She felt a pain in her wrist now, realized he was twisting it, pulling her away from the door. She heard it shut with a click and a quiet whoosh. She started to screammaybe someone on the other side would hear herbut his hand was over her mouth and she couldn't scream. She couldn't move and she couldn't make a sound and she couldn't even see him anymore. She couldn't see anything. She was back in the dark.
There was a strange and overwhelming pressure on her throat now and she was having trouble breathing. She felt her head twisting and it hurt, it really hurt, and then she heard a little snap and started to fall to the concrete floor. She was vaguely aware that the man was holding her up, that he was dragging her to the back of a car. She felt herself being lifted up, realized that the trunk of the car was open, and she started to squirm.
And then she felt another tug at her neck and heard another crack and then she didn't feel anything.
Maura did not hear the trunk of the blond man's car close on top of her. She did not know that the Donna Karan blouse she was wearing now had a long tear under her right armpit or that the Jimmy Choo spike-heeled shoes were streaked with grease and carelessly tossed inches away from her bare feet. She did not see or feel the body of Hector, the garage attendant, which was already stuffed in the trunk next to her.
As the blond man's car slowly pulled out of the parking space and moved toward the exit ramp, Maura felt like she was floating, like she was drifting off into space, weightless. She was surrounded by blackness, blacker than she'd ever imagined. She tried to make herself come back, tried to stop herself from fading into the dark, but she couldn't. And as she floated farther and farther away, she thought: It's not fair. It's not fair, it's not fair, its not fair. He has to tell me he loves me. He has to take me to meet all the famous and powerful people. And he has to know about Aphrodite.
I have to tell him about Aphrodite.
And then the terrible feeling that had been with Maura Greer her entire life disappeared. There were no more shadows. No more terrifying shapes. And no more fear.
There was only a new and different kind of darkness.
Copyright © 2004 by Peter Gethers.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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