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CHAPTER SEVEN (Go to first chapter in serial)

I opened the door to a blonde woman, her clothes looked a few sizes too big for her skinny frame; her makeup was smeared. She had been crying. “How can I help you?” She frightened me. She was suddenly pushed into my apartment by a man holding a gun. I knew the man. “Tim?”

“Hey cupcake, how you doing?” He held the gun to the back of the woman. “I’m so glad I finally get to see in the inside of apartment I’ve been watching for so long.”

I walked backward, tripping over the mess on my floor. Veronica was stiff, unclear of anything going on. The woman held captive spoke, “I thought you were Roy. You called yourself Roy.”

“Tim works at the IT department of my job. He’s the one…” It finally clicked, “He’s the one who showed me how to get to The Gallery.”

“Ah, cupcake. You always was a smart one.” He pushed us toward the bed. I asked about Roy. “Don’t you worry your pretty little face. I took care of Roy.”

***

Dana winced as she adjusted the chains around her feet. Lisa screamed. The dead man lying across the basement started choking.

“What’s going on? Where am I?” The dead man spoke.

“I thought you were dead,” Dana answered. “This Roy guy has been keeping us hostage.”

“I’m Roy. I think. At least that’s what my head is telling me. Are you girls okay?” He moved his body to rest against the concrete wall.

“Besides a missing pinky toe and a few bruises, yup. Peachy.”

The dead man, Roy, started checking his pockets. “I’m bleeding. He must have thought I was dead. I still have my phone on me.”

“PLEASE CALL 911!” Dana cried. “PLEASE!”

Roy took his phone out: 22% battery and one single bar of service. He dialed 911.

“911. What’s your emergency?”

“I’m in a basement with girls. Some have been hurt. I’m bleeding pretty badly.”

“We’re triangulating your location, sir. We have cops in the area who will be there shortly.”

***

“What have you done with Roy?” I screamed. Veronica, in shock, stood as stiff as a mannequin.

“I killed him for you. You kept yap, yap, yapping about Roy, Roy, Roy. I knew he was the only one standing in our way. Is this the famous Veronica I always hear about? The one you hate?”

Veronica whipped her head toward me, “What?”

The blonde girl writhed around, the gun at her back nudging her closer and closer to me.

“Tim, let’s talk about this before anyone gets hurt. What can we do to solve this?”

“See this here whore? I’m going to shoot her dead in a few minutes. I only needed her to get to you. I knew using Roy would work. You girls and your love for the bad boys. Veronica? I think I’ll make her suffer a bit. You always talked about how she hated you. Let’s do this together baby doll.”

I cringed. I didn’t know what to do. I should have called the police from the beginning. My mistake was going to cost this poor woman her life.

As I sat on the bed, crawling into fetal position, watching the blonde woman cry as she accepted her fate, my front door swung open.

“I’m officer Stone and this is Captain Renolds and you’re under arrest. Put the gun down on the floor and kick it to me. NOW!” He called in for backup. Everything happened in a blur. Shots rang out. The blonde woman fell to floor, her shoulder bleeding. Veronica ran to her aid as I nursed a gun shot in my ankle. After what seemed like a decade, but in reality only a few seconds, Tim was on the floor, in handcuffs.

Captain Renolds sat next to me on the bed, looking over my wound as Officer Stone took care of the blonde woman. “Ma’am, do you know a Roy Stevens?” I cried. This is not how I wanted it to end. I shook my head yes. “Well, you’ll have to thank him because if it wasn’t for his call, this psycho may have done more damage. He saved your life.”

***

My ankle was wrapped as I waited for the emergency truck to escort me to the hospital. I drank hot cocoa as everything settled into my bones, my brain, and my heart. Roy was alive. I was alive. Veronica was okay. The blonde woman would survive. The captain said the two other women who were held hostage would also be okay. Everything would be okay.

They shut the doors in front of me and banged on the back of the truck. We were ready to go to the hospital. I laid my head back; exhaustion settling in. My phone beeped. I automatically picked it up. A message appeared:

The Game Isn’t Over


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