Warning: Contains graphic violence, creepiness, and swearing. Seriously.
She was on her way to Lee College to prepare for the upcoming show. Lydia and the rest of the theater group had been working on it for the past month now. She was nervous. This performance she held her biggest role yet, one of the staring actors. She thought she must be getting pretty good. One of the more experienced actors had been taking an interest in her whenever she preformed.
He was new to the class. Nathan was the kind of guy that every girl was attracted too. Tall dark and handsome. He was a little stuck up, but so were most guys in theater. Well, most actors anyway. He'd talk to her occasionally. Lydia usually replied with something stupid. She wasn't very good at small talk.
She pulled into the parking lot of the school. There were very few cars around, which was normally the case. Today she had come extra early to prepare. As she collected her things from the car, in the back of her mind she hopped the greenroom was unlocked.
She entered the school. As the door slowly shut behind her she became aware of just how empty the school was. Giving herself a mental shake, she continued down the hall, footsteps echoing slightly. No one was in the greenroom. Of course that was to be expected. She opened the door to the girls changing room and let out a scream.
"Oh, sorry, Lydia. Didn't mean to scare you." Santiago said in his awkward way. He was a chubby guy, with oily skin. He wore glasses. His eyes were so sunken in that it was difficult to tell the color.
"It's okay," Lydia's tone wasn't kind nor was it very harsh. She didn't like to be mean to people outright. Santiago was a special case. It seemed to be his overall goal in life to get on the bad side of every person he knew. A thought suddenly occurred to her. "What were you doing in the girls changing room?"
"Sex," he said.
Lydia made the good choice not to comment as he passed her.
"You're here early." Santiago stated.
Lydia opened her mouth to reply but a cool voice cut in.
"It's the standard of professional actors, Santiago. Something you couldn't even dream to glisten." Nathan said and gave Santiago a superior look.
Santiago gave Nathan another awkward smile, which the other man promptly ignored. Nathan did give Lydia a smile that would have sent her stammering had she been talking. She laughed instead though she didn't see what was so funny. It seemed to make Nathan smile. He waved to her as he entered the guys changing room.
There was no one inside the girls changing room. She didn't waist her time fathoming just what Santiago meant by that Sex comment. Still a little flustered, she set her stuff down. Giant mirrors covered half of the wall to the left of the door. She took a chair that sat before one of those mirrors and began to prepare for the show.
The audience applause brought a smile to her face. It was the loudest one yet and this was only their third showing. She waved as she quickly exited the stage. Amanda didn't like drawn out applauses though Lydia would have liked to stay out there just a tad longer. Nathan had smiled at her again. Maybe that's why she was smiling so much.
Once everyone entered the backstage area the audience members began to rise from their seats. Those with family members or friends that came to see them perform returned to the stage. Lydia didn't have anyone this night. They'd be coming for the last night of the show.
"No one tonight?" Nathan asked.
She glanced at him in surprise. She hadn't seen him come up to her. It was very dark backstage. "No. They'll be coming at the last showing. What about you? I'm sure loads of people come to see you." She blushed at the stupidity of her statement.
Nathan only smiled though. "No. No one tonight."
Lydia wanted to talk with him more, but couldn't think of anything else to say. "I'll see you tomorrow." She ended lamely.
He waved his hand as she returned to the greenroom.
By the time she'd finished changing and packing up everything, most of the actors and actresses had already left. She was more careful than they were. Lydia liked to be sure everything was put up right and that she was not forgetting anything important.
Back in the greenroom, Santiago was sitting on one of the couches.
"Bye, Lydia." He said.
Wordlessly, she waved to him.
She dug the keys out of one the middle pocket of her backpack as she walked. It was difficult to zip it up again while walking so she stopped to do up the zipper. She opened the side door of the school and headed out into the parking lot. Besides her own, only two cars remained, neither of them where parked close to her.
She frowned worriedly at her tires. It was a new car. She'd only had it for a few months and didn't want to crash it because she wasn't careful about checking her tires. Though she didn't know how exactly they were supposed to look. She put the key into the lock. There were buttons to unlock and lock the car on the keychain, but she hadn't developed the habit of pressing them yet.
The lights didn't turn on when she opened the car door. She found that odd. She guessed she must have knocked something while taking out her backpack. She stuck the keys into the ignition, but nothing happened. She frowned and turned them again, but again the car wouldn't start.
She didn't know what was wrong and it was too dark to see anything even if she knew what to look for. She tired turning on the lights, but they wouldn't turn on. She guessed that the battery must have died. She took out her cell to call her mom, but then she noticed the time. It was late. Her mom would be asleep by now. She could just wake her up.
At that moment the sidedoor to the school opened. Santiago and Nathan came out.
Or she could just ask them for help. She shut her phone. If they didn't know what to do, she'd call her mom or something.
She opened her car door and called out to them.
"Hey, do you guys know anything about cars?" Lydia yelled.
"No, sorry." Santiago replied and continued to his car. He slipped into it and started it up.
"What seems to be the problem?" Nathan asked, glaring at Santiago as he drove away.
"I don't know. I think the battery died or something." Lydia said. She felt a prickle of annoyance at Santiago's lack of concern.
"Do you have any jumper cables?" Nathan asked.
Lydia shook her head. "I don't think so. I can check though."
They both looked around in her car, but found nothing that could help. She popped the lid and Nathan took a look. But even with the light polls in the parking lot it was too dark to see anything. They tried using the cell phone lights but that didn't seem to help much either.
"It's alright," Lydia said, realizing just how late it was getting. "I'll just call my mom to pick me up. I'll figure something out tomorrow."
"It's kind of late. Do you think she'll still be awake?" Nathan asked.
Lydia shook her head. "No, but it'll be fine."
"How far do you live?"
"Not far." She flushed at a sudden thought that came to mind.
"I can give you a ride if you want." Nathan offered.
Lydia couldn't fight the smile that lit up her face. "Are you sure? I mean, well it's not that far."
Nathan nodded. "Yeah, don't worry about it."
Lydia locked up her car and followed Nathan to his. It was much smaller than hers. The inside smelt like cigarettes and alcohol, which surprised her. She didn't think Nathan was one to drink.
"Brother's car." Nathan said as if reading her thoughts. He smiled as he turned on the ignition. "Do you…" he trailed off as he started to back up.
"What?" Lydia asked once he'd put the car back in drive.
"Sorry. Do you want a carrot?"
Lydia laughed. "What?"
Nathan shrugged and held up a bag of baby carrots.
She laughed again but took a hand full. "Sure."
"Okay which way?" He drove to the end of the parking lot and looked both ways before entering the street. There wasn't a car in sight. Lydia held back a smile. He must be new to driving. She ate the carrots as she gave him directions.
He did the same thing at the intersection. Stopped the car, looked both ways before slowly inching forward.
Lydia began to feel drowsy. It must be latter than she thought.
"You turn on the second little thing before the subway." She told him. She had to fight to keep her eyes open. "You got it?" the words came out slurred.
"Yeah," Nathan seemed a little distracted or maybe she was just too tired to think.
Her eyes drooped shut. She couldn't summon up the will to open them again. A foggy sleep settled over her.
When she opened her eyes she found that she couldn't move. It was not that she wasn't in control of her body. She was strapped to something. Above her a single light shone from a lamp that swung back and forth slightly. Her quick breaths echoed, marking the density of the room.
"Hello?" she called trying to move, but she was strapped to tightly. All she could see was what was right in front of her. She could hear a constant drip drip drip coming from somewhere far off. "Hello?" she called again. She tried to remember how she had gotten here.
The sounds of footsteps quickly approaching gave her a moment's relieve. A second thought of her given circumstances sent her heart thumping again.
A face appeared over her head. It was hallowed by the light, making it hard to make out it's features.
"Good you're awake."
Lydia heart did a summersault in her chest.
"Nathan." She said the words but couldn't believe it.
"Yes." Though she couldn't clearly see his face she could still hear the smile on his words.
"Get me out of here!" she yelled and her voice cracked. A single tear dripped from her eyes. For some reason she thought of her time at the air force. Not that any of their drilling would do her much good now. They had said she was too soft. "My mom, she'll-"
"She won't see reason to look till you have been gone for at least two days. You're visiting a friend you see." Nathan picked up her cell and waved it before her face. He held it there until her eyes could focus on it. "Texting is such a handy thing, gives me more breathing room. Before, I'd have to calm the girl down enough so that she could talk calmly into the phone. Now, I can just punch the messages in myself." He took the phone away.
"Why are you doing this?" Lydia cried. More tears leaking out of her eyes blurring her vision. She wished they wouldn't do that. She wanted to see. She needed to see!
"Why do they always ask the same thing?" Nathan muttered. He seemed a little disappointed. He shook his head as he walked away from her.
"Where are you going?" She couldn't keep the panic from her voice.
"I'll be back in just a moment." The words came out in a comforting tone, but the ring of metal scraping against metal threw off the gesture.
"What are you going to do to me?" her words cracked and shook as she spoke them.
He returned with a nasty looking knife. "I'm going to try something I have not done before" he waved the knife in front of her.
Her hearts thumping filled her ears. A sense of unreality crept over her. It's going to be okay. It's going to be okay. It's fine. It's fine. It's fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Fine. Sobs erupted from her.
He took the knife away and pulled out a syringe. "I don't see why you're crying so much. You're not going to feel a thing." He stuck the needle into her arm. She screamed though she hardly felt it. "It's going to be some time before it settles in." he said as she continued to scream.
He left her again. This time she did not call out to him. She screamed until she was out of breath and then she sobbed. A slow fuzz spread throughout her body, everything felt thicker than it should. She realized that she lost all sense of feeling. With the horror of her given situation and the numbness of her body, indeed Lydia felt as if she were experiencing this from another person. When Nathan returned she was no longer crying.
She stared at him as he slowly tilted whatever she was on so that she now stood vertically. The light was no longer in her eyes. She blinked the spots away. Once able to see clearly, she saw a table covered in sharp tools placed before her. Nathan picked up the large knife he had shown her earlier.
He walked over to her left side.
"Let's see. I think an arm is a good place to start."
The straps came off her arm. She tried to move it but it didn't respond.
He picked the limp arm up and shoved the knife into it. All the while he watched Lydia's face with that small smile he wore only when he looked at her. He dug the blade in deeper. It felt as if someone where simply pressing on her arm.
He jerked the knife out and smashed it in again. Her arm came away. Blood spilled from her shoulders stub. She stared at it.
She felt something touching her face. She turned her head to see her own arm. Nathan pressed the palm of her hand against her cheek.
"Can you still feel it?"
She shook her head numbly.
Nathan waved the arm at her and laughed.
He then took out a set of much smaller far twisted tools from the table.
The room did not echo with Lydia's screams as Nathan went on. With every limb that he took off the less aware Lydia became of herself. Blood fell from her. It soaked through her clothes. Her limbs nicely arranged before her. By the time feeling returned to her she was in too much shock to register the pain. Death was not swift in coming, but when it did she didn't fight its sweet embrace, anything to escape this nightmare.