler’s blood began to boil. He crossed the room and pressed Nick up against the wall. The kitchen fell silent as Tyler commanded full attention. “I can’t deal with your childish shit tonight. I’ve got more to deal with than you can imagine and I’m not going to blow cycles listening to you. You will not be the next spur in my ass.”
Nick’s head turned, not making eye contact, “Alright man, I’m here. Let’s just do some work.”
Tyler backed off and navigated his way through the kitchen mess to the counter.
Nick looked at the back of the three heads in the kitchen. “What’s going on tonight? Y’all look like you’re pissed off or something. Are we getting shares cut or having to pull doubles again?”
Tyler’s head didn’t move as his hands continued to scoop fine powder form the mixing bag into small marked wax baggies. “This fuck,” Tyler blindly pointed to Steven, “decided it was time to play bandito.”
Nick’s face showed a confused look, “I’m not following.”
“The fuckhead here decided to take a lady and bring her to the office.”
“What? There’s a woman here?”
“Where is she?”
“We put her in with the heads and someone is coming to deal with her.”
“What guy? She’s with the heads? You put a stranger, a woman, in with the heads? Oh, that is low man. Those shits over there are insane.” Nick’s eyes opened wide as he scanned the room.
“A guy is coming to deal with the situation.”
Nick’s face started to open up and a deranged smile came across his mouth as his tongue played with his teeth, “Tyler, let me go see her.”
“No, fucking sort bud.”
“Tyler, one minute, man. I’ll cash in on my first piss break, no biggie. I’ll be right back.” Before Tyler could respond, Nick was halfway out the screen door and onto the porch.
“A lady in our midst.” He walked around the corner of the porch and onto the walking path. He mumbled in crazed excitement as he walked through the grass. His eyes lifted to the darkened house. He bounded up to the porch but caught his foot on the top step. His arms went forward and his other leg caught him on the wood. His hands scraped across the worn wood and he let out a gasp. His stumble released a loud thump as he tried to stand again. He walked up to the door. His hand pulled out the cell phone and he flipped on the flashlight.
The door creaked open and he shone the light down the hall. Slithering bodies moved in fear of the light. The tangled limbs pushed against empty walls and stripped flooring, stammering and clawing for relief in the darkness. Eyes hid behind dirty clothing and pulled blankets.
“Fucking animals.” Nick scanned the hallway for any hidden bodies. He had always been nervous going into the head house. At any moment a body could stumble through a room or doorway grabbing onto a shoulder or leg. It was more terrifying than dangerous. The bodies were weak and easy to defeat, but the stress on the heart as it lifted to the throat was another thing altogether.
He looked left and right and saw the closed door. His hand reached the knob and he opened it. Behind the door boxes and paper pushed against his approach. He forced the door open as papers dragged beneath. The room had more light than the entry way. He could see a woman kneeling with her arms behind her back in the corner of the room. Her eyes were wide and she was breathing quickly.
“Hello there. How are you?” Nick smiled and entered the room. He closed the door behind him and in doing so, saw the body laid before the closet. “You have been busy tonight?”
Jennifer’s eyes were terrified at this new figure. Her breathing was rapid and she released soft whimpers through the slit in the tape across her face. Nick crossed the room and stood before the man face down on the floor. His foot went out and lightly kicked the man. His skin jiggled but there was no response. He strained to view the man’s face and noticed the dent in his forehead. Nick looked at Jennifer, “Feisty one.”
Nick crossed the room slowly, shining his cell phone at Jennifer. She pushed her legs against the floor driving her back into the wall behind her. Her voice whimpered.
“What is your name, sweetie?” Nick began to lower himself in front of Jennifer. She kicked out with her bound legs but missed Nick. “It’s alright, we’ll keep our distance.”
The light shone in her face and she recoiled turning to the open wall. Nick lowered the light down across her body. He stopped briefly on her pants and shirt.
“You’re a pretty one,” Nick smiled as he ran his tongue along the bottom of his lips. He reached down and grabbed the bindings around her feet and pulled her towards him. Jennifer’s body sprawled out onto the floor as Nick quickly straddled her, sitting on her thighs. His weight pressed down on her body compressing her arms behind her back as she let out a scream. The house awoke to the voice and returned the night’s call.
Nick dropped the phone next to Jennifer, hiding the light. She looked up into the dark room to see the silhouetted man straddling above her. She tried to kick her legs but his weight held her down. She arched her shoulders and bucked her hips beneath him. He braced his arms to keep from rolling over.
“It’s ok, it’s ok. I’m not going to do anything to you. I just wanted to say hi.” Nick now lowered himself down onto Jennifer’s chest. The weight pressed the air out of her lungs. Nick’s face moved inches from Jennifer’s. She strained her neck to gather distance as Nick lowered his nose to her and took a long drag, “You smell nice.”
His left arm braced himself over her shoulder as his right began to move gently down over her chest. He traced the bra line under the shirt as a single finger ran the profile gently flicking her nipple and moving onto her stomach. Jennifer’s eyes were tearing up as her head pulled away. His hand ran down her stomach to the waistline of her pants. Her shirt had lifted and Nick’s hand opened to touch. He began to run his hand under her shirt feeling the soft hairs along her stomach. He could feel a tremble ripple through her body.
From behind Jennifer, her unbound hands bled on the ground but were free to move. She had noticed the Leatherman on his left hip when he entered. Nick’s hand was busy tracking up her shirt as she pulled out her right arm and gently put her fingers on the tip of the Leatherman. She waited for a pause as his hand reached the lace. She kicked her legs up distracting him for a moment. She lifted the Leatherman and returned her arm to her back. Nick reached for the floor to steady himself after the surprise move. Her fist closed tightly on the Leatherman.
He lowered himself again, “You’ve got some kick, girl.”
She waited a moment for him to close the distance before bringing the crown of her head to his face. She pulled in her legs and rolled again. He fell back to the floor holding his head.
He yelled out, “Bitch! You stupid bitch!”
Jennifer pushed herself back up against the wall, still holding the Leatherman in her grasp behind her back.
Nick pulled his hand back in rapid succession looking for blood. He saw none and grabbed for his phone. “Stupid shit, you’ll get yours tonight. A treat is coming for you.”
The anger welled up in him as he gazed into Jennifer’s eyes. She was bound and crumpled unnaturally on the floor slowly inching her way into the corner. The flaring of Nick’s nostrils signaled that the attack was not over. Nick pulled back his lips, his teeth shone bright in the evening light. His fists curled and the veins in his arm pulsed with anger. He came at Jennifer with his legs, keeping his distance from her. He connected with the point of his shoe on the small of her back grazing her arm and the hand that secretly clutched the Leatherman. She released a terrified cry as the pain rolled over her back and across her chest. She felt a numbness down her legs that raged into a warm fire and then open pain. She felt for the first time tonight she may not survive. Nick’s eyes raged as he growled. His foot reached up and he stomped down on Jennifer’s knee. As if by reflex, she pulled in the throbbing knee and kicked out at Nick. She caught his left leg and he stumbled onto the pile of garbage. His hands reached out to brace himself against the fall. Jennifer defiantly screamed through the tape and reared back striking Nick in the thigh. He fell over into the garbage but quickly rose.
Before he was upon her, the door to the room burst open and Steven appeared in the entry way. Jennifer pulled back. Her face slowly gave way to horror. She was managing to keep one monster off her, but the sight of a second was insurmountable. She pressed herself against the wall and began to prepare to use the Leatherman in her hand. She opened the knife hoping this little weapon may afford her some chance at escape. Her eyes trained on the door as she waited for her moment to cut the bindings on her legs.
Steven looked at Nick who was lifting himself from the garbage still holding a hand to his head. He was screaming obscenities at Jennifer and preparing to launch another attack at her. Steven crossed the room and grabbed Nick by the shoulders and threw him to the opposite corner. “What are you doing? I could hear you from the house.”
Nick curled up, defeated and licking his wounds, “I came in and she attacked me.”
Steven glanced quickly at Jennifer and back at Nick, “She is bound and gagged. You’re telling me that woman attacked you? You’re really admitting that you got your ass handed to you by a helpless woman?”
Nick didn’t make eye contact and Steven knew he was taking advantage of her. He looked back at Jennifer and took a deep breath. For the first time Steven took a long look into her eyes. He could see the terror and abuse she had suffered. He knew this was all because of him and it made him sick. More so than the shootings earlier tonight. At least there he was trying to protect himself. He had convinced himself that the shootings were justified. Self-preservation and self-protection were the words that fluctuated through his mind. But Jennifer was a different story. He had done this and he regretted it. He jeopardized his job within the organization. How many crimes had he committed that night? He was sure someone must be looking for him. He didn’t know which one was worse, Juan and his posse, or the cops. At least the cops would stop looking after a while, he knew Juan wouldn’t.
He relaxed his body and for the first time that night, Jennifer calmed. She saw Steven’s face full of remorse. It didn’t change anything in her mind, but she was relieved her immediate nightmare was over. Steven looked back at Nick, “Get your shit and let’s get out of here.”
Nick got up, dusting his pants and straightening his shirt, “She was lucky and caught me in the leg.”
“Why was she kicking at you? What were you doing?” Steven pushed Nick out of the room and closed the door behind him.
Jennifer stayed silent in the room listening to their words as they left the house. Nick and Steven left the porch, Nick still holding his head. They took the direct route through the grass. The late night dew left water streaks across their pant legs. They both stumbled across the yard discovering uneven ground and made their way back up the porch and into the house and kitchen. From outside the kitchen, laughter could be heard as the group mocked the wounded dog returning from the woods.