Authors: Serge de Moliere
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Hurts So Bad
Serge de Moliere
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are fictitious or have been used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real in any way. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales, or organizations is entirely coincidental.
136 S. Illinois Ave. Suite 212
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Copyright © 2015 by Serge de Moliere
All Rights Are Reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
First Etopia Press electronic publication: May 2015
The wind wailed like a demon releasing centuries of hatred in its dying breath.
Carol was half buried in the melt; strands of her strawberry blonde hair were now frosted white with icicles. Her weight had been too much for the glacial mush, and her body had slid in and lodged tightly in the freezing wetness. Now she was trapped.
She knew he was tracking her, as if her scent was an irritant that inflamed his senses; he would not let her escape him. She imagined his nostrils flaring wide, the black hairs sticking out of his nose like tiny spikes as he fumed and clenched his large fists. As he had emphasized many times, he “loved her” and their marriage was for “life.” If she ever let her dislike for his brutal treatment slip out, the cruel beatings he delivered taught her to pretend otherwise. After the final, horrible beating, when he fell sound asleep after ramming her painfully several times, she had slipped out of the cabin as quietly as she could.
It had been nerve-wracking as she quietly gathered the few essential items, one eye alertly on his prone body, fearful he might awaken at any moment. Grabbing his cell phone had been a last minute impulse. It was on the small night table right next to the bed where he lay, and she had been terrified when he snorted in his sleep and turned over. But, at last, she was out the door and stumbling in the snow, heedless of the weather and the gathering storm.
The marriage had been a mistake. She should have known, but he was so good looking, with that chiseled chest and chocolate brown eyes; and so chivalrous…at first. She ignored that small voice warning her about his temper, his suspiciousness, and his fascination with her tits and ass that bordered on obsession. He persuaded her to move to northern Canada with him, out to the middle of nowhere where he and she could be together alone, away from what he referred to bitterly as her “frickin’ family.” He wanted them to live out in the wild where he could be a real man, foraging for his woman as his ancestors had. Like a lovesick fool, she had agreed.
Shortly after they arrived, looking around at the snow-blown landscape, feeling that freezing cold that crept in under the door and then under her covers as cold and viciously as a rapist, she realized the trap she was in. But it was already too late.
He kept the keys to the only car—an old sedan with a stick shift that she didn’t even know how to drive—locked up in a steel safe, along with her driver’s license, birth certificate, jewelry, and her smartphone. He was not about to risk losing her.
“You’re mine,” he said somberly, as he snapped the safe shut and kissed her roughly on the lips.
Later, he fried a slab of fatty pork for dinner, even lit two cinnamon-scented candles colored like pale ivory that he knew she would like. He placed these in two long-stemmed glass candleholders he had filched from her parents. Putting these on the table next to a small, plastic vase filled with artificial roses was his idea of a romantic evening. Despite the haplessness of his effort, he still might have won her over by his well-meaning intention.
However, it had become clear to her—in a way that it had not been before—that she was hostage to his sordid sexual urges and to his temper. His uncontrollable rages could surge up out of a serene moment, just like a tsunami rose up without warning from the rolling waves of a calm, tranquil sea.
The worn canvas backpack containing a cellophane bag of stale trail mix, a tepid bottle of water, a flashlight, a change of underwear, gray wool socks, a small pocketknife, a heavy cardigan, and his smartphone were all she had grabbed in her haste to get out. The phone was safely encased in a waterproof plastic bag. Carol had not wanted to take any chances on it getting sodden and damaged in the storm. Now there was no way she could reach it.
Her blouse and sweater were soaked, and she could feel her breasts, still bruised from his lovemaking, as lumpy and cold as two frozen snowballs. It was so cold that she could not feel most of her body beneath the waterlogged clothing. She felt the icy fingers of death creep up her thigh, then wrap her tightly in greedy hands. The sensation burned her flesh like pieces of dry ice.
The pain gradually dulled as, against her will, she felt her eyelids grow heavy.
Eventually they drifted closed.
The hooded winter parka Josh wore, lined with the thick pale fur of a polar bear he had trapped and killed for its meat, kept out most of the cold. Yet it couldn’t relieve the deep chill of paranoia that never left him. Josh knew that somewhere out there they must still be hunting for him, searching for a clue that might let them find him.
He narrowed his eyes. Screw them; let them try.
He chose this area specifically because it was hard to reach and probably the last place they’d think to look. And even if they did, they would have one hell of a time finding him. Or taking him without a fight.
There was a small, jagged fissure about three feet wide in front of him where the ice had cracked open like a clay flowerpot. He bunched powerful leg muscles and leaped over it effortlessly, throwing in a last-minute somersault. Then, just for the sheer exhilaration of it, he tried to do a handstand. He slipped, but managed to roll skillfully and spare himself any injury. A silly move, he knew, but it felt good. He dusted the snow off his heavy gloves, then threw back his head and bellowed like a beast. He felt strong, he was free, and he was alive.
Even when it was too cold to go outdoors, he exercised relentlessly in his small cabin, practicing the gymnastic routines he had loved since he was a child. That—plus the never-ending exertion of striding around in deep snow drifts, of lifting heavy chunks of wood to feed his fire—had toughened his forearms and thighs beyond that of the average man, perhaps even beyond that of many professional acrobats.
He still regretted the gymnastics career that had once almost been within reach but that was lost in the sinister world he was raised in, a world where the idols of crime loomed large and appealing; where the path to wealth and fortune glistened with criminality, as tempting and circuitous as the proverbial yellow brick road. So he had taken to it; run barefoot on its toxic surface until his soles absorbed venality like rocket fuel, until they bounded upward with it, elevating him to new heights of criminality. From this elevation, he fell, slamming into an underworld that was dark and pitiless but strewn with treasure.
Yes, he had accepted its benefits; he had accumulated wealth, and the thought of the Swiss bank accounts that safeguarded his ill-gotten gains was comforting. Still, crime had its downside, and he suffered its fury now as an outlaw running from both the cops and his onetime cohorts.
He shook his head, rubbed his eyes under the goggles. His lips curled.
Somehow—he wasn’t quite sure how—some of his mother’s Quaker strictures had burned themselves into him and branded him with homespun morality. There were certain limits beyond which he refused to trespass. He remembered his mother’s work-hardened hand slapping his face when he cursed, or when he violated her moral code. He had resented it, resented
. But now, long after her death, he felt her constraints like corded rope. And it was those limits of his that had forced him to leave the gang, then run from the police and lose himself in the icy wilderness of northern Canada.
He shrugged. It had been simple for him to give up the easy life, the late nights in clubs, the fancy cars, the drugs, the expensive whores, even the swagger that proclaimed him as a rich member of the mob without heralding the squalid means by which that wealth had been secured. He shook his head. The last job had ended with a security guard bleeding on the floor. He wasn’t sure if the man had survived.
He didn’t mind the loneliness, the endless stretches of whiteness that could almost blind a man without the dark visors that were obligatory in this wilderness. Neither did he mind the eternal winter that dumped endless tons of snow and ice on top of both man and beast. Occasionally, though, he did get horny, and during restless dreams late at night he often gave in to the urges, urges triggered by a sleep populated with naked Victoria Secrets models who paraded their wares in front of him like polar sirens. He frequently awakened with both hands clutched painfully around his member, and a thick coating of his own sticky fluids staining the mattress like wild honey. It was a weakness he despised in himself. Still, he knew that it couldn’t be helped. There were few women in this vast, cold emptiness willing to spread their thighs for his hot entry, even though he had the cash to pay for it.