Josh swept Laura’s coat off of her shoulders and hung it in the closet. “Here we are.” Smiling at her with affection, he inquired “Wine?”
She nodded. He paused, holding her gently. “You know, you’re not like other girls, Laura.” There was a tender kiss on her forehead, and he left.
Laura watched him go. Over the last five months, she’d come to believe that he genuinely adored her, which made her happy. His adoration was all she wanted.
The sound of clanging metal erupted from the kitchen, followed by a cheerful “Whoops!” from Josh. Laura chuckled as she went into the den and made herself comfortable on the couch.
While she waited, she heard a tinkling noise coming from the closet. She looked towards the kitchen, assuming Josh would come in any second. He didn’t. The tinkling persisted.
Laura scanned the room, and hesitantly approached the closet door. The knob was old and required a good strong twist, but she was able to get it open.
She was greeted by an unexpectedly musty smell…and an unmistakable breeze, wafting towards her from behind the coats and knick-knacks in the closet.
Curious and surprised, she pushed the coats to the side and gaped when a set of stairs was revealed.
The tinkling continued, louder now.
Laura looked behind her cautiously. Once she’d verified Josh was still in the kitchen, she noticed a light switch on the wall. She flicked it on and descended the stairs.
The tinkling grew louder yet.
Laura stared in horror.
Chained to the wall were four women. Dried blood was caked around their wrists and ankles. Three were unconscious (she hoped) and hung limply. One was awake, but barely.
She weakly moved her arms, causing the tinkling.
Before she could move, there was a voice in her ear.
“See, Laura, I told you you’re not like other girls,” Josh said. “None of the others were as dumb—”
His words were cut off by an elbow to the face. He staggered back to the stairs, just in time for Laura to land a blow to his skull with a fireplace poker.
Laura stood over the prone figure, a look of disgust on her face.
Five months of pretending to care about this fuckface, five months of concealing her true motives, just to get access to this room.
She went to the conscious woman, opened the manacles. Held her when she fell to her knees, emaciated and weak.
“It’s okay now, sis,” Laura said softly. “I’m here.”