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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2235569-A-Blind-Date
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Dark · #2235569
A meek yet chancy girl is introduced to an unfortunate fate she didn't even know existed.














A Blind Date
By Noah Youngson


         Four casual knocks fell on the front door. Michelle was applying the finishing touches of her makeup, gathered her necessities, and rushed to answer.
         “Hey,” said the man, hopeful, and with a smile. “You ready?” he asked, running his fingers through curly brown hair. He wore dark dress jeans with a short-sleeve, burgundy button down shirt, all tied together by a pair of dark brown chukka boots.
         “Yep, I’m all set,” replied Michelle, hopeful as well.
         She shut the door behind her and they walked the concrete path towards his car. He drove a black luxury sedan with slate red leather seating and accessories, and, even though Michelle had witnessed it on their last date, being in its presence still fascinated her.
         The man’s name was Drake. At twenty-eight years old, he had resided in Manassas his entire life, where he and Michelle met at a local bar a couple of weeks ago. It was her twenty-first that night, and she had certainly celebrated accordingly.
         “You look good tonight,” he said flirtatiously, as they both shut their doors. She was sporting a navy and dark green flannel over a white crop top, with bleached jeans and white shoes.
         Michelle looked down and smiled, pink spreading on her cheeks. “Thank you. I'm glad you like it cause this is dressing up for me.”
         Drake laughed. “Well to each their own I suppose. By the way feel free to pull the seat up if you want.” He reached down into the middle console and pulled out a green container of mints. He popped one into his mouth. “Want one? They’re spearmint,” he suggested playfully.
         “No thanks, I’m good,” Michelle answered softly, laughing.
         He placed the container back in the console. “I figured we could go to Bella Vita tonight, I’ve really been in the mood for some Italian lately.”
         “Sounds good to me, I’m always down for Italian.”
         They arrived at the restaurant, and he opened one of the Tuscan wooden double doors for her like a gentleman. This particular restaurant was popular around the area for dates; the lights were lower than a normal restaurant, the music a subtle, relaxing mix of Italian classical pieces, and a respectable amount of privacy in each booth, in which a host eventually showed them to their own.
         “This has to be one of my favorite places to eat in town,” Drake remarked, performing a quick panorama of the scene. “Everything about it is so cool.”
         “Right,” Michelle answered fervently. “The music makes me feel like I’m in the 1700s.”
         Drake laughed, and she brushed her dark brown hair behind her shoulder.
         A young, blonde woman approached the table with a small notepad. “Hello, how are we doing tonight?” she asked, removing two miniature napkins from her apron and setting one in front of each guest.
         “Good, how about you?” Drake asked in return.
         “I’m doing well,” she replied. She glanced at him, paused for a second, and then looked at Michelle. “My name is Erica and I’ll be your server tonight. Can I get you guys anything to drink?”
         “I’ll just have water,” said Drake.
         “And for you?”
         “Can I get the pinot noir?” Michelle asked. She handed her ID to Erica for verification.
         “Alright, I will be right back with the drinks.” Both guests handed their menus to the waitress, and she walked away somewhat quickly.
         Michelle played with her hands under the table, while Drake scanned the restaurant once more.
         “Just wondering, but does she know you?” Michelle inquired. “I just noticed she was looking at you a lot.”
         Drake propped his elbows up on the table. “I see you’re very observant,” he commented with a smile. “Her and I used to see each other a few years back but it never really became anything, as you can see now.” He chuckled. “We certainly had our fair share of differences, I can tell you that much.”
         Erica rounded a corner with their drinks and set the appropriate one in front of each guest. “I’ll give you guys a few minutes to look over the menu.”
         “Alright thanks,” Drake answered. He punctured the end of his straw wrapper on the edge of the table.
         “How did you and her meet?” Michelle took a sip of wine.
         “It was at a bar. She was at a table with some of her friends and I was there with one of mine. Eventually a couple of the girls walked away and my buddy and I decided to approach Erica and her other friend.”
         Michelle laughed. “Kind of like how you met me.”
         “Kind of,” he said, sharing the laugh. “Except I could tell that you were different from the women I’ve talked to.”
         “Oh okay,” she nodded playfully. “Is it because I’m a brunette?” she teased.
         “Well that’s part of it. But it was mainly your mysterious nature that I was into. The way you sat at the bar, not seeming to worry about the guys there like the rest of the women.”
         “Well I am quite mysterious,” she quipped, taking another sip.
         The two finished the calamari appetizer and while Drake only had a few bites left of his entreé, Michelle had only eaten about a quarter of her plate. Erica approached with the checks, appearing to compose herself on the way.
         “How was everything tonight?” she asked, clasping her hands together.
         “It was good,” Michelle replied with a lips-only smile. Drake nodded as he was still chewing.
         “Would you like a box for that?” she asked Michelle.
         “Sure, that would be great.”
         “Alright, here are the checks. No rush, and I’ll get this out of your way.” Erica said, removing the appetizer plate.
         “Thank you,” answered Michelle.
         “No problem,” the waitress answered, her voice quick and tense. She went to get the box.
         Drake let out a post-dinner groan and rubbed his stomach. “Not a fan of the alfredo?”
         “Oh no it was good I just wasn’t that hungry after the appetizer,” said Michelle.
         A few moments later Erica arrived with the box, then slid the checks along with Drake’s debit card off the table.
“I’ll go ahead and run these for you guys and you’ll be all set.”
         “Thank you,” the two guests said in close unison.

#


         They left a rather nice tip for Erica, and then walked in the still, July night air to Drake’s car. He put his arm around her shoulder, then slid it down towards her waist. “If you’re down we could go back to my house. You could finally see it for yourself.”
         “I don’t know, I’m kind of tired,” Michelle said hesitantly.
         Drake cocked his head back and smiled. “All the more reason to come over. I can put on a movie, maybe something funny, or maybe something romantic,” he persisted. “And we can relax, have a good time.” He checked his large-faced wristwatch. “Besides, it’s only seven thirty.”
         Michelle gave a short, timid laugh.
         “And it’s a Friday night,” he urged playfully.
         “Alright…but it better be the greatest movie I’ve ever seen.”
         “Of course, how could it be anything else?” They each opened their car doors and hopped inside. “I really think you’ll like my place though. It’s incredibly unique.”
         “I hope so,” she quipped. “I’m sacrificing my precious sleep to check it out.”
         “Trust me, you will not be disappointed.”
         Drake pulled out of the restaurant parking lot and was off for his home. He lived in the midst of a small, dense forest about five minutes outside of the main city, with only a few other houses nearby. Michelle had rarely visited that area, only when she was younger, and her father would take her out for a cruise in the evenings to see all of the land and houses. She only held fond memories of him presently, as he passed away nearly seven years ago overseas in a military operation. Hearing the news of that incident had left Michelle internally devastated, and since that day she’d felt as if she may never fully recover. And now to watch as Drake slowed to turn onto the same long road from her childhood left her slightly jarred.
         “Here we are,” he stated somewhat proudly as they waited for the driveway’s elegant black gates to part.
         “This is where you live?” Michelle asked, the facade of the house approaching like a tsunami as they pulled in.
         “Yep, she’s a beauty,” he said casually. “I owe most of the thanks to my father, though. He had this built around thirty years ago when he and my mom first got married. They wanted something big enough for their get-togethers and also for me and my siblings to have enough space.”
         “I would say they most definitely accomplished that goal,” Michelle remarked, and craned her neck to study the intricate design, the amber from the light sconces reaching just far enough to wash over her face. “It’s funny you mentioned your father though, because mine actually used to take me out for drives around this area when I was a kid.”
         “Really? That’s kind of insane. All those times passing by and we had no idea who each other was,” he jested, and then turned to look at her. “And yet, here we are.”
         “Here we are,” she reciprocated.
         They exited the car and made their way to the front steps, and then the front door. Michelle came face to face with the tsunami.
         Inside, the foyer was extravagant and detailed, leaving no question that a tremendous amount of effort was put forth to create and maintain such a design. In the middle of the room was a wide set of dark wooden stairs protruding from the back wall, the steps covered partially by a predominantly red but multicolored carpet of Persian descent that continued down to the rest of the floor like a rippling sea. The bottom of the staircase was flanked by two marble ivory statues, both carefully crafted to look as if they could be displayed in a museum. Each one represented a woman from the Greek period, yet instead of wearing typical chitons they were both topless.
         “Jesus Christ,” Michelle gasped, still taking in the sights.
         “It’s pretty fantastic,” Drake noted. “And you haven’t even seen the upstairs yet.”
         They started for the staircase, their footsteps nearly silent on the Persian carpet. Once they reached the final step, they were invited by three rather wide corridors that maintained the same carpet: one straight ahead, and one to the left and right. They chose right. Facing them from the very end of the hall was yet another statue, however this one was foreign to Michelle. A dark bronze color, the piece consisted of a human male figure with a goat’s head, sitting atop a globe on a pedestal. On the face of the pedestal was a circle with a pentagram inside.
         It stared back at them with stillness and authority, and Michelle became uneasy. This wasn’t like the Greek statues who bore the ancient spirit, this figure seemed to know they shared the hallway with him. She began to walk a little slower as they continued towards it, then Drake shifted towards the right side to open a door.
         “What’s that one?” she asked, and pointed to the thing.
         “It’s a statue of Baphomet,” Drake answered, and a subtle look of satisfaction began to form on his face. “Yet another blessing from my father.”
         “What’s it supposed to represent?” Michelle asked as they entered Drake’s bedroom.
         “He’s my family’s idol,” he stated seriously. “He represents secular values and a skepticism of dogmatic practices, especially towards common Christianity. Among many other things of course.”
         Drake shut the door behind them and locked it.
         Michelle stood awkwardly by the bed. “Yeah I never really enjoyed going to church.”
         “Probably because they tell you what to believe,” he said, turning on the television and loading a streaming service.
         “That, and it was just kind of boring, all the singing and what not,” Michelle recalled, making a wry face.
         Drake chuckled. “Yeah that’s no fun either. Go ahead and feel free to lay on the bed. I’m gonna use the bathroom real quick.”
         Michelle took a seat on the bed and looked around. The room was dimly lit by a few rather strangely designed lamps, one on each wall except for the wall opposite the door, which consisted of a set of white, French doors that opened up to a balcony overlooking the front yard. On Drake’s TV stand she noticed a few different items: a cell phone in front of the base of the TV, and then next to the phone a set of keys. Michelle thought for a moment, but didn’t remember him taking anything out of his pockets when he entered the room.
         The bathroom door opened, and Drake came out, sifting his fingers through his hair. “Were you able to find the greatest movie ever?”
         Michelle burst out laughing. “I didn’t see anything. You said I wouldn’t be disappointed though, so we’ll have to see if you can find it,” she smirked.
         “I did say that,” Drake recalled. “Very keen memory, Michelle. Maybe too keen,” he said with a joking suspicion.
         “What can I say,” Michelle boasted. “Memory of an elephant.”
         Drake lay down next to her on the bed with the remote in his hand. He turned to face her, resting his head in his right hand, and stared with anticipation.
         “What?” she laughed.
         “You don’t have to be so nervous, I don’t bite,” Drake said, smiling.
         “Whatever,” she laughed back, and proceeded to curl up into him like a baby cub into its lion father. He embraced her with his right arm, and shifted back so that he was laying on his back again, scrolling through movies with his left hand. He came across Titanic, and hovered over it for a moment. He could almost sense her desire for him to select it.
         “There we go,” Drake said. He pressed the button on the remote. “You can never go wrong with this one.”
         “You really can’t,” Michelle affirmed.
         He maneuvered his body downwards on the bed a few inches so that their faces were nearly level with each other, and then reached to pull the bundled up comforter over both of them. “Much better,” he said. The movie began to play, and they watched as the unexpected relationship between Jack and Rose was on its way to fruition.
         About fifteen minutes in, Drake turned his head to look at Michelle, and she returned the gaze. Drake leaned in, and kissed her. He began to caress her by placing his hand in the small of her back, and she placed her right hand on the back of his neck. The light from the movie would illuminate their faces, then within a few seconds leave them in the dark again.
         Drake somewhat forcefully pulled Michelle on top of him, and attempted to remove her shirt. She placed her hand on top of his, anxiously refused the gesture, and leaned down to start kissing him again. He kissed a little longer, tried once more to take off her shirt, and she slid the flannel back over her shoulder without a word.
         “Is there a problem?” Drake asked.
         Michelle sat up, and brushed her hair out of her face. “No I just don’t think I wanna get there yet, not tonight anyway,” she said quietly.
         “Why not?”
         “I don’t know I would just rather wait,” she answered yet again, nervously. “It makes it more special.”
         “Michelle I think it would be in both of our best interests if we did this,” he said intensely. “You have no idea what’s in store for you if you don’t.”
         Her face twisted and compressed with fearful confusion. “Um, what’s that supposed to mean?”
         “Well let’s find out.” In a calm yet focused manner Drake reached down underneath the bed and came back up with a tan, nylon rope. He then angrily took Michelle by her wrists and tied a quick knot, the insides of her wrists gridlocked together. Coercing her towards the door, he snatched the set of keys from the TV stand, and led her out into the hallway.
         “Drake! Let go of me! What is this?!” cried Michelle as best she could, her throat continually tightening. “Where’re you taking me?!”
         The pure mystery of the goat’s head was getting closer and closer, and Michelle felt her stomach wrench like a towel being wrung out, with hot sweats radiating throughout her body.
         They reached the end of the hallway, nearly face to face with the onlooking figure, and Drake opened a door on the left side with one of the keys. All that Michelle could make out was a dark stairwell that descended into an ever darker room. He flipped a light switch on the left hand side of the stairtop landing. A single light bulb overhead dimly lit the way down.
         “I’m not going down here Drake!” Michelle yelled, half angry and half filled with hot tears.
         Drake remained composed and kept his voice low. “I certainly would if I were you, unless you want something to happen to your mother—I can very easily make that happen.”
         “What?! How do you even know about my mom?!” she cried, her breath nearly escaping her.
         “Doesn’t matter,” he replied. “If you want her to be safe you’ll see what’s down here.” He stared at her expectedly, to which she had nothing. He started on the way down, forcing Michelle along with him. The stairs creaked and rattled as they slowly entered the darkness, and Michelle shuddered more and more with each step.
         They reached the bottom landing that transitioned the last few stairs to the left, and Drake flipped another light switch. The room reeked of an oddly cooperative mixture of burning chemicals and underground concrete flooring. To their left was a wooden spool table surrounded by four black, foldable chairs. A cell phone, a multitude of empty beer bottles, and a few packs of cigarettes were scattered across the table.
         Beyond the table was two sections of rooms, constructed by panels of thick cork that were secured in place by a metal framework to form small cubicle rooms. Creating the two sections was a slim hallway that contained white, paneled doors for each room, and strung near the ceiling above these rooms was a series of red Christmas lights, that seemed to pulsate with Michelle’s every breath.
         All of a sudden a loud smack rung throughout the basement. A girl screamed, and a man’s growling voice scolded her. Drake tightened his grip on Michelle’s arm and fast walked towards the door of the scene. Without a single knock, he opened it using one of his keys. Laying on the bed in the corner was a half naked portly man, spooning the girl with his arm wrapped around her stomach. The girl was looking straight on, whimpering.
         “Everything good in here?” Drake asked, concerned.
         “Everything’s fine,” replied the man, his head hovering over her and watching her face. “We just had a little mishap is all. She seemed to forget where she was and what goes on here. But now you know, don’t you?” he half teased, stroking her chin a few times with his thumb. The girl answered with some sniffles and breath that escaped in rapid fragments. She then shifted her head to make eye contact with Michelle, and the girl seemed to communicate something with her by way of true torment and agony. Her face was then blocked by the shutting of the door, but Michelle could feel both of their tear stained eyes burning through the wood.
         “Come on,” Drake said, and led her to a room at the end of the hallway. He patted down her torso and legs, like that of an airport security official, and removed her phone and wallet from her jeans pockets. He then gave her a forcible shove by her elbow into the cubicle, and Michelle nearly fell to the ground. Before she could gather herself and get back on her feet, Drake was gone and the door was locked from the outside.
         “Drake!…Drake!” she yelled, having to writhe and flex in order to stand up. She kicked at the door. No one answered. Looking closer between the door’s design panels, Michelle noticed a small peephole. She nearly hit her forehead trying to look through it, but found that it was placed in reverse fashion, so that only the person from the outside could see in. She began to kick viciously at the door again. “Drake! Let me out!…Someone, please, help!” she cried. After about ten minutes of doing so, she let her head fall against the door, sniffling, and hoping that she might just hear the lock being jiggled and turned. Nothing.
         She turned to face her room, bare and dungeon-like, and deprived of sunlight. The chemical smell had not failed to reach every available air particle in the basement, and the stench was starting to give Michelle a slight high. On the ground in the corner was a twin size bed with no frame or box spring, only harboring a grey sheet and a pillow with no case. There were no electrical outlets to be seen on any of the walls, but only a light switch adjacent to the door. The switch was circuited to a single, open light bulb in the middle of the ceiling, and mounted a few feet away was a rectangular air vent. She felt as if she had just been thrust into prison with no warning.
         About an hour later Michelle lay in the fetal position on the flat, lifeless bed, however to her it seemed as if a whole day had passed. She wondered if anyone had tried to call or text her. Her mind was in a trance of pure bewilderment and cyclical shock, and the consistent intake of the sharp odor had begun to make her nauseous. The soft orange glow from the lamp combined with the raggedy hum of the vent to slowly dissolve into nothingness. A few minutes later she awoke, disoriented. She sat up against the wall with her knees clutched to her chest, and felt as if her present self had just been lurched back into her body, her vision now stationed at a distance. Her entire life she had seen shows and movies that generally characterized pimps as rich and high status, and girls willing to perform sexual acts for them consensually. The first part was absolutely true, Michelle thought, but in no way the second part.
         Moments later, she heard a moan and a wail come from a girl in the room beside her. The noise was then quickly muffled, by what seemed like someone’s hand cupping the girl’s mouth.
         Michelle wondered about the girl she’d seen earlier. Was she subject to Drake’s charm and confidence, just to end up in the same place? Was she even still in the same room, bound by the portly man? Michelle wondered what lie in her own fate, an apprehensive set of thoughts she quickly stowed away in a mental box. Her bottom lip began to quiver. However, crying again seemed futile to her. Seeing no reason to stay awake, Michelle let out a troubled sigh and returned to the fetal position.

#


         Having no way to see the time, Michelle assumed it was morning when Drake finally returned to her small cubicle. He shut the door behind him and locked it, his movements slow to prevent from waking her. He crouched beside the bed, and gave her shoulder a slight shake. She didn’t budge. He shook it again, a little harder this time. She woke, and turned to face whatever it was that had disturbed her.
         “Good morning,” Drake said, smiling.
         She stared him square in the face, hair strung across her eyes and nose. “Let me out of here you piece of shit,” she croaked.
         “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
         In a swift motion Michelle attempted to bring her foot around and kick Drake in the side of the head. Drake thrust his left arm across his chest and caught Michelle’s ankle a second before connection, as if he read her mind beforehand. He held it in his grip.
         “Watch it,” he said sternly. “Things will go a lot smoother for you if you cooperate. Don’t be mad at me, you made the decision last night at the top of the steps if you wanted to come down here or not.” He threw her leg back down on the bed.
         “No I didn’t!” Michelle asserted, her quick anger shooting her out of slumber. “This is all your fault! I had no choice whatsoever!”
         Drake laughed. “Oh no, you had a choice Michelle. You just didn’t make the right one,” he said with artificial pity.
         “Like having sex with you against my will?” she retorted, a look of pure disbelief spread across her face.
         Drake gestured with his hands in an I-don’t-know fashion, and gave her a look of disappointment like a father to his daughter.
         Michelle scoffed. “You’re sick. I thought we were going somewhere. I thought you were cute, and fun, and I don’t know, a good guy. But you’re weak, and a fraud. You’re a lie. Come to find out too you’re actually part of this underground… sex trade that I didn’t even know really existed.”
         “Things aren’t always what they seem, Michelle. I’m doing what I’ve always done, but you made the conscious choice to interact with me that night at the bar. You could’ve easily denied me.” He paused. “Enough chat. Get up, we have a big day ahead of us.”
         “How was I supposed to know?!” she cried. “That doesn’t make any sense!” She watched Drake’s back with fierce internal rage as he walked towards the door, leaving it open for her to follow. He stood in the hallway, looking in and waiting for her.
         “What?” she asked, irritated.
         “Let’s go,” he replied impatiently. “We have things to do.”
         “Tell me what we’re doing.”
         “You’ll find out soon enough.” He lifted the right side of his button down shirt to reveal a holstered black pistol. He removed it and casually aimed it at her. Michelle gulped, and quickly considered her options. Hesitantly, she stood up from the bed, and trudged towards the doorway. Drake took her by her upper arm and reholstered the pistol. He then fumbled through his key ring to find the right one, and opened the door directly across the hallway from Michelle’s room.
         The inside was still as grey and prison-like as the rest of the basement. Rather than the chemical smell, the air was predominantly owned by a fleshy, organic smell. In the far corner sat an aged wooden chair, and towards the middle of the room was a black camera on a tripod. On the floor in front of the back wall was an ‘X’ designed by masking tape.
         “You’re a smart girl, Michelle. You probably already have an idea of what’s about to happen in here,” Drake said. “Like I said, big day ahead of us.”
         “Tell me this isn’t what I think it is…please,” Michelle pleaded, the color slowly draining from her face.
         “C’mon, it won’t be that bad. Just a little photoshoot,” he said, preparing the camera. “Except I’m going to need all of your clothes off.”
         Michelle didn’t move a muscle, and obliviously stared back at Drake with wide eyes. He lifted the side of his shirt yet again. Michelle remained firm in her stance, and he had started the process of untying the rope around her wrists, eventually loosening it to near freedom. The gun was then in the small of her back as he undid the remaining rope.
         “Go on,” he said carefully, slowly returning to face her front. Michelle began to shake uncontrollably, and with trembling hands, slid the flannel off her shoulders. She tossed it lightly to the floor, and began to unzip her jeans. Once removed, she set them on the floor beside the shirt.
         “Good,” Drake said, his intensely dilated pupils scanning Michelle up and down. “Now the rest.” The gun was still promptly aimed at her. With eyes burning and tears escaping her, she took off the crop top, undid her bra strap, and added them to the pile of clothes.
         “Drake…please,” Michelle begged, still maintaining her last piece of clothing and with it her dignity— in this instance the very shield between her last ounce of self preservation and absolute degradation.
         “Off.”
         “I’ll do anything, I swear,” she said, wiping her cheeks.
         “Off, or I shoot,” Drake pressed. “We’ve already made it this far.”
         In a rapid flash of thoughts Michelle took into consideration her mother and how devastated she would be at the loss of her daughter, if her mother was even safe at this point. She quickly acknowledged the fact that at this very moment lay the choice between life and death, even if life would never be the same afterwards. Her youthful spirit and vigor had been stripped away by both clothing and malicious desire, yet the dark, notorious mystery of death was all too overbearing.
         She pulled her underwear down to the ground, and stood back up, covering both areas as best she could, shaking.
         Drake slowly brought the gun down. “Good.” Michelle’s vision was completely engulfed by concrete as she could not find the strength to lift her head from staring at the floor. She could feel Drake’s eyes virulently absorbing her body, as if they contained a snake’s venom that poisoned her inner will.
         “Now stand on the ‘X’ and don’t move.” He let the rope fall to unravel it. “Hands behind your back.” He tied the coarse nylon slightly tighter this time, and she could feel the tendons of her wrists smashing against each other. From a closet nearly chameleon on the opposite wall, Drake pulled out two soft box studio lights and placed one on either side of the camera. Michelle dropped her head once more as her bare, open existence was flooded in a pool of light. He then removed from the closet a roll of duct tape.
         “At least let me be able to talk,” Michelle said desperately.
         “I would but your disobedience has been quite annoying,” he answered, stretching out a segment of tape.
         “Probably because I’m in an underground sex dungeon against my will!”
         He replied by securing the length of tape across her mouth and cheeks.
         “There we go,” Drake muttered, and peeked through the camera eye. “Look up for me.” He snapped a few pictures, each flash ringing throughout her like a shockwave. He then entered the light and fixed Michelle’s hair so that it was not in her face. As soon as he was back behind the camera, she quickly shook her head to undo Drake’s gesture.
         “Quit making this so damn difficult!” Drake yelled, and stormed directly in front of her, pulling some of her hair back and giving a swift backhand. Michelle attempted to let out a shriek but the tape allowed for hardly any facial movement whatsoever. Tense fingers clenched her jawbone, forcing her to be face to face with the icy mint breath she had encountered the day before. His eyes seemed to nearly eject from their sockets and the mint-breath mouth grimaced like a bull seeing red. In an odd shift, Michelle saw in Drake’s entire face that he had just come to some frightful realization, and his expression quickly turned stoic. He let go of her face, leaving cherry red streaks along her cheekbones.
         “That’s enough pictures for today,” he said apathetically, yet still with a twinge of fury in his voice. He turned off the camera and the lights. Michelle stood in her same position, stricken with utter perplexity. He took her by the arm and led her back to her room across the hallway, giving another forceful shove. She had no choice but to fall, and landed on the dull piece of fabric that seemed to blend in with the concrete floor. Drake quickly left, then returned with her clothes, and threw them beside her bed as if they were garbage.
         “I’ll be back,” he said, then shut the door, and locked it once more.
         About ten minutes later, he opened the door while examining something, something thin and almost transparent. As he approached her bed Michelle wished she hadn’t realized what was in his hand: it was a syringe, filled with a murky substance similar to the color of dehydrated urine. Yet again the tape nearly muted her desperate screams, resulting in repressed vibrations trying to find a way out.
         “No need to worry,” Drake assured, and gave the syringe a few casual flicks. “This right here should alleviate the pain from the other room.” Pinning Michelle down with his knees and left hand, he placed his other thumb on the device’s plunger and carefully aimed the tip of the needle in the side of her left shoulder. She expended every fiber of effort in her body to struggle free from involuntarily taking another step further into the world of slavery, but ultimately she had no choice. The needle slowly penetrated the surface of her muscle, and she could only watch as the disgusting, foreign liquid was gradually reduced to nothing. Within only a few seconds, her head now fuzzy and her limbs becoming heavy, she was thrust into a state of consciousness with no return.
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