Maximus: A Harvey Nolan Thriller

By S. C. Abbey

Action & adventure, Crime & mystery, Thriller

Paperback, eBook

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3 mins


HER UPPER VERTEBRA creaked as she found her tightened neck muscles unyielding, protesting against her sudden maneuvers. Christina tilted her head forward in an attempt to lessen the tension that was forming at the base of her skull, a dull and inevitable nauseating squeezing of her brain followed. It reminded her of the long hiking weekend trips, on the rugged cliffs of Rocky Peak Ridge during the winter, she used to take with her husband before they got married. She was a tough and adventurous young woman who would not flinch at sleeping in a tent in the wilderness or getting her hands dirty while at it. But this was not the same. She had found herself awaking on a cold hard concrete surface, the chill from the rigid ground permeated deep into her bones. It took her a moment to open her tear-crusted eyelids as she rubbed them with the back of her hands – a small fear started to infest her heart. The still air, wherever she was, smelled horrid of vomit and of fecal matter. She hoped it wasn’t human.
How long have I been out?
As she sat up straight, her back muscles ached from the prolong side reclining posture it had been in on the cold inflexible ground. She immediately regretted her enthusiasm in getting up. She stretched her arms above her head and found them inconveniently unable to reach their usual full stretch as an unrelenting metal cuff pulled firmly on her wrist toward the ground.
What the–
It was dark in the room and the only light which her eyes could register was that of a flickering orange shadow that danced ungracefully on the wall in front of her. Her right arm was free of any restraints while her left – now conscious of the iron cuff – felt heavy. She used her free arm to trace the iron cuff to an equally thick metal chain – her ears now started to register the obvious rattling sound of it.
Oh my god–
The iron restraints along with her aching back and the horrid smell – the grimness of the situation was too overwhelming. She couldn’t think straight. She halfheartedly found a little more courage – unsure of what more bad news had yet to come – and tried to push herself up to a standing position, and it became apparent that another unkindly iron cuff had chosen this moment to present itself on her left ankle, the rattling sound of metal chains equally obdurate. It reminded her of a scene from a movie where the victim had to choose to saw off his own foot to survive. She shivered at that thought and the betrayal of her stimulating mind.
She approached the entrance of her room where her fingers reached out to feel cold metal bars. She felt a scream ascending from the back of her dehydrated vocal cords that never came as a throaty voice made itself known from the back of the barred cell where no light reached.
“Most of them would scream first and think later you know. One of them even had to be sedated for a whole week before she could learn to keep her mouth shut. You aren’t doing too badly so far,” chuckled the woman.
Christina’s heart jumped from the sudden unsolicited judgment and turned to face the back of the room.
“Who’s there? Where am I? What do you want from me? Help me please,” whimpered Christina, her crumbling courage exposed itself through her shaky voice.
The now familiar sound of metal chains rattled as the owner of the raspy voice stood and approached Christina, her face came into the orange glow. Her matted hair was knotted in so many places it seemed like she had gave up combing a long time ago. She was dressed in what used to be a baby blue blouse – now tattered rags, hardly affording her any form of decency. Her feet were bare without shoes and reminiscence of red nail polish could still be seen as crimson specks on her now unkempt toenails. Her eyes looked sunken and dull on a face that had seen better days. She should have been a beautiful creature of the fairer sex, once before. Her face now dirty with soot and grime, revealed no expression as she spoke.
“Please. Do not be afraid of me. My name is Samantha, Samantha Lee. As you can see, I am kind of in the same situation as you are,” Samantha said as she raised her left arm to show a similar metal cuff with an accompanying chain, “we have been abducted, and this is where they keep us.”
Christina’s heart raced in her chest as the austerity of the circumstances hit her, like a deer caught in headlights crossing the highway.
No. It cannot be, please, let these all be a dream–
Christina closed her eyes in a long hard blink, hoping she would see a different scene when her eyes opened again. It didn’t work. “Where is this place? Why me? Why?!” Christina asked. Her eyes now wild with unanswered questions. She tried hard to think about what had happened before she was here.
“Because you are easy on the eyes,” Samantha mumbled with a downcast glance, “And you’ve long blonde hair too, he always had a preference for flaxen hair and light complexion. He told me that himself.”
The orange glow began to shine brighter as it seemed like the source of light was approaching the barred room, the flames came into view on a torch held by a bald and hideous man. A deep and angry scar ran down the left side of his cheek, starting from just below the eye all the way down to his jaw. A silver ear ring donned his right ear, a healthy chunk missing from the tip of it. His voice sounded like gravel against the road, likely damaged from too much alcohol.
“Well, well. Looks like sleeping beauty has finally decided to wake up.”



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