At exactly 6:42 a.m. the alarm shattered the blackness. She rose from her bed and turned on her bedside light. The faint light cut through the darkness. Cammy Ann went to the bathroom and showered for exactly 5 minutes then with her hair bundled on top of her head she went to the closet and selected a lovely lavender lace dress that she finished only yesterday. Dressing deliberately, she fixed her hair grabbed a cup of coffee with exactly one eighth of a cup of 2 percent milk. By 7:02 a.m. she put the car into drive and drove to the In it a Minit store. There was one other car in the parking lot, a beat up green Chevy Malibu. She took enough notice just to notice it but she had a schedule to keep. Inside she poured a cup of coffee and took her measuring cup and measured her precise amount of milk and bought one pack of 120's and two newspapers.
Cammy Ann opened the pack slowly in her car and took out one cigarette and lit it. She let the smoke enter every part of her body. She closed her eyes as she always does and exhaled it all. Without knowing someone else was in there, someone or something cracked on the back of the head. The world as she knew it vanished.
Cammy Ann woke to blackness,. The space felt small and the air felt stale. She reached her hands in front of her and felt metal. She slammed her bound hands against it and screamed. She stopped, her head throbbed. No one answered her. Kicking her legs, grappling in the dark she found nothing that could free her from this prison. She wasn’t sure how someone would know but she knew she was in the trunk of a car.
Minutes went on and no one came to her rescue. Eventually, the trunk opened and a man stood above her. She recognized him instantly.
"Mitch, what’s going on? What am I doing here?"
His small lips frowned and he pulled her out the car. Cammy Ann struggled against him but he held her close to his body. His arms tightened around her ribs. They were in a dark place with one overhead light. She couldn’t see much other cold and gray cement bricks on the wall. He carried her to the one corner. Raising her frail body he hooked her to a chain that hung from the ceiling. He feet dragged on the floor and she looked at him sadly.
"Crazy fucking Cammy Ann. Little miss predictable." He slapped her across the face. "You ruined me, you bitch. Oh everyone said how brilliant you are and how great of a teacher you are and that is why I went to Ryder State."
"Mitch, why are you doing this to me? I have class, they will be lost without me. You know that. What about my students? Mitch. Mitch. Answer me," she pleaded with him.
He punched her in the nose. The bones cracked and blood oozed onto her lips.
"Could you shut up? This is retribution."
"Please give me cigarette. I need one."
He smiled and took the pack out of his pocket, "well yes it is about that time. What is 8:42 and time for your smoke. You are weird." He took a cigarette out and broke it. Then he broke another and another until they all laid on the floor. "I know all about you Camilla Ann but you go by Cammy Ann because that is what your grandma called you the very same woman who encouraged your art and said you were talented and great. Really the same stuff I always heard growing up. I was told I was great until you came into my life..."
She cut him off, "really you came into my life. I didn’t choose you or seek you out. You chose me."
"I want to show you something. I want to show you how great I’ve become. What is it you always told me, to let my emotions speak and not the message. I’m going to give a retrospective of my work in the last year. You will regret everything, bitch."
He walked away from her to the far end of the wall and turned on the light. Huge fluorescent bulbs hummed to life. Huge canvases were hung on the walls; terrible portraits of her. In one her head was on a stick and her body laid on the ground with maggots crawling out of it. Another was him and her and he was on top of her naked body. She was in every painting, many had her disemboweled. One had him eating her insides. Her stomach turned and she threw up. The vomit oozed down her soiled lavender dress and mixed with the blood.
He smiled proudly and crossed his arms across his chest. "Look how I invoked emotion. Look at the realism. Look how I made you so beautiful while I took you apart. Look at the fear in your eyes." Mitch came up to her and lifted her chin to meet his gaze, "I always wanted your approval, I loved you so much. You told me I was a run of the mill artist that I was okay. Maybe I should do graphic design or illustrate kids books or make logos. You said I could never do high art. You said I wasn’t good enough. You said my work missed something. Then you took me home one night, to your bedroom in black and your one light in every room and you let me take you and you told me I was special. Remember that night?"
Her heart fluttered and sweat ran down her face. She felt frenzied. She needed to smoke, it was late too late, "please Mitch one cigarette. I can’t handle this anymore. Please. Please. Please, Mitch."
"No. You will live. Then after that night, when I wanted to see you, you just blew me off. You threw me away."
"What are you going to do with me?"
"I want to hear how great I am. I want to hear about how you made a big mistake and how you think about me and wish things were different. You know then maybe I might let you go, be my partner. I know how you like the single life. I am fine with all of that."
She looked into his deep brown almost black eyes. And she really remembered him, the vacant eyes, the art that was souless until now. She had her life and it was just fine why change it now? There was schedules to keep and he didn’t fit but neither did her dying. Her death was even planned for forty years in the future on her birthday, she will take sciaenid and sleep a blissful sleep.
"Mitch, I do remember how I was truthful to you. But see what you did here, I might not think this is lovely but I see the pain, the hurt I gave you because I used you for own pleasure. These works are I am not sure what the words are but they leave me speechless. And maybe I should have given you a chance, I have never been anyone’s muse before and I must say I find it quite exhilarating. In fact, even being here like this chained and at your mercy is even more exhilarating."
He smiled and searched her eyes for truth, "I know you don’t lie, you are truth. You work always showed truth and I should have known about that night but I couldn’t help my heart wanted you. Without you, Cammy Ann I would be just another painter on the boardwalk."
"Kiss me, Mitch. Take me into your arms and just take me."
He came toward her and lifted her body off the chains. She laid into his body and felt his cold warmth. Mitch came in for a kiss and she took and let his tongue enter her mouth. It was now or never, she clamped down his tongue . He screamed and tried to back away but she bit harder. Blood oozed from their mouths. She tasted the dirty blood and wanted to throw up. Her teeth connected together and Mitch fell to the floor, screaming. Blood poured from his mouth. She spat the tongue on the ground.
With her hands stupidly bound in front of her (if she were in charge of this fiasco hands would be bound behind the person) she dashed for his work bench. She grabbed two paint brushes and went over to Mitch. His blood pooled around his head. Cammy Ann drove one paint brush in his eyes, he screamed and choked blood. She the shoved the other paint brush in his other eye. His shriek rattled the building. He curled into a ball and screamed and cried.
She went over to her smashed pack of cigarettes and found one. Slowly, she brought it to her lips and lit it. She drew the smoke into her lungs. After standing bound and smoking for several minutes, she tossed it to the floor.
Cammy Ann went to her car and called 911. She opened the garage door and looked outside. He brought her home or someone else’s home and stumbled out into the sunshine. A woman with a cigar hanging out of her mouth and curlers dangling from her hair rushed from the house into the garage.
Cammy Ann heard her scream, "oh my baby boy. What did that bitch do to you?" With no intention of hurting another person, she ran away down the road looking for the cops.