Beth felt trapped like an animal in confinement. The idea that she too was in danger made her too frightened to slip away from the safety of her own home. Things were so upsetting and difficult. Every inch of the house was a reminder of Eddie, the photographs of them holding each other in happier times pained her heart. She cautiously paced upstairs and ran her fingers through Eddie’s side of their wardrobe. Beth pulled out one of his jumpers, it was soft and comforting and smelt like him. She hugged it. The tears flooded uncontrollably down her cheeks . Beth picked up the photograph of them at a night out with work friends . How young and care-free they looked then, Beth thought with a heavy heart.
Beth confided with her friends at the care home for support. Eddie’s Mum Anna flew over to England, she had been living in New Zealand for the past 6 years. Eddie missed her with all his heart Beth knew that more than anyone else, he always talked about her with so much fondness. His Dad had died 6 years previously from terminal Cancer, he was only 45. Beth and Anna immediately clicked, but would Anna think so highly of her if she knew that is was certain that Beth’s ex-boyfriend Harrison was responsible for Eddie’s disappearance? Probably not. Anna was in her early 50’s and still looked beautiful, with curly bobbed raven-black hair and dazzling hazel eyes. Her radiant facial features held a strong family resemblance , making it hard for Beth in a way. Anna reminded her of Eddie everyday. They would often go out for coffee and chat, in attempt to distract themselves from the hell they were going through. The police investigation continued with little evidence being found to prove what had really happened that night. Anna and Beth attempted to keep each others spirits up. They had started their own search, continuing to do all they could.
Time was running out rapidly for Eddie like the grains in a sand timer, he was growing weaker each day. My days are numbered, he thought, I wonder how Beth is coping? Harrison rudely burst into the room interrupting his reverie. “Get up now!” he ordered. Eddie cautiously rose to his feet in a shaky manner. “You’ll be wanting a shower or bath won’t you?” Eddie cautiously nodded, Harrison handed him a faded towel and some clean clothes. What was he planning? The bathroom was grim with peeling striped 1970’s wall paper and damp patches in the ceiling. Where the sealant had peeled away, the bath was growing a line of black fuzzy mould. Eddie eyed the soap dispenser in the corner. He turned on the squeaky tap and the water began to splutter in bursts from the shower head. His head began to swim and he sat down in the bath to prevent himself from falling. Eddie winced, the water was bitterly cold and quickly turned red as it rinsed away the congealed blood from Eddie’s body. He washed rapidly and used the soap to cleanse his matted hair which was in much need of conditioner. Eddie felt strangely better, as if the coldness of the water had revived him a little. Sitting on the edge of the bath, he rough dried his hair and himself and put on the clean clothes. They hung loosely on him like items belonging to a scarecrow.Eddie stared at his reflection in the rusty mirror, it came as a bit of a shock. He looked terrible; gaunt and exhausted but at least he was no longer covered in dried blood.
Realisation hit him. Oh god I’ve just washed away the evidence! He put his hand to his face and closed his eyes. There was a banging at the door. “Right your 10 minutes are up!” The voice startled Eddie and he quickly exited the room. Harrison looked angry “Any funny business and you’ll pay do you hear!” “S-sorry” Eddie stammered. He felt quite faint once more, and held onto the banister as he walked down the stone stairs with Harrison closely following behind. His cuts stung. What was in the soap? It must have been something citrus Eddie thought to himself. His skin looked quite red and agitated in the dim light, the consistent itching keeping him awake all night. It was intended psychological torture.
He laid upon the old mattress and gazed up at the ceiling which was damp with flaking patches of paint. He missed Beth so much and felt somewhat guilty, she must be really fretting by now, he thought. There had been a tiny window in the bathroom Eddie recalled. He decided to write a message on something in hope that he would be found. Surely there would be a search taking place by now.In the room he noticed a small pile of cardboard boxes. He just needed some sort of writing implement. Eddie was able to dislodge a small piece of slate out of the wall. He ran his index finger over the edge. It was certainly sharp enough. He carefully etched a message into the cardboard.
“PLEASE HELP ME. I AM BEING HELD CAPTIVE IN THESE DESERTED BUILDINGS. IF YOU READ THIS INFORM THE POLICE THAT I AM STILL ALIVE, EDDIE JAMES 9.9.12”
He held it up to the light, it was certainly readable. I may have a tiny chance the thought. He later asked to be escorted back to the bathroom and was given 2 minutes. The tiny window would only open enough to provide a small slit, he posted the message through. He quickly exited the bathroom to be walked back to the room. He couldn’t recognise the person’s face as it was hidden with a balaclava. Eddie prayed that someone might find the note and wondered if there was going to be some sort of rand-some for him. Probably not, he told himself and put his head into his hands in devastation.
TO BE CONTINUED…….