The Sapphire House – Part 1 By: Marileta Hunsford


The Sapphire House
Part One
By: Marileta Hunsford

Jonathan always complained that she would not move into more roomy and uptown accommodations, now that she could afford them. She had lived in the same apartment in Dutch District ever since entering the University and had no desire to move. The district was close to the government complex where she worked and the low rent on her place meant she could keep more money in savings. Jonathan protested mainly because he did not think it fitting for the future wife of a Representative to live in the run down part of Pelta. He really can be a snob sometimes, she thought with a long-suffering sigh. Still, Katherine knew he loved her and that’s all that mattered in her estimation.

Katherine looked up and found she was on the southern edge of China District. A few more blocks and she would be home. Just as she was about to step into the street and cross over to Dutch District, a car breezed to a stop and hovered just in front of her. She looked at it with trepidation and noticed it was black with dark tinted windows, but had no time to examine it any further as the back door opened and two black-clad figures rushed at her. Confusedly, Katherine watched their approach. For a split second she thought she was in the middle of some surreal dream. Then, too late, she shook herself from the torpor and told herself to run. She whirled around and took a few steps but was quickly hauled off her feet and tossed into the car.

“Drive!” a gruff male voice said to her right. Katherine looked around but the two figures flanking her were masked. The driver of the car, also masked, shifted and the vehicle went flying into the night.

“What’s going on?” Katherine asked breathlessly, “I don’t have any money on me.”

“We’re not robbing you, Premiere,” the figure on her left, also male, said lightly, “We’re just kidnapping you.”

Katherine’s mouth hung open and she blinked several times in bewilderment. “Kidnapping me? But why?”

“You’ll find out,” the man on the right replied. “Now, if you don’t mind, shut up.”

Katherine’s face went red. Indignant anger welled up and she balled her hands into fists. As if feeling the tension fill her body, both men gripped her arms and the one on the right said softly, “Don’t cause no trouble, lady. We ain’t gonna hurt you,” he paused and then finished, “Unless you give us reason to.” To underscore his words, he pulled a Pointelle 56 from a holster under his arm and made sure she saw the shine on its muzzle. The power clip glowed green, indicating it was fully charged and loaded. Katherine clenched her teeth on the fear that wanted her to cry or beg to be released. Her jaw ached from the force she exerted controlling herself.

After a swift drive that seemed to take hours, the car finally pulled into the docks and stopped. “Take the car back to the rental place and just push the key through the slot in the door,” one of her captor’s said, “Don’t talk to nobody and get back here quick.” The driver nodded.

The man on her left opened his door and exited the car, half-dragging Katherine behind him. Her other kidnapper scooted over the seat and got out the same way. When he had one leg on the ground, Katherine jerked away from the man holding her, slammed the car door on the figure still in the vehicle, eliciting a yell of pain, and then ran.

The long skirt of her dress hampered her so she bunched the stiff fabric in her hands and pulled it up to her knees. Heavy footfalls sounded behind her, but she dared not look over her shoulder. Instead, she tried to run faster. For all her talents, though, Katherine was no athlete and so was not at all surprised when her arm was grabbed in a steely grip. She allowed herself to be whipped around because her fist, still balled, flew toward the masked face and landed a solid hit in his eye. The man cursed but did not let go. Indeed, his hand tightened painfully and he took hold of her other arm and shook her firmly.

“What’d we say about givin’ us a reason to hurt you?” he asked as he panted slightly. Katherine did not answer but raised her chin defiantly. The man cursed again and dragged her back to the car where his two companions waited. The driver was standing next to the man whose leg she had injured, who was leaning on the car, favoring his left side.

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