He seems to be doing something in the basement lately. He’s down there all the time. He doesn’t want me to see what he is doing. He beat me again today. I’m scared.
Jessica closed the diary. Held it to her chest. She felt for the first time in a long time she had a friend. A friend who understood her.
I’m home! She heard from upstairs. She ran up. She’d better not keep him waiting.
Where’s my food? He said. He seemed angry. Smelled of liquor.
Oh, honey, I’m sorry. I haven’t had the time! She said, trying to explain.
Hadn’t had the time? He looked at her with a sceptical look. I bet you haven’t, you fucking whore… He turned the TV on, sat down at the table. What are you waiting for?
She hadn’t been out of the house for months, he didn’t let her. He kept beating her, insulting her. She couldn’t see any way out. She accepted it, suffering.
The diary gave her council. Marion Winston had been living the same hell many years ago. She knew she was not the only one.
She used to love him. He had been so strong, so charming. That was a long time ago now. She detested him. Every time he came home she felt how she hated him. Every time he called her whore, every single time a day, she wished him dead. But she feared him. His strong hands. The beating had gotten worse. Slowly she had lost everything. He pride. Her hope. Now she was to weak, to insecure to get away.
She got his food on the table. They sat down to eat. How was your day, honey? She asked, trying to cheer him up.
Horrible, he answered.
Horrible. Horrible meant danger. After food she cleaned the dishes, and went out to the hallway.
Where’ you going? She noticed the typical irrational jealousy in his voice.
She stops. Just down to hang up the laundry, honey. He grumbled and scratched his balls. She suspired. He was unpredictable when he was in this mood.
She went down the wooden stairs in the basement. It was an old house, more than hundred years. The basement had stone walls, built with rocks from the area. That’s where she had found it. The diary. In a crack between two rocks in the wall.
She took it out of the hole where she kept it. One of the rocks moved. It was loose. She took the book out. Her treasure. Her friend.
Mary had been living in the same house many years ago. Her husband was rich and powerful, and everybody looked up to him. At home he was evil.
He’s been down there forever now. I hear sounds of rocks being moved. Of digging. I asked him once. He got angry. Said it was none of my business. I won’t ask him again.
Jessica was living the words. She felt she could her her lost friend talking through the walls, a voice whispering the words in the air.
I’m afraid. This secrecy. What is he up to? I need to get down there to have a look some day. I need to know.
Jessica looked up from the book. The voice. Was it real? It sounded like it came from the place she’d found the diary.
She put the book on the table, went over to the hiding place. She pulled the loose rock. It was moving. She had to coax it out, but slowly she got it. Behind there was darkness. A cold draft came from somewhere within. It smelled like a cave, of dirt and fungus. Rot.
The door to the stairs opened.
What are you doing down there? He asked. The book was lying on the bench. She took it, wanted to hide it. Her shaking hands dropped it to the ground.
What’s that? He said, at the down end of the stairs now. ‘You hiding something?
It’s just a book, she said, her voice trembling.
A book? Who gave you a fucking book, you whore? What have you been doing?
It was here, I…
He punched her in the face. She fell to the ground.
Don’t lie to me bitch!
Please, baby… she pleaded.
He picked up the book. Read out loud.
“He beats me all the time. He’s getting more and more…” Did you write this? Are you writing about me!? He hit her. Are you fucking someone? Huh? Bitch? He hit her again.
No one, I promise! Tears running down her cheeks.
He pulled her to her feet by her hair, pushed her over the table with her face down. Pulled her panties down. Started opening his belt.
I don’t know who you’ve been fucking, but I’m gonna fuck you like no one ever fucked you before, you fucking whore! You gotta learn who’s boss around h…
There was a metal bar lying on the table. She grabbed it, hit him in the face. He stumbled back.
You God damned… He was standing there, with one hand on his face. He looked crazy. She was terrified.
He hit her with his fist. She fell back. He pulled the bar out of her hand. She was holding on to the bench not to fall. He picked up the bar.
You fucking hit me! His eyes were glowing with hatred.
Strange smoke was coming out of the hole in the wall. Like a shadow. Abstract, dark.
That’s it, bitch, he said. Calmly now. Your dead. Looking into his eyes she knew he meant it.
Lifting the bar he said: I’ll bury you right here, and no one will ever…
The shadow grabbed his arm.
Another shadow rounded his neck.
He was pulled through the wall. The big rocks were torn down and he disappeared into a dark hole.
She heard him scream. A stump sound. Then silence.
She waited. She waited for quite a while.
Honey..? Honey? Are you OK? She heard the whisper again. Laughing silently.
She grabbed a torch, tried to light it. It wouldn’t. She hit it a couple of times. Light.
At the end of the tunnel there was a room. The smell got stronger. A big bench were situated in the centre. Chains were attached to it. All kinds of knives and utensils where scattered around. A torture bench. Upon it lay a skeleton. The flesh was gone. There she had died. Marion Winston. Naked. Tortured.
On the floor lay the man who once was the love of Jessica’s life. His neck was twisted in a strange way. Broken. Marion had gotten her revenge. She had avenged them both.
Jessica left the room, went upstairs. She was going to need some cement to fix the wall.