The Car Crash

I opened my eyes and saw the pastor. It was day again. Ever since I was drugged it had been difficult trying to keep track of time. My head felt warm. Something felt different. Instead of being tied to a bed, I was now lying on the concrete floor. I was still in Daniel's room I wore old ragged pants and no shirt. Even though I could move my arms freely, my right leg was shacked by the shins to the wall. The three-meter-long chains were heavy and strong.

"How do you feel?" asked the pastor. The religious man stood besides five cardboard boxes stacked upon one another.

I spoke. "Where's Daniel?"

"He's taking a bath now."

"What about Abby?"

"Why do you ask?"

I felt my tummy rumbling, and I think the pastor heard it as well. "Am I going to eat?" I asked.

"You have work to do."

"What if I starve?"

"I don't care." The pastor took out from behind the cardboard boxes what looked like a plastic bin. "This is a shredder," he said. "In these boxes are papers I want you to shred."

"Why don't you just burn them?"

"I can't just burn rubbish," said the pastor. "Everyone will see the smoke. The council doesn't let you burn rubbish. You have to bin it or recycle it."

"After I do this, will you give me food?"

"I will be back in two hours," said the pastor, about to walk out of the room. "If I come back in two hours and the papers are not all shredded, I will not give you food."

After the pastor left the room, I opened the boxes and had a look at the papers. I was hoping to find documents that may support or confirm my unfavorable views about Pastor Adams, such as child porn magazines. But most of the papers were mundane religious books and study notes.

After I shredded the papers, the pastor did keep to his word and fed me chicken soup, which he told me to eat on a table with his children, who also ate the same meal. After eating, the pastor made me return to Daniel's bedroom to sleep.

--

When I opened my eyes the next day, I saw Abigail trying to wake me up by poking my ribs.

"What time is it?" I asked.

"Almost lunch time," said the little girl.

What I noticed first when I woke up was that my right foot was chained to the wall. Someone must have put these chains on me while I was sleeping because I wasn't chained up last night. I decided to ask Abigail about the chains.

"Daddy put them on," she said. "But I know where the key is."

"Where is it?"

Abigail pulled out from her dress a keyring attached to about a dozen keys. My eyes widened considerably when I saw the keys.

"He left it on the kitchen table," she said while looking intently at the keys in her hands. "I use the keys to come in here."

"Can you unlock me?" I asked.

Abigail suddenly looked grumpy. "No, I don't want to get in trouble."

I didn't have much time to think about what I was going to do. My actions were driven by instinct. I reached out and grabbed the keys from Abigail's hands. She seemed shocked that I would snatch something away from her.

"It's okay, Abby. Which key is it?" I picked a key at random and tried unlocking the padlock attached to the chain on my leg. I failed three times before successfully unlocking myself on the fourth attempt.

After unlocking myself, I threw the chains away, pocketed the keys, and ran towards the door while telling Abigail to follow me.

"Where's your brother?" I asked. "Where's your father? Do you know?"

"Daniel is outside. Daddy is gone shopping."

This was an opportunity to escape. With the little girl following me, I walked out of the room.

Not knowing where I was going, I turned left and followed the path. It soon became clear that Abigail knew where the exit was, so she assumed the role of leader while I followed her from behind.

Abigail and I soon found ourselves outside the church. It was a shock on the eyes to be drenched in darkness indoors for so long before walking out and being flooded with bright light from above. The grass outside was moist and green. The air was cold.

Daniel was standing by himself trying to quench his thirst at a drinking fountain. With Abigail still with me, I scanned my surrounding before walking quickly towards the little boy.

"Daniel, follow me!" I said as I got close to him. I wanted to bring the children to my car and drive off with them.

Unfortunately, as I arrived at the car park I noticed that my Lexus had disappeared. Daniel, who was following me from behind, explained.

"Dad took it and went to the supermarket."

"We'll have to walk out of here," I said.

Five seconds later I saw my car again, and I was not happy to see it. I stared in disbelief as my car drove slowly into the car park. The side windows were tinted, so I couldn't see who was inside. However, when the car turned towards me and the children, I could see through the windshield. I saw Pastor Adams in the driver's seat. He must have seen me as well because I heard a sudden engine roar before the car started to speed up quickly.

I panicked. The children had already run away from me to my right. The car was clearly aimed at me, not the children. I thought about running to my right but worried about sending the car close to the children. I ran to my left and, as expected, the car steered right to align itself with me. I was never going to outrun a speeding car and because the car park was empty I had nowhere to hide.

As I ran I turned my head to look behind. The car was now only about ten meters away. I took a few more steps, looked behind again, and noticed the car was now only about five meters away from me. I couldn't outrun it.

I stopped running and, when the car was a meter away from me, I jumped up high and tried hard to lift my legs up. The car's hood moved underneath me. My body rotated in the air until my back was facing the windshield. I hadn't jumped high enough to avoid hitting the windshield.

My back hit the windshield, crumbling the safety glass. I felt instant pain on my back as I hit the hard glass. Quickly afterwards, I was cushioned by the softness of the pastor's body.

The car seemed to speed up.

I looked at the pastor and found him sitting in the driver's seat with his hands off the steering wheel. He was probably winded or unconscious because of the impact between him and me. I looked down and noticed his foot was firmly pressed on the accelerator.

After opening the driver side door, I jumped out, rolled on the bitumen, and sat up to watch as the car sped towards the forest.

The car hit the trunk of a large tree. Since the car was traveling so fast, the trunk shredded the hood and entered the cabin within microseconds. The front of the car crumpled in on itself so heavily that within seconds the large car was the size of a small car. When the car made impact, glass, metal, and other debris flew in all directions, but seconds afterwards silence descended.

I walked up to Daniel and Abigail, who stood still, their eyes and mouths wide open as they stared at the wreck.

"Is my daddy okay?" asked Abigail as I arrived.

Even before I looked one more time I knew the answer. "He's definitely dead."