Authors: Tim Miller
Tags: #Horror, #Mystery, #Suspense, #Thriller
Copyright © 2015 Tim Miller
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Cover photo by Tom O’Brien
Rodney scrolled through his newsfeed on Backtrack, the latest and fastest growing social networking site in the world. Over the years, he had been on numerous different sites as they came up, but this one was the best by far. Great user interface and lots of features. It also seemed like more hot girls chose this site over the others.
One would think at forty years old, Rodney would be beyond such things, but that wasn’t the case. Since his divorce five years ago, he had absorbed himself into the world of social networking and online dating. Those were two technically different things, but often blurred together. He worked out regularly and ate fairly healthy. His confidence was evidenced by the many shirtless selfies he posted on his own profile. For some reason though, the women weren’t that impressed with him; at least not the ones he found attractive.
There were plenty of fifty something hags who would tell him how hot or sexy he was. He even grew his beard out since he’d heard girls were all into beards now. His receding hairline gave away his age, but other than that he looked young and vibrant. At least he thought so. The girls in their twenties and thirties, the really hot ones though were bitchy.
All he’d do was send them a nice private message telling them how hot or sexy they were. Even if they weren’t interested they could at least be polite! Instead they would reply with shit like “Ewww!” or “Creeper!” or just flat out block him without so much as a reply. Girls these days were so entitled and rude. Whatever happened to the days of saying thank you when given a compliment? Seems they only want compliments from certain people.
There was a girl on his suggested friends that caught his eye. Her name was Jenny, profile said she was single, twenty seven years old, and also lived in the city. She was a brunette with a killer smile and from her bikini pics from last summer had a smoking hot body; especially for having two kids. Rodney often wondered if these women had any clue just how much information about themselves they are putting out there. Not that he minded. Computers were his life, he could take the smallest bit of info about a person and use it to find their home address, phone numbers, even place of employment. If he wanted, he could even look up the kind of underwear a girl orders for herself.
He clicked on Jenny’s page to send her a friend request then sent her a quick message:
RODNEY: Hey sexy lady. Always great to see a new friend here in San Antonio.
JENNY: OMG. I am so NOT your friend. Plus I have a boyfriend. Please leave me alone.
RODNEY: Your profile doesn’t say anything about a boyfriend?
JENNY: I don’t put my whole life on there. My page is for staying in touch with my family, not finding a date. Goodbye.
RODNEY: You dismissive little cunt. Your boyfriend must be a big pussy to put up with a snotty bitch like you. I paid you a COMPLIMENT! You can at least say THANK YOU!
JENNY: FUCKING WEIRDO!
Rodney went to reply again but she had blocked him. He slammed his fist into the desk. That dumb bitch thinks she’s going to talk shit and just be rid of him? He logged out of his profile and signed into his “secret” profile. He had about twenty or thirty profiles. Only one had his real name. The rest were just fake accounts he used to troll once he’d been blocked. He looked up Jenny’s profile again and took screenshots of her info.
He pulled up an app called BackTrackHack, and signed in. Once he signed in, he copied Jenny’s Backtrack URL into the box. Within seconds he was in her account. There it was, Jennifer Barstow’s entire life right before him. Messages, photos, personal info, including her place of employment. He found her address in one message she’d sent someone from whom she’d bought some things from. She had a boyfriend supposedly, but there were at least three other men she had sent nude photos to. Rodney spent the next several hours downloading and taking screenshots of Jenny’s info. Once he was done, he logged out and closed the app. All that and she never knew he was in her account.
Once he signed out he got dressed and headed to the garage. Tonight he’d be driving the van, an older Dodge Caravan. The windows were tinted and he’d sealed them shut, and it looked less suspicious than the cargo vans. He’d customized the back by removing the seats and setting up his own mobile playpen. At first he’d been concerned about the room, but it turned out he had more than enough room to work and play.
There were handcuffs and shackles affixed to the floor for proper containment. Soundproofing along the walls and he’d painted the inside of the windows so if someone did try to stick their nose inside, they’d see nothing. It was a good setup. This was a fairly new hobby for him. Playing on Backtrack was fun, but in the past year he decided he needed to step up his game. When a bitch got too disrespectful, a lesson was usually in order. He had no trouble being the one to deliver that lesson. His first few trial runs had gone well. Though the first one had almost gotten away, he made it all work and it ended just fine.
He climbed into the van and headed into town. It was just after four in the afternoon, so Jenny would still be at her job. He pulled up outside the barbecue place where she worked as a server and parked next to her car. It was easy to spot from the photos she had posted. He waited for just over an hour until she finally came outside. She was digging through her purse, not even looking up as she walked between the van and her own car. Before she got her own keys out, Rodney threw the side door open, grabbed her, pulled her into the van and slid the door shut.
She screamed and struggled as he punched her in the face several times. Not knocking her out, but stunning her enough to control her. From there he cuffed her hands and feet to the floor in back and climbed into the driver’s seat. Within minutes he was on the highway, headed far away from the abduction sight. Jenny would be long gone before anyone even realized she was missing.
Jenny didn’t know what had grabbed her. One minute she is getting the keys to her car out, the next someone is pulling her into a van. She managed a scream in protest but that just got her several punches to the face. Now she lie handcuffed to the floor of this van. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she’d blacked out for a bit. Once her vision cleared, she looked around the van as what was happening to her started to sink in.
She was being kidnapped. The thought itself seemed ridiculous, but there it was. She had no idea why or by whom. Who would want to take her? Neither she nor her family had any money. As she tried to move, she felt the handcuffs for the first time against her wrists and ankles. They dug into her skin as she struggled against them.
The van felt as if it were moving rather quickly. Enough light came through the windows and she could tell it was still day light. To her right, her purse sat just inches away. She tried to reach for it, but it was just far enough out of her reach. The asshole probably put it there on purpose. Her phone was in her purse unless he’d gone through it already and removed it.
Along the walls of the van she saw chains hanging up, as well as several large tool chests. She didn’t even want to know what might be in there. It had been a long day at work at Buck’s Barbecue where she worked as a server. She’d been there just over a year and the tips were decent. She got off early today to take her son to see his dad. Unfortunately, whoever had grabbed her did so before she could leave.
The thought made her sick. Her little boy will have no idea where she is or why. While she was terrified about what could happen to her, the thought of her son thinking she just took off or abandoned him really horrified her. Though, up until this point, she hadn’t really reflected on her current situation other than trying to figure out where she was and why. Maybe it was human traffickers. She couldn’t even imagine, but had seen stories about it on the news. They kidnap young women and take them across the border to sell as sex slaves. Holy shit! She’d rather die than be some fucked up sex slave for some crazy, rich asshole.
Before she could think about it any further, the van came to a stop. Someone stepped through the curtain and turned on a small light in the back. The man looked somewhat familiar, but she couldn’t place him. He was wearing a work shirt and jeans. He crawled into the back and knelt down next to her.
“Hello sexy lady. You remember me?” He asked.
“Remember you from what? Who are you?”
“Oh come on. You forgot me already?”
“I—I don’t know what you mean? I’ve never met you.” She said again. Her mind raced as she tried to place him, but was drawing a complete blank.
“From Backtrack!” He yelled, holding up his phone. He held it in front of her, the conversation she’d had earlier with some creepy guy who tried to flirt with her. “I’m Rodney from Backtrack? Ring any bells now? I said hello, paid you a nice compliment and you were fucking rude to me! You called me a creep and a weirdo and blocked me!” He was screaming now.
The reality of who he was and what was about to happen hit her like a freight train. This crazy asshole, after being blocked by her on Backtrack, went and tracked her down then kidnapped her? What in the fuck? The thought made her throat tighten and stomach knot up. If this guy was that determined, she was in serious trouble.
“Look, I’m sorry. You just sounded weird. And you scared me. I get a lot of crazies messaging me all the time. You didn’t even say hello! You just said hey sexy. That freaked me out!”
“Yes and you called me a creeper and a weirdo. After I was nice to you. Sexy is a compliment. I paid you a compliment! You think you’re too good for me?” He began waving his arms frantically. “Oh no! This old creepy guy is calling me sexy after I posted a bunch of bikini pics for the world to see! Oh no! Boohoo me!”
“Look, it’s nothing personal! Ok? I just…” she was cut off by his backhanding her across the face. “Shut up!” He screamed. “You humiliated and disrespected me! You’re about to learn real humiliation you little cunt. You fucked with the wrong creepy old guy.”
“How did you even find me?” She asked, struggling against the cuffs.
“Are you kidding? Nothing is private online. Someone like me who knows what they are doing can find pretty much everything about everyone. Like I found these.”
He held out his phone again and showed her the nude photos she’d sent to some of her guy friends. Her boyfriend would be enraged if he found out. They’d only been dating three or four months. The guys she sent pics to happened while she’d been home alone and drinking one night. They’d been talking and flirting and so she sent a few tit and ass pics. Her boyfriend, David would be furious if he saw what she did.
“Don’t worry. I already sent them to him. He, wasn’t super happy. I sent them from your phone. Also said you’ll be hanging with your new guy for now. So he might not be in the biggest hurry to look for you.”
“You asshole! No one will believe you! They’ll know something is wrong!”
He smiled and dug into the tool chest and pulled out needle nose pliers and walked back over, kneeling down by her bare feet.
“Now, this is lesson one of your manners. I didn’t want to have to do this, but you brought it on yourself. You understand?” He asked.
“What are you going to do? Leave me alone!”
Without another word, he took the pliers and gripped her small toe on her right foot. Holding it with his free hand, the pliers gripped the tiny toenail and with a single upward rip, he tore it clean from her toe. The pain shot through her foot and into her skull. She had never felt so much pain, never even knew such pain existed. The burning agony seared up and down from her leg into the top of her skull as she saw stars, feeling like she’d pass out if it didn’t go away soon. Finally it subsided just a little. Rodney looked at her and smiled as he held her removed toe nail in the pliers.
“Oh come on now,” he said. “We’re just getting started!”
Rodney sat listening to her scream and cry. It was all a waste of her own time and energy, but funny to him. She was sure being nice to him now. Perhaps had she been so adamant on being polite when it mattered, she wouldn’t be here now. Too bad for her. They could have had something special. Maybe she could have been the one, or at least they could have been good friends. Instead, he was about to slowly and painfully end her life.