Mary Mathieu, M&M to her friends, was your typical college student. She was a hedonist. Her great love was pleasure, and she sought it wherever she could find it. Mary loved nature, and she enjoyed hiking along the waterway.
She attended a prestigious law school in Mississippi. Originally from the Mid-West, she had fallen in love with the people and scenery of her new home. She spent most of her weekends hiking various parts of the state.
“Hiking does the body good,” she told her friends. At 25, she worried about dying before she had fully enjoyed her time on Planet Earth.
As she walked the trails along the waterway, she would stop and listen. Further up the trail, she heard a branch break. Mary stopped and knelt to tie her shoe. She pulled out her phone and waited. A doe walked out onto the trail with her fawn. Mary shot a photo and smiled. The deer blew at her, and they bounded back into the woods.
A sense of dread passed over her, like a shadow in the night, and she turned around. A black- clad figure waved at her, and a massive right hand crashed into her jaw. Her world went black as she fell into unconsciousness.
Mary woke up in darkness. The drip, drip, drip of water hitting the concrete floor was her only companion. She tried the ropes that bound her hands. The rope didn’t budge. “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” she muttered frantically. “Shh, take it easy, Mary. Breathe. Don’t give in, don’t give this prick the satisfaction.”
She took a deep breath and focused her thoughts. Escape seemed impossible, but she would not give in to the fear that gripped her heart.
Alone in the dark, Mary cried and prayed someone would miss her. Hope, although in short supply, would keep the fear at bay.