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“Please kill me,” the emancipated woman begged with the last remnants of strength in her. She knew she was not getting out of that basement alive, so it was better for death to come as soon as possible. She lay on the cold hard floor, drained of energy because of constant hunger. It amazed her that she could still talk.

There was a man in the room. He was leaning against one end of the wall, staring at the woman willing to give up her life for her family. Elizabeth Colman was indeed one tough nut to crack.

“Give me what I want and I will let you go, Elizabeth.” Jonathan Smith said. “I do not want to torture you like this, but you have left me no choice.”

Jonathan was the man who had replaced her husband as CEO of Imperative Oil co., a company operating mainly in Latin America but with its headquarters in the United States. Peter Colman had worked for the company most of his adult life, so had known everything about it. Before he died, he had handed some documents to his wife to keep them and ensure they never saw the light of day, unless it was extremely necessary. Elizabeth did not know all the information in the documents, but knew it could cause a lot of trouble for her and children.

Elizabeth said nothing. What Jonathan was looking for was information that could leave her children on the streets, something she could not afford to let happen. Her husband had made a lot of mistakes and if they came out, it would leave her and her kids without anything. She had not had sufficient education or training in marketable skills, which meant there was not much she could offer her kids without the inheritance from their father. Having lived a tough life as a child, she did not want the same for her children.

Jonathan stood up and ambled towards her. He kicked Elizabeth on the side, but the woman did not flinch. She was too weary to react. Jonathan crouched down. “Why are you so stubborn? What if I’m to offer you a deal? I really need those documents. Do you think it might prove Pete’s fraud and you will lose everything you have?”

Yes, she wanted to say, but stayed silent.


“Kill me,” she said. She was tired of suffering and wanted to get over with it. Jonathan had kept her in the basement for over a month and only fed her with scraps occasionally. He had tortured her at the beginning and stopped being so brutal when he realized it would yield nothing. He had, therefore, resorted to starving her, thinking she would have no choice but to yield to his demands.

Elizabeth Colman had grown up in a life of suffering, and resilience came naturally to her. This involved her children, who she loved more than anything to her. She would risk death so that they could continue to live the life they were used to.

“How will that be beneficial to me?” Jonathan inquired

“I don’t know, but I won’t reveal the location of those documents.” She told him. “In the end, you will have no choice but to either kill or let me go. Why not do it fast enough so we can both move on?”

He grabbed her head and looked into her tired eyes. “Look at you, the wife of Peter Colman, and a prominent man. You used to be so beautiful, radiant, but now you are unrecognizable. You are ugly and filthy. I don’t even want to be in the same room with you. Why don’t you give me what I want and get out of here? So you can be beautiful again?”

Elizabeth closed her tired eyes. He let go of her head and the back of her head hit the floor, sending searing pain all over her head.

“Ahhh,” she wasn’t sure she couldn’t take it anymore. Would it be too bad to hand over the documents and start over? She wondered. Opening her eyes, she saw Jonathan’s stern face. He seemed to contemplate something. She realized she couldn’t trust a man like Jonathan. If she told him where the documents were, he would kill her because he knew she would run to the police if she got out. Eliz figured there was no point in losing both her life and children’s inheritance.

Jonathan smiled. “I think I have a better idea. Why don’t I bring those little shits of yours here too? Let’s see if you will be willing to sacrifice their lives for the riches your philandering husband made.”

She thought of her children, all different in their own ways, but each of them had characteristics of their mother and father. She and Pete’s genes had been split between their children and it was beautiful. Thinking of them made her smile. Jonathan coughed, bringing her mind back to the unfortunate situation at hand.

“No, please,” she begged, her eyes watering. “Don’t do that.”

He laughed loudly. “How did I not think of that? Can’t believe I have wasted all this time when I could have got those documents by kidnapping the right people.”

“No, don’t bring them into this?”

“Aren’t they beneficiaries?”

This new idea made Jonathan extremely thrilled. He leaned down close to Elizabeth’s face. Suddenly, Elizabeth snapped and grabbed him. He started laughing hysterically. “You have no energy left. I would like to see what you can do.”

His laughter stopped when the woman dug her teeth into his neck. Jonathan screamed, trying to push her off, but she used the last of her strength to hold him in place. When Jonathan freed himself, he pulled out a gun and shot her. She fell back while he tried to stand. He tore off his shirt and put it around his neck where blood was flowing like a river. He was almost at the door before falling down.

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