Drip… drip… drip…

Gina’s eyes shot open. She bolted up next to the bath tub, grabbing on to the side to steady herself.
Drops of water continued to leak from the tub faucet. The sound seemed amplified due to the silence and strong acoustics of the small space.

Her hair was damp. She was wearing clothes again; a red Ohio State sweatshirt and matching sweats. Someone had placed a blanket around her before laying her down, providing a sofa cushion for a pillow.

The bathtub was half full of bloody water. It immediately made her nauseous.

“I’m losing my fucking mind,” she said, wondering how long she’d continue to be the tortured version of Alice in some hellish Wonderland. “Think, girl, think! What’s the last thing you remember?” Then it came:

Gerald. The gunshot. The blood.

From the open bathroom door, she heard fierce coughing from another room.

Now what? Gina slowly rose to her feet, surprised to find her pain had decreased some. Someone bathed me, dressed me, and just left me here?

She peeked out the open doorway.

Her heart sank as she realized she was still at the beach house. It looked like a large den, or what was left of it. A navy-blue sectional couch was scattered about in several torn up pieces. There was glass all over the floor from a shattered table. A standing lamp had been tipped over. The television looked like it had been thrown through a window, its cord still connected to the outlet. In addition to the vandalism, there were more blood-streaked walls.

Directly across the den, Gina noticed the entranceway to the dining room, in equally tragic condition. She also noticed the dark hallway, which she assumed led back to the rape room.

Gina heard another round of coughing coming from a small, open doorway to the far left, which she had mistaken for a closet.

After some silent deliberation, Gina decided that whoever it was could’ve chosen to do anything with her while she was out, but chose to take care of her instead. She relaxed a little.

She stepped back into the bathroom and caught a glimpse of her ghastly reflection in the mirror. She looked like a battered housewife; the right side of her face was swollen and bruised. “If only Herbie could see me now.” Gina smiled weakly, finding little humor in anything at the moment. In a way, it was refreshing to see her real face, though battered to hell. All that cheap make-up and all traces of her sleazy profession were gone. If she survived this, Gina decided she’d never go back to that life.

Never again.

She avoided examining the rest of her wounds. She would have time enough to see the extent of the damage at the hospital, via a rape kit, thorough physical, and God knew what else.

What if I’m pregnant with that monster’s child? Could be any of the three, don’t forget.

She placed her hands over her face, fought off the fresh wave of emotion that threatened, and forced all such thoughts into a dark room of her mind for later viewing. It was enough that she was still alive. Gina would hold on to that for now. She forced herself to exit the bathroom. Only two things mattered presently: Finding Tony and escaping this hell. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and entered the small doorway and found herself staring at the back of the devil, himself.

Malcolm Hathaway was sitting in a chair at the far end of a long narrow room, staring at a dozen monitors. With the exception of background light from the black and white images on the screens, the room was dark. The monitors were positioned around a small desk, near a large television.

Gina found a light switch near the door that clicked loudly when she pushed up on it. It didn’t work.

Malcolm turned in surprise, his face a partial silhouette in front of the monitors, and offered her a smile. “Hello, Gina. I almost forgot you were still here.”

‘Almost forgot I was still here’? Un-fucking-believable!

“Was that your plan? Bathe the unconscious girl and leave her in the bathroom to die? Why am I not at a hospital?”

After a long pause, he said, “It seemed the safest place to keep you until I verified the house was clear. Fortunately, Gerald was the only one. As for the hospital, road travel has become a treacherous affair. The last place to be right now is stuck among the other panicked sheep while the slaughter is ongoing.”

Others? Sheep? Slaughter? She couldn’t keep up with the questions that were assaulting her mind.

“I hope the bath was acceptable. I assure you, though I’m not a doctor, I regarded the undressing and placing you in the tub as a medical necessity, and nothing more. I tried to be as professional as I thought a doctor might be under similar circumstances.”

“‘Under similar circumstances’,” she said coldly. For the first time, her anger had a chance to boil and find a target. Who better than the person who put her into this mess?

Malcolm had anticipated her reaction. He calmly finished, “Yes, my dear. I had to kill a man to save your life.” He moved his arm to the right and picked up an object. A steel cylinder and a long shaft briefly reflected light from the monitors.

That’s a gun, she thought with alarm.

“Gerald was a friend. It’s definitely not easy shooting people you know.” He seemed far away in thought. “It’s not easy shooting strangers either, but I’ve done so when a situation calls for it.”

Gina recognized it: A .357 Magnum. Her father had owned one of those cannons a long time ago.

Malcolm held it up and then laid it on his lap within easy reach. “I never realized, of course, that the gun would cause so much damage to Mr. Schuler’s… features. But I was left with little choice when he came at you. I had to shoot him at point-blank range to make sure I didn’t accidently hit you as well. Needless to say, it caused quite a mess. You were covered with the man’s blood-”

“Thank you… for saving my ass.” She did not want to rehash the incident that was too fresh in her mind. Her anger took an immediate back seat when he revealed the gun.

We are not out of the woods yet, girl. Play it cool. She noticed what appeared to be a bandage wrapped around his other arm. “What happened to you and why are you sitting in the dark?”

Malcolm was oblivious to the question. The smile left his face as he suddenly coughed again, grabbing a bloody towel to cover his mouth. “Excuse me,” he managed between violent fits as he turned back toward the monitors. Gina moved closer to catch a glimpse of him in the faint light and noticed he was coughing up a lot of blood. His nose was also bleeding. His skin looked clammy… and his eyes… they looked strange, more dilated like someone who’d been in the dark for days.

“What’s wrong with you?” Besides the fact that you and your fucked up friends like to worship the moon in your freaky cult-thing, smoke fucked-up drugs and rape anything that moves.

Malcolm was no longer in animal attire. His face paint was gone and he was wearing khakis and a sweater. He turned back around, and shouted into the air, “Leave me alone!” He then lifted the gun up to his temple and pulled the trigger.


Gina recoiled at the sound and took a step back. “What the hell?”

Responding to her voice, he stood up and aimed the gun at her. “Can you hear them? Make it stop!”

“Make what stop?” Gina was about to turn for the door.

“It fucking burns, Gina! Feels like hell exploded in my guts!”

“We should… get you to a hospital.”

Ignoring her, Malcolm calmly sat back down. “I’m truly sorry for what happened, my dear. I was unaware of Gerald’s intentions until it was too late. I did try to stop him, but as you are well aware by now, something strange has occurred.” Then he laughed lightly, considering the rest of what Gina had seen. “For you, I suppose there are many strange things you’ve seen tonight.” He placed the gun under his chin this time and pulled the trigger.


Malcolm looked disappointed by the result.

He’s out of his fucking mind! “Stop doing that… please. It’s unnerving.” Gina didn’t know what to do.

Malcolm held up his wrapped left forearm and said, “While trying to get Gerald away from you… well… he bit me.”

Gina felt a chill as she reached for her neck.

“Oh, not to worry,” Malcolm reassured. “I checked you thoroughly for bite marks and the like. He never bit you at all. Even when… ah…”

“When he raped me? He never bit me while he raped me?” she finished coldly, wanting that prick to realize how far his little fucking party had gone. Fucker won’t even say the words.

“Yes…” Malcolm said reluctantly. “I assure you, no bite marks. In fact, I checked several of your wounds and you don’t appear to have any infections.”

This made Gina uncomfortable.

“Gerald managed to do a number on me,” he said. “I was quite beside myself when he tore a chunk out of my arm and actually started… chewing it.”

Gina felt herself go pale.

“I knew then that something was horribly wrong. We tried to get you off the bed and Gerald attacked the other man, and… tore him apart.”

The man beneath the bed.

“What happened to the third rapist?”

Malcolm frowned. “I’m afraid he’s no longer with us either. Gerald caught up with him outside this very room. I’d rather not say how he died, only that I heard it from the other side of the door. It was rather… unpleasant.”

“And you left him out there while you hid in here… is that it?”

“It wasn’t like that, my dear.”

“Stop calling me that.”

Ignoring this he said, “Apparently after feeding, they go dormant. Gerald started after me first, kicking so long on the door that I thought he’d never stop. Then the other man you mentioned showed up. It was unfortunate timing for him. I could actually hear Gerald… feeding.”

“Okay, that’s all I need to hear.” Gina wanted to vomit.

“Then he was so still for the longest time,” Malcolm continued. “Everything went quiet. I almost believed he’d gone elsewhere and right before I was about to open the door, he started kicking at it again.”

“Where’s Tony? What did you all do to him? And where are the rest of your… sickening friends?” Gina was letting her anger get the best of her. She no longer cared. She wanted out of this madhouse.

Malcolm shook his head and laughed, “My goodness, what was I thinking!” He stood up and began dancing around excitedly, waving the gun in Gina’s direction several times. “You couldn’t possibly know… you’ve been out of the loop all this time.” He placed the gun up to his ear and pulled the trigger.


“That’s not loaded… right?”

Malcolm was already moving toward the monitors like a child racing toward the Christmas tree.

He’s one disturbed individual. She carefully asked, “What are you talking about? What don’t I know?”

“The NEWS, my dear,” he said. “It’s all over the news. But first things first. It will be easier for you to see it for yourself.” Malcolm went to one of the small monitors, motioning for Gina to come over and see. After rewinding the video footage, Malcolm turned a dial, drawing her attention to a green screen. After a moment, she figured it out. She was staring at a video from last night’s bonfire, recorded in night vision.

I don’t even want to know why he fucking films them. Do his friends know about Malcolm’s little snuff films?

“It’s not what you think,” Malcolm said, reading her facial expressions. “In my line of work, and with my clientele, it never hurts to have a little insurance should any of my friends forget themselves and say things about me that they shouldn’t. A little movie like this made public could be devastating for a respectable person’s reputation.”

“Blackmail footage,” she said. “You’re a drug dealer, aren’t you?” Gina immediately regretted the question.

Malcolm laughed and said, “You see there, now you know more than you should. Fortunately I have some dirt on you as well. See for yourself.”

Malcolm backed away and left Gina to watch the night vision recording of last night. What Malcolm was referring to was the crazy woman dancing around the bonfire.

That’s fucking me! she thought.

She was amazed at the quality of the recording, how much detail she could make out. Malcolm had paid good money for this little set-up.

Gina was both fascinated and repulsed by the video. She couldn’t turn away. It was a strange sensation to see one’s self from an outside perspective. Also, she desperately hoped to find Tony on the footage.

“Where is he?” she asked again.

“Gone,” Malcolm responded.

Gina looked back, “What do you mean, ‘Gone’? He wouldn’t have left me here. What did you do to him?”

“Your friend needed to lie down after dinner. We placed him on the couch in the den while the rest of us went outside. I would’ve let you lie down as well, but, I did pay good money for you to dance, and you assured me you still could.”

“I don’t believe you,” she said.

“Watch the fucking video!” Malcolm suddenly exploded, waving the gun at her again. “You’ll see what happened to Tony! To Gerald! You’ll see what happened to the WHOLE DAMN WORLD!”


Next Episode 6-3

Previous Episode 6-1

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“Chapter 6-2: Dinner and a Movie 2” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  1. ganymeder says:

    This is VERY disturbing! Somehow, I doubt her “savior” is all that safe. He has a definite Norman Bates-is quality about him!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sscherr says:

    Hello ganymeder, thanks for stopping by. I hope you find “very disturbing” to your liking in this book so far. I like your Norman Bate’s description of Russell, a.k.a. the “savior”. I hope you stick around for chapter seven for a second appearance by Mr. Bates ;)

    Liked by 1 person

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