“How the hell do you know what I do online?!” Rain demanded to know.
The crazed psychopath laughed. “Girl, I know when you breathe, I know when you shit, I know what you think.”
Rain stared at her tormentor, both terrified and pissed. “Fuck you. Just fuck you.”
“Yeah? Well, I know everything you say and do, Rain. If you suddenly got a headache, I’d know it.”
But how? Rain pondered. How the hell could this bitch know so much?
“You’re going to show me how sorry you are for breaking the rules. The only question is what your punishment shall be, Rain? Any ideas?”
Rain simply glared at her dark, cold empty eyes. She assumed the “punishment” would be the usual things… threats or sex.
“Hmm…” the psycho said in a contemplating tone of voice. “What do you think is appropriate in this case?”
“Look, no one that I asked opinions of knows me at all. I was totally anonymous. No one’s going to figure out what’s going on or that I wasn’t really asking about a story. You should know this, so can we just move on now? I won’t say anything ever again to—”
“No, we can’t move on, Rain. It’s too late for that. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know the real scoop. The point is that you broke the rules and you need to face the consequences for it. The more things I let slip, the more you’ll want to go beyond our boundaries.”
The more things she let slip? Just how many things did she have in mind and how much longer was she planning to invade her life like this?
“You will go across the street and you will kill your neighbor’s dog.”
What?! Was this woman out of her fucking mind? Okay, so she was and she knew that all along, but just how far was this sick twist willing to go?
“No fucking way!”
“Yes fucking way.”
“No! I won’t do it. I love animals. I could never harm an innocent animal.”
“It’s either their dog or your cat and husband, Rain.”
Rain felt sick to her stomach as she stared the bitch in the face. “You really are one split chick, aren’t you? Just a sick, twisted psychopath from hell.”
The nutjob snickered in an evil and chilling way. “Which is it going to be, Rain?”
Rain opened her mouth to speak, but the woman quickly raised a hand. “Don’t tell me now. Take some time to think about it. I will give you until this time tomorrow night to make your decision and take action. If the dog is still alive at this time, you can watch your dear hubby and your fancy feline go belly-up,” the sadistic woman said as she patted the gun at her side and laughed maniacally.
Rain remained silent. She was simply too defeated and scared to be anywhere else but at a loss for words.
“So, it’s either Troy and Simone or old Fido there across the street.”
“I-I love animals.”
“I know. That’s the point.”
Rain’s head hung low as she stood before her torturer much like a condemned prisoner. Then she felt the woman’s slimy fingers run through her waist-length hair. Her body stiffened as she cringed with disgust.
“You adore your husband, don’t you, Rain.”
“Yes,” Rain said as she began to sob.
“You love your little kitty cat too, right?”
“And what do you think of me?”
Rain slowly lifted her head, eyes burning with hatred. “I think you’re the evilest, most insane, most pitiful excuse for a human being and proof that God does make mistakes if there is one.”
“Wrong answer,” said the madwoman, slamming her fist into the side of Rain’s head and nearly rendering her unconscious. Stars swam around her like a dazzling display of fireworks. She hit the ground and squeezed her eyes shut, willing the room to stop spinning.
“What do you want me to say?” she begged desperately. “Do you want me to lie to you?”
“Shhh, keep your voice down,” she said, kicking her rear.
“After tomorrow, I want you out of our lives forever, whoever you are.”
She was roughly yanked to her feet. “As always, I call the shots. Now spread ‘em.”
Rain was then shoved onto the couch. Again she closed her eyes and braced herself for what was to come next. The belt of her robe was then roughly untied and her robe pulled open. Then she felt her nightgown being hiked upward and her panties downward. She pulled at her delicate lacy panties so hard that she was actually surprised she hadn’t torn them.
Knees bent, legs spread, the madwoman eyed her with a hungry lust. Just as she was about to taste the very spot reserved for her husband, Rain instinctively kicked at the woman’s face.
The woman made a slight screeching sound as she backed up a few feet and turned to the side. Rain was both proud of herself but also scared by what would come next. The woman moaned in pain, holding her face in her hands. Rain wondered if she broke her nose just as the woman turned to her with the most crazed and angry expression Rain had ever seen. She thought she would kill her, but instead, she pinned her roughly by the shoulders against the back of the couch and hissed, “You’re so lucky I can’t afford to kill you now or leave marks on you that would prevent you from carrying out your punishment. But you just wait. You just wait, Rain.”
“You okay,” Troy asked her when she climbed into bed next to him late in the night.
“You’ve been getting up an awful lot lately in the middle of the night.”
He’d noticed? Shit. “Just couldn’t sleep.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine, babe,” she said, trying to keep her voice as steady as she could.
Troy yawned and sighed but said nothing more.
He knew. He knew something was wrong. He wasn’t stupid.
Rain’s mind churned in desperation. How much longer would this go on? How much more of it could she take before she snapped? She was totally at her wit’s end now, about to come unglued. She had to figure something out. She couldn’t let herself continue to be tortured every single night while she worried about what the outcome may be for both her and her husband. She simply couldn’t imagine a positive end to the situation unless the woman was either dead or behind bars. She wasn’t just going to stop on her own. Rain wasn’t stupid either. The woman genuinely enjoyed tormenting her, and God only knew how many others there had been before her. What she didn’t get was how she’d managed to get away with it for so long.
As Rain waited for sleep, she once again concluded that the only way to stop the psycho while sparing her husband’s life might be to find out who she was. She had to have a name. She had to come from somewhere. And someone had to know her.
But how did she go about finding out who she was, and how did she do it without her knowing about it? That right there was scary in itself; the fact that this woman seemed to know her every move. If she was right in knowing that she had been trying to obtain people’s opinion on the situation, then she was probably just as serious about carrying out her threats against her husband and the cat that was curled up purring away by their heads should Rain be caught breaking anymore “rules.”
Then a horrifying thought came to her. Her head swung toward her husband in the darkness. If anyone would know her movements like no other, it was him. She’d pulled off a decent enough job at keeping her friends in the dark when they’d talk on the phone or online, but it was harder to hide things from someone you actually lived with.
No. No way. He wouldn’t – couldn’t – do that to her. He couldn’t be connected to this madwoman and he wouldn’t check her browsing history. He just couldn’t do that, and he wouldn’t. Troy was a good man. Troy loved her and would never want to see any kind of harm come to her. He had been truly torn up inside after the attack in the woods. That was no act he’d put on. He was real. His feelings had been real, too.
Her therapist had warned her that she might become suspicious of just about anyone and everyone and not to feel guilty or ashamed of it. Instead, she should just recognize and understand that this was often a normal reaction of those who had been traumatized in the way that she had been. Actually raped in the end or not, the ordeal was just as terrifying and didn’t lessen the severity of what happened. The only thing it could lessen was the sentence the perp may receive if he was ever caught, and that was assuming the law even bothered to take it seriously or not. The law tended to focus too much on thoughts and words as opposed to actual actions. Just because something was serious in itself and serious to the victim didn’t always mean that the law saw it that way. If it did then there wouldn’t be as much vigilantism going on in the world.
Now that was an idea she liked. After all, what law enforcement personnel would possibly take her seriously anyway? How could she prove this woman had been entering their home and making the threats she’d been making?
Rain went to bed wondering how the hell she could ever bring herself to kill an innocent animal the following morning, and how the hell she could remove this mystery woman, who appeared and disappeared like a ghost, from her life forever.