Young Min passes up a chance for a pre-Thanksgiving trip to the city with her parents, never suspecting that this decision will place her in a life-or-death situation. Due to the ferocious snowstorm that catches everyone by surprise, her parents are stranded out on an impassible highway, but it provides the cover Bruno Hessle, a maniacal serial killer, needs to walk away from a minimum security prison near the Quinnu village. He holes up in the warm kitchen where Min sleeps up in the attic to keep warm; forcing her to use everything she has been taught to escape the clutches of this madman. Will she be able to outwit him before her parents arrive and he kills them as they walk through the door?
I've got to get out of this Hellhole! Bruno lay on his bunk, arms up, his beefy hands clasped behind his large head. His dark mind ached as voices of the other inmates in the elongated room whispered about him. Their voices rose and rose until they shrilled off the walls, filling him with both fear and hate.
"Whatcha doing here, Man?"
"You don't belong here!"
"They shoulda put YOU in a looney bin!"
"Yeah, cuz you sure ain't normal!"
"How many people did you kill? Were they all women - young pretty women? I heard some were young boys -"
A lower voice uttered, "..even your own mother!"
I didn't. I didn't! I only maimed her, cut of her tongue - so she couldn't tell my secret. I...
Bruno swung his head in the direction of the dim room where all its occupants were either dozing, reading worn books or playing cards. The nearest man didn't even glance in his direction, he was so intent on his game of solitaire.
He squeezed his eyes tightly, hoping to shut down the voices, but they persisted - feverish whispers behind his purple eyelids.
"You did it! You did it! And we're gonna get you for it! Some night while you sleep..."
"Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!"
Startled, the other inmates looked over toward the darkened end of the room, shadowy, where only Bruno's outline loomed in front of the bunkhouse's only small window. The men hardly ever acknowledged his existence and they didn't seem to mind a bit that the strange man kept to himself and didn't speak unless absolutely necessary
Bruno rose from his cot and pounded down the aisle separating the rows of bunks and swished out the door, slamming it behind him.
He strode across the clearing and stood at its edge, hugging his woolen collar close around his bulky neck. His nostrils flared at the strong aroma of rotting leaves and trees in the thick underbrush that surrounded the compound. His primal ability to detect differing odors wafting upon the cold winter air allowed him to separate out the scent of the river that ran about a mile west of where he stood.
"It'll snow soon," he muttered under his breath. "It's in the air." He blew huffy little clouds out as he breathed in and out slowly, savoring.
Almost time to leave this Hellhole. Either before the storm begins or just after. That way it will be harder for the dogs to track him. If there are any dogs. The rumor around the compound was that they kept them just for that purpose, although he never heard them barking or even had a scent of them in all the nine months he's been here. At times, he caught the whiff of wet deer, elk, or rabbits after the rains came which was often in this God-forsaken part of the country. The wet animal fur had a pleasant smell. He smirked to himself inside. He had never learned how to smile on the outside.
Bruno forced his large meaty hands into the pockets of his heavy plaid jacket and turned back toward the bunkhouse and his waiting cot. He waited for the pleasant dreams to fill his subconscious as he slept. In them, he loped through the forest as usual, his nostrils filled with the pleasing scent of his own damp fur. He leapt high over fallen logs, saliva dripping freely from protruding fangs while elongated claws clutched at the damp ground. Ah, the freedom, the power..