13 in Locked-In

  • Dec. 1, 2021, 8:28 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

It had been four months since Katie mysteriously disappeared. Spring was showing its signs. Melissa had tried to explain that she had no idea where she had gone, yet suspicion fell upon her just the same. The police had questioned her endlessly. Even though she had consented to a polygraph and passed, she almost wished she had told people that Katie had moved out of state. Even her husband, which she was fast losing hope of ever getting back together with, believed she had something to do with her disappearance.

Melissa wracked her brains trying to think of who would help Katie escape. The only person she could think of was someone at the daycare facility.

The real horror came when Melissa went to retrieve some money from her secret hiding place and found the money gone. Gone! Just totally gone!

She reported it to the police and told them that she suspected whoever moved Katie out had taken the money.

“Did Katie know you hid money there?” they asked her.

“Yes. She was sitting in the room one time when I placed some money under the board,” she explained, leaving out the part where she bragged and teased Katie about it.

The police took a report, but couldn’t do anything else without any leads. If they had any leads as to Katie’s whereabouts, they weren’t letting her in on them.

At some point, Katie had to have regained some mobility and her ability to communicate. Absolutely no one else knew about that money. Not even her husband or best friend. Katie may not have been the one to actually take it, or the few belongings she’d had, but she had to have been able to tell someone else about it and alert them as soon as she knew she would be alone. Whoever that person was no doubt rushed to the house, and removed the money along with Katie.

In a way Melissa was relieved. She was furious over the money, but she was glad that Katie was gone. She was usually a forgiving person and never had a violent bone in her body until Katie. Katie sparked an uncontrollable rage within her and she might’ve very well ended up going too far during one of her assaults and killing her. Disposing of a dead body wouldn’t have been an easy thing to do at all.

Melissa parked her car and entered her home. Then she went about her usual routine. She checked the mail, changed out of her work clothes and into something more comfortable, and then she began to prepare dinner. Dinner for one was a lonely affair, but she knew she had to get used to it.

Melissa dug her fork into her chicken Alfredo. She may not have Niall to keep her company, but she did have her laptop. The first thing she did was check her email. She didn’t usually open emails from people she didn’t know, but she decided to open one from a Marianne Wainwright since there was a Marianne that worked in her building. Maybe it was from her, not that she should be able to get a hold of her personal email address so easily.

The message was brief and to the point.


Her first thought was to reach for her phone and call the police. But what if it had accidentally been sent to the wrong person? No one she knew hated her enough to want to kill her and the one person that might have those desires wasn’t exactly capable of harming her. Even if Katie had gained some mobility, could she really harm anyone? Would anyone she talked to about her abuse want to harm her?

She did a Google search of the name but returned too many hits. Doubting the message was meant for her since they didn’t address her by name, or that it was anything worth worrying about, Melissa decided not to call the police. Most people didn’t act on their threats anyway.

For a split second, she contemplated replying to the message saying that they had the wrong person and that she didn’t know any Marianne Wainwright, but quickly decided that ignorance was bliss.

Until she discovered the following morning that a Joey Carmichael made the exact same threat in an email to her work address.

What the hell was going on?

She contacted the police when she had a last-minute cancellation, something that normally pissed her off but that she was grateful for that day. They came by and took a report, asking that she forward copies to an email address that she was given.

“Do you know anybody by these names,” asked the middle-aged female cop whose name tag read, T. Elliot.

“No, not at all. I do know a Marianne that works in the building in the acupuncture department, but I’m not sure of her last name. I’m only pretty sure she’s not behind this. This just doesn’t seem like anything she would do.”

Instructed to forward any additional emails to the address provided for her and to call them again if necessary, the lady cop and her male partner left her office about fifteen minutes later.

Melissa sat down in her chair with a sigh, awaiting her next client. She rubbed her temples and forehead.

Could Katie somehow be behind the emails? She had to be, right?

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