by Serena Blade
a blizzard that held a dark secret within its cold walls.
|“Have you arrived?” Valerie asked her.
Heather looked outside her car window and stared into the ominous office building and sighed. She had to admit that she was a little nervous. The building was dark and she was alone. What was she doing there so late at night? The snowstorm was getting worse. I just hope I don’t get stuck here, Heather thought as she got ready to depart from the car and run into the building.
“I’m here. Where is this file?” Heather asked.
“Should be on my desk. Try to hurry.”
Heather shuddered with the idea of walking into an empty dark office all by herself. Yet, she had been asked for a file that obtained notes for the upcoming trial. Heather had yet to meet her boss, Mr. Benjamin Von Dutch. It had only been a week that she started working for the law firm office and she had only recently gotten comfortable with Valerie.
Valerie was Mr. Von Dutch’s first assistant. Heather was hired to be Valerie’s assistant.
“The faster you hurry, the faster we can get back to our lives,” Valerie continued as Heather got out of the car. The wind flapped at her hair.
I need to pick up this hair!
She quickly looked for the black hair clip inside the glove compartment with no success.
Where the hell did it go?!
She hoped she did not lose it, as it was the final gift her mother had given her before she passed away. She hoped to find it soon. For now, all she could do was ignore the mop of hair that threatened to frizz. Heather brushed the thought away as she approached the front door of the office. Once inside she immediately turned on all the lights. It was a simple office . It consisted of a wide room with two desks side by side, a lunch room and finally, Mr. Von Dutch’s office down the hall. Heather quickly walked to Valerie’s desk that stood close to the large window that faced the street. Heather noticed that the blizzard was coming down fast with no sign of slowing down. She cursed out loud as she searched Valerie’s desk and did not see a file. “Where the hell are you?!” Heather shouted in frustration. Her phone vibrated.
“Did you find it?”
Heather hesitated. “It’s not here.”
“What? What do you mean? That is where I left it.”
“I don’t know what to tell you.”
“It might be in his office.”
Heather looked down the dark hallway. She had never been into his office. In fact, the only person that ever entered that office was Valerie, herself. Heather was informed that the only thing she was required to do was assist Valerie and nothing more. There was no reason to enter Mr. Von Dutch’s office.
Until now, Heather thought.
She sighed, swallowed her nerves and began her way down the hall.
“It should be open,” Valerie said.
“But it’s not,” Heather replied as she attempted to open the door.
“Check in one of the drawers in my desk. I know I left a set of keys there.”
Like you thought you left the file on your desk, Heather thought sarcastically as she searched for the keys.
Sure enough the keys were in the middle drawer of the desk. Heather jingled the keys as a confirmation. As she began her way to the office she noticed something strange outside the window.
“That’s odd!” Heather said.
“What? Are you okay?”
“The driver side of my car is open. I don’t remember leaving it open.”
“Maybe you did and don’t remember.”
“You mean like how you forgot where you left the file?” Heather said. She chuckled lightly, trying to place humor at the ominous feeling she felt creeping inside her.
“Ha Ha, funny!” Valerie replied.
Heather walked outside to close the car door. The blistering cold bit at her exposed face and hands. She clutched at her coat as she walked her way towards her car. She did not notice anything strange. Maybe I did leave it open and the wind happened to open it wide. Yes, that is it. I need to ensure next time I close this correctly.
Heather closed the car door and as she did, that is when she saw it.
“Oh, damn it!”
“What? Are you okay?”
“My front tire is flat! Now I am really stuck here!”
Heather snorted with annoyance.
“Gee, Valerie, thanks for the reassurance.”
Heather could hear Valerie giggle. Was she seriously enjoying her misfortune?
“It’s okay. I will go and get you. Just fetch the file and I should be there soon.”
“Please try to hurry. This storm is really coming down and I would hate for both of us to be stuck here all night.”
“I’m getting into my car as we speak.”
Heather wondered if Valerie was telling the truth. She heard nothing but silence. It brought a dire feeling she was trying not to entertain. She quickly walked back into the office and locked the door behind her.
Just get the file, Heather thought as she opened Mr. Von Dutch’s office.
Darkness laid before her and her mind began to play tricks on her. She gasped. She thought she had seen a dark shadow at the corner of the room. She wanted to speak but no words came out. Her mouth felt like cotton. She slowly walked into the room, reaching for the lamp that sat on the large wooden desk. The light washed over the room exposing nothing but a lavish office. A wall to wall bookshelf, a mahogany red wooden desk, office chair, leather armchair, and a fireplace. There was a large window behind the desk where the blizzard continued to come down with fury. Heather noticed there was a set of three medium size Kitana swords mounted above the mantle. She looked at the set of swords as she walked closer to the fireplace. She could see that they were curved with a single edged blade, a circular guard and a long grip. The swords were enclosed in a black sheath. Tempted to grab one of them, she remembered why she had entered the office in the first place. As she began to open drawers, she began to wonder why she even accepted the job in the first place. She had never worked in an office. Valerie seemed like a nice woman when Heather first had talked to her. Valerie was a regular customer at the coffee shop in which she had worked previously.
“You seem like such a smart girl. Overqualified for such a simple place,” Valerie had said one day, as she ordered her regular black coffee.
“You never get my order wrong. You tend to take orders real well.”
Heather thought it was something odd to say but she only thanked her. Before Valerie had left she had invited her for an interview at the law firm
“I’m not looking for a new job.”
“I insist! You would do great as my personal assistant. I am in dire need of one!”
Sure, why not. What do I have to lose? Heather had thought at the time.
Heather took the job since it was twice the salary she was getting at the coffee shop. Now she wondered what she got herself into. Sure, it was just a file she was looking for. But the job was stressful and she wondered if she was the perfect candidate for Valerie. Before this, Valerie was the one that organized everything and Heather was right behind her, adjusting the minor details. Now she was in a fancy office looking for a file.
Great timing to start doubting yourself! Heather thought, feeling annoyed with herself. What is the name I am looking for? Heather stopped searching for a moment as numerous files laid before her. Well that is just perfect! Heather sighed in frustration. Wait a minute, did Valerie ever mention a name? She just told me to go get a file. Like the good little assistant that I am!
Heather cursed herself as she dialed Valerie’s number. However, there was no signal. Feeling defeated Heather plopped herself onto the office chair and closed her eyes. So many files and she did not know which one she was looking for. I could have passed it already. Such an easy thing to do and yet I failed to ask what exactly I was looking for.
She thought for a moment. I don’t even know what this trial is all about. All I do is follow along and never ask why I am doing what I am doing. Just keep searching until Valerie arrives. Yes, that is it. I’ll organize the files and when she gets here I’ll just ask her. Satisfied, Heather began to organize the files. Reaching down to the last drawer on her right, she pulled it open and stopped halfway. Her mouth dropped.
What is this?
Was she seeing things? Heather blinked a few times, wondering if she was imagining things. She slowly reached for the open box that contained nothing but braided locks of hair. Different colors, different lengths, and thickness. Heather did not notice her hands were shaking from a certain fear that was beginning to creep up inside her. Who was Mr. Benjamin Von Dutch and what type of law firm did he have? She never bothered to do her research on her new position. Now she wondered if he was a lawyer for Criminal Justice and if so, were these braids of hair evidence of some sort? Heather wondered as she began to remove each braid from inside the box.
What the hell!?
Her eyes grew wide as her blood ran cold. She had to swallow before she reached for the last item inside the box. My hair clip, the one that was missing. Why is it in here? Why would Mr. Von Dutch have it?
She told herself to move! To leave! Something was not right. None of this made sense. What did make sense was the fear that was taking over her.
But Heather did not move.
“Did you find it?”
Valerie walked into the room as Heather attempted to hide what she had just found. Heather licked her lips before she spoke.
“I didn’t.” She cleared her throat and then swallowed her fear. Valerie stared at Heather for a moment before she continued to enter deeper into the room.
“Oh? How come?”
“Turns out I forgot to ask you what name I was looking for?”
“It seems to me you found something else to keep you busy. You really shouldn’t be looking at things that do not concern you.”
“Right, I think it's best we fetch the file and leave.”
Valerie continued to stare at Heather. It made her very uncomfortable. Valerie had an expression that was not readable. Was she upset? Heather wondered as she stood from the chair. Her legs felt like jelly, yet she managed to stand.
“I see you found Mr. Von Dutch’s collection.”
“Collection? Is that what this is?”
Valerie only half smiled, staring past her.
“Yes, he always had a nasty habit of cutting off a piece of hair from the many girls he dated.”
“Oh. Uh, well that is nice of them, I guess. I don’t know if I would have felt comfortable giving someone a piece of my hair.”
Heather wondered if Valerie had noticed her clutching the hair clip in her hand. She wanted to ask her why Mr. Von Dutch had her hair clip.
“I am sure you are wondering how he happened to have gotten your hair clip.”
Heather frowned. Valerie had noticed.
“Uh, yes. That is right.”
Valerie giggled for a moment before responding.
“You left it on top of your desk, silly.”
“How did it end up here? In this box? With his collection of braided hair?”
Valerie slowly closed the door. It brought chills down her spine. Am I safe? What have I gotten myself into?
“I gave it to him.”
“He asked me to. It seems my brother has had his eye on you for quite some time.”
“That is why I chose you. You are such a gullible little girl. You accepted this position without asking any questions. You have made this so simple!”
Heather noticed that Valerie’s eyes now stared behind her. That is when she sensed it. Another body. She slowly turned around. There he was. By the fireplace, like a phantom. He was tall and thin. It was the eyes that made Heather realize what was next to come. He stared at her with his black eyes. So cold, like the blizzard that embedded the city. Nowhere to run or call for help.
“What do you want from me?”
His voice was deep, soothing, yet, threatening. He spoke with conviction.
“To simply kill you.”
“Why? I have done nothing to you!”
Valerie spoke from behind her.
“You exist outside his imagination. He would like to take you away so that you may stay with him forever. Young and never touched by anyone else but him.”
Heather began to breathe hard as she felt herself grow weak.
“Please, don’t do this. I don’t want to die.”
“No one does.” He said as he got closer to Heather. Tears ran down her face as she tried to search for a way out of the room. Valerie was by the door while Mr. Von Dutch was coming towards her. Is this it for me?
It was right behind her. Heather turned quickly and put all her strength into her body! With one good jump, she slammed herself against the glass. She could feel the pressure as she hit it. She cried out in pain as she felt someone pull on her hair preventing her from continuing to slam herself against the window.
Mr. Von Dutch had a handful of her hair in his left hand. He pulled her back. She cried in pain as her scalp screamed for release.
“Not to worry, you will not be missed and nothing more will come of your futile attempts!”
Valerie laughed as she took a seat on the armchair next to the fireplace. Almost as if she was watching a show. Heather begged for her life but they were unheard. She watched as Mr. Von Dutch reached for the Kitana sword and pointed it towards Valerie.
“Will you do the honor.” He said with a smile.
Valerie removed the sheath and out came the shiny blade. Heather screamed in terror as she clasped her hands around her neck.
Mr. Von Dutch “tsk tsk.”
“I’m not gonna decapitate you! That would create a lot of mess. I just want your hair.”
Mr. Von Dutch rose the sword above his head and brought it down quickly.
Heather screamed as she quickly brought her hands up, blocking the top of her head, as she realized that he wanted to slice the top of her cranium. The blade bit down on her fingers, slicing a few off and leaving others broken and falling halfway off. Heather was numb. She wanted to scream, to feel something. But there was only shock. Blood washed down her face as the rest sprayed onto his body.
“I need you!” He tightly said in between his teeth.
Mr. Von Dutch angry gripped harder on Heather’s hair. She screamed and pleaded.
“Damn it! I was hoping she was not gonna struggle!”
Valerie jumped up and gripped onto Heather’s wrist. With the force of Valerie’s tug, Heather’s pinky completely fell off. This brought another shockwave throughout Heather’s body.
She looked into Mr. Von Dutch’s black eyes, cold and determined to simply kill her. He rose the sword up above his head and brought it down for the final time. No sound was heard as Heather’s body fell to the floor like a mannequin. Lifeless and now forever a part of his collection of lost souls.