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.
Jennifer exited the bar stepping out into the orange glow of the street lighting. The clouds had cleared briefly revealing the stars above. The temperature had dropped and she shivered, pulling her rain jacket close to her lips. She let out a deep breath, a cloud emerging from her lips disappearing into the night’s air. She reached into her pocket for her keys. From down the street she heard the sounds of cars honking and in the distance the freeway in the death throes of the evening commute. A breeze picked up and the tall cottonwoods shielding 100 year old homes began to sway under its force.
She rounded the corner of the bar and followed the line of parked cars. She opened the door and fell into the old seats. The car came to life and she lowered the seat belt into the connection. She looked up at the stereo which read, no connection. She looked around the car and finally felt her jacket pocket.
“Shit,” she muttered. Jennifer turned off the car and quickly retraced her steps back into the bar. The quiet evening gave way to the bar’s bustle and lights.
“Back so soon?” said Amy.
“Yeah, I just left my phone under the counter.” She opened the cabinet and pulled out the phone, putting it into her jacket pocket. “You ok for the night?”
“No worries here, I’ve got these amateurs,” Amy smiled.
She patted Amy on the butt, “Don’t let them run all over you.” Jennifer looked at the men in the front row and pointed to them, “I’m talking about you, yay-hoos.”
They hollered as Jennifer exited the bar. She rounded the corner and opened the car door. Her radio came to life as she pulled away down the street and onto Broadway. Another turn and she merged onto the highway heading west towards Lake Stevens.
Her music faded and a ringing came across the speakers. She leaned over and pressed the accept button.
“Hello,” she said into the void.
“Hi grandma, how are you?”
“I was just checking to see if you were off work and heading home. “
“Yes ma’am, I am. Thank you for checking. I’ve just got to run to the bank to deposit tips from the night and swing by the store. Do you need anything?”
“No sweetie, I’m fine, but thank you. How was the take tonight?”
“It went well.”
“Just a pile of harmless drunks and the neighborhood regulars.”
“That’s good. You working at that bar always make me nervous, but I’m happy you’re heading home.” Her grandmother owned conversations often switching subjects at will, “I was on the television and was flipping channels. I was between my shows. Did you know that Survivor show is still on? The people were running around naked, can you believe it? Now they had everything shaded out, but those poor people were out there with no sunblock. I can’t imagine the burns.” Jennifer was smiling as the voice rolled over the speakers.
She leaned back in her seat enjoying that her day was through and that she would soon crawl into bed and sleep. “That sounds really interesting, grandma. Now I’m getting into town. Did you watch Judge Judy yet?”
“Oh my goodness, I couldn’t help it, I watched without you. They was arguing over a dog cleaning bill. They had the cutest dog, it reminded me of Remmy, my old dog. You remember Remmy? You were real young at that time but boy was that dog smart.”
“Yes I do remember Remmy…” She was cut off as her grandma continued.
“This dog was cute as a button too and did tricks for the judge. I think it was one of them puggies or something like that. Real small dog.”
Jennifer smiled, “Grandma, I’m going to let you go. I’ll see you in a little while. “
“Ok, I’ve got the cop show here if you want to watch.”
“I’ll see about what time I get home, but sure. I’ve got tomorrow off and I can stay up a little tonight. Save me some of that pie from last night.”
“Alright, I haven’t had any.”
“Somehow I don’t believe you. Love you.”
“See you soon. Love you.” Jennifer could hear Judge Judy’s voice in the background as she ended the call. The music returned to the car as she merged off Highway 2 and onto the 204.
From behind Jennifer, Steven’s head appeared. He rose up in complete silence taking over the backseat and settling behind her head, sitting perfectly upright and still. The reflection of oncoming traffic lights illuminated the car reflecting off his dark body in the backseat, his eyes stared blankly into the back of her head. Fabric covered his mouth and nose as his chest rhythmically moved up and down.
Jennifer continued down the empty road and caught the green light merging onto Highway 9 heading south. Steven sat outside her vision. He glanced through the windows behind and around the car. The road was empty and the light ahead flipped from green to yellow, and eventually to red. Jennifer slowed the car to a stop as the music continued to play masking Steven’s movements behind her.
Steven’s left arm lifted up and grabbed the side of her seat. His right hand lifted and the glint of light reflected off the gun barrel. He moved slowly and pressed the lock on the driver side door. The entire car responded and locked the remaining doors. The sudden action by the car jolted Jennifer as she quickly looked to her left just missing the retracting hand. The figure shifted and reached forward pulling the car into neutral. She heard the clicking of the shifter and she saw Steven’s arm retreating behind her. She turned to see a set of eyes looking down at her. Panic and fear began to swell inside of Jennifer as she stared at Steven’s face.
Steven grabbed her mouth muffling a scream and pressed the gun against her head. She reached out and grabbed the steering wheel and smashed the gas pedal. The car roared to life but did not move. She pressed the gas again and again and still no movement.
“Take your foot off the gas,” Steven yelled. She could feel the heat of his breath on her forehead as the gun dug into her skull. She let out a muffled scream that ended in a long cry as the tears fell into the kidnapper’s hand.
“I’m not going to hurt you, but I need you to cooperate.” Jennifer’s chest fluttered as she continued to sob. “I want you to follow my orders, but you need to listen to me.”
The light turned green. Steven could see from the reflection in the rearview mirror that cars were cresting over the hill and they needed to move fast. Jennifer’s eyes stared at Steven’s, but she continued to cry.
“You need to drive this car to your bank, you need to do that now or I will be forced to dump your body on the side of the road.” She could barely register what was happening to her. How did he get into the car,? she thought. He leaned in, “Do you understand me?”
She sobbed but nodded.
“I’m going to put the car into drive and I want you to take me to the bank.” He pressed the gun into her head and shifted into drive. “Now go.”
He lifted his hand from her mouth, “Please let me go, please.” She could barely speak over her tears and panicked breathing.
“Drive.” Steven’s voice boomed in the small car.
She cried out and looked around assessing her situation as if it were the first time she stepped into a car. From behind, vehicle lights approached and a car passed on her left. A car slowed behind them and honked its horn before swerving into the next lane and continuing on.
She lifted her foot from the brake and the car began to roll. “What do you want from me?”
“Just go to the bank.” The gun continued to press against her head. She looked in the mirror to try and identify the man in the back. She saw the cloth around the face and his eyes scanning ahead and to the side.
“Which bank am I going to?”
“Your bank.” He turned his head slightly like a dog and she could see his cheeks rise up. She knew he was smiling.
“What do you want? Why my bank?”
“Just shut up and drive.” She pulled away from the light and continued down the road.