The girls quickened their step as it started to sprinkle. The pre-rain chill perked up Kristin’s tea cups against her spaghetti-strapped knit top. Her sheer bra did little to conceal the effect of the lower temperature to her budding nipples. The breeze tossed her red hair away from her face.
The more endowed Amber seldom wore sheer undergarments but her push-up bra enhanced a form that was beyond her fifteen years. Frequently worn low necklines and her summer-streaked mouse-brown hair never failed to turn the heads of the boys at Lincoln High School.
The sky darkened as the sprinkles increased to a soft, steady rain. A silver Crown Victoria with dark tinted windows blocked the two fifteen-year-old girls at the crosswalk. The front passenger window was down and a woman, in her late twenties, smiled at them. Thunder cracked in the distance and the rainfall increased.
“Need a ride, girls?”
“Yeah, thanks!” Amber recognized the woman as the aunt of one her friends. She met her at another friend’s birthday party recently.
“Amber! No! Are you crazy?” Kristin did not know these people.
“It’s okay! I know her,” said Amber. “Do you want to get drenched?”
Another crack filled the sky and this time a bolt lit the dark clouds. Amber pulled open the rear door and got into the car. Kristin followed reluctantly. The driver of the car, also smiling, was a muscular man in his late forties.
“I thought that I recognized you,” the smiling woman said, turning to look at Amber. “So, how have you been?”
“Fine, thanks,” said Amber. “This is my friend, Kristin.”
“Hi, Kristin, how are you?” The woman directed her smile to Kristin but did not offer her own name.
“I’m fine.” Kristin’s tone betrayed her trepidation.
In the rear seat, to Amber’s left, sat a girl about four years older than Kristin and Amber. Her expressionless face gazed out of the window.
“Hi!” I’m Amber.”
The girl held her gaze out of the window.
“Now, Carmen, you shouldn't be rude to our guests.”
The girl turned to the woman for moment but did not change her expression.
“Let’s go, Amber! Something is wrong here!” She pulled on the door handle but the latch didn’t release.
“Oh! Those ‘darn child safety locks again,” said the smiling woman. “Take it easy, honey. You’re going to be fine.”
Looking from her friend to the woman and the man, Amber felt her friend’s fear now. A look of pure evil had replaced the man’s smile. Kristin fought the handle and shouldered the door trying to open it!
“We have to get out of here!”
Amber started screaming hysterically. Like a striking cobra, the back of the man’s hand uncoiled into her face. Blood erupted from her nose and spilled onto her shirt front. In a sick pleasure of seeing someone else suffer, the previously quiet and emotionless girl sitting next to the Amber smiled now. A pistol menaced them from the hand of the woman in the front seat.
“Introductions are over.” The woman wasn't smiling anymore. The man turned back to the wheel and put the car into gear.