Author : RM Dooley

The rogue tampons rolling across the trunk floor and abandoned high heel tell me it’s a girl’s car. Probably this girl’s car.

I can’t move much. Duct tape binds her hands, feet, and stretches over her mouth. The taillight is kicked out and the flashlight next to her flickers in and out of life. She must have tried to get attention before I took control. I doubt she woke up in time for it to do any good. No glow from street lamp or car light slips in through the break, already too far down an empty back road.

Whatever drug he used still pumps through her, giving me a secondary disconnected dizziness. The throbbing head, a physical blow rather than chemical, registers to me more like radio static than actual pain.

The car stops gliding and begins a jolting trundle down an unpaved road.

Dammit. I bang her head against the trunk’s floor. I’d scream if I could. How far away can the driver be? Four, five feet difference in where my consciousness landed? If I’d taken him, she would make it.

I could’ve turned the car back around. Straight to a police station. I could’ve saved her.

I can’t cry. My body is at least twenty miles away, safely slumped across my couch. So she cries for me, hot angry tears over the five feet that killed her.

Not like I can aim. The mind wanders where it will. I should consider myself lucky I found her, working off a name and face until I latched on to one. Desperation more than anything let me find her, mine drawn to hers.

The crunching gravel goes quiet. Her heart thuds as the car door opens and shuts. She’s not aware and I keep my hold. Neuroimaging shows that while I’m in control the host’s brain functions as if in a very deep sleep, near comatose. She won’t know, won’t feel. And I can at least get a look at his face.

He opens the trunk and smiles down at her. At me. Clean shaven, early thirties. Even in the dark I know he’s handsome. Dark cropped hair, straight nose, hungry blue eyes. I carve his face into memory to bring back to my body.

I glare up at him. You’re dead asshole

I won’t report him to the police. No facial composite, no falsifying witness reports so the courts will believe how he was tracked down. Not this one. This is going to be personal. I have his face and I’ll share a memory. That’s enough for a wandering mind like mine to eventually track him down with.

He picks her up, almost lovingly until I start to fight. To me, the breaking nose feels like buzzing discomfort.

Whatever he does, I’m not letting go. And he’s not done with the ritual. One he carries out with disturbing efficiency.

But I won’t let go. She doesn’t have to know this. Let her last memory be whatever final prayer she clung to; another driver would notice bound hands waving out from the trunk. Someone would find her. Save her. She doesn’t have to know the climax to his gentle kiss, the pretty practiced lies he whispered to lure her away.

I’ll leave when she does. The last cut that bleeds us from her body. I can’t save her, but I can spare her. No one should have to experience this.

I would know.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows