Having fallen asleep, Holly Hunt lies on the floor beside her bed, which is layered with the photos of different women who’ve been falling victims to the infamous sexual predator known as the Shrike. For hours, she has pored over the pictures, the files and notes that her co-worker, Joel West, wrote down, the most revealing one. The Shrike has a thick, bloody gash mark cut into the flesh of his neck. Margot, the last girl that was attacked and the only one to have ever escaped or survived the rapist and murderer, knows of this gash cut, and now so does Joel but for some reason, he never even went to the press with this information! Joel West could be hiding something, Holly thought before she trailed off into a thoughtless sleep.
A knock on the door awakens her. Holly steadies herself up onto her feet, finding that the Shrike material, photos and notes still remain on her bed. “Who is it?” She calls out.
“It’s Joel.” The handsome yet strange photojournalist relies form outside. Piecing Joel standing outside her apartment with her own recent assumption of him, Holly quickly gathers up all the photos and evidence in a huddle and quickly stashes it into her closet and hurries out her room and straight to her door, though, she fails to notice that something has dropped to the floor as she was hurrying to her closet.
She opens the door to find Joel, her sleepy-eyed co-worker, she performs a yawn, saying his name through a deep, tired voice. “What are you doing here?”
Joel replies casually. “I just thought I’d drop in. And see how you’re doing with the Shrike case.”
Holly’s eyes light up as if in recognition. “Yeah. Come in.” She steps aside for her co-worker to enter, which he does. The slender blue-eyed beauty slowly closes the door behind her. “Make yourself at home. I just need to check something in my room.” With that, she leaves Joel as he wanders in the living room.
While Holly slips on a grey cardigan on, Joel approaches, noticing one photograph of a Shrike victim; he stands in the doorway. Holly turns around to see him. She folds her arms as if impatient to hear whatever Joel has to say, yet she is nervous also.
“What have you learned?” Joel asks with a cold, emotionless stare.
“You went to see Margot Nicholls, you took notes of what happened, what she saw. You recorded hard evidence of the killer’s identity but you’ve done nothing at all. You’re hiding something, am I right? Is it Bill? Is HE behind this?”
Joel notices Holly turn around, placing her hands on her dressing table nervously as she speaks. He suddenly runs up towards her, hissing, “Wrong!”
As Holly faces his reflection in the mirror, his hand clamps tightly over her mouth while he seizes her with his other arm. She screams fiercely but her insanely loud and desperate cries are muffled! Joel drags her into her closet, shoving her in against the wall, her feet shooing out all the different photographs and papers in a forceful gust caused by the impact of her bare feet and Joel’s’ aggressive steps as he advances on her. Closing the door behind him, the sleepy-eyed newspaper boy forces himself on Holly, unbuttoning her white shirt, revealing a black bra, before he thrusts himself into her. As he violently and yet silently rapes her, he utters something in a whisper.
“You could have stayed in your cubicle, done your job and gone straight home. Instead you look at me funny, think bad of me and do what you always seem to do, stick your cut nose into my corners. You did what no intelligent girl should do and now you will pay the price!” As he ravages her body, Holly Hunt’s white unbuttoned shirt slowly reveals a bright, heavenly shine, as if it is the blouse of an angel form heaven, while every photograph, every note related to Joel West, the unseen Shrike, lie son Holly’s bedroom floor, ready to be burned away into nothing. Tonight, the proof of a murderer burns and an angels is raped!
Rather than suddenly waking up in a cold sweat, Holly Hunt arises with pale skin and wide, frightened blue eyes. She awakens very slowly, her mind and emotions still fresh from her feverish dream of angelic rape and the inferno of burning photographs. She puts her hand up to her lips, feeling like they’ve actually been touched, first by a rough hand of a man and then by the lips of the same guy. Was she really raped, perhaps in her sleep? She turns over to find the photographs still on the floor by her bed. “If someone came in, found what I was doing, and molested me in my sleep,” She thought. “Why not take the evidence if not burn it?” Holly shrugs and then wipes her eyes.
As she rubs her mouth, her mind steps back in time to that long, fateful night. Bound, gagged and laid out on a bed in a Columbian camp, Holly Hunt was already molested by her captors, as well as beaten in the face and she had the mark on her cheek to prove this. Lost in tearful thoughts of her physical and psychological pain as well the pain of the women and little children also trapped in cages, more than ready to be sold as fruit to slake the lust of very powerful men in other countries; that’s what Holly discovered during her assault, that she was to be sold, like everyone else, to be a sex slave, but not without getting a little action from the Columbians yet to sell her!
As more tears fall, there is a sudden outcry from one of the men, an outcry of pain. Opening her teary eyes, Holly turned her head towards the shadows of men fighting a single enemy outside. Tugging at her bonds, Holly tries to get up but she finds that she’s now bound hand and foot! All she can do is squirm, struggle and let out muffled noises. Just as she let out a loud scream through her wrap gag, the figure steps into the camp, revealing to be Sara, now Holly’s one-armed saviour as she approaches the tall brunette and cuts her bonds. Removing her gag, Holly gasps for air. “Oh, Sara, thank you!” For the first time in a few years, Holly clings to Sara, desperate for a comforting embrace. Sara can only return the hug with her one arm, her good arm.
Soon Holly and Sara unlock the cages, freeing every woman and child, before Holly watches Sara cry out a meaningful and inspirational speech to the former prisoners. As she listens, she becomes moved to tears, watching and hearing the words of a strong woman, the woman that Holly Hunt has always wanted to be since the death of her mother and father….
Back in the present, hours have passed, Holly stands by her bedroom window, the curtains pulled back with daylight pouring into the room, as she begins to sob into her hands.
Later, at the office of The Herald Hawk, Joel West leaves Bill Kane’s office when he bumps into Holly, now dressed in not just her white blouse but also a dark pencil skirt and matching heels. She folds her arms.
“Holly. You okay? You look a little…like an insomniac.” Joel is right. Holly, while attempting a stoic, suspecting demeanour, still looks as white as snow while her nostrils fume.
“You talked to Margot Nicholls, didn’t you? You talked to her, you jotted down every detail of her account, including evidence which could lead to identifying her attacker ad you’ve done NOTHING.” Holly’s voice, though shaky, manages to sound straightforward, like a line from a movie or a book she may have read and memorised too many times. Joel looks stunned.
“Why? Is it Bill? Is he behind this? Is he protecting this lowlife rapist?”
Joel hesitates for a moment before whispering. “I’m actually not at liberty to discuss any of this with anybody. Least of all, you.” Holly studies his face, picking up an anxious expression on his face. Joel West, the sleepy eyed pervert Holly dreamed he’d be, is now instead a nervous wreck, as though he’s hiding a terrible secret that isn’t his to share.
“I believe you.” Holly places a hand on his shoulder. “Look, I’m sorry I came off a little strong with you. I just. I had a nightmare. I think I’m onto something. I just…”
“I just need some extra time off, that’s all.” Holly shrugs her shoulders, rubbing her eyes with her hand.
“Okay.” Joel says casually and more relaxed. “Well, you go on. I’ll just let the guru know.”
“Right.” Holly gives an awkward smirk before turning away, still feigning illness. After stepping into the elevator alone, Holly winces in slight embarrassment. “Why the hell did I touch his shoulder? I’m such a fool.” She exclaims in her mind.
Over an hour later, Holly Hunt is downtown, standing before a small building, known as “Hurt Me Gently!”, a store that apparently sells kinky costumes and toys. Taking a deep sigh, mostly of relief after that awkward yet surprisingly friendly chat with Joel, Holly enters the store. Once inside, she finds a chequered patterned tile floor upon which stood several racks and shelves featuring several different products related to fetishism, BDSM, and so on. Behind the counter sits an extremely gorgeous woman, probably in her forties, who looks at Holly and grins. “See something you like?”
Licking her lip, Holly approaches the curvy proprietor. “Hi,” Holly’s eyes wander towards a button attached to the middle of the woman’s bust, the name “Juicy Lucy” is written on it. “I’m looking for a costume.”
“What sort of costume, my dear?” The woman speaks in a very rich, posh yet insanely alluring British voice. “Naughty milk maid? Helpless princess? Saucy superheroine?”
Holly bites her lip. “I was thinking more along the lines of strong, but slinky, dark, mysterious and like a lady. Got anything like that? Perhaps in black?”
The Englishwoman smiles knowingly. “Looking to spank your naughty boyfriend, eh?” Holly nods with a shrug of her shoulders. “You could say that. He’s been out every night, stalking younger women, and I just wanna let him know who really holds the belt tonight.”
Soon Holly s presented with a sleek, slinky and alluring jet black dominatrix outfit, with black stiletto heels and dark pantyhose stockings. “You wouldn’t happen to have matching boots by any chance?”
“For you, you can have the suit with boots instead of the shoes. That comes down to $40.”
“I’ll take it.” Holly says, smirking gleefully. She holds out her credit card to the Englishwoman.
At about 11:00pm, Holly Hunt, clad in a long, brown trench coat, stands outside the Silver Spider club, a nightclub which specialises in strippers and anything to do with fetishism and sexual liking. Clutching onto the front of her coat, Holly slowly saunters down the street, an inch from turning into the next corner and into an alleyway. As she steps into the dark alley, clad in her long coat and thigh high boots, she looks forward, unaware of the mysterious masked figure who slowly approaches from behind.
As they are at the other end of the alleyway, and it is a long passage, the figure places her hand on Holly just as she suddenly turns around. The figure pulls at a roll of black duct tape in his hands and brings the outstretched tape to Holly’s mouth when the intrepid reporter pushes it off her face and strikes the figure in the face, raising her boot-clad leg up to his crotch and making a run for it. As the figure gives chase, Holly finds herself trapped, the figure advancing with a knife in hand.
Soon an intense struggle ensues, Holly on the bottom with the figure on top of her. But then, Holly quickly pulls the mask off to reveal not a man but an attractive woman. Lovely, long red hair, green eyes and full lips. Holly glares at the female attacker, panting through her nose and mouth as if exhausted from the running and fighting. The redhead suddenly surprises Holly with a violent sucker punch, knocking her out. Seeing that her new victim is limp and unconscious, the redhead pulls back Holly’s coat to reveal her jet black dominatrix suit, sowing off her statuesque figure, cleavage and curves. “Hellooo. I think we hit the jackpot!” But then while the redhead’s busy admiring Holly’s body and costume, the brunette opens her eyes as if without effort, she was never asleep, and then gives her attacker an even stronger punch, not only knocking the redhead out but also throwing her off!
“Now THAT’S a sucker punch!” Holly states with a sexy smirk. Soon Holly is back in her apartment, wearing nothing but her new outfit with her boots and pantyhose stocking with straps attached to the bottom of her costume. She sits in her armchair, leaning forward, slipping on black opera gloves while her guest, the red haired lady rapist, sits opposite her, tightly tied to a chair with black duct tape on her mouth as she slowly comes to. “Hmmm….”
“Rise and shine,” Holly says in a sultry voice and posture as she gets up, assuming a stoic, seductive persona. She slowly circles her redhead captive, raising a long, black whip and brushing it against the redhead’s skin. “You have bene a very, very naughty lady.” The redhead woman chatters through her gag, before Holly reacts by striking her with the whip! She screams in pain through the duct tape.
“I know you’ve raped and butchered several women. I didn’t think that you’d be a woman yourself! How do you plead?” The redhead answers with muffled chatters. Holly bends over in front of her prisoner. “Tell you what; if I take the tape off, will you answer me honestly? No bullshit?” The redhead nods her head. Holly then rips the tape off. “Ow!”
“Spill.” Holly says demandingly, gripping the whip taut between her hands. “I’m not a rapist. I work for the mob. Boss D’Arbo.” Holly’s eyes beam at the mention of this D’Arbo character; the most powerful crime lord, in fact, the only crime lord, in the city. “But the victims have bene found with their clothes ripped off, slashed off. Penetrated. You assaulted them and then you killed them off. Why?”
“I don’t think I’d say a word to you on that subject.” The redhead replies defiantly. Holly then reaches into the back of her pantyhose strap, clutching onto something. “I’ve got something here. It’s the one thing you apparently dislike the most, more than S&M and harsh knife stabs. I suggest you spill your beans now before I show you exactly what I got for you stuffed in my thigh.”
The duct taped redhead sighs. “I love women, but they don’t love me. I have a history of attempted rape. D’Arbo promised that he’d see my slate wiped clean and more, particularly the pleasure of touching so many women in the dead of night, in return for some small favours.”
“What small favours?” Holly asks, her eyes watching her redhead prisoner intently. “I’d help him with bank jobs, bribing people.”
“Did you see a Joel West of The Herald Hawk?”
“No. But I was present when the boss bought off Bill Kane.” An infernal coin dropped in Holly’s mind, causing a terrible echo. “What did Bill Kane do?”
“He’s a goodie goodie. He was ready to bring the boss down with enough evidence to incriminate. So D’Arbo used something against him.”
“What did he use against Kane?”
“He’s bene so damn good to me.” The redhead writhes in her seat and tape bonds. “What did he use against Kane?!”
“All those girls I got to play with!”
Holly strikes the redhead with the whip. “Tell me!!” Her captive just laughs hysterically. The dominatrix-suited brunette suddenly pulls her hand out of her pantyhose strap to reveal that she’s holding a handgun as she points it at her! The redhead stops laughing and stares with frightened eyes. “You can take knives and S&M torture but guns you seem to hate the most, Abigail Lawson! Yeah, I know your name. I also recall your past offences of rape, assault and other counts of violence towards other women. You’re sick and I can help you but not unless you tell me what I need to know. Now answer my question NOW!”
Abigail only laughs. “Not even you can stand a chance against the mob, Holy Hunt.” Holly’s hand trembles. “What are you talking about?”
“Poor Margot. Even she’ll never stand a chance. Right now, one of D’Arbo’s men is probably smothering the cutey pie with her own hospital pillow. Hell, I bet he’s doing the dirty work himself! It’s always worse when he does something himself. You should see how he beats people up!” Abigail cackles evilly. Deeply angered, Holly pulls the trigger!
While Margot Nicholls, the only woman to ever survive Abigail’s sexual violence, is being suffocated in her hospital bed, her rapist’s brains and blood is being splattered. A shocked and frightened Holly drops the gun in disbelief and cowers against a corner. Holly Hunt is wearing a sexy dominatrix suit and has killed someone for the first time! For a while, she trembles before getting back up and throwing anything that got covered in blood into her bathtub. Afterwards, she takes Abigail’s body and wraps it up in a plastic covering.
Later, after taking Abigail’s body and dumping it in the river, Holly takes everything she got from Joel related to Abigail’s crimes, all the photographs and notes, into a dump pile and burns them. Before her eyes, beneath the smoke and flames, Holly sees a fragment of her nightmare coming to life; only here it is her who has destroyed a life and is now destroying all the evidence of an injustice herself.
Everything has changed; Holly now has to take the battle to a powerful mobster, unmask the corruption within her workplace and ultimately put her life in greater danger! No, only Holly Hunt would be in danger, she thinks to herself. Holly Hunt will disappear when the world doesn’t need her and a stronger, darker, more profound identity will take her place....
TO BE CONTINUED....