Outside: Part Twenty-Five

This is the twenty-fifth part of a fiction serial, in 782 words.

The smell was her mum’s bedroom. She would always know the smell of mum’s room. The only perfume she ever used, and the slightly musty smell that came from never having had a window open, even at the height of summer. Gillian knew she was lying on the bed, and could feel the pillows under her head. Her eyes had been watering and felt sore, and the pain in her nose made her convinced that it was broken.

Her first thought was to scream, but there was something forced into her mouth, and fixed tightly around her head. And she couldn’t see anything, as there was some kind of mask over her eyes. The memory of what had just happened came on suddenly, like a flashback scene in a scary film. So she panicked, trying to turn and get off the bed. But her wrists and ankles were secured with something, and a few seconds of struggle soon made her realise it was hopeless. There was something else too. Her dressing gown had gone.

She was naked.

The sound of the television could be heard upstairs, and that left her wondering if the man was still there, downstairs making himself at home. Maybe he had robbed the place and left, that would be good. But how would she get free if he had? Shaking her head from side to side failed to dislodge the mask, and even the loudest sound she could manage from her mouth sounded like something muffled by a cushion. Nobody outside was ever going to hear her.

And she was starting to feel hungry too.

With his tea, Thomas made himself some toast using the granary bread, spread with real butter. A brief perusal of her larder and fridge had confirmed his worst fears. Cheap margarine, awful white sliced bread, and wall-to wall junk food. That wouldn’t do at all. He took his snack over to her computer on the table, and moved the mouse. Typical. No access code required, and the screen illuminated immediately. Next to the keyboard was a flimsy notebook, like the school exercise books he had used as a child. On the front of it in capital letters were the words, PASSWORD BOOK.

That made him smile, and his smile broadened when he opened it and read the first page.

Blog password. NAILLIGRETXAB

Tesco Deliveries. 53NAILLIGRETXAB


She had used her own name backwards for the first one, and added her door number for the second. Then presumably her mother’s name backwards, for Amazon.

There were some others, including one for a plus size clothing company, but he ignored those and clicked on the Tesco site. Sure enough, she had ticked the box that said ‘Save card details’. He was ready to go, and began to compile an order for delivery later that week. Some much better food, a few bottles of decent wine, and a lot of cleaning products. This awfully dingy house needed a thorough clean, if he was going to be able to tolerate staying in it. Something popped into his mind, and he added two large boxes of condoms.

The last thing he wanted was to get her pregnant.

Before he even considered walking upstairs to see how she was, he had ordered an exercise bike from Amazon, some waterproof sheets too, and a chair-style commode. There was also a digital radio, so he could listen to some decent music, and some proper plates and cutlery. The stuff in her drawers and cupboards was unspeakably average. Then he had a quick rummage in her freezer, choosing to heat up a family-size chicken pie for her dinner. In time, he would educate her palate.

Gillian had been awake for almost two hours before she heard the footsteps on the stairs, followed by the bedroom door opening. She could smell the pie he had cooked, and carried up on a plate for her. It made her mouth water, even with the gag.

When the mask was removed, the man who had delivered the chocolates was standing by the bed. He was holding a plate with the pie on it, and a spoon to eat it with. But he was also holding a horrible-looking knife, like those ones you see hunters with in films. He held the knife against her throat as he removed the ball gag. Speaking quietly, in a friendly tone, he even managed a smile.

“I will release the gag, and one hand so you can eat the food. If you scream, or do anything except eat the pie, I will slit your throat. Understood?

Gillian nodded, and grabbed the spoon as if she had never seen food before.

38 thoughts on “Outside: Part Twenty-Five

  1. (1) Mr. Halloran uses a ball gag. Dr. Bile uses a gall bag. One is for silencing. The other is for collecting.
    (2a) Gillian’s first thought was to scream for ice cream. Her second thought was to modify her request to pie à la mode. She didn’t get the ice cream, but she got a pie—a chicken pie! Needless to say, she’s not having a good day.
    (2b) The pie supposedly consists of a family-size chicken. But it’s actually a small pie, because this chicken was the runt of the clutch, and never grew very large.
    (2c) Gillian was gagged and blindfolded, her wrists and ankles were secured to the bed, and she was naked with a knife to her throat. But chicken pie is good for the soul. Life is full of trade-offs.
    (2d) Overheard:
    Thomas: “Do not try and bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth… There is no spoon… Then you’ll see that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.”
    Gillian: “I don’t know if I’m stuck in the Matrix or my Mother’s bedroom, but I do know that I have no interest in bending the spoon. I just want to eat my pie!”
    (3) Bad citation: “The sound of the television could be heard upstairs, and that left her wondering if she was going to miss her favorite quiz show.”
    (4) Out of spite, Gillian’s next blog password will be NOSNHOJETEP.
    (5) Bad citation: “Shaking her bed from side to side failed to dislodge the demon that possessed her, so Regan definitely needed the services of an exorcist.”
    (6a) Gillian had never seen such a large box of Belgian truffles. She had also never seen such a large box of Trojan condoms.
    (6b) Thomas put the condoms on a plate and began to condomplate what he would do with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had thought that perhaps Thomas wanted to take organs to sell on the highly illegal organ market. However the purchasing of condoms indicates otherwise. The fact that he doesn’t want to get Gillian pregnant indicates that he does not intend to murder her. I shall be interested to see how the story develops. Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

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