Trapped – Short Story

They had stopped looking. Jennifer had been locked in the small, well designed dungeon for 450 days now and she hadn’t stopped counting. She had become great at counting. There were 14 steps down and 3 locks on the first door. 4 turns of the handle to the second, and 1 spring loaded lock on the 3rd. After the morning news, there was 120 minutes until she got her 2 slices of bread through the hole in the door and then another 240 until he came in to visit.
Every day was the same and she counted on it. Jennifer was 19 years old and had spent 1 birthday in the room. She didn’t know how many more birthday’s she’d be here but as she appeared on the news less and less, she figured there could be many more. Jennifer was trapped.
Captured on the 13th of March 2014, she had been out running and fallen. It was hot. Very hot. This was an unusual March as the temperature was 24 degrees outside. Jennifer was in agony as she sweated under the heat. A heat wave for Glasgow. A familiar red Astra pulled over and in it was Ian, Jennifer’s neighbour. Ian had lived at 15 Lisdoe Drive for 15 years now and knew Jennifer and her family for 10.
“Jen? Are you alright?”
He shouted over the loud radio playing from his car.
“I’m so embarrassed, I was out running and I’ve fallen on my ankle, could you drive me back, I can’t get up”
Ian got out of his car and opened the passenger seat. He was a tall, heavy built man, who didn’t struggle with the task of moving Jennifer to the car. She grimaced as she limped with him into the seat, breathing in sharply through her teeth.
“I’m so sorry”
she said, ashamed, under her breath.
“Uch it’s only 5 minutes down the road, don’t worry”.
He drove back to the house. Ian got out of the car and walked round to Jennifer’s seat. She yelped in pain as he tried to take her out.
“I think I need to go to a hospital”
Jennifer near cried.
“’Mon into mine and I’ll get you some paracetamol and we’ll call NHS 24, see what they say.”
Jennifer sighed as she knew she’d have to try and get up again. Ian cautiously looked around the street, looking to see if anyone was watching. Not a single person. He carried her into the house and sat her on his couch. He got her a drink. That’s all she remembers.
On the 14th of March Jennifer woke up in a daze. The room she was in was 6ft across by 8ft with one bed and one television. The walls were made of concrete and the door made of steel. The bed had a thin mattress with a metal frame that Jennifer was chained to and she could see the whole room from here. It was still unbelievably hot. As the hours went by, Jennifer’s throat became sore from screaming and her wrists became cut from the chains. She needed water and something to eat. After an unending amount of time, she heard, for the first time, the sequence that Ian has to go through to get to the door. Even after 450 days, this sequence still terrifies her. Jennifer’s routine hadn’t changed much in that year. She still checked the television every day to see if there was an update on her disappearance, hoping that they knew she was just next door.
The room had changed slightly. The walls had mould from the damp and the door had scratches and holes all around it from her countless attempts to get out. She had changed. Her body weighed a meagre 7 stone now and her teeth had begun to rot. Her dark, greasy hair that was tangled in knots and had started to fall out now matched the colour of the skin that circled her eyes. She was ill and she had to be found soon. She knew she couldn’t get out herself. Ian had been planning this for years. Not necessarily with Jennifer in mind, but that was a bonus. He had read books on other kidnap cases and made notes on where they went wrong and what materials they used to keep their victims in a secure room. His selection of doors were fool proof and this was his masterpiece.
Ian started his day like he would every day. He woke up, got dressed, then went to the shops to get his daily newspaper and speak to the neighbours to get the local gossip on his way home.
“How’s things Liz?”
“Day at a time Ian!”
“Just keep on at them Liz, she’s out there, keep your chin up, hen.”
Ian waved off Jennifer’s mother as he walked back into his house. He sat down to read his newspaper after making a roll and sausage then after he took two slices of bread and put them on a plate and carried it towards the basement. Like every other day, he unlocked the first two doors, then slid open the window to put the food through.
“I’m sick”
cried Jennifer. Ian paused. Jennifer hadn’t tried to talk to him during the day for months.
“Please, I need water, I’m sick.”
Ian opened the door to inspect the situation. Jennifer was on the floor, shivering. Ian walked towards her and without thinking, the door slammed shut behind him. They were both locked in there and Ian knew, they had stopped looking.

1 thought on “Trapped – Short Story

  1. Kat Reply

    Great story so far. How are they going to get out. Cannot wait for next entry. Love

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