Bomb Girl – Chapter 6

The faint thread of noise grew steadily stronger and Ariana clung to it, hauling herself inch by inch back to the surface. The closer she got the more intense the pain became. Initially a dull ache centred above her left eyebrow, no more inconvenient than a buzzing bluebottle trapped in a jam jar. As she grew more aware of her surroundings, however, it intensified, growling and grating until it ripped through her forehead like a steel trap clamping down on its helpless prey. Other sensory clues solidified, and she became aware of a pungent, acrid odour polluting her nostrils. Chloroform? The recognition triggered a series of distorted memories which flooded her mind like a rushing tide roaring up a shingle beach.

The Union. Tess. Where was Tess? Ariana started to thrash about wildly, to only realise her arms and legs were tightly bound. She opened her mouth to scream but the gag put paid to that plan. Secreted in darkness she fought the growing urge to choke on the rag wedged between her teeth. Summoning every grain of self control she pushed down hard on the panicky jack in the box waiting to explode across her mind and scatter any semblance of rational thought to the four winds.

Breathe, Ariana, breathe. Forcing stale, oily air into her lungs she inhaled and exhaled through her nose for several moments until her galloping heart rate steadied to a canter. As her equilibrium returned, she became aware of motion, the undulations beneath throwing her upwards where her nose grazed metal. She was in a moving vehicle, the boot of a car? Further details swam within her grasp. That guy at the bar, the handsome one who Tess was fawning over. What was his name? Alan? No, wait it was Adam, definitely Adam, she had a cousin of the same name. He’d bought them vodkas, then outside afterwards Tess asked for his number and….

Her stomach lurched as the details accosted her, struggling to keep down the vodka purchased by her assailant. The thought of choking to death on her own vomit, alone in the boot of a car suddenly seemed a distinct possibility. Oh my God, Oh my God, I’m dead. He’s going to rape me, then torture me, then chop me up into a thousand pieces and….But Tess, Tess, why had she allowed it to happen? Why hadn’t she fought him? The memory of her friend’s blank face as Tess nodded and walked away from them outside the Union. It was as if she had been hypnotised….

The vehicle lurched violently to the left and she was thrown about the confines of the boot, suggesting the driver had exited the main road and was now driving along a rougher road surface, a track or laneway. Ariana winced as every jolt sent spasms of pain shooting down her spine. She continued the breathing exercise she had been taught once in a counselling session, one of the few useful tips she had picked up from years of enforced therapy, attempting to come to terms with who she was, who Ariana Hennessy wanted to be, needed to be.

Anything but the Bomb Girl.

The surface underneath changed again, this time the crunch of gravel as the vehicle turned in a tight circle before coming to a halt. Ariana realised she was holding in what little breath she had as the engine idled for an eternity. Tinny music seeped into her prison, a car radio. What was it? Some soulless dance tune, the thumping bass and moronic drumbeat setting a ridiculous soundtrack to what could well be the last moments of her life. A door opened, the music ceased, and the sound of boots crunching along the side of the vehicle sent her adrenaline levels soaring to new, unprecedented heights. Ariana tensed as the sound of jangling keys alerted her that whoever conveyed her here was standing directly at the back of the car no more than a few feet from her.

‘Are you in there, Ariana?’ The voice of a man, heavy with sarcasm. ‘Well, of course you are, where else would you be. Now, I’m going to open the boot and realise you’re all trussed up like a Christmas turkey but, all the same, no funny business, right? I’ve been very good to you so far, buying you drinks all night, listening to them feeble attempts of your friend to chat me up.’

Without further warning the boot swung open and Ariana found herself staring up into the angelic face of Adam O’Sullivan, his chiselled features bathed in a milky moonlight. Beyond him she could make out little else, bar the murky shadows of trees.

‘What’s the matter, cat got your tongue?’ Adam laughed, a deep, somewhat unhinged baritone bark. Arianna stared back wide eyed until he finished making merry at his own dubious humour, unable to utter a sound because of the gag. As if only becoming aware of this fact, Adam stopped abruptly and leaned down until his face was no more than inches from hers. She could smell the stale Guinness on his breath, count the flecks of stubble on his dimpled chin.

‘Sorry, that was in poor taste. Now, if I were to loosen the gag and allow you to talk, do you promise to be on your best behaviour and not cause a scene?’ His brow furrowed and he nodded for Ariana to respond. ‘One nod for yes, two for no, there’s a good girl.’

Ariana nodded slowly, earning a smile from Adam that, in any other setting, might have melted her heart. ‘Excellent,’ he exclaimed, standing tall again. ‘Now I’m a man of my word and I expect you to keep yours on this one. Otherwise I might have to hit you over the head with a shovel.’ He paused, as if weighing up his options, before shrugging. ‘Or maybe a hammer. Who knows, whatever’s to hand.’ He reached down and gently loosened the gag until it hung against Ariana’s throat.

‘There, isn’t that better?’

‘Who are you? Wh…what do you want?’ Ariana’s voice was little more than a tepid croak, her throat parched from fear and the fume soaked gag.

‘Patience, wee girl, patience. One question at a time. Name doesn’t ring a bell then….Adam….O’Sullivan?’

Ariana dredged her memory for a sliver of recollection but drew a resounding blank. ‘I’m sorry, no. Should it? Please let me go, this is a mistake. I swear to God I won’t tell anyone about this, on my….’

‘Mother’s grave?’ interrupted Adam. ‘Yes I heard about your ma. I guess mixed emotions on your part given the way she paraded you in front of the press every year. Bit of a one trick pony wasn’t she in the end, but I guess it paid a few bills.’

Ariana’s blood was turning to an icy slush. How did he know all this about her? This wasn’t mistaken identity after all, she was his intended target all along.

‘Well, I know all about graves,’ continued Adam, seemingly oblivious to the devastating impact his words were having on the young woman cowering helplessly before him. ‘Buried my own father at an early age. No worse feeling than walking behind the coffin of a loved one is there?’ He sneered, the charming mask slipping to reveal what lurked beneath. ‘Got a taste of your own medicine, eh, you wee bitch.’

O’Sullivan, O’Sullivan. Ariana eyes widened as the hitherto evasive answer slithered into view, a most unwanted visitor.

‘Diarmuid O’Sullivan. You’re Diarmuid O’Sullivan’s son.’ All previous efforts to rein in her heartbeat vanished in a puff of well intentioned smoke, as it careered out of control once more. The Monksbridge Massacre. It was his father who was the architect behind it.

‘Bingo,’ trilled Aidan, jumping back and flashing jazz hands in her direction. ‘In the flesh, for one night only. Your last night, little Ariana. But worry not, what a time you and I are going to have. I’ve got so many treats lined up for you, all sorts of treasures. You’re going to go out in style, young lady, I can guarantee that.’ He fixed her with a toothy grin. It was the final straw, tipping her over the edge. She opened her mouth, fully intent on screaming until her throat bled.

‘Ach, now there’s no need for that.’ Adam bent forward into the boot and clamped a callused hand over her mouth, securing the gag tighter than before. Ariana squirmed and twisted, desperately trying to find some purchase but it was a futile battle.

‘I must say I’m disappointed, Ariana. I’d been looking forward to getting caught up with you, but you obviously can’t be trusted. He toyed with a chunky sovereign ring on his right forefinger before holding it out towards her. ‘See this. That’s all was left of him after the explosion. Cheap Eastern European detonators. Left me walking behind an empty coffin, at least you got to say goodbye to your ma properly. I wonder what will be left of you after tomorrow? When you finally get to live up to that illustrious nickname.’

Ariana whimpered in horror as his clenched fist descended upon her. The last thing she saw was the golden glint of the ring, fringed by balmy moonlight. There followed a brief explosion of searing pain before Ariana slipped back beneath the still, black surface she had only recently emerged from.

Adam O’Sullivan slammed the boot shut. The night was young and there was still so much work to be done. Tomorrow was going to be the greatest day of his life.

And the worst of theirs.

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 6 and would love to hear your feedback. Just add your comments below.

Like my words? Well, why not check out my fantasy novel, ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square.’ Available now via your local Amazon site in e book and paperback format. Or FREE if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. Thank you.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

17 thoughts on “Bomb Girl – Chapter 6

  1. So good Stephen! So, so good! I could read your writings all day—such a gift you have–not just in word choice and sentence structure, but in the art of story telling! Each chapter leaves me wanting to know more!

    Adam was little when his father died, so how many years ago was the bombing?
    I had assumed that Ariana and Adam were roughly the same age… I don’t know why.

    Were the vodkas that Adam bought Tess and Ariana spiked—leaving Tess’ senses and ability to help her friend dismantled? As a reader, I want to give her some explanation for why she didn’t help…

    Will Tess report what happened—maybe a search party can be sent out to look for Ariana?

    Will there be a glimpse into who Adam had become since his father’s death that has led to him to this deviant place?

    So many questions! A sign of good writing!

    Oh! Also, an American, I am learning some fun Irish terminology in your writing!

    One possible typo: ‘Bingo,’ trilled Aidan— is Adian meant to be Adam or is this a wink to a possible split personality?

    Continue on, my friend. Can’t wait to see where you take this story!

    Karym

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Karyn. Sorry that was a typo re: Aidan. Thanks for pointing it out. The bombing was 19 years ago. Adam is 5 years older than Ariana. The drinks weren’t spiked but will all will be revealed. The story is a spin off from the Kirkwood Scott series which is a supernatural fantasy. I’ll let you do the math on that one 😉 All will be revealed in due course but this story will eventually merge with the wider Kirkwood Scott/Meredith Starc story arc. So pleased you enjoyed it.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I was hoping chapter 6 would not be another build up. “Holy Abductions, Batman!” You really pushed on the accelerator and kept the pedal to the metal! I was already engaged with the story and looking forward to the showdown. But now, I can’t put it down. Oh, wait… Good stuff, Stephen.

    Like

  3. Yes, what of Tess…who on the face of things seems like a backstabbing best friend. Or could it be something more. Might Tess playing double agent…
    Can’t wait to find out what awaits Arianna the next time Adam pulls her out if they boot. Why do I feel like after the power/control plays out on his end, some chemistry will be in the works for these two? Okay, okay, I am HOOKED! You gotta write faster, I can’t speculate on potential plot twists like this, you’re killing me over here. You gotta start on Ch.7 already! 😃
    Bravo!!!Two thumbs up, way up~

    Like

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