Saving Kelsey, by Gary Clifton
“Help… in the name of God, help!”
Strapped in a partially reclining chair, the dismal room illuminated by a single overhead bulb, Kelsey struggled in vain against her restraints. She’d tried for hours to recall how she had gotten here. She’d been clubbing with friends, drank a Manhattan…my God it had to be a roofie! She’d been drugged and abducted by a monster.
The door opened and her abductor strutted in. A huge, grossly overweight woman of about forty, both forearms completely covered with tattoos, a gold ring in her nose, she radiated pure evil.
“How’s my little Rosie now, babe,” she leered down. “I’m Nadine and you gotta learn to do as I tell you.”
Then the skinny, ugly, older woman…Rose had forgotten her…stepped around Nadine and jabbed Rose in the shoulder with a hypodermic.
The lust and ugly intent in Nadine’s voice was plain, “Something to make you a little less resistant to what we gotta do, baby.” Great God, she could only mean one thing! She’d heard of female sadists, and now… The horror was more than her mind could absorb.
Both captors turned and walked out, the door lock sounding behind them. Desperately trying to swallow the rising hysteria, Rose vaguely recalled riding, hog tied, in a barren van, then being naked and strapped to the recliner. What had happened next was a blur. Now she was clothed only in a thin gown.
“Heelllp,” she shrieked. “For God’s sake, can anyone hear me?”
The soft voice from behind her was startling in the absolute silence. “Rose?”
“Who are you? What do you…?”
“I’m Kelsey… they’re captive, too. I was here last night when they brought you in. Nadine is a perverted horror. She and her friend had their way with you…just as they’ve done me for the past three days.
Rose craned her neck, unsuccessfully, to try to see the speaker.
“Rose, I’m strapped to a chair, too. I overheard Chester say they’d keep us a few days, then we’d end up in the dump.” Kelsey’s voice dissolved in tears. “Oh God, I’m so frightened. Those terrible things they did to us.”
“Good lord, I recall somebody saying something about ‘dump’.” Rose said.
Rose, strained at the bonds – they felt like straps – that held her hands behind her. With desperation born of terror, her right wrist came free. Contorting painfully, she managed to reach her left hand and rip it free. My God, she was tied with Velcro not diabolical rope as she’d expected. Quickly, she loosened her ankles and sprang to her feet.
“Free me, Rose, for the love of humanity”.
About Rose’s age, Kelsey was bound to a similar device five feet away. At the sound of footsteps at the doorway, any thought of helping Kelsey evaporated in blind panic. She managed to rip the metal arm from her chair and stagger behind the door as it opened.
“Okay, babe, it’s Nadine’s time,” the disheveled woman said softly as she stepped in. From behind the door, Rose managed a full swing, making contact with the chair arm just behind her left ear.
“Son of a-” she managed as she went to one knee. A second blow and Nadine was down.
With Kelsey still screaming for help behind her, Rose fled headlong down a musty, concrete walled corridor, probably an abandoned warehouse these perverts used to capture and inflict unspeakable things on young women.
Incredibly, the knock-down hardware at the end of the hall popped open and in a heartbeat she was outside in the wonderful freedom of chilly night air. She ran blindly, tripping on a hedge, sprawling headlong on concrete. Recovering her feet, she fled for several city blocks.
As fatigue began to take its toll, a sign from heaven appeared at the intersection a few yards beyond. A marked police car stopped and the overhead lights began flashing.
The officer was female, pudgy, with features indistinguishable in the dark. “Where you goin’, Miss?” The officer stepped out.
“Monsters, sadists, holding me prisoner. Atrocities, horror…and they’ve got other female victims strapped to torture chairs.” She gestured wildly behind her.
As she looked back, a white van was creeping ominously up behind her. The driver stepped out.
The cop flash lighted Nadine’s big figure. Blood trailed down over an ear.
“What’s up, Nadine?” The cop asked, holding the flashlight on Chester. “You holding girls prisoners up there somewhere?” She ended with a diabolical chuckle.
“Bitch hit me with a metal chair arm,” Nadine touched her bleeding skull.
The cop leaned closer to inspect the wound. “Nadine, that’s the second one y’all have lost this month. Looks like this one almost did you in.”
“Doc will put a stitch in it. Meanwhile, I gotta get this chick back to her rubber room.”
“She just looks confused, Nadine, is she really mental?”
“Naw, she was boozing in one of those joints up on 27th and either she or somebody dumped LSD in her drink.”
“Oh yeah, they broadcast that on the radio last night. This the one runnin’ nekked down the middle of 27th?”
“The same. Came in crazy as hell.”
“They’ve got Kelsey,” Rose blurted.
“Kelsey?” The cop asked.
Nadine shook her head. “Funny, usually when they’re coming down from an acid trip they have Jesus or their dead grandmother visit. Room is monitored. She was hallucinating with somebody named Kelsey when I walked into a chair arm.” She touched her bleeding head. “There ain’t no Kelsey.”
The cop smiled.
Nadine said, “Well, help me load her. Docs say by late today we should be able to dump her back on the street. Funny, she talking to her imaginary roomie about ending up in the dump. Weird what they hear – or think they hear.”
The cop holstered her flashlight and took Kelsey gently by an arm. “Okay, kiddo, let’s get you back to the hospital. You only get to be nuts a few more hours. Nadine, better tie the back of her gown, she’s open to the world.”
“Save Kelsey, you animals!” Rose spat through gritted teeth.
“She’s gonna need another day of detox,” Nadine shook her head, reaching to tie Rose’s robe.
Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has been shot at, shot, stabbed, lied to and about, and frequently misunderstood. He is now retired to a dusty north Texas ranch where he doesn’t much care if they keep school or not.
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Tags: Gary Clifton, mistakes, misunderstandings