Fiction Thriller Adventure

There was I, in front of those two oak wooden doors, about to discover what was hidden inside. I knew I would find her in one of them, I just did not know with whom or... if she was still alive. I had hoped so, but I was never the type to cling to hope. However, it was all I had left at this point.

The message had been quite explicit: 

'Come alone. If you put the police in this, she dies.' 

I knew how these guys used to act, I had already been one of them, and I could not put her life at risk. Not hers. She was too important for me, and they knew it, that is why they caught her, so they could reach me. Whoever messes with these guys, has only two ends: to continue with them or to end up dead. I was the one who got her into this and now, it is up to me to free her forever or live with the consequences. And I am not prepared to bear the consequences. I would rather die than be without her. I could not deal with her loss. Furthermore, I had already lost so much in my life, I had made so many mistakes, it was time to do the right thing, at least once. So, I put my trembling hand close to the door handle and held my breath. If I missed the door, all was lost. I only had one try. 

They were watching me, the camera over the right door pointed at me. I listened for a moment, to see if I could see which of those two doors she might be in, but there was no noise. Was she already dead? My goodness, I hope not! I was never the type to pray, but right now, my thoughts were asking God to protect her and make me choose the right door. I do not know if God helps guys like me with hands full of blood, but I had to try. I gently turned the doorknob, my heart wanting to escape from my mouth, a terrible, agonizing knot in my stomach. Was it the right door? Oh my God, let it be the right door! Before I pushed the door open, my phone vibrated in my pants pocket. 

I removed it and read the message: 

'Make the right choice or she dies.' 

I swallowed, squinted, and opened the door wide. As soon as I opened my eyes, I saw her lying on a bed with a strong light aimed at her, illuminating her, while the rest of the room was plunged into darkness. She did not move; her hands and feet were tied with a thick rope in a knot that would not be easy to loosen. She should have been passed out. Her face was wet with tears and her makeup was all smeared. My first intention was to run to the bed and release her, but as soon as I stepped forward, someone hit me over the head with the butt of a gun and I faded for about five minutes. When I woke up, my head felt like it was going to explode. They had seated me in a chair, with my hands and feet tied. The chair was facing the bed, and I heard someone breathing behind me. 

“Okay, smart ass, you got it right at the door. Let’s see if you get the rest also right.” Said the man behind my back. “Did you think you could go out when you felt like it? Nobody escapes the Caramboli, my friend.” He lowered his head and spoke in my ear. "Besides, you left an unfinished job when you ran away."

My eyes widened, and I could not help looking at Emma's dying body. I have never regretted anything so much in my life as for getting her into this. Poor Emma, so young and already committed to life.

"Now," he continued, "you are going to finish what you started."

I shook my head repeatedly, my mouth gagged, letting out little moans of terror. No, please do not make me do this! I screamed in my mind. I rocked in the chair, trying to loosen the bonds, but they were as firm as Emma's. My head was unable to reason as it should be due to the intense headache caused by the blow. Think, John, think! What did they teach you about the bonds? Um... adopt a position where the straps are not too tight. And I straightened up in my chair, to feel the bonds a little looser. Good job! What else did they tell you, John? Join the knuckles and turn the wrists towards the chest, creating a looser space between the wrists. What else? Ah yes, complain. Try to talk to the abuser. Emotional sabotage! 

I groaned so that they realized that I wanted to speak, and they removed the tape from my mouth. The speed at which they did so eased the pain. 

"Okay, I do what you want, Santori." I barely let my mouth slip away from the duct tape. "But for that, you will have to let me go."

"Do you take me for a fool, boy?" Santori asked, visibly amused. 

“No, of course not. I know perfectly well how you work. No one has ever succeeded in deceiving you. I don't think I'm going to be the one to change that.” I replied, my head spinning. Touch his wound, John! Only then will you gain his trust again! "I remember perfectly what you did to that man who kidnapped your Guadalupe." 

Santori came over and placed the barrel of the gun on my forehead. “Watch what you do, boy. I can finish you right now.” 

"Please hold on. Guadalupe was a child. She was only eight years old; she was not to blame for anything. Just like Emma.” My eyes went back to the bed for a second, then back to Santori, who was standing in front of me with the gun still pointed at my head. "They are just victims of our job." Santori loosened the barrel of the gun a little, and I realized I was getting where I wanted to be. “Guadalupe was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But you avenged her.”

"But that will never bring my girl back!" he nearly shouted. “And I will exterminate anyone who gets in my way. No mercy! And you, John, disappointed me a lot. And you know that I don't tolerate mistakes.” 

“I know, sir, but I am sorry that I ran away because of a love, which, as you said, has nothing to do. I am a murderer and Emma is too innocent to be involved with someone like me. Please, Santori, let me remedy my mistake. If only because of what I did for your Guadalupe.”

When Guadalupe was caught in a mafia shootout after her kidnap, I was the one who shot her killer, I knew that Santori was grateful to me for that and that he would give me another chance because I was the one to catch and destroy his daughter's killer. And it was when he lowered the barrel of the gun that I saw that I had managed to turn it around. I just was not expecting him to turn the butt of the gun on me and tell me to kill the only woman I ever loved and who I was capable of everything.

"Do it!" Demanded Santori, his henchmen to wake Emma with ammonia. "Kill her."

My eyes widened; fear washed over me. 

“Sir, but… there is no need. I choose to stay with you and this time I will not betray you again.” I replied, my voice almost failing me. He was not convinced.

“For that very reason, you have to kill her so that there are no loose ends. I know what a passionate man is capable of.” He said, his eyes shining, he was enjoying my suffering. “Do it, John. Only then will I be able to trust you again.”

Emma, now sitting on the bed, completely scared, moaned with her mouth covered with duct tape. Her beautiful blue eyes, like glaciers, covered in tears, terrified. She fidgeted with the sheets, trying to get free, but she knew it was useless. Her eyes met mine. I could tell what was on her mind. I only had five seconds to change the game, would I be able to? 

"Do it, John and I forget what happened." Santori insisted, his hands resting on my shoulders, encouraging me to pull the trigger. 

"I need you to release my hands, sir," I replied. 

"No, you don't. You just need to keep the gun steady, like this” he grabbed my tied wrists and held the gun in my hand, aiming at Emma's chest. “And shoot. You can do this thing.”

All I remember is hearing a loud bang and the police burst into the room, shooting Santori and his henchmen. Emma fell to the floor and a pool of blood formed around her weak and frightened body. The smoke from the shot coming from the gun I wielded. I had just hit her in the chest. I had just killed the love of my life. And now I would pay for all my crimes behind bars, where the police were dragging me right now. 

May 28, 2021 15:56

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Ravi Srivastava
02:08 Jun 10, 2021

Great story! The way the plot unravels, and then the shattering climax, reveals a strong flair for writing suspense stories. Keep it up.


14:36 Jun 12, 2021

Thank you so much :-) That means a lot to me! I love writing suspense :-)


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Cole Lane
14:17 Jun 08, 2021

Oh no! If John had only waited a moment longer!! So they make him choose the right door or Emma dies, he gets it right, then they tell him she is going to die anyway, by his own hand. That's just not fair! :0 I wasn't sure if this would end with Emma getting a non-fatal shot, or she dies and John escapes to hunt down Santori (story two). lol! I guess unless he can get out of prison this is the end. Nice work!


14:39 Jun 12, 2021

:-D Thank you so much! For this short story, this is the end. For a book, this it's just the beginning. ;-)


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.