Estimated reading time — 24 minutes
Publisher’s Note: This story is a sequel to the original story Violet. The author encourages you to read the first installment prior to reading this tale, for maximum enjoyment.
The money was running out, but Violet needed to splurge. The loneliness of being on the run was getting to be too much. It was time for some fun, time to feel like a kid again. She rubbed some warmth back into her arms as the line slowly snaked its way along the cracked sidewalk before disappearing into the club’s entrance.
Tonight was an eighteen plus show. It wasn’t too much of a stretch, but her diminutive frame would beg for an ID check. She could handle that. For now she kept a low profile and avoided conversation until she reached the front of the line and the welcome warmth of the club’s entrance.
The bouncer, a bald beefcake with a black goat-tee, looked at her with a knowing smirk. “Ticket, and I.D. please”, he asked, skepticism written across his face.
Violet handed over the ticket, but she had no I.D. to give.
The bouncer took the ticket with a knowing smirk and began to speak. But before he could utter a sound, Violet returned his gaze and entered.
It took no more than a moment to manipulate his unsuspecting mind. A minor rearranging of thoughts was all it took, harmless really. A glazed look came over the bouncer’s face as he tore her ticket, senselessly handed it back, and waved her through making no move or protest as she disappeared into the dark noise beyond. He’d already forgotten her.
Inside, Violet’s youth was no less conspicuous, but she wouldn’t be challenged so long as she didn’t try to buy a drink or cause a scene. She took her time exploring the club and taking measure of the crowd. Events like this were great for people watching. It seemed more like a costume ball or Halloween night than a metal concert. Everywhere she looked young people preened about in their best leather and denim costumes festooned with patches and emblems like a jumbled collection of merit badges.
She felt good being among people like herself, well more like herself at least. Her abilities had advantages, but life in the shadows had created a sense of alienation. Having no friends and being alone at an event like this, where everyone else was in groups or pairs, only deepened those feelings.
Violet floated over to the merchandise booth to peruse the concert shirts, more to seen occupied than anything else. At $40 each the shirts seemed insanely overpriced. The wad of cash she had scored from Johnson had grown dangerously small, and that $40 could feed her from some time.
“Hey,” came a voice over the din of the crowd and DJ. Violet turned and found herself faced with another young girl. By her size and body Violet guessed she was the same age or close to, but her heavily lidded eyes suggested she was a bit older.
The girl was dressed for a night out in pink fishnets that disappeared into a short black skirt, an exposed midriff leading to a low cut tube top that barely covered a modest chest, and topped off by a puff of artificially wavy blonde hair and gaudy make up. She screamed glam-punk.
“You look young for eighteen”, the girl challenged with a catty look.
“So do you,” Violet tersely responded.
“I wonder why,” the girl added with a wink and a lilt that would pervade her speech. Without missing a beat she went on, “I freaking love this club. It is like the best to see a show in! Such a good scene.”
Violet wasn’t sure how to respond but wanted to keep talking to the girl. She offered a noncommittal “Yeah, looks it.”
The girl smiled broadly at Violet “I’m Abigail” she said deftly extending her right hand. Violet hesitated briefly before taking it. It had been so long since she had spoken to another person her age that it seemed strange, strange but also comfortable, normal, like the way her life should be.
“I’m Violet” she responded.
“Nice to meet you,” said Abigail, “but really, call me Abby, everyone does. Hey, it’s getting late. Let’s move towards the stage. I want to be close when the band starts.” She grabbed Violet by the arm and led her through the throng.
The pair snaked through the crowd moving ever closer to the stage as Abby shamelessly pressed her body against guys only to slide past them. Violet declined to imitate and simply rode Abby’s wake. They talked mostly about music and the bands they liked, or rather Abby spoke and Violet occasionally interjected. She seemed the perfect popular girl, bubbly, charismatic, comfortable grabbing and holding the attention of others.
Violet took advantage of a slight break in Abby’s monologue to blurt out, somewhat awkwardly, “How come you’re alone here?”
Abby gave another catty look; she seemed to give them often. A man may have found it seductive, but it had no effect on Violet. “Because most of my friends aren’t into metal and can’t be bothered trying to slip in on an 18 plus night,” Abby answered.
“Well, how did you get in?”
“Probably the same way you did.”
This gave Violet a start and her eyes betrayed her. Abby noticed and gave a knowing smile and wink, as if to say it was no big deal.
Violet’s thoughts raced. What did Abby mean? She couldn’t know what she had implied, but Violet could find out. Abby’s wide deer-like eyes were so open and expressive that she could be in and out of the girl’s mind easily. But that seemed wrong, like a betrayal. Everything was going so well and she was having fun just being young, so why mess it up over something so small? Best to just let it go.
Abby opened her mouth to continue but instead abruptly pulled a vibrating cell phone from her pocket. The screen’s glow lit Abbey’s face and reflected in her eyes as her fingers danced across the glass surface. Texting, Violet correctly assumed.
Finished, Abby opened her mouth to start in again but this time was interrupted as the lights dimmed to darkness signaling that the show was about to start. The crowd roared as an illumination of the band’s ominous logo appeared on stage, and the show began.
The second encore finished leaving both girls exhausted and disheveled. Violet couldn’t remember the last time she’d had so much fun.
“That was freaking awesome,” shrieked Abby.
Violet nodded in agreement.
“I can’t believe that they played Love Bites at the end! That’s like my favorite freakin’ song!” Abby looked peaked and a bit pale, but it could just be the lights. “C’mon” she said as she grabbed Violet’s arm and lead her towards the bar. “I am so thirsty after that. I can’t believe they played Love Bites!”
The club had mostly cleared out and the few available seats were occupied by drunken young fans waiting for their nausea to subside before stumbling away. The two girls stood by the bar each drinking a soft drink, and continued to engage in small talk about their now shared experience. Abby suddenly rolled her eyes, placed her cup down on the bar, and reached in her pocket to pull out her cell phone.
“Just one sec,” she said as her fingers deftly poked about the screen. She finished quickly and tucked the cell in her back pocket.
“Texting your parents? asked Violet.
Abby snorted, “nah, just a friend.”
“A boyfriend?” Violet was trying to be catty now, but it didn’t feel right, and she knew it didn’t sound right.
The awkward moment passed as Abby shook her head and took a sip of her drink before continuing, “so, you wanna try ‘n meet the band?”
“Meet the band?” Violet scoffed. “What are you talking about?”
“Well, don’t get your hopes up. Not everyone does it but if the band is really cool, sometimes they’ll hang out by their tour bus and meet a few fans. I’ve done it before. We’re young pretty girls. They’ll take a few moments for us,” Abby added a wink.
Violet considered. It didn’t seem too far-fetched, and it wasn’t as though she had any place to go, nobody was waiting up for her. Besides, she liked talking to her new friend, just being with another person felt good. Why not let the night linger before going back to her real life.
The girls left the club for the crisp spring air of the city, Abby in the lead.
“Down here, I think I saw the tour bus parked off Washington Street when I came in. C’mon.”
Violet followed Abbey around the corner and down the darkened street.
A pair of blue tinged headlights cast the girls’ shadows long on the pavement, but illuminated no tour bus. By the time Violet realized, a large black SUV Suburban had stopped alongside them, and it was too late.
“Abby baby!” called a cheerful voice from the rolled down passenger window.
Abby turned and replied, “Hey Steve, I was just looking for you.”
“’Course you were, baby, course you were.”
Two giant barrel shaped men ambled out of the car and approached the girls. A quick glance across their eyes told Violet all she needed to know, they were ready for violence.
The one in the car called Steve continued in a friendly cadence, “so Abby baby,” he said it like it was one word, “is this the one you were telling me about?”
Abby nodded, “Violet, this is my friend Steve. He takes care of me.”
A cold sinking feeling flooded Violet’s body as realization set in. She had trusted Abby, even thought of her as a friend.
“Ain’t you gonna say hi?” asked Steve. The light glinted on a gold tooth and Violet could see her own image reflected back at her in his dark mirrored sunglasses.
Her mind raced. Play it cool she though. “Hi,” she responded trying to seem collected and unfazed. In her peripheral vision she glimpsed the behemoths moving behind her, cutting off escape.
“Well, what we waiting for? Let’s hit the road,” Steve commanded the girls.
Abby obeyed without comment or hesitation, but Violet hung back.
Steve turned the mirrored lenses on Violet. “Why don’t you just hop on in Violet? I’d hate for us to get off on the wrong foot.”
A massive hand fell on Violet’s shoulder and began driving her forward. Escape was not an option; it never had been, not since she’d decided to trust Abby. With effortless power the behemoth guided Violet to the rear passenger door of the vehicle.
There was no choice, she climbed into the SUV.
The interior of the vehicle had been modified to create a spacious passenger area. The second row had been removed and the first reversed to face the rear. Steve sat alone, sprawled out on the rear bench facing the two girls across from him.
“So Steve,” started Abby, “that thing we talked about, you know, if I brought you somebody.”
“Don’t worry baby. I’ll take care of you when we get back to the Casa.”
Violet was scared but understood that in situations like this, looking weak was dangerous, best to seem confident, or maybe even dumb. “The Casa?” she asked.
Steve turned his lenses towards Violet. “The Casa,” he answered, “is my place of business and your new place of employment. Which leads to the next issue, sweetie. It ain’t normal for somebody looking like you to slip into a club alone like you did. You got anybody out there who might be looking out for you, someone that might object to me giving you this opportunity?”
She saw a dim chance “Actually, yeah.”
“Uh-huh. And what, may I ask, is his name?”
“Johnny?” Steve smiled broadly. “I never heard of any Johnny, and I know every player worth knowing. So either your ‘Johnny’ is a two bit nobody I don’t need to worry about, or he don’t exist. Now, you’re not lying to me are you?”
Violet kept silent.
“Cause lies are nothing to build a relationship on. Real or not, this Johnny ain’t going to be a problem, is he?”
Too terrified to lie or even speak, she simply shook her head.
“Good, cause I don’t like having problems. Problems are bad for business, but ‘ol Payday and Breaker here, they real good at solving problems. Ain’t that right boys?”
“Damn right boss,” the hulking driver responded over his shoulder.
“All kinds of problems,” Steve added cryptically, looking directly at Violet.
“Steve,” Abby butted in, “do you think that I could have just a little taste now? It’s been so long and …”
“Bitch, I told you when we get back to the Casa I’ll hook you up, ‘til then shut your mouth. Shit. You outta learn something from this Violet here. She knows to keep silent and let the man do the talking. Ain’t that right?”
Steve smiled. “See! That’s what I’m talking about. You learn quick. I can see you’re gonna work out just fine.”
Steve prattled on, all the way to the “Casa” which turned out to be a white two story building that might once have been called Victorian but the only architectural description it now merited was dilapidated.
The SUV parked and Violet, flanked closely by Payday and Breaker, followed Steve and Abby up the cracked and wobbly paved walkway. Steve pounded on the on a windowless slab of a door, white paint flaking off onto the stoop. “Open up, it’s me,” called Steve. A mechanical locking mechanism sounded and the door creaked open spilling forth a gloomy smoke filled light that smelled strongly of cigarettes, pot, and musk.
“Sup crew,” called Steve as he sauntered in. Violet again felt a powerful hand on her should that drove her inside.
The interior perfectly complimented the circumstances. Every flat surface was piled with various magazines, overflowing ashtrays, crumpled baggies, drug paraphernalia, empty bottles, balled wads of aluminum foil, and discarded food wrappers. Among the detritus, on torn and broken furniture, sat several inebriated young men, the “crew” as Steve had called them. Violet’s green eyes fell across their bleary eyes and briefly entered a few minds, but there was nothing to see behind their empty stares.
Abby called out in her habitual bubbly voice “hi guys!”
One smirking thug on a shredded couch responded in a gravelly voice, “Abby, my favorite little hoe. We’re going on a date later on, right?”
“Ask Steve about that.”
Steve ignored the interchange and raised his hand for attention, “listen up boys. I want to introduce y’all to my new employee, this here is Violet.”
“Young as always, eh Steve?” commented one.
“Ya got a good eye for talent man, this one is fine,” said another.
Steve waved his hands dismissively. “Yeah, well hands off for now. She’s booked already.” Violet raised her eyebrows at this. “Introductions done, I’m gonna show the little lady to her room so she can rest up for tomorrow’s first day of work. C’mon sugar” and he waved Violet to follow.
“But Steve!” Abby desperately interjected. “What about what my fix!”
“Christ! I said I’d take care of you! Hassle me again, and you’re going to be dope sick all night. Now entertain these gentlemen ‘til I get back. Then, I’ll hook you up.”
Steve led the way through the smoky gloom into a short hall lit by incandescent bulbs that hung from bare wires. Violet was driven from behind by one of the behemoths, Breaker or Payday, she had no idea which. Steve stopped at a bare door that instead of a knob had only a metal plate, in the center of which was a keyhole. Steve produced a single key from his pocket and unlocked the door which creaked on its hinges as it swung open and ushered Violet in with a gracious wave of the arm, like a butler showing off five star luxury suite.
“This here is your new home and office all rolled into one. You live and work here for now, ‘til you prove yourself. Behave, do what you’re told, and keep the customers happy. Make yourself worth my while and I’ll make it worth your while, we clear?”
Violet silently looked at her own image reflected in his dark glasses.
“Good. You get some rest. You got a big day tomorrow.” The door swung closed leaving Violet alone in the dark.
* * * * * *
Bill pulled his BMW into the open garage beside the Casa d’Amour. Every time he thought of that ironic name it made him smile. He heaved his corpulent bulk out of the driver’s seat and clumsily pulled down the garage door before moving through the gloom and cobwebs to a side exit that conveniently opened into the fenced-in back yard. He trod heavily on the worn path through the overgrowth and climbed the stairs of the porch. The sodden rotting boards creaked under his weight as he wrapped on the door three times.
A gruff, “who’s there” called from inside.
“Pfff, you saw me pull in. Open up.” Bill called. The latch opened and the door swung in. The doorman fell back into the shadows to reveal an approaching Steve striding to meet Bill, his hand outstretched.
“My man!” exclaimed Steve as he chummily shook Bill’s meaty hand. “Been too long!”
“Ah, work you know. I hear you got something for me, eh?”
“You know it, fresh meat from the street.”
“Meat from the street? You make it sound so appealing.”
“Nah, take my word man, this one’s nice and fresh, and fine as hell!”
“Another runaway, huh?”
Steve nodded and led the way into the hall. “Recent by the looks of it,”
Following behind, Bill continued, “but I’m the first right?”
“First of mine.”
“Good enough, the way you run ’em they aren’t good for much after a few months.”
Steve stopped at a door. “Alright, she’s in here. One hour?”
“To start.” Bill pulled out a wad of bills. “The regular deal?”
“Sure thing,” replied Steve pocketing the cash as he unlocked the door and pushed it open. “Here’s the key if you need it,” he said passing it to Bill, and then continued loudly, “if this bitch gives you a hard time, you just call out. I’m close by.”
Bill cast his eyes over the dank and miserable room. It was square and prison cell sized. Paint and plaster flaked from the cracked walls, the ceiling was water stained, and the floor looked to be hard wood but was almost black from years of neglect. The only furniture was a bureau, a lamp with a humming bulb, and a metal framed unmade bed on which sat the girl.
Steve hadn’t been exaggerating. If Bill had to guess he’d say she was about 16 and tiny, a mere waif, with long dark hair that hid her downcast face.
Bill smiled at Steve over his shoulder. “I’m sure we’ll be fine.”
“Have fun,” called Steve as he pat Bill’s shoulder and quietly closed the door. The lock turned from without.
“So,” Bill said with a smile. “You’re Violet?”
“Well, I don’t need to call you anything, but you’re going to call me ‘mister’,” he said unhitching his belt. “Now, look at me and say my name.”
Violet looked up and met his gaze.
At first he was struck by her beauty, how her angular features were framed by long dark tresses, but then by those deeply beautiful green eyes. He caught his breath and found he couldn’t look away. Not that he wanted to. All that existed in this moment was an overwhelming loveliness that seemed to be engulfing his mind.
His fading reason dimly realized the trap, but it was too late, he couldn’t escape, even if he wanted to. Bill fell to his knees before Violet, and gazed up at her as she took full possession.
Time passed in a blur. He relived past “conquests”, and enjoyed flashes of gratifications he had never experienced. He saw scenes of lovely young girls bound in a white van, and witnessed cruelties that his jaded imagination had yet conceived.
But there was something else, a scratching in the depths of his brain. As though some alien being were lurking in the folds of his subconscious, moving and rearranging ideas, thoughts. At times he sensed its presence and moved to reveal its shadowy form, but then his attention would be distracted by the opening of some new vista of beautiful obscenity.
Now and again came a knocking on wood and a voice, as though from another world, asking something he couldn’t make out. Nonetheless, he would hear his own voice respond simply with cries of “More! More”.
Time passed and the intensity slacked and waned. The visions became repetitive and less engaging. The lurker’s presence faded and his grip on his own mind reasserted.
He awoke suddenly to find himself sitting on the floor, his pants around his ankles, and his hand on himself sticky with cool drying seed. He looked up to see the girl, what was the name, Violet, lying on the tattered bed, her face to the wall, shaking with sobs. Bill smiled at that. He always found it gratifying to leave a whore in tears.
He wiped his hands on his undershirt and pulling up his pants noticed that his watch read 7:08 pm. He had been here for more than four hours! Where had the time gone? He hurried to his feet, fumbled the key from his pants pocket, unlocked the door and swung it open to reveal a waiting Steve.
“Bout damn time, buddy,” Steve said dryly, his stare so severe that it pierced out from behind his dark shades.
“I don’t want to have a problem here Billy, my man. But the thing is, you ran well over your time. I had another appointment that you shot right to hell for me. Fortunately they let Abby baby fill in, but this shit ain’t cool.”
“Sorry man,” Bill explained, trying to play it off as though he could control the situation. “I just lost track of the time.”
“Yeah, well I didn’t. And you know what they say about time and money, so…”
“Aw, c’mon. You know I’m good for it, I just need to run to the bank and get some…”
“You need to run? I think you mean we need to run, in my car, with Payday drivin’. Am I right?”
“Hey, that’s fine.” Bill smiled and put his hand on Steve’s shoulder trying to defuse the tension. Steve’s expression didn’t reciprocate. “You hooked me up today. I’m not going to do anything to screw that up. ”
“Glad we straight.”
“It’s just that…”
“That” Bill stopped himself and struggled against his words, but to no avail. Some compulsion came over him, as though he lost control of his own mouth as the words mechanically came forth. “That, I don’t want anyone else to see Violet. I want her for myself.”
Steve’s face shone with disbelief.
“And,” Bill went on, surprised at his own words but unable to stop himself, “I want to buy her from you.”
Steve threw back his head and laughed. “Shit, man! Is that pussy made of gold or what? I had you pegged wrong. I never thought you were the type to fall in love with some hoe.”
“It’s not like that. There’s something about her, something I can’t explain… I” Bill fought against the words, but was unable to avoid blurting out, “I need to buy her.”
Steve’s face lit with amusement. “Damn, that bitch must be mad crazy to stir up your nasty head! Problem is, you know I don’t roll like that. That ho in there, she belongs to me and if she’s half as crazy as you say, that pussy’s worth a lot more to me than it is to you.” Steve put his arm around Bill’s slumped shoulders as he lead the man down the hall and towards the car. “Besides, ‘buy her’. What the fuck you gonna do with her? Keep her in a box or something?” he said with a laugh.
“You’re right man,” Bill replied, “I don’t know what I was thinking.”
Twenty minutes later the latch to Violet’s door opened and Steve emerged.
“Baby, you done some fine work today!”
Violet didn’t look at him.
“You’re a natural born hoe!” He tossed a McDonald’s bag on the floor that landed with a crunch.
“Dinner’s served. Now, you eat up. And when you’re done, put these on,” and tossed in a grocery bag filled with what Violet assumed were clothes.
“Now listen, eat then dress. I don’t want any stains on those clothes. Tonight you’re hitting the streets with Abby baby and I need you looking good.”
Hitting the streets with Abby, Violet thought. So it hadn’t worked. At least she had escaped the afternoon and bought a little more time. One thing Violet was sure of, this was not going to happen. She would rather die than be a victim.
* * * * * *
“What’s the matter Abby baby? Why you keep grabbing at your head?”
“Ugh, I have the worst fucking headache.” Abby cupped her temple as the pain hit again. “I was fine earlier. It just started. Shit timing. Steve, I don’t wanna turn tricks with a headache. Maybe I can get just a little taste now, before I start, just for the pain?”
Steve snorted, “I don’t think so Abby baby. I need you working, not passed out in some dumpster. Besides, tonight’s Violet’s first night on the turf and I need you to show her the ropes. Course, from what I hear she could teach you a thing or two. Ain’t that right Violet?”
Steve chuckled and nodded approvingly, “cool, baby, cool.”
Abby looked at Violet on the seat across from her and felt the pressure building for another bolt of pain. This chick looks pissed, Abby thought to herself. Yeah, well tough fucking luck. Maybe it was rotten what she’d done, but she needed another warm snatch around. Ever since Mandy “left” she was pulling all the jobs herself, and it was wearing her down. Besides, if this chick was going to live on the street she would end up a whore sooner or later, and good enough for her. At this Abby’s thoughts were drowned out as another wave of pain broke over her.
Steve looked askance at Abby. “Alright Breaker, you can stop here, this’ll be fine.”
Violet and Abby climbed out of the black Suburban and onto the dim sidewalk. Steve rolled down the window and looked at Violet through his lenses, “A john gives you shit and don’t wanna pay, mention my name. See the police, run. They catch you, don’t mention my name, don’t talk to ’em, don’t say nothing ’til I come for you. You feel me?”
Steve nodded and gave the ‘eyes on you’ sign as the SUV sped off.
“Let’s go,” said Abby, “The game tonight is to do BJs. Anything else takes too long. Steve needs us to make …” but she was interrupted when Violet grabbed her arm and looked into Abby’s face.
“Why?” Violet asked staring deeply at her, “tell me, why you keep doing this? Don’t you want better?”
The questions boiled up such pain that it took all her effort to prevent it from spilling onto her face, not that it mattered. Violet could already see into Abby’s soul, and knew she spoke her heart.
“You think you’re some fuckin’ princess? This is real, bitch. This is what I do to live. And you wanna know what? You ain’t no better, and you’re gonna live the same fucking thing.” It made Abby feel good to unload, to make somebody else feel like she did, worse even. Violet had just arrived on the bottom while Abbey had already been there long enough to get used to it.
Violet’s eyes blazed as Abby continued, “you may not get it, but I know what I am, and I know what you are. You’re just a trash street slut.” Explosive blinding agony dropped Abby to her knees and left her dry heaving onto the pavement. Through tears and sweat, Abby watched as Violet lifted first one foot and then the other, smashing each down on the ground hard, breaking off the high heels.
“You don’t know what I am,” Violet spat at her as she turned and ran.
Abby smiled, she knew this wasn’t the smart thing to do. The prissy bitch would never get far. Steve was far too careful with his possessions.
Sure enough, just as Violet reached the end of the street the black SUV pulled to a screeching halt as a towering shadow poured from the passenger side. The thug easily caught Violet and held her back against his huge body as Steve calmly stepped forward to confront his disobedient employee.
“And what the fuck was that? No sooner you get out here than you try to run? Violet, I thought we understood each other.”
“No, I wasn’t trying to run,” Violet cried. “I, I, saw a rat. I hate rats.”
“No, Steve,” said Abby stumbling over, a shit eating grin on her face. “There wasn’t any rat. She said she was going to run away and tried to get me to go with her. She said that we’d be better off without you, in some lesbo fantasy of hers.”
“Lesbo fantasy, eh?” said Steve.
The giant’s hands dug deeply into Violet’s flesh, powerful and irresistible.
“Payday, toss this bitch in the car, we’re going back to the Casa. Abby, you just earned yourself a night off, and a reward,” he added with a smile.
Abby beamed and winked at Violet as Payday effortlessly manhandled her helpless body into the back of the SUV.
From somewhere a roll of duct tape was produced that was used to blind Violet’s eyes, gag her mouth, and bind her hands behind her back. She heard the Suburban’s back hatch pop open and felt herself roughly tossed inside.
The bouncing of the vehicle settled as the car came to a stop and the engine died. As the hatch lifted a dim phosphorescent light shone around the edges of the duct tape over Violet’s eyes. Strong hands grabbed and roughly hauled her out of the trunk before setting her on her feet, gripping her shoulders and shoving her forward.
Violet dragged her feet, unwilling to assist in her nightmare.
“Better fucking walk or I’ll drag you by the hair,” growled the deep voice of her captor from behind.
With no choice, Violet allowed herself to be driven along the cracked pavement and into the brothel, roughly shoved past a smiling Steve who held her door open as she was sightlessly tossed in, falling helplessly onto her face, her hands still bound behind her and unable to break her fall.
“Breaker!” Steve’s voice called. “You’re up brother-man.” He turned his attention back to Violet. “As for you, bitch. You’re gonna learn a hard lesson tonight.”
Steve slapped Breaker on the back and said, “Have at her man! Show her how you earned your name!”
Steve withdrew as the giant slammed the door heavily shut and locked the door before turning to regard Violet menacingly as she lay helplessly on the floor.
“Time to get down to business, gonna work your ass over good” he said in a deep gravelly voice as he drew a box cutter.
Terror rushed through Violet as she thrashed and gasped ragged breathes over the duct tape gag, wet with drool and spit. She felt herself grabbed from behind and effortlessly lifted has Breaker manipulated her tiny body, pressing her face down into the unmade bed. Cold metal scraped across her wrists and the duct tape binding separated, releasing her hands. Scarping up the back of her head as the wet and dripping gag went slack and dropped from her mouth. Finally the blind was quickly ripped away from her eyes taking strands of hair with it.
Roughly turned over, Violet gasped for breath and peeled her eyes open to reveal that disgusting male lust she had seen all too often before smiling down on her. The drool soaked gag still clung to her hair and her makeup was smeared all over her face.
“Nice and messy, just the way I like ‘em,” Breaker crooned.
Now was her chance, now or never. Violet focused and charged into Breaker’s mind, sharply and quickly. His eyes rolled back and the limp mass of muscle and fat slumped heavily on top of her.
Violet had no idea how long Breaker would be out, minutes or hours. The real question was how long until Steve and his cronies decided to check on her.
She wriggled from underneath the unconscious monster and his body flopped heavily to the floor.
Her clothes were still on the bed where she’d left them. She quickly stripped out the whore outfit Steve had provided, wiped her face clean on the skimpy lace threads and dressed in her own jeans and t-shirt. They may be dirty and crumpled, but more appropriate.
Moving to Breaker, she rifled through his pockets, quickly finding the key and a wad of cash, both of which she stashed into her own pockets. Finally she pried the box-cutter from his fingers and considered her options.
The blade was something, but far too little to use against Steve and his crew. She had her talents, but even still the struggle would be heavily against her and she couldn’t pierce Steve’s glasses. She needed a distraction, something to give her time. As Violet surveyed the room, her eyes fell on the lamp and a bad idea germinated in her mind.
She dragged the dresser and placed it on top of the bed. Unplugged the lamp, cut through the brittle nylon shielding of the power cord and twisted the bare positive and negative sections of wire together. She then wrapped the bedclothes around the exposed copper and laid the sheet wrapped wire on top of the mattress.
Unsure what to expect, Violet gingerly held the pug end of the lamp’s power wire and leaning away, ready to jump clear, she decisively drove the plug into the wall socket.
Heavy black wisps of smoke immediately began emanating from both the sheets and wall outlet, quickly followed by aggressive sparks that erupted from as if from a sparkler.
The smoke and sparking gave way to a flashing and loud pop as the fuses blew taking out the power and plunging her room, and most of the first floor, into sudden darkness. The gloom surrounding Violet brightened as flames rose from the bedclothes and quickly began to consume the bed as they moved up the wall, and filled the room with a noxious smoke.
Violet dropped flat to the floor and crawled towards the door, the short blade in one hand and the key in her other. The room was filling quickly and Violet, staying low, felt with her hands up the door to the key hole. The unlocked door swung it open and with it a burst of air filled Violet’s starved lungs but also breathed stronger life into the blaze which roared with growing power, gushing forth more smoke.
Violet rose from her knees to a low hunch to move quickly but suddenly strong hands grabbed her shoulders and shook her as Steve’s voice boomed at her. “What the living fuck did you do bitch?”
His fist connected with her cheek knocking her small frame to the ground. The box-cutter skittered out of her hands. “You think you’re gonna burn my shit down, huh?” he said as he climbed on top of her and raised his fist to pummel her on the ground.
A deafening wail erupted from somewhere and distracted Steve who looked up as Breaker tumbled out of Violet’s room, howling and holding his hands to his face, senselessly barreling forward, tripping over Violet and Steve before rising only to madly fail down the hall.
Recovering herself Violet reached for the box cutter, but found herself gripping a pair of mirrored glasses. She rolled away and rose to a low crouch. Steadying her gaze, she watched as Steve began to find his footing and raised his face to meet hers.
His eyes were a pale washed out green, almost colorless. And as their stares met, Violet saw that he could see.
Shocked but unfazed she pushed forward finding only a weak resistance. A mere second more and she would have broken through, but he broke the gaze and looked at her askance.
“So that’s how you got away from Breaker, and Billy boy too, huh? Things are starting to make sense now,” said Steve as he backed down the hall towards the front door, rapidly disappearing into the smoke and gloom.
Shocked and choking, Violet dropped to the ground. Out of the darkness and over the growing roar of the blaze she heard Steve’s voice call. “Alright, c’mon out and we’ll make it quick. Or you can burn like the witch you are. Hell of a way to go! If it were it me, I’d want it quick!” his words were punctuated by a short burst of gun fire, the bullets flying harmlessly over-head.
She’d rather burn than give him the satisfaction, but Violet wasn’t ready to give up now or ever. Escape and survival, that was all.
Violet crawled along the floor as fast as she could on hands and knees. The smoke so dense that it had sunk to the floor and was searing her lungs and eyes, forcing them closed.
Alone and in danger her mind reached forward. Dimly and sightlessly she sensed a short way ahead of herself as she moved forward. She sensed doors on either side and reached up to try the handles, each locked, no escape. She crawled further and felt a flight of stairs going up. Common sense told her it wouldn’t be any safer, but there was nowhere else to go.
She crawled up the stairs choking and sweating as the temperature skyrocketed. At the top her mind told of a small open area, closed doors on three sides. Without thinking Violet chose the one on the left and stumbled into the room.
Fresh air! She slammed the door shut to preserve what little air there was, but it was hot and a wisp of smoke was already seeping up through a floor vent. Not much time. Her eyes dashed around the room looking for something. A window! She tried at the latch but her hands lacked the strength to budge the frozen mechanism.
Sweat pouring down her face, matting her hair, she looked about the room. A massive old style CRT TV, a rug, a couch with small throw pillows, and another bad idea.
As the heat intensified the room began to fog with sooty smoke. Violet grabbed a blanket from the couch and hap haphazardly wrapped it around her body before grabbing a throw pillow and holding it in front of her face. Lowering her shoulder she charged at the glass window.
The cushion softened the blow as the glass cracked and shattered, but held, and sent Violet sprawling backwards, the taste of aspirin filling her mouth.
The room darkening, she rose for another try.
Violet charged again putting her full force into the impact. This time the window blew outward and the momentum carried her body over the sill and into the cold fresh night. The pillow blocked her face and the blanket protected some parts of her body, but her arms and legs were slashed by jagged shards of glass and the twisted rusted metal that adorned the edges of the window.
The cloth blanket caught on the edge of the window, snapped back and dropped Violet tumbling down the roof and off the ledge, falling the rest of the way to the ground. An ill-kept hedge saved her body from the worst of the impact, but the branches scraped and gouged her.
No time for pain, she had made a chance and needed to use it.
Violet forced her aching and bleeding body up and staggered as fast as she could into the street and protective darkness.
“What was that?” Asked Payday. Steve looked at him inquisitively “Thought I heard something, like glass breaking.”
Breaker sat on the curb his hands covering his face as Abby and the rest of the crew stood in awe as they watched the flames consume the Casa D’Amour.
“I’ll check it out,” responded Steve. “That witch comes out that door, you don’t look at her, just shoot.”
Moving around the side of the building he couldn’t miss the olive drab Army surplus blanket hanging from the shattered window and he understood.
Steve clenched his teeth in rage and leered out into the darkness.
“You better run bitch! But you ain’t never gonna get away from me! I’ve seen your mind! I’ll find you! I can always find you!”
But his words echoed in nothing but darkness. Violet had escaped.
Credit: Sasha Brokov
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