The Single Light“Please just let us go!”
They were in a dark room, with just one light bulb hanging by a string in the middle of the ceiling. There were three of them, one standing up and two facing each other, tied up at opposite ends of the room.
“What did we do? We’ll do anything if you just let us go,” the pretty brunette said.
Her name was Andy. She was quivering and shaking like she was deathly cold. Her hands tied behind her back so tight that her wrists were beginning to bleed. She was wearing beautiful designer clothes that her mother had bought her for her birthday. Now, the Gucci shirt was drenched in a cold sweat, along with her face where all her makeup was smudged.
“Just tell us what we did and we can help you fix it.” Andy was sixteen years old and she belonged to a wealthy family called the Burningtons. They owned a chain of nice hotels along the West Coast.
Andy looked reassuringly at Samantha, even though she knew there was no hope. They had been in this basement for three days, with nothing to eat or drink but water and bread. They couldn’t escape because even if they managed to untie themselves, there were no windows and only one heavy metal door that the man locked every time he left.
Every time he left, Andy and Samantha managed to talk about what happened. So far they had figured out that they had no idea where they were, how they got there, and who this man was.
“Your father knows what they did, now shut-up,” shouted the man.
“Then tell us and we’ll help you,” choked Samantha, her eyes starting to well up.
“I said shut-up!” he barked as he walked violently over to Samantha and kicked her, hard in the face.
Samantha screamed and wailed in pain as the man turned his back to face Andy, who was in tears as well.
“Stop it, please, leave us alone,” shrieked Andy squirming to go and try to help her friend.
The man walked over to Andy and held her panting throat in between his thumb and pointer finger, “Not until you father repays me,” and he walked out of the room, followed by a click, as the key turned to lock the door.
“Are you okay, Samantha, answer me!”
“Uhhh…I fink my nose is bwoken,” she moaned.
“We have to find a way to get out of here,” said Andy. “If we could only get these stupid ropes off our hands…”
“I am weally close to a bweakfwough wif mine,” muttered Samantha, “then, we can knock him down and find a phone.”
“Okay,” Andy said as she yawned, “I am going to try and get some sleep.”
Samantha worked all night on rubbing the ropes against the corner of the square column she was tied to. It just seemed like it was not use. No matter what she did, she didn’t seem to be making any progress. As she continuously rubbed the ropes up and down, up and down, the thoughts that popped into her head every night returned.
“What if my parents don’t even know I’m gone? What if they never find us? What if that man kills us?” All these thoughts were plowing through her mind, and then footsteps could be heard.
“Wake up! Andy, wake up,” Samantha hissed. Andy took a deep breath and jolted upright.
“Maybe he is in a better mood today, Sam.”
Samantha just realized that she was really close to breaking through the ropes. “Get him rambling Andy, I think I might be able to get my ropes undone.”
Just then, the ancient metal door creaked open, revealing the man coming through with their breakfast, water and bread.
“Oh, something new today,” said Andy nervously, hoping to set him off.
“Well, my chef doesn’t know how to make anything else,” he said sarcastically. “So, how are the princesses doing this fine day,” he grinned.
“I feel like I could run a mile,” Andy said, “how about you, feeling up to telling us a story?” Andy looked over at Samantha, who winked, and then said, “Never mind, I’m not in the mood, but could you do me a favor?”
“You, a favor?” he said suspiciously.
“Yeah, I have an itch, would you mind bending down and scratching my knee? It is, after all, the least you could do,” she responded.
He looked a little suspicious at first, but that emotion was wiped from his face and he started walking towards her. Samantha quietly got up and started creeping behind him. As the man bent down to scratch Andy’s knee, Samantha pushed him over and his head smashed into the pole that Andy had been tied to for four days.
“Quick, untie me,” screamed Andy, afraid that the man would wake up.
Right as Samantha finished undoing the last loop, Andy grabbed the key and they both ran for the door, shutting and locking it on their way out.
* * * * *
Two days later, Andy and Samantha went back to the place that they had been dreaming about in their nightmares. The police said that they needed to go and show them where they left the man. As they were walking down the stairs, remembering the fear they had felt every time they had heard the footsteps, they wondered if the man was feeling that same fear.
Andy pulled the key out of her pocket and put it into the key hole, as the police officers pulled out their guns. When they opened the door, they weren’t prepared for what was inside.
The man was hanging in the air, swaying back and forth, just like the single light.
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[TABLE OF CONTENTS, LHS CLASS OF 2009 EDITION]
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2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.