This is the continuation of Chapter One of my recent suspense novel, Web of Destruction, available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am sharing the first chapter in four weekly blogs, and will supply links occasionally to any medical or crime-related issues in my work. This excerpt started two blogs before this: Web of Destruction—3rd Excerpt.
At dusk, she [Dana] regained consciousness to find herself handcuffed to an old coffee table in the living room. Her captor sat across from her, glaring. The moth balls in the furniture filled her nose and triggered a coughing spell.
“Until you take your last breath, I will be in your life. You’ll soon learn I’m in control.” Clearing his hair from his forehead of glistening perspiration, he went into the kitchen.
With no windows open and no air-conditioner in eighty-degree weather, her silk blouse stuck to her skin. When the numerous art supplies down in the dungeon came to mind, she knew he had planned to keep her there a long time.
Her eyes flickered around the living room. She thought it strange not to see at least one photograph or personal item, and there were no books or magazines. Although certain he was not an intellectual, she at least expected a newspaper. The room appeared uninhabited. The walls were bare of pictures or paintings and the kitchen stripped. No appliances displayed, like a blender, a toaster, or microwave, which one might see in most homes.
“Dinner is ready.” He released her from the coffee table leg and led her to a chair in the kitchen. “After you eat, you’ll spend a few hours downstairs until I return from work. Tomorrow you’ll begin painting, and I expect one painting every two days. The quicker you create, the more perks you will earn.” An evil grin spread over his face as his tongue ran across his top lip.
Looking away, she kept silent by biting the inside of her cheek.
After being forced to eat the worst vegetable soup she had ever been served with stale white bread and milk, he took her downstairs again. Doubled over, she inched her way to the cellar. A punch to the back forced her to straighten. “Move it,” he said. “Get familiar with your living quarters while you’re free. When I leave, you’ll be tied up again.”
The trap door dropped and when the lock clicked across, she crept around the room. Arms around herself, she could feel the goose bumps blowing up like tiny beach umbrellas. The caked black dirt in the crevices of the cement wall made her feel dirty. The grimy cement floors were cracked in places. Pieces of chipped cinderblock dropped onto the floor. Two basins with running water rusted from a constant drip. A closet-sized room contained a filthy toilet and sink. Mold could be seen everywhere, and cobwebs attacked her face while she searched for a window. A small fan system at the top of a side wall had been carved out in a square in the cement, leading outside, but tall reeds of grass blocked her view. Sepia eyes darted into every crack before she sat on one of the stools in front of an easel. Resting, she thought back to how she had arrived at the madman’s house.
Trying to recall what had happened earlier, Dana remembered she had been at the Philadelphia Museum of Art most of the morning, a favorite place to bring her back to a creative state. She couldn’t believe how rapidly happiness had turned to terror. Alone, she had taken one step out of the elevator into the parking garage near her townhouse, when a hand had covered her mouth as an arm encircled her chest. The smell of Scotch had permeated the air.
In the last few months, she had managed to pull herself together, intimate and affectionate once again with her fiancé as they worked on rebuilding their relationship. Now, she found herself in another of her what-if scenarios.
Rivulets of tears formed bubbles along her bruised top lip when she thought of her son at Mt. Pocono with his best friend. Grateful the Stone’s had invited Charlie to stay over a few days in celebration of Scott’s seventeenth birthday, she prayed her son didn’t call while the monster had her cell phone.
There will be one more excerpt next week.
Have a great day and be safe! Gippy
Please get help if you are a victim of stalking and abuse . . .