First there was darkness...
A young woman wakes up to find herself in the dark. She does not
know how she got there; she does not know why she is there. She feels
for a light switch, thinking the light heals all pain.
Then there was light.
Death is only an instant. What light reveals to her is way past
death itself. Realization sets in, and it is made clear that escape is
out of the question. For a puzzling madman holds her captive, her
freedom at the palm of his hand.
Now there is only a decision.
He will kill her only if she exhibits signs of a certain
syndrome, and as of now there are only two different ways of ending
this madman's reign: Kill him or stay alive.
Staying alive requires tolerance to pain and despair. It asks of
her a precise resistance to a syndrome—one she knows nothing about. If
she doesn't die, no one else has to.
Killing him vanquishes all hopes of freedom, for the key will
die with him. Killing him will make her the one monster she swore she
would never be: The same beast responsible for building a definite
barrier on the line that divides her past from present to possible
future—one who has silenced her past forever.
“No bright ideas, you hear?” He raised his voice for her to
hear him from across the bridges.
She nodded as she estimated how long it would take for him to reach
the front door. Five minutes...if he walked as he always did...if he
Once he was out of sight, she ran to her room. She had less than five
minutes. Time was of the essence. There was a desk full of blank
papers. She took a pen and scribbled down her situation, ending with a
request to call for police at once.
She ran back to the window. The businessman was still there. Good.
Good. All according to plan.
She opened the window—her hand and her arm could fit through the
bars—and let the note drop. It took forever before it finally landed
on his feet.
He seemed to have noticed it, but his attention was directed from it
to his soon-to-be-customer who had just opened the door.
“No, no, no, no, no,” she whispered under her breath.
Her captor must have dismissed him, for the businessman quickly turned
away. Only a few words had escaped his lips when he was silenced. But
he seemed to have remembered something, because he stopped dead on his
tracks and turned back to pick something up from the floor. He looked
up at the window before he brought his eyes down to the piece of
paper. Imagine his horror when this is what he saw:
This man is a serial killer. He’s taken me captive. Call for police ASAP.
He looked at the face of the man he thought would be his customer. The
man looked back. At the instant their eyes met, they distinguished one
another. Her captor knew he was simply a rookie in the industrial
world, and the rookie knew he was truly a killer.
Then he disappeared into the house. They both did. Before that, all
she had seen was a hand grasping the neck of the rookie.
Then she heard the key turning in its lock.
She heard the sound of doom.