It was dark outside and the silence between them tensed the moment, pushing Amirah towards the verge of a vertigo. She never thought that it would end up this way, but it did. Slowly, she wiped her tears from her dumbfounded face and stood, to leave Azman and their memories here, in her favourite sushi place he reserved; just to dump her and left her speechless. “I do love you, Mira” he said, “We’re just not meant to be together…”. Azman tried to continue his sentence when Amirah left without a word. She dismissed everything he said and thought that he had fall for another. Azman attempted to stop her but it was too late.
Amirah heard him said “Wait!” but it was too overwhelming for her. She had to leave the place quick. Her fragile heart was broken and never will she ever be the same again. She was walking home alone, crying her heart out for Azman, when she saw a man wearing a black sweater forcing a girl to get into an abandoned building near the dark alley. The girl’s mouth was covered but her expression told Amirah everything. Luckily, the man did not see her, and she, too, did not manage to see the man’s face. The girl needed help; fast. Amirah was a female rookie police and thinking that she had all the abilities to save the helpless girl, she went inside the building alone, without calling for backup.
She brought out her pistol in case she needed it. Slowly, she opened the door, only to find that it was pitch-dark, no light shining through at all. She came to her senses and knew well enough that she required help but the door behind her mysteriously shut itself and clicked, the latch was fastened. Amirah tried to unlock the door, shaking it hard, hit it using the base of her pistol but to no avail. Plus, the darkness limited her vision and she was not a fan of dark places but she had to stay strong, it was just a dark place, nothing more. She had to find the girl and saved her.
Amirah was determined and the most sensible thing to do now was to keep moving forward, there was no way back. Her phone was not functioning inside the building. Zero coverage. Surely, there must be a place where the man captivated the girl and that was her goal for now; searching for the place. She was groping through the place; hold on to whatever her hands could find. Convinced that the space had no corners, she held on to the metal railings and moved ahead. “Everything’s gonna be alright, just follow the railings,” she calmed herself. It did not take long for the situation to get worse.
There was a flight of stairs in front of her and she was not aware of that. She stumbled upon something hard, lost her footing and her grip on the metal railings. She fell hard and landed on her face. It was a long flight of stairs and it led to a basement which was illuminated only by candles. Temporary unconsciousness spun her head around and when she realized that the basement smelt of fresh sweat and urine she felt like vomiting but she held it in. At least, it was not dark and these were signs of human presence.
Amirah had a shock of her lifetime when she actually witnessed a horrifying sight of various tools and devices for torturing, scalping and cutting. Saw, knives, all sorts of knives, they were everywhere. She learnt about these tools when she was doing her tertiary education, and the seniors had shown her before. There was even a sickle; God knows what it was doing there. Not only that, there were also rooms here and they were lighted up. She could see the light sneaking through the doors and she thought she heard a girl crying.
Amirah attempted to brace and steady herself so that she could have a look on what this wicked place had more in store. She could not erase the girl’s face from her vision, wondering what the man was going to do to her and hoped that they would be out of this place together; unharmed. The girl seemed familiar; looked like someone whom they had been searching for. A case of a missing person. Her pace was slow, as an effect from the fall. She reached for something to grip on and took the stick nearby to help her balance herself. The doors had see-through glasses and what she saw next was unbelievable.
There were girls inside the rooms and she knew all of them! Her department had been searching for these girls for weeks now, after reports of missing people sky-rocketed these few months. The girls were tied up on bunkers, unable to move. Apparently, they were kidnapped by the same person which was the main suspect of this case. The police had been investigating him for quite some time now, but there was no concrete evidence to convict him. He was the man all along. Amirah recognized the black sweater he always wore. This was the biggest case she ever handled and she would put an end to this. Before she could unlock the doors to release the girls, something struck her head and left her unconscious again.
She was still in a daze when she regained consciousness inside a sinister and filthy room. Once more, a sickening sight for her, when she saw humans’ organs were put in jars, exhibited like they were some kind of action figures. This time around, panic attack was on its way, knocking Amirah’s senses all over the place to end up puking her sushi dinner. She was strapped on a chair, could barely move. Her pink t-shirt and jeans were removed, left only her lingerie to cover her private parts. It was terribly cold and she prayed and prayed that a miracle would strike this appalling place, and she would be saved before any harm could be done. That was the only thing she could do and was capable of for now.
Seconds after, a shadow blocked the doorway and a smell of receded sweats enveloped the room. She was not ready for this and she definitely did not want to encounter that menacing person who killed several girls and amputated them, took some parts of them to be displayed in a jar. Only a sick-minded person would do that and she would not dare looking at the man. “Well, hello there!” he greeted Amirah with good humour, followed by a rather disturbing laugh that would haunt her for as long as she lived.
“Was it fun snooping around people’s property? I really don’t like to be disturbed.” His voice was harsher now, demanding an explanation. Amirah kept quiet, pretending not to listen to whatever he had to say.“Pretty baby, I’m asking you, what the hell are you doing here?” He insisted, accompanied by a hard smack across her face. Her mouth bled but she kept on wearing her poker face, to intimidate the abuser and not letting him get the satisfaction of hitting a woman. But she wondered how long would this poker face of hers would stay.
She felt like screaming but she concealed it from the psychopath, knowing that weaklings feed to his desires. The man was holding a sickle she saw earlier. This was not going to go well for her, she whispered to herself. Her body was reflexively shaking and she felt breathless. The curved and sharp metal triggered her terror switch as she was indeed had this phobia, a morbid fear of sharp objects, aichmophobia. The poker face she wore shed itself and she was now crying her heart out, screaming, as the gruesome man leisurely and clumsily brought the object nearer to her face. He laughed menacingly hard when he saw her flinched. Blood was dripping from her left cheek, traced its way to her mouth, then, to her pale, bared skin. The pain stung her.
Amirah almost fainted when the man abruptly put her cold hands around her neck, in position of choking her to death, fracturing her neck until she could suffer no more. She was struggling to free herself and clawed the man’s face and grimy hands in the process. Nothing could save her now. Her life was on a very thin line and she knew that it was about to snap anytime now when a loud thump awoke her. Amirah thought she heard his voice, saving her from the grasp of the monster, demanding him to surrender and step away from her. The room became blurry, her eyes, ears, her whole system were rapidly shutting.
Azman covered Amirah’s figure using a blanket and carried her to safety, away from this sinister and filthy place. He could not contain his feelings anymore. Tears were bursting and he regretted his doings hours ago towards the love of his life. Leaving her was never his idea but her mother insisted him to marry someone else, someone more feminine. He loved both of them and he thought that obeying his mother was the best thing to do. How stupid he was. Persuasion was never his forte but he would make an effort for his mother to accept Amirah for who she was. It was fortunate that he followed her back home. He had this uneasy feeling stirring his nerves and when Amirah went into the building, he had to save her but it was too late. The door latched itself and he was left flabbergasted by the incident. He was a police too, thus he called for backup. It took them hours to realize that there was a basement confining girls of all ages, including his Amirah.
Azman was grateful that all the girls were now sheltered from the monster who tortured them for satisfaction. He now prayed that his love would wake up again, with a smile on her face, saying that she loved him too.