Two weeks. It’s been two weeks since Holly Hunt left The Herald Hawk. Right now she is in her living room, her hands still trembling. The smell of fresh blood splattered from Abigail Lawson’s head, having to get rid of her body and then having to put away all the evidence of the horrific crimes she committed, all these thoughts still remain in Holly’s mind. Two weeks since it happened and yet for Holly Hunt it’s as though it happened yesterday. Over and over again, in Holly’s mind she kept rationalizing to herself, “But she killed many women. Raped and killed them. She probably deserved it.” But not even these words could shake her out of this panicked state.
Very slowly, this pendulum of thoughts between herself being put away for murder and just feeling sick for having taken a human life for the first time sent Holly’s brain back to that night, two years ago, when she was in that Columbian camp with all those women and kids who were yet to be sold as sex slaves.
After having been rescued by Sara, Holly is among the large throng of former prisoners to listen to a compelling speech from her pretty one-armed friend, moving the tall brunette to tears. A giant celebration ensues, an hour of dancing, breaking into the Columbians’ food stock and celebrating freedom. Eventually, after passing out from drinking wine, Holly sleeps for hours. She doesn’t awaken until midday.
Back in the present day, Holly Hunt returns to her office block in The Herald Hawk. She sits down at her desk, wearing a white, long sleeved blouse with a black pencil skirt. Her hands have finally stop trembling. The one and only thing that nobody has ever figured out about Holly is that it takes hours for her to conceal any secret perfectly. Right now she has perfected hiding the terrible secret of how a certain red-haired girl disappeared.
Just then, a familiar loud voice can be heard from behind Holly, causing her to turn around. “All right, everybody! Listen up!” It’s Bill Kane, the stocky, middle aged African-American with a strong, firm voice. He stands outside his office doorway, raising his voice to his employers; he would do this whenever there’s a big announcement. “There has bene word of a murder.” Murder, the word gave Holly’s spine a hard, coarse chill. “A body was found just on the East End river, police have identified the body as one Abigail Lawson.”
Holly feels the sickness come back! Does this mean that she’d be found out? “Forensics have found that an intense shot to the head was the cause of death. She also was tied, hand and foot, when the body was found. I want to know how this happened. Who did this? Who’d want to hurt, let alone kill, someone like Abigail Lawson and, most importantly, why?” Kane turns his head back and fo9rth at a slow pace as he asks all this. “Abigail Lawson. Who was she? Why would anybody want to hurt her? I want to know! Let’s go, people!”
With that, everybody, including a now innocent looking Joel West, hurries back to work. Holly feels truly sick. “Maybe if I pretend that murder makes me feel nauseous,” she thinks to herself. “Yeah, that’ll work.” Soon Joel approaches her desk and surprises her, causing her to flinch. “You all right, Holly?”
“Y-yeah. I was just listening to what Kane was saying. It just makes me feel so physically ill. Killing somebody and then placing their body in a filthy area. I hope that forensics don’t find out any more damage that was done to the body. Like any kind of penetration or-“
Joel raises his hand. “Ah, I get it. Just tell me if you’ve found anything ne won the Shrike case.” Holly shakes her head. “Nothing new. What makes you think I’d find any new developments?”
The sleepy-eyed reporter shrugs. “I read up on you, Holly. You’ve got quite a reputation for getting the best results, even if it means getting into danger. You haven’t had much luck lately since working here but…Well, let’s just say I have faith in you. I believe that you’ll bust something in no time.”
Holly’s eyes and body slowly begin to relax. “Thanks, Joel. That means a lot to me, coming from you. It really does.”
“Don’t mention it. Just promise me you won’t do anything reckless again.”
“Hmm.” She replies with a gentle nod. Joel then walks away. That’s the first time that Joel West has ever made Holly feel good. But even he can’t make the sickness go away; the truth that only Holly knows of who killed Abigail the femme fatale rapist. Holly Hunt remembers more than what she did to the deceased redhead…..
In high school, seventeen year old Holly Hunt had become almost as much of a beauty as she is yet to be. Clutching her study book to her chest, she walks down the hallway, daydreaming of what wonders tonight is yet to bring, for tonight she’ll be spending time with Arnold Bender, (not his real surname.) a fellow student who is now a famed drummer boy, bound to rise to greater popularity with his band, The Dreaded. To Holly, Arnold is a dream; medium length brown hair, slender yet muscular hands and green eyes.
As Holly opens up her locker, there stands a pretty sixteen year old red haired girl. “Hey, Holly.” She smiles innocently. “Hi, Abby.”
“So you got any plans this weekend?” Abby asks sweetly.
“Um, not much. I mean, I’m going to a join Joshua, Arnold and the guys at a private performance tonight but other than that-“
“Wanna come over Saturday night?”
Holly looks at Abby, who bears an excited expression. “What?”
“I was just wondering whether you’d want a sleepover at my place.”
“Abby,” Holly sighs.
Abby cuts in. “You’re gonna say “no”, right?”
“Abby, it’s not that. It’s just you could have asked earlier.”
“Why? You’d still say “no, anyways. Just like everyone else.” There is now a hint of hate in her youthful, sultry voice. Holly tenses up. “Abby,”
“Don’t “Abby” me. It’s not my fault that I don’t have friends. And just because I can’t get a boyfriend?” Abby shrugs her shoulders with disdain before turning and walking away. “Abby, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry?” The redhead scoffs. “You’re not sorry. Not yet, anyhow.”
As a seventeen year old Holly stands in the hall, a confused and worried look on her face, a thirty-seven year old Holly is now driving home.
As the day darkens, Holly drives past The Silver Spider, that seedy nightclub where the tall reporter was awaiting her red-haired former schoolmate to strike. She notices a group of men in street clothes, one of them, well-dressed, handing out something, a tiny bag of white dust; Heroin. Holly’s eyes widen at the sight of this snowy dust. She pulls over by the pavement and gets out. She slowly approaches the street gang, handbag slung over her shoulder, and clears her throat. The dealer, an average-height, well dressed gentleman, turns around and looks at Holly. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
“How much?” Holly asks boldly and eagerly.
“Wow! Somebody’s quite eager. That’s 20 bucks, sweetheart.”
With a nervous yet provoked look in her blue eyes, Holly reaches into her handbag and takes out a 20 dollar note, handing it to the dealer. “Here you go, sweetie.”
“Thanks. Please don’t call me that.” Holly glares daggers at the gentleman dealer before turning away. “Sorry, sugar. Would you let me make it up?” feeling a hand touch her shoulder, Holly hears inside her head a distressed muffled noise, her own voice silenced by a gag, recalling that night in Dr. Lovecraft’s lab, strapped to a table, her own tights stuffed in her mouth, but then an older memory came into her mind, feeling the soft yet creepy touch of Abigail Lawson. The memory of being in a helpless situation causes her heart to throb as she grabs the gentleman by the hand and spins around, knocking him down with a violent kick. The well-dressed dealer collapses while many onlookers stare at Holly Hunt, who instantly runs back to her car, heroin in hand, and drives away in shock and shame. But she couldn’t help it if a man touched her against her will. She couldn’t help what the professors of Klaw did to her.
Holly Hunt couldn’t help what happened the night she was about to accompany Arnold Bender and the gang to a private audition. Seventeen years old, Holly Hunt wears clad in a white dress with dark panytyhose stockings with white high heels and stands before her bedroom mirror. As she gives her long skirt a twirl, Holly notices something moving outside her window. Slowly, the teen brunette opens her window to find nothing. Sadly, the girl doesn’t think to look to her left or right as she feels a hand snatch her, someone hurries into the room and silences Holly with her hand; Holly cries out as she sees reflected in the mirror, Abigail Lawson, the awkward redhead clamping her hand over her mouth. “Holly, Holly, Holly…” The beautiful redhead taunts. “All dressed up and nowhere to go.”
Holly bites down on her bare handgag but Abigail reacts by throwing Holly down, her head hitting the bottom post of her bed, causing her to lose consciousness…..
Later, Holly Hunt awakens to find herself tightly bound to a chair in what appears to be a basement, hands behind, feet likewise bound together, while her mouth is sealed with a long strip of black duct tape! Abigail starts touching Holly, caressing her taped lips, her neck, her long dark hair while looking into her blue eyes, revealing her true self, her dark side. Holly cries out her redhead attacker’s name pleadingly but Abigail pays no attention as she continues to grope the tall beauty.
“I won’t kill you.” Abigail says tauntingly. “You’re too afraid.” Holly becomes deeply horrified and enraged because she knows that Abigail’s right by this statement, for the redhead was always a perceptive person.
Soon Abigail goes upstairs for a bathroom break, allowing Holly some room to breathe. Looking around, whimpering into her sticky gag, Holly sees a sharp pipe sticking out from the wall. Slowly scooting her chair to ward sit, Holly takes as much time cutting at her wrist bonds. Moaning into her gag with a chronic fear, Holly finally cuts her bonds and soon, with her free hands, she unties her feet and tries to escape through the basement window and though she struggles squeezing through, she manages to get out. Taking the tape off her mouth, wincing slightly after the first time she’s ever been gagged, Holly Hunt makes a run for it.
Through the woods outside Abigail’s house she runs before she spots Arnold’s mini RV van. Running even faster, Holly runs out to the road and waves her arms frantically. “Hey!” She cries out as the van pulls to a stop. Arnold is the first one to break out of the van as he runs and embraces Holly and, though she’s not sure why, she returns the embrace. Rather than spending the night in the wicked redhead’s basement, the brunette Cinderella gets to go to the party, after all…..
Back in the present, Holly sits in her apartment living room. After having prepared and laid out the heroin on her coffee table with trembling hands, the memories of attempted rape, not being able to bring her parents back as well as all those months of attending therapy sessions for her anger and drug problems collide with each other as Holly rubs her hands looking at the pile of dust that once ruined her life. “Is becoming an unhappy damsel reporter and always feeling vulnerable even worth doing this again?” She thinks. Over and over again she thinks, but then the feel of Abigail’s touch with the last straw of being groped by a man sends Holly into a depressed frenzy as she takes the straw and brings it up her nostril. With little effort, the junkie in her arises as she snorts the heroin up her nose.
Suddenly, though she only takes very little, Holly’s senses shut down, her eyes roll up and she collapses as if going into a seizure. Somehow very little can destroy Holly in more ways than before.
So much time passes, the reporter awakens in her bed, her brain, eyesight and breathing perfectly normal again. Noticing she’s now wearing her whit pyjamas as she comes to, Holly clutches onto the fabric, feeling uneasy, only to find Joel West sitting near the bed. “How did you get in here?”
“Your front door was open.” Joel’s innocent reply jogged Holly’s memory; in her guilty, depressed state, she had forgotten to close her door. “Did you change me?” Holly asks, clutching tighter. “Don’t worry. I didn’t touch your body. Not like that.”
Holly relaxes even more. For all the things that make Joel seem creepy, she could see that he means well. “What the hell were you thinking?” Joel’s voice turns to stone cold concern, like a loved one feeling protective over his child, sibling or spouse.
“That…stuff that was laid out on your table.”
Holly closes her eyes in shame. “I…I have a drug problem.” Joel leans back in his seat, cool but slightly uneasy. “I’ve been through some terrible stuff a few years back and I started taking it just to block it all out. Just to block it out.” Joel nods his head understandingly. “But someone convinced me to move away from it, go to meetings, not make any major decisions for a year. I never made any decisions in two years. But I got memories, of what I’ve bene through, and I just couldn’t take it.”
Joel gets up from his seat and slowly paces around. “Please don’t tell Bill about this.” Joel just looks at her. “Why did you become a reporter?”
“I want to find truth about crime. To find truth about the villains in the world.”
“You want justice?” Joel asks emphatically.
“Sounds like you want to make the world a better place. But if you want to do that, you won’t find truth in this.” Joel holds up the bag of heroin. Holly nods. “I understand.”
“Would you like me to leave?”
“No. It’d be wise to watch over me some more. Just don’t try any funny business, okay?”
“Way ahead of you.” Joel replies earnestly, placing a hand over his chest.
Holly turns over in her bed, finding peace all too quickly. If only Joel knew the pain she’s going through. Not to mention that he could discover that she killed Abigail Lawson, but still Holly could tell now that Joel is an innocent…. so far.
In the past, seventeen year old Holly sits in the back of the van opposite the dreamy Arnold. With her right hand, she holds her left wrist so firmly but so tenderly at once. The waking nightmare of her awkward, quiet schoolmate having abducted Holly and kept her in a basement ready to molest her continues to haunt Holly Hunt's memories. Arnold temporarily quits his stoning to notice his would-be girlfriend trembling slightly. Slowly leaning over, he asks, "Hey, you okay, Holls?"
Arnold's words sinking in all too soon, Holly suddenly gets up in a near jerk reaction and calmly replies, "I have to go," With that, she turns away and prepares to leave the van when Arnold gently places his hand son the brunette teenager. "Holly..." Afraid and confused, Holly gasps, throwing her hand against Arnold's hand, smacking it off her. Their eyes meet. "Something's wrong. I can see it in your eyes." Holly closes her eyes, tears beginning to stream. "I-I was so stupid. I thought I could trust..." As Holly breaks, Arnold brushes tears from her face with his thumb. "You can trust..me..." Realising what Arnold's doing, Holly places a hand on Arnold's as both his hands hold her face. After cuddling into one hand, Holly opens her eyes briefly before leaning in slowly, closing her eyes once more....
Their lips touch, mingling within each other. Just then, in an engrossing smooch, Holly's mouth lets go, breaking away from Arnold's. Her face feels more shaky than before. "I'm sorry. This was a mistake. It was just a mistake." Holly brushes the drummer boy off her when..."Holly? If you're gonna leave, can I just ask one question Just one and I promise I will never, EVER, see you again. You won't even have existed at all." Sighing, Holly nods. "I'm listening,"
"Have you ever been interested in what heroin tastes like?"
Holly stands frozen with intrigue. Slowly she turns around. "No."
"Well, you don't have to try it."
Biting her lip, she replies. "I think...I'll try just a sniffle."
Soon, Holly Hunt sits beside her would-be boyfriend who cuts up the drug in several tiny pieces. She clasps her hands together in front. Arnold takes a straw. "Like so," He lowers his head, sticks the straw up his nostril and slowly snuffs a tiny bit of heroin up his nostril. "See?" Arnold says comically. Holly smiles sweetly, amused and deeply comforted by his dream boy's confidence. She snatches the straw eagerly and does likewise. Ignoring the tiny, feeble voice inside her head, Holly Hunt copies Arnold, feeling the illegal substance enter through her nostril. She exclaims with immense joy and rapture. "Where have you been all my life?!" She asks the handsome drummer, throwing her arms around him. It takes three big whiffs of heroin before Holly goes form giggling to falling more in love with Arnold, her mind totally blanking out the memory of Abigail Lawson's true side and the pain it caused her. Eventually, the two adolescents starts making love on the bed inside the back of the van, first Holly on top, stripping herself of her lovely white dress and gyrating against Arnold's pelvis and crotch and then it's the drummer's turn as he pins the drugged brunette down beneath him, groping her breasts, thrusting and feeling her whole body. Arnold Bender achieves what Abigail was about to do, only here Holly somehow wants the attention she's receiving, part of it being due to the effect the heroin is having on her that is.....
Back in the present, Holly still lies in her bed, her hazy eyes on the midnight news. “Tonight, another woman murdered!” Holly’s eyes widen in shock; Murdered?! The word echoed in her head like church bells.
“Could this be the work of the city’s most elusive mobster, Robert Finger? A powerful figure in the criminal underworld, Finger has been suspected of several high profile crimes in the city, such as the murder of District Attorney Benjamin Fairbanks earlier this year. But nobody has been able to charge the businessman.” As a snapshot of Finger, a tall, lean, muscular crime lord with an eye patch covering his left eye appears on the screen, Holly grabs the remote control and presses the Power button, switching the TV off.
Feeling the injustice of Finger’s evasiveness alone welling up inside her, the weakened reporter finds herself stronger now as she sits up.
At eighteen, Holly stashes some clothes into a duffle bag. Tears flowing down her eyes, the angry brunette packs the bag while her aunt calls Holly’s name from behind the closed bedroom door. After briefly taking a look at the framed photograph of her parents, which she took form her aunt’s room, Holly places it atop the pile of clothes in her bag and zips it shut. Tonight she leaves to make her way, to create a new life. A life without death, a life without Abigail Lawson, a life without fear.
Back in the present, Holly Hunt returns to Hurt Me Gently, the sex store. She searches aisle after aisle until she finds long, black opera gloves, a roll of black bondage tape and finally a black domino mask. She pays for all these items with cash.
Back in the past, in South America, Sara wakes Holly. “I have a surprise for you…” The one armed fighter woman whispers playfully. As Holly gets up, she sees one of the Columbian slavers tightly bound to a pole, hands behind and fete together. The man has a red ball gag secured into his mouth. “Sara, What’s this?”
Sara only replies by gesturing towards a set of weapons. “Choose.” On the table by the pole, a handgun, a hatchet and sword. Holly shakes her head. “He raped you. Don’t you wanna get back at him? He RAPED you.”
Holly eventually takes the handgun and points it at the slaver who whimpers pleadingly. Pointing the weapon straight at him, the brunette beauty hears voices in her head.
“I won’t touch you, you’re too afraid.” Abigail’s voice echoes in Holly’s mind.
“I hope you understand your mistake,” Professor Edward Gore’s voice says.
The voices make Holly grit her teeth behind her sealed lips but then she slowly lowers the pistol. The man closes his eyes in relief. “What are you doing?” Sara asks. “Why are you hesitating?”
Holly shakes her head. “I can’t do it. I just can’t.” She throws down the gun and turns to face Sara. “What would it prove?”
“That we are stronger than them.” Sara gestures her head towards their male captive.
“But they’ve killed innocent people.”
“So we kill them back!”
“No,” Holly cuts back in. “That’s not what I’m saying.”
“I don’t care what you’re saying.” Sara approaches the table and grabs the sword. The male captive lets out distressed muffled groans into his gag as her female captor raises her sword. “I’m ending him for good!”
Suddenly, Holly runs into Sara, grabbing her and then pushing her to the side until they’re both on the ground. A struggle ensues, turning violent as they get back up and Holly blocks every attack Sara visits onto her. Eventually, Holly Hunt is struck down before Sara lifts her sword up once more. Thinking fast, with the adrenaline pumping in her system, the intrepid young brunette jumps up onto the table and makes an even greater leap, the former addict landing on the edge of Sara’s sword and pressing the weight of her booted feet against the weapon, pushing the blade out of the one armed woman’s hand and surprising her.
But then, Sara quickly slides underneath Holly’s feet before she can touch the ground, sweeping up the gun along the way, and then suddenly blasts the ball gagged man’s face off!
Startled by the sudden gunshot, Holly Hunt drops down onto her front and grunts. She is exhausted deeply; all that potential she finally showed, resolve and strength that she never thought she had, is now all for nothing as she couldn’t stop her new friend from descending to the level of their former captors. She rests her face against the grass, her long dark hair in a mess, exhausted pants escaping her lips.
Back in the present, Holly Hunt stands before a punching bag in her living room, clad in a white tank top, dark shorts and red boxing gloves. A magazine cover of Robert Finger is taped to the punching bag. Holly takes a long, hard look at the picture and then throws a violent punch. With the intention on bringing the elusive mobster down someday soon, Holly keeps punching his print-immortalized face, punching and punching and punching, until soon Holly’s enhanced fists of rage totally destroy the bag!
With a modestly designed voice modulator, which she made from w=studying a YouTube video on how to make one, black opera gloves, thigh high boots, her dominatrix bodice and bottoms, and her domino mask, Holly Hunt fashions a dark disguise.
As she walks down the street, Holly Hunt notices a woman being menaced and mugged by a man. The woman’s muffled whimpers emit through her attacker’s gloved hand, provoking Holly to throw back her trench coat and reveal her black dominatrix outfit! Putting her black domino mask on, she boldly saunters towards the villainous sight.
“I guess a man can’t help sticking their knives in.” She remarks seductively. “The thug turns to find this tall, statuesque dark-haired, costumed seductress standing proudly and mysteriously before the female victim emits a muffled cry.
“Let the girl go. Now!” Holly exclaims demandingly. “And I will give you a lap dance.”
The thug releases his victim and approaches the costumed Holly. “You got it, babe. Show me what you got.”
Suddenly, Holly dodges whatever move her male opponent has ready before striking with a high kick from her thigh-high boot-clad foot. She karate chops the man with her opera gloved hand. Very slowly, she presses her foot against the man’s neck. “Tell your boss that no woman will be hurt anymore.” Holly demands with a mix of fury and heroic pride.
“I-I’ll tell him!”
Holly smiles sweetly. “Give him my love.” She pouts her lips before letting him go. She then starts doing her fastest run down the alley and around the corner, grabbing her trench coat along the way. When night falls, Holly Hunt is reborn!
TO BE CONTINUED IN THE CONVICTION ARC!