Friday, October 10, 2008

Chapter 24 - Kidnapped!

October 21, 1948

Becky’s not on the front porch, Solomon thought. She was always out there to meet him. Walking up the path he ticked off a list of possible reasons for her absence tonight. He tapped on the door and stuck his head inside, “Where is everybody?” The front door was unlocked. Mountain folks never locked their doors. They never needed to. Nobody ever bothered anybody. It was taken for granted…a code of the mountains.

Jerry sat at the kitchen table drinking coffee. He nodded for Solomon to come in.

“What’s wrong?” Solomon asked.

Jerry sighed. “Becky got a letter from her boyfriend that’s got her upset,” he said quietly. “I don’t know what it says, but I’m glad you’re here. Maybe she’ll talk to you.”

The door to Becky’s bedroom was ajar. Solomon knocked on it, and it swung open a little. He could see her sitting at her desk facing the front window. Her head was in her hands. “Becky?” he said. She didn’t answer. The door was half open now so he went on into her bedroom. She didn’t move. She just stared out the window. Solomon touched her on the shoulder. “What’s wrong?” he asked.

She shrugged away from him. He pulled up a side chair and sat down at the desk with her. She wasn’t crying. She had a blank stare. She was holding the letter and a picture in her hands.
“Can I see the picture?”

She passed it to him. It was a toga party with a dozen or more college kids hanging on each other. Two in the back were clanking beer steins together.

“Which one is Robbie?”

Becky pointed to a handsome blond Roman soldier cheek to cheek with a pretty dark-haired woman draped provocatively in a sheet and tied with shiny braid. Both were laughing.

Solomon said, “I’m sure they’re just friends. He wouldn’t have sent the picture if she meant anything to him. Now would he?”

That seemed to be a new train of thought for her. She perked up a bit. “You’re probably right,” she said as she took a deep breath and stood up. Her blue A-line housedress buttoned up the front. For the first time Solomon thought that she looked quite pregnant. He wondered if she could be further along than her last period indicated. She was beginning to waddle, and she instinctively rested her hand on top of her abdomen. Solomon knew that as a fetus grew, a woman’s pelvic bones moved and her center of gravity shifted. It made her look more fragile to him. He wanted nothing more than to protect her and take care of her. He wanted to spare her any pain, whether emotional or physical. He wanted her to have a life that made her smile…even if that meant lying to her about what he thought about Robbie’s picture.

Jerry hollered to them, “I’ve got fresh coffee and sweet rolls in here.”

Solomon and Becky sat down at the table with him and talked for a couple of hours. After Solomon left, Jerry said, “He’s a heck of a nice guy.”

“Yeah,” Becky said, “I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

Turtle watched Solomon get into his truck and drive out of sight. He crept along the perimeter of the yard so he could duck into the bushes if need be. Everything seemed normal tonight. He stood in the rhododendron bushes as usual waiting for Becky to pull her shades. She sat down at her desk and pulled out her stationery. She started her nightly letter to Robbie, “My Dearest Robbie...”

Turtle watched as Jerry came to Becky’s bedroom door and said something to her. She nodded in agreement about whatever it was. Then he saw Jerry get a towel and wash rag out of the linen closet. Could I be this lucky? Turtle thought. It looked like Jerry was going to take a bath. Turtle ran around to the bathroom window. Jerry was already running water in the bathtub. Getting Becky out of the cabin was going to be a piece of cake tonight. As soon as Jerry got himself out of the wheelchair and into the bathtub, Turtle would have plenty of time to get Becky. He’d even be able to get Jerry’s rifle out of the pantry.

Turtle watched Jerry slide into the water. He clipped the phone line to Jerry’s cabin, and then he ran around to the front of the cabin to see where Becky was. She was still at her desk writing. He tiptoed up the front steps and quietly opened the front door. The first thing he did was grab for the rifle and swing it over his shoulder by the strap.

He crept to Becky’s bedroom door and stood there just a second. He knew that he’d have to be quick and rough with her to get her away from the cabin before Jerry could get out of the bath tub. He suspected that Jerry might have a revolver somewhere in the house.

Turtle pushed the door open and ran at Becky. Shock and terror filled her eyes. Before she could scream, Turtle clamped his hand tightly over her mouth. He grabbed her under the breasts with his other arm and jerked her up out of her chair causing it to fall over backwards.

Jerry shouted from the bathtub, “Becky! Are you alright?”

Becky’s arms and legs flailed. She grabbed for the doorframe as they passed through it, but Turtle was too strong. He easily carried her outside. He stopped at the edge of the yard, picked up his backpack, and swung it over his shoulder. He had to use the hand that was over Becky’s mouth, and she immediately started screaming. “Shut up bitch!” he said as he slapped his hand over her mouth again.

He carried her until they were out of shooting range of the cabin, and then he stopped. He put a knee on her chest and held her down while he taped her mouth shut with army green duck tape. He had scratches all over his arms where she’d clawed him. He grabbed a handful of hair and yanked her head backwards. “If you don’t stop scratchin’ and fightin’, I’m gonna cut your pretty red hair off at the scalp. You understand me, bitch?”

Becky’s eyes were wide with terror.

It seemed like he’d dragged her for miles. She’d lost her bedroom slippers a long way back. Her feet and legs were scratched and bleeding from the bushes and stones. Finally, Turtle said in a sing song way, “We’re home.” He pulled back the lattice of pine and holly branches and shoved Becky inside. He shoved her so hard that she smacked into the back wall. A sharp pain stabbed her thigh as she staggered backward and fell onto the hard metal of the cow stake. In the darkness she reached for it and clung to the corkscrew object. Gravel from the hooch floor dug into her knees.

Turtle struck a match and lit the kerosene lantern. He had a lunatic grin on his face. “How do you like your new home, bitch?”

Becky tears had washed trails in the dirt on her cheeks and on the duck tape gouging into her face. She curled up in a ball on the mattress and sobbed. She knew that she was at his mercy.

Turtle sat on the floor of his hooch sadistically watching her. He knew he had plenty of time. He could go slow and enjoy every inch of her pretty body. He crawled over to her and picked up one of her hands. She started flailing, and he backhanded her. The duck tape dug into her burning cheeks. “If you fight me, I’ll hurt you,” he snarled as he climbed on top of her and pinned her to the mattress.

He pulled Becky’s arm up to the corner of the mattress and cinched it tight with rope to a cow stake. Then he tied her other arm to a stake at the other corner. He stood at the foot of the mattress to admire his trophy. She whimpered and shut her eyes.

Turtle stooped down and held her left leg with both hands. She kicked at him with the other. He put his knee on it while he tied her leg to the stake. He was too strong for her so she quit fighting. She didn’t even try to resist when he tied her other leg to the stake.

He straddled her and slowly unbuttoned her blue dress. There were twenty buttons. He counted them as he unbuttoned them one at a time. “One button, two buttons, three buttons...twenty buttons.” It was a game to Turtle. He pulled his hunting knife out of his belt and sat down on her thighs. He ran his finger along the blade of his knife. “Whatcha think I orta do with this here knife?”

Becky turned her head and shut her eyes with a pitiful wail.

Turtle grabbed her by the chin and made her look at him. “I thank I ort to cut the little bastard outta yer big ole fat belly. Whatcha think about that?”

Becky shook her head no and sobbed.

Turtle laughed at her. “I wuz joshing with ye. If I kilt ye, I couldn’t play with ye. I ain’t stupid,” he said.

He cut through the sleeves of her dress. He cut the straps of her slip, and then he slit it up the middle. He carefully pulled her clothes away from her body. He stood back and enjoyed her lying helpless in her bra and panties. He adjusted his crotch. His hard-on was about to bust his seams. “I thank I’ll git comfy,” he said as he stripped naked. He was proud of his erection. He grinned and twisted back and forth so that it slapped against his thighs.

Becky’s chest heaved in response to her terror. Her pupils were black saucers in her eyes from the adrenaline coursing through her.

Turtle cut the brassiere between her breasts, and they spilled sideways. He cut the straps, and then he pulled it away from her in pieces. He got down on one knee and sneered, “And now for the honey pot.” He cut her panties from the leg to the waist on both sides and peeled the mid section down exposing her. He ran his fingers through her pubic hair and brushed his dirty hand over her swollen belly.

Copyright © 2008 by Robbin Renee Bridges
Coping with Grief through Afterlife Communication

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