Posts Tagged mountain

Excerpt 129


She had climbed a rock wall several times during high school, but had never attempted an actual mountain.  Also, this facade had no cracks or indentations to tuck fingers or toes into.  There was nothing to push off of, or provide a resting spot or leverage.  It was just a flat wall. If she had a rope or a sheet, she could have scaled the wall down. Although, there was nothing in the room to tie the rope around, so she would still be stranded.  The only safe way out was the door. And even if she could get out that way, she had no idea who was waiting on the other side.

The fire continued to crackle, the smoke coming off ashy and black.  Her lungs would soon be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the poison filling them.  The man’s body was a lot of ammunition and would take a long time to burn off completely. The thought of throwing the body through the window crossed Ala’s mind.  Surely, someone who lived in one of the twinkling houses would notice a large fireball tumbling down the mountain. However, since the body was engulfed, there was no way to lift it without her burning herself.

Also, throwing the man down the mountain would for sure qualify as first degree manslaughter. While Ala believed she was responsible for taking this man’s life, it had been an accident.  She had built the fire because she had wanted to sound an alarm to make someone come open the door. She did not intend for him to burn to death, and at this point, to possibly be killing herself as well. If she ever did make it out and somehow Bruno, or the other accomplice, came forward and pressed charges, at least this really had been unplanned. This would also mean a judge would have to overlook the kidnapping and assault on Ala in the first place.

She should have removed the man’s wallet to try to find out about his identity. Was he a citizen? Where was he from?  He could have a wife and children. He could be someone entirely different to the rest of the world than she had known. This job could have been a small part of his life. Even though his profession was unsavory and he appeared to be a dangerous human being, doing one thing differently could have saved his life.  He could have avoided the fire and spared himself.

Her head pounded harder. Even though she feared falling asleep, she lowered herself to the ground. Why hadn’t Bruno just taken her from Emmanuel’s house? And how had he known she would be running on the beach that morning? If he had been following here for awhile, Danno could be in danger as well.

She could no longer see through the smoke, but her stomach contracted as she heard the weighted door click and then swing open.

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Excerpt 128


The smoke was building up.  Ala hurried to the huge window and saw the tiny lights on the houses tucked into the mountains.  People were home and still awake.  Someone would be terrified of the position she was put in and of her story, and would have no choice but to help her.  Although she was dehydrating and hateful, she knew there were good people within reach.

The man rolled on the ground, but the fire continued to spread over his body.  She walked as far back across from the window as possible.  She shook out her feet, one at a time, and ran as fast as she could. When reaching the glass she threw herself against it.  The severity of cold shocked her and she fell to the ground.  She got back up and drew her leg up, bent her knee and kicked the window as hard as she should.

Pain rang through her bare foot. She knew that if she had a shoe on, she would probably be able to break through.  She looked at the pile, now a heap of fused, smoldering rubber and cloth. The screaming had stopped, and to her horror, Ala saw that the man had rolled into the larger fire and was now burning to death.  She ran over and reached around him, trying to drag him out.

The smell of his body burning invaded her nostrils and she had to let go once her panties had a hole burned into them from a rogue spark. She crawled over to the phone, the only item she had not burned, picked it up and hit the glass.  It shattered. She hit harder and it cracked.  She stuck her nose through the opening and coughed, trying to suck in fresh air. Being careful not to cut herself, she stuck her head further out and looked down.  The window was flush with the mountain and it was a straight shot down the smooth rock wall.

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Excerpt 124


A low moan leaked from his purple lips.  The mask, made from cheap wood, had broken and Ala felt some splinters stuck into the bottom of her foot.  Pulling out splinters had made her squeamish since she was a child, and even with the situation she was now in the middle of, she shuddered to think of working a needle into her skin.  She had not planned any action, other than getting the man’s tongue off of her skin, and she braced herself for his blow.

After a few seconds without any reaction from him, Ala turned her head and saw why.  His entire face was now revealed except for his eyes, which had sharp pieces of wood sticking out of them.  She turned her head to the side and choked up more bile.  The man brought his hands to his face and felt his skin very carefully.  When brushing over his eyelids, he yelped in pain.

She had blinded him.  Her instinct was to help him, but then she looked down at her underclothes that he, most likely, had planned on removing.  Her hands were still bound, but she was able to curl her toes and push herself up on her feet.  Blood rushed to her ankles and her head spun as she tried to keep her balance.  Unsure of attempting to step forward, she surveyed the room.  The glass wall with the view of the mountains was still in the same place.  The floor still felt like concrete, as did the pored walls.  She spotted her purse in one of the far corners.

They had brought the purse along with her to each location to avoid any trouble, if the purse should be recovered without Ala, later on.  She lifted her foot and planted it down on the floor.  Pain shot up to her knee and she stumbled.  The man felt around the ground, his tentative hands staying close in front of him.

Ala intended on killing him, and then his twin and then Bruno.  She would stop there.  Emmanuel was much larger in the world than she was, both with his influence and wealth.  There was no way she would be able to get close enough to take his life.  She was better off hoping that he would never find her.

Slowly, she walked on her knees toward her bag. Tiny rocks plunged themselves into her freshly scraped skin, burning and stopping against the bone.  She would not let herself stop.  There was no way to know what Bruno’s plans were, but she was sure that he would be back soon.  The shock of seeing one of his men blinded would probably send him on a rampage. Ala would be the only target in the nearly empty room, in the middle of who knew where, with the striking mountain view.

 

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Excerpt 119


Both men wore black plastic ponchos and matching rubber boots.  Behind them, she could see a wide stretch of mountains covered in evergreens.  Colossal clouds framed the sun and she could not understand why these men were dressed for rain.  They wore Guatemalan dog masks that she was able to identify because of a South American art critique she stumbled upon when visiting the library.  One mask featured a large red tongue between sharp teeth and the other had exaggerated eyes with very long eyelashes. The wood looked brittle and was held to their heads with single pieces of string.

The masks comforted her, not only because she couldn’t fathom any seriously dangerous people wearing them, but also because they reminded her of the real life she hoped to return to. One man bent, lifted her underneath her arms and threw her onto a straight back chair.  The other man tied her wrists and ankles to the legs.  They worked quickly and quietly.

Ala clenched her thigh muscles to keep from wetting her pants. She was desperate for conversation after lacking contact with anyone for days, or possibly weeks.  The rope scratched roughly against her scraped ankle and she whimpered. The man reached up and pulled her hair.  She flinched. The other man laughed, began to cough and spit on the floor.

Through exhaustion that she had a difficult time fighting through, Ala began to wonder if anyone had realized that she was missing.  She hoped Danno was trying to find her, but feared she was taken to another city or state.  Her body was weak from not eating or drinking and she didn’t think she would be able to walk even if she could break free from the chair.

She tried to take in the room.  The floor to ceiling windows that surrounded her indicated that she was very high up, perhaps even in the side of the mountain.  There was no clear motive as to why she was being held captive. She heard a door behind her open and as she craned her neck to see, Bruno was walking toward her, his yellow teeth taking up most of his face in a smile.

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