This is the first chapter of the novel I am working on.
Freezing cold water was pouring into my mouth,up my nose, and I was gasping, struggling, desperately trying to breathe. Then the realization hit me that someone was holding my head underwater. Whoosh….I was breathing air again, panicking and gulping for breath. I was yanked to my feet and my head pushed forward and the ice-cold water hit my face, filling my mouth and nose. I was exerting all my energy but I was not strong enough to get free from the vise-like grip. My breath caught in my throat. I couldn’t breathe at all. Everything started to go black and I was floating, floating. I came back to consciousness still heaving for any air at all. Abject terror came over me and I shook uncontrollably. Who or what was doing this to me? Fear was choking me too and the smell of decay was strong. Where was I? It was dark, cold, and now very silent, apart from my heart pounding like thunder in my chest. I passed out.
When I woke my stomach was churning and my breathing was labored and shallow. I could feel the bile rising and I vomited. I lay trembling, willing myself to stay as still as I could. My fingers were tingling and numb because my wrists were tightly tied. A scream of absolute terror, unlike anything I had ever heard, broke the silence. A gruff voice shouted, “Shut up bitch. Speak to daddy. Come on girl, speak to daddy.” The girl sobbed pitifully as she tried to speak. “Daddy, daddy, please come and get me. Daddy please daddy please?” The child sounded quite young and very distressed. Her voice broke up hiccupping as she sobbed. Her words were coming out raggedly as she tried to catch her breath..Daddy my hand hurts, daddy…..Please daddy? A slap and a scream…..
I woke with my neck sore and stiff. My wrists hurt. Looking around, I found myself in the driver’s seat of my car. People were walking past going about their daily business. I looked at my watch. It was 5:00 p.m. September 10, 2005
My nightmares subsided. Memories of that day faded. I was beginning to convince myself that it was just a nightmare. Could it really have happened? If it did, should I have mentioned it to my security guys? Was something going to happen to Rosie? That child had sounded so much like my Rosie. These questions kept running through my brain over and over again. I would wake in the night covered in cold sweat. I thought I was going mad. Gradually as the days turned into months, my common sense took over. Life settled back into its normal and somewhat mundane routines.
December 15, 2005
Christmas is coming. Today instead of snatching a sandwich at my desk, I was meeting my beautiful wife. In her words, she was “beginning to feel a tad neglected.” Of course she had more Christmas presents to buy. As usual I arrived before her and waited. She glided into the café looking like she had stepped off the page of a glossy up-market magazine. The reality was that she was as normal as you and me. “You’re late darling” I said. “Sorry love. Rosie was busy with a painting and wanted to finish it for you. And that rush hour traffic is horrendous. Rosie, show daddy the picture you painted for him.” Rosie scrambled onto my knee. I loved my little girl. We had waited so long for her to come along and she was a delight. Every day we marveled at how perfect she was. “Daddy, daddy. Do you like the card I made for you?” Amid restaurant chatter she clambered down and ran to the door just as a lady entered.
Rosie screamed with delight. “Billy, Billy! It’s my friend Billy!” Time stood still. I looked at the door to see Rosie following the lady out and running toward a large man holding the hand of a small boy. The boy was pulling back and squealing excitedly. “Come on Rosie, quickly.” She caught up with the boy. The large man held out his hand and Rosie took it. They turned and slowly walked away.
The waiter appeared by my side. “I have a call for you, Lord Grey.” He handed me the phone. A gruff voice spoke: “What a beautiful daughter you have, Lord Grey.” My wife was screaming hysterically. In that second my nightmare became a reality.