December 4, 1998 - Queens, New York

The young woman glanced continuously over her shoulder as she quickened her steps. Damn, I should have walked back with one of the guys, she thought. She wondered why winter nights in the northeast had to be so bitterly cold and dark. She hated this time of year, favoring summer as her season of choice.

She cursed herself for having decided to walk back to her destination. It was too cold and miserable outside. She should have caught a cab, or even taken a bus. Although it had yet to snow, the wind chill was fierce and unbearable, and she was sorry she hadn't brought a scarf with her. Next time, she'd know better.

Her guard instantly went up as she became aware of a pair of headlights slightly to her left and behind her. They seemed to be moving too slowly for a car's normal speed, and the woman feared some creep was following her. She picked up the pace of her steps even more, turning her head to glare at the jerk behind the wheel - but she couldn't see the driver because of the darkly-tinted windows. As her heart began to quicken, she told herself not to panic. But tinted windows on cars had always made her feel uncomfortable - you couldn't see the people inside, but they could see you - which seemed unfair.

Suddenly, the lights were cut, and she calmed down a bit, thinking that the person had grown tired of intimidating her. Or maybe he lived on this block or nearby and was parking. Maybe...

The young woman tried to whirl around in shock as she was suddenly grabbed by the arm from behind. She struggled, yelling at her assailant, but she couldn't get a good look at his face - that was due thanks to the black ski mask he wore.

She started to scream, but the wind picked up, blowing into her face and nearly suffocating her. The attacker grabbed her around the waist, and, to her horror, began carrying her away. She tried to fight back, to struggle, but he was so strong!

He literally threw her into the backseat of his car, and she began to scream again. The man seemed furious as he struck out at her, ordering her to shut up. She went for the lock on the opposite backseat door, silently praying it would lead to her escape, but the madman lifted up a heavy object, striking her in the side of the head. Because she'd lost her hat in the fracas, she had nothing that could have braced her against the blow. Everything quickly grew black as she lost consciousness, slumping into silence in the seat.

*

She opened her eyes after what felt like hours later. Her head hurt like hell, and as she roused, she was momentarily disoriented - but only for a moment, as it all came back to her. The man...the car...he had grabbed her, thrown her into the backseat - kidnapped her.

She realized she was lying on a cold, concrete floor, which felt cold because she'd been stripped down to her bra and panties. She shivered as she sat up quickly, glancing around furtively, eyes wide with fright. Where the hell was she?

"So, Sleeping Beauty is finally awake," a voice droned nearby, and the young woman finally caught sight of the bastard. He was standing, arms crossed, across the room at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Evidently, she was in his basement. She shrank back against the wall fearfully as she stared at him with loathing.

"Where the hell am I? Who the hell are you? What do you want from me?!"

"Sorry - can't tell you where you are, my name is John, and I think you already know what I want from you," he replied in a monotone. His voice thoroughly chilled her to the bone.

"I want to get out of here!" she yelled. "You can't do whatever it is you've got in mind. And so help me, if you try anything, I'll kick your God damn ass!"

"Oh, you're a feisty one...but I already knew you were. That's only one of the things that drew me to you." He began inching toward her, each step tentative.

The woman crawled backward as far as she could manage, her eyes never wavering from him. He knew her - or more aptly, he'd seen her. She could easily guess where he'd seen her before and imagined it had been on multiple occasions. She suddenly noticed he held something in his hand and stood up abruptly, glaring up at him. "Get away from me! What do you think you're going to do?"

"This is just a precaution," he replied calmly. "Just in case you get the idea to try anything funny." He made a grab for her, and, with her back to the wall, there was nowhere for her to go. He had her cornered. She struggled in his grip, screaming and kicking out at the man with her right leg.

The man roughly yanked her as he tried to reposition the object he held. The woman suddenly realized it was duct tape. "No!!!"

"Don't make this any harder than it has to be," he said. "I don't want to have to hurt you to shut you up."

"Fuck you, bastard!" she shouted, spraying him with spit in the process.

The man quickly responded by backhanding her. The woman fell silent, slumping to the floor as she suddenly passed out from the combination of the force from the blow and the shock of what was happening to her.

"That's better..." Without another word, he knelt and began to tape her wrists and ankles together, whistling while he worked. Afterward, he left the basement, and the unconscious girl lying there. He would be back soon enough...






Part 2

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