As usual, here is your warning that this story has cursing, sex (not graphic), innuendo, and violence. It’s my Rated-R action adventure called Derailing Bedlam. This is the fourth outing (third official) for Cassidy and Lloyd, so feel free to click on one of the two covers to see how it started. Each one is 99 cents!
“Don’t take any bites, Angela,” the man says as he finishes chaining Cassidy to the wall. He checks her pulse and eyes to make sure she is not overdosing from the drugs. “This one is going to take longer to recover than the other. Remember to leave them alone until the drugs are out of their systems. We don’t want any of our clients to get sick. Do you think we could sell any of them to Tyler? I heard him say that he needed more pork and chicken. He can go on the unknowing list instead of the connoisseurs. Stop licking that one, dear!”
“But they both look so tasty, Len,” Angela replies while pulling at her knotted hair. A clump of black and gray comes out in her hand, which she tosses into the garbage can. “The smaller one might be better for the unknowing list. Market her as baby back ribs or something. I like the meatier one for the real cannibals. Been a few months since we visited my family. The Lamia Clan would really appreciate a beautiful feast like this.”
“Maybe we’ll put a little aside, but your aunts and sisters never pay,” her husband states while putting on a new tie. Opening a box, he replenishes his syringe supply and puts a box of plastic wrap on the table. “We have that party in a bit, so we’ll take care of the product in the morning. Please get changed because you have blood on that dress. If you behave during this party then you can get a finger from each of them. Get us a new client and you can have an entire hand. This deal goes away if you go through with biting that product’s ear.”
With a crooked pout, Angela gets off the woman who is strapped to the bed with manacles and chains. Taking off her blood-encrusted apron, the cannibal sniffs at one of the newer splotches and licks it to get a taste. Ignoring her husband’s tapping foot, she removes her layered skirt and lets it fall to the floor with a thud. Angela’s thin legs are covered in scars and fresh wounds, which have been created by the cooking knife collection she clumsily hides in her clothing. Accepting a pack of gauze from Len, she wraps up her damaged flesh to avoid any seepage through her elegant gown. The woman frowns at the yellow frills, which combine with the black to make her feel like a fluffy bumblebee. Wanting some red in her outfit, she grabs a bottle of nail polish and paints a smiley face on each of her cloud-like shoulder pads. Snapping her teeth at her husband as a warning, Angela puts on a pair of uncomfortably high heels and lets the slightly amused man escort her out of the room.
The loud click of the lock stirs Cassidy and her fellow prisoner enough that they dare to open their eyes. Dazed from the drugs, both women can only stare at each other while struggling to remember what happened. Dull pain ripples from the injection sites, which brings their memories back with vivid accuracy. Having been dosed more recently, Cassidy finds that her mouth is dry and she is in desperate need of a drink. Fighting against the chains, she considers dislocating her wrists and slipping free. The idea of getting caught with two useless hands makes her think better of the idea and she tries to move her head close to her fingers.
“He would have already taken the pin out of your hair,” the other woman mentions as she grips the metal headboard. To the sound of breaking screws, she pulls the entire section up and over her head in order to regain the use of her bound arms. “They’re the Rymers. Len makes the deals and kidnaps the products while Angela does the butchering. Rumor is that he got lost in Wyoming and stumbled into the Lamia Clan’s territory. They’re one of the more ravenous cannibal groups, but they are all women. Only way to survive is if you’re a man and they want to breed with you. This sick bastard turned that luck into a business opportunity. Even though most people think they’re nothing more than meat merchants, there’s a nice bounty on their heads. It could keep me fed and my motorcycle fueled for a year, which is why I was after them. By the way, the name’s Luca. Don’t think I can get my ankles free and reach you. Not without making it obvious that I got loose.”
“I’m Cassidy and I’d say it was nice to meet you if it was better circumstances,” the mercenary replies while she watches the tall woman sit on the footboard. Nodding to a glass of water, she closes her eyes when Luca throws it into in her face. “Better than nothing. So, you’re a bounty hunter? That term always confused me. It’s like a mercenary who only takes the capture and kill jobs. I’m just nitpicking though.”
The woman pulls a smooshed protein bar out of her boot and devours it to stop her stomach from complaining. “Sorry, but I don’t think I can get any food to you. Bounty hunting plays to my strengths. I was a cop in Miami until some lunatic caused me to get hit by a car. To be fair, I was harassing somebody and this guy stepped in. Was a decent fight, but some dickless bastard didn’t watch where he was going. Broke a few bones and I couldn’t stop the investigation, so I was fired from the force. Figured there wasn’t any point in staying in the area, so I was on the road a week later.”
“You got hit by a car?”
“It was only going about thirty or forty.”
“I don’t see any scars.”
“Maybe because it was a convertible and I landed in the backseat.”
“Do you walk with a limp?”
“No, everything healed thanks to napping and power shakes.”
An arched eyebrow is the only sign that Cassidy doubts the woman, but she keeps her mouth shut. The idea of being dismembered and sold to her friends for breakfast makes her skin crawl, especially with the lingering drugs making her thoughts more vivid than normal. Needing to clear her head, the mercenary closes her eyes and focuses on her breathing. There is an immediate urge to fall asleep, but the beginning of a nightmare involving a human-sized rotisserie oven shocks her back to consciousness. Pulling her arms toward her chest, she nearly yanks one of the anchors out of the wall. She stops when a pillow hits her in the stomach and Luca flips over the footboard to retrieve the soft projectile. Pushing herself back onto the bed with ease, the bounty hunter cracks her neck and shoulders.
“You don’t want to do that,” the brown-haired woman casually mentions. Lying down, she slips her cuffs back onto the headboard and puts it back in place. “These two can get pretty twitchy. If you did manage to escape, Angela would slice me up immediately and Len would hunt you down. You’re on a train, so it isn’t like you can get too far away. This is the perfect place for them to secretly do business. Anyway, we have to work together to get out of this damn mess alive. Why are you laughing?”
“I have fun teasing a friend who had a run in with the Wendigo Clan. He’ll never let me live this down if he finds out,” Cassidy says while wiggling her fingers. A pins and needles sensation travels through her limbs, forcing her to return to struggling simply to ward off the looming discomfort. “Okay, so we have to work together. Neither of us are armed, but you’re partially free. I can’t do that because it would be too obvious. Unless I get the anchor out and put it back in like you did with the headboard.”
“Are you any good in a fight?” Luca asks while sizing up the smaller woman. Receiving a cold gaze that makes her smile, she shrugs and removes the headboard again. “You don’t like look much and I’ve run into a lot of shitty mercenaries. Now, I can probably reach your feet and loosen their anchors. Are you sure you can keep yourself suspended on the wall for a few hours without falling to the floor? Once you go down, we can’t get you back up.”
With a grunt, Cassidy pulls her left arm anchor free and gently puts it back into the hole. “I can leave the other one in, but I’m confused. Why can’t I get out and hide in the room? Angela left all of her knives here. They won’t see me if I’m under or behind the bed. I doubt she’s going to charge in stabbing since she won’t know what’s going on until she gets inside.”
“If you kill them then I don’t get the reward,” the bounty hunter bluntly states while flipping over the footboard. Crawling forward, she stretches to grab the anchors, but refuses to pull them out of the wall. “Let’s make a deal. I take all of the credit for this. You can get maybe a tenth of the reward since I did all of the tracking and research. Had to get hired as minor security guard too. That gave me a bunk in the staff quarters and free meals, but I really need that reward to make this worthwhile. The bounty can only be collected in Chicago too, so I have to preserve the evidence. All you’ve done is stumble into the situation and I’m letting you help.”
“You’re more concerned about the job and your reward than your life?” Cassidy asks before remembering a few times she has done the same. Freeing her other arm, she clings to the anchors to avoid falling onto the floor. “I’ll sweeten the pot. You get all of the credit and I can introduce you to a friend of mine. She could use someone like you and I’ll get a recruitment fee. With a third bodyguard, my partner and I can relax a little on this trip. It’s been a lot more work than I expected and I would love to get some help. So, this is a little self-serving. You might even get your own room if my friend likes you enough to give you a job.”
After pulling the leg anchors out of the wall, Luca crawls back onto the bed and gets herself in position. “You have a deal. Just know that I don’t take betrayal very well. I’ll do more than kill you, Cassidy. One wrong move and I’ll break out of here to introduce you to a new level of agony. Hey, where are you going? You rancid bit-”
“I’m getting some water and taking a piss!” the mercenary shouts from the bathroom. “It isn’t like they’ll be back any time some. They have a minibar with snacks and little bottles of booze in the closet.”
“They have a candy bar with almonds?”
“I see two kinds.”
“One of each and I saw some DVD’s in the drawer.”
“Are we doing a girls’ night in the room of a cannibal couple?”
“As you said, it isn’t like they’ll be back soon.”
“Fine, but no horror. Things are creepy enough already.”