Cindy was ashamed and disappointed in herself. It took her two days before she realized that she was about to be the next victim of the doctor killer.
Two whole days.
She was so blinded by her fantasy, and then her unbelief and pain, and now it was already too late for her to escape. She was so weak she couldn’t even sit upright.
She tried the knot for the umpteenth time and gave off a mixture of a wince and a groan as the knot got tighter as she felt a slicing pain where the man recently stitched on her back.
She was almost strangling herself, and she could feel blood trickling out from the stitched wound and yet she couldn’t stop trying to set herself free. She couldn’t imagine herself being another statistic of the death toll in Indiana
The man was good, she had to admit.
Who would have thought that such a man was a murderer and a weird one at that? He looked so good and behaved better. He was the kind of man who had many mothers hoping he’d turn and give their unwed daughters a glance.
He was so gentlemanly and that was Cindy’s undoing.
Cindy had always been attracted to men who went the whole nine yards in their gentlemanly behavior; opening doors, pulling out seats, standing up when she stood up at the table, keeping her warm with their coats, while they weathered the cold.
He was the perfect gentleman, and he was about to kill her gently.
She should have known that there was something wrong with him; no one was supposed to be so perfect. He was meticulous in everything and never lost his cool, not even when she had fought like a tigress the moment she knew that she was about to be harmed.
Still trying to understand how she missed the change, Cindy allowed her mind to go back to when the gentleman doctor had turned into a monster.
She deliberately stayed longer than necessary in his house after their dinner, so she would have an excuse to spend the night. When she ‘realized’ how late the time was for her to get going, she told him so and hid a smile when her offered his spare bedroom.
Although a little disappointed that he seemed immune to her presence in his house, Cindy consoled herself. A lot could happen before morning and decided to be patient,
How right she had been!
She would soon realize that between night and morning was when gentlemen turned to monsters.
She heard the creak of the door when he entered the guestroom, and pretended to be fast asleep.
A thrill of expected pleasure went through her as he tied her hands and legs to the bedposts, and it was not until he brought out the knife that Cindy realized that he hadn’t said any word, not to her or to himself. He just worked mechanically.
She was about calling out his name to be sure he was alright when he gave the first stab.
The pain stole her breath, and it was at the third stab that a scream tore out of her soul. By then he was no longer stabbing but tearing her flesh.
The last thought which crossed Cindy’s mind before she passed into darkness was that he still showed ease and gentleness while stabbing her.
When she came to, she found herself in this room all stitched and cleaned up, and night after night, he had given her injury after injury until she passed out from the pain or the loss of blood, which ever happened first.
This was the fourth night, and she wondered how much longer she could take it.
Noone knew where she was, not even Angela her best friend. She planned to brag to the ladies at work that she went out with Mr. Mysterious, as they called him, and so she waited for it to be solid before she told anyone.
They had no idea how mysterious he was.
After her last attempt to harm him, he kept her tied up after each treatment, and that was even worse than the injuries inflicted. She felt like a lab rat.
A caged lab rat.
She was fighting back tears when she heard the scream again. Since she was transferred here, she kept hearing screams at intervals, and knew that they were from her fellow victims. She had no idea how many they were altogether, but judging by the waning strength of the screams, she was the newest.
This scream was weak and didn’t even go its full length before it ended abruptly, the echo filling in the vacuum of the unsounded length.
Cindy knew immediately that one of them had finally broken and given in to death.
She heard a door close and then she heard tires wheeling.
Shuffling to a corner in the room as stealthily as possible, Cindy wondered when her broken body will be wheeled out.
Collins was sleeping when they called him.
He had gone out drinking with Dozie and Daniel, and had somehow drunk more than he should. Talks about their patients had him worried that he would never hear a patient say how he or she felt, he would only have to discover for himself what ailed them before they died.
So bottle after bottle had gotten empty until Daniel had said it was enough and offered to take him home while Dozie laughed at him.
Alcohol makes you aware of some things, but also makes you unable to do anything about what you noticed.
Collin took notice of Dozie’s mocking laughter, but he knew if he tried to take a swing at him, he’d disgrace himself further, and so he humbly accepted the lift Daniel offered.
So he was still sleeping off the alcohol, when the ringtone of his phone jarred him awake. He reminded himself to change the ringtone, even as he knew he would forget again.
He managed to clean up enough to look respectable and then he began the walk to his ‘office’, the cool morning breeze making him feel better.
Each time he told anyone he was going to the office, he dared them to tell him it was not an office.
No one took the dare.
He ignored the greetings of the drowsy security men and wondered what they were securing.
Shaking his head and telling himself to get serious as it was too early to joke, he walked towards where the new body was waiting for him.
Not that it had anywhere else to go.
This time he chuckled at his joke and let himself in, switching on the light before closing the door completely. He couldn't wait to see the new specimen.
As he unraveled the body, Collins was shocked into stillness.
The new specimen was Eric.
Eric was his brother who was supposed to be in medical school. Eric was supposed to succeed where he failed.
His subconscious knew what his mind was yet to realize; the game just changed.
Moving not unlike a robot, Collins took off and wiped his glasses, and got to work trying to discover what injury sucked out his brother’s life.
The killer just became his enemy.
Let the hunt begin.