21 in Locked-In

  • Dec. 6, 2021, 9:10 p.m.
  • |
  • Public

The next few weeks were uneventful. Once again Melissa was beginning to let her guard down and hope that the chaos might be over for once and for all, and once again she was wrong.

It was Friday and Melissa was heading home from the office. She and a friend she hadn’t seen in a while named Harley were going to get together over the weekend. Harley used to work, also as a psychologist, in the medical group that she worked for. When Harley’s husband Kolby, a high-end clothing store manager, was transferred to SoCal, they hadn’t seen each other nearly as much.

Harley would be driving up tomorrow and arriving at Melissa’s place in the early afternoon. Her friend would visit other friends in the area over the weekend but would be staying at Melissa’s house.

Harley was aware of the problems she was having with Katie and whatever sick, twisted associates of hers she had doing her dirty work for her. They communicated once a week or so by email or phone and Melissa had filled her in regularly.

Melissa pulled the car into the driveway, careful to survey her surroundings before she exited the vehicle. She would probably do this for the rest of her life even if Katie never struck again.

She still hadn’t been able to figure out Patty. It was almost like Katie had possessed her, but unless Katie was dead, that wasn’t possible. More than likely, Patty was connected to Katie and made an appointment just to get revenge. She was a damn good actress, though. She couldn’t deny that much.

Melissa opened the garage door and pulled the car inside, keeping an eye in her rear-view mirror for anyone that might sneak up on her. Once the car was parked and turned off, she lowered the garage door and exited the vehicle.

She went into the house, placed her handbag on the kitchen counter, and then went out front to get the mail.

After giving it a quick once over, she busily began to prepare dinner. She was just about to pull the ingredients from her refrigerator to throw in her crockpot when she saw a movement slither along the baseboard by the opposite wall.

She quickly turned to inspect the area but saw nothing.

Again she opened the refrigerator, and again she saw a dark streak of movement in her peripheral vision.

She slammed the refrigerator door shut and faced the wall.


But then a creamy, red-eyed rat came hopping into the room. Followed by a black rat, which was followed by a brown rat, which was followed by a gray rat.

If Melissa were the type to scream or panic in any way she would have done so right on the spot. She was terrified of rats. In fact, she hated all rodents. Rats were just about the worst of all rodents. She didn’t care how intelligent people said they were. They disgusted her.

And Katie Nyland knew this.

Melissa never wanted to kill Katie more than she did at that moment. All she could do instead was grab her phone and run out of the house and into the garage, glad that she hadn’t taken her shoes off yet. She called Nanette and asked her to come over. There was no way she was going back inside the house to pack an overnight bag herself. She didn’t know how many of the damn things were in there, but just one piece of vermin was enough.

She hung up from Nanette and then she called the police. The officers that were dispatched inspected every door and window but were unable to identify the point of entry.

“You’re kidding me!” Melissa said, stunned. “She had to have gotten the damn things in there somehow.”

Shortly after the police arrived, Nanette showed up with her husband Ryland. Melissa quickly relayed everything to them.

“When are you going to catch who’s been doing this to her?” Nanette asked. “Melissa has been terrorized for months now.”

“We’re doing all we can, ma’am. I’m sorry, but the person not only gave a false name when she was a patient of the good doctor’s here, but we simply have no trace evidence to go on as of yet.”

“Well, you’re coming with us!” Nanette insisted.

“Harley’s to be up tomorrow,” Melissa said, more pissed than scared.

“I know. You told me. You can call her from our place. She’s welcome to stay with us as well, then after they leave, Ryland here can bomb the hell out of your place for you.”

“I don’t know what I would do without you two,” Melissa sent gratefully. “You guys are lifesavers.”

“Don’t worry about it. That’s what friends are for,” Ryland told her.

It was at that point that Melissa realized she was going to have to make a serious change in her life.

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