Thursday, 13 November 2008

Day Five

Fear is a strange thing and it had such a control over me, I really did think that I was going mad. It felt similar to when you have had too much to drink and the room would spin around. I felt like there was two parts to my personality the rational side and just plain old me. When I would feel like i could not cope with the fear of the unknown, my survivor side would talk me down. It would be easy to have a multiple personality disorder and i had to hold on so tight to my sanity that i felt out of my depth. I could never sleep as my head was going at a 100mph. I had assumed that i would not be getting out of this situation alive and it was just a matter of time before i would no longer be needed. Statistically, in most of hostage situations, the hostage never survives, i was just being kept alive until someone made the decision that i had become null and void. The waiting game is a hard game to play and this is what i was having trouble doing. I had been left on my own without any interaction and i knew that this would only last for so long.

The door finally opened and I looked at my kidnapper straight in the eye, I was done with feeling so desperate and I now had a 'gung ho' kind of attitude. If this was my time to die than there was nothing I could do about it. As scared as I was and there are no words that could describe just how much, I was fed up with this. Before he had a chance to speak, I heard my voice. Strong and confident I said, 'Why am i here?'. I think that he was as shocked as I was but he did not answer. 'My wrists are bleeding and I am in pain' I said, 'I am on a roll' I thought. He looked up at me and laughed, this was not the reaction I was hoping for, I don't know how much was in my head but I felt like he was saying, that is nothing to how much pain you are going to be in. He glanced at my wrists and left the room, locking the door behind me. 'That went well' I thought. I heard the footsteps, 72 to be exact, go in the opposite direction. I am amazed about how your other senses kick in, I knew that blind people's senses are so finely tuned, it was like being superhuman. The footsteps stopped and became louder and louder as they approached. I thought that he had time to think about what I had said and was not happy about it. My heart was thumping and as the door openend I flinched as he threw something at me. He slammed the door angrily and I looked down to see what he had thrown at me. It was a plaster. 'Funny', I thought, 'very funny.' How lucky he was to have a sense of humour, something that at the moment I was being deprived of. I sighed to myself at the thought of more hours spent worrying about how many hours I had left. Every time I thought about my husband and children I pushed the memories out of my head as the mere thought made tears instantly appear. I am sure that I have physically cried oceans of tears and I don't think I had many more left in me. The footsteps returned and amazingly my heart didn't feel as if it was going to jump out of my chest. I waited until they grew closer and anticipated the door opening. The same kidnapper was at the door, he had a bottle of water, tissues and a bandage in his hands. He threw them on my lap and reached into his pocket and took out a pocket knife. My breathing became fast and panic spread through my body. I tried to calm down as I did not want him to think that I was scared. He came closer towards me and pulled my arms out in front of me. He struggled to find somewhere to cut the cable ties that were so tight around my wrists that it was hard to see where the cable tie started and my skin finished. The pain was colossal and I felt the colour drain from my face. My breathing started to get faster and faster and I felt sure that I was going to faint. I fell back into the chair and I had no control of my head as it fell back against the wall. I willed myself to wake up and I sat up in the chair and concentrated on slowing down my breathing. Whilst I struggled to remain conscious my kidnapper had cut off the cable ties and was walking out of the room. I looked at the back of him and made an effort to remember what he looked like but all I could think about was the blackness that soon engulfed me.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Day Four

I looked down at my wrists and could not believe what a mess they were in. I was right about the cable ties being used as handcuffs, the cable tie had cut into my skin and there was blood oozing all around, no wonder it was throbbing. My left side was faring slightly better but it was still very painful. I carefully and somewhat clumsily placed the tray on the floor, every movement made the cable tie cut even more deeply into my wrist. I winced and stood up. I cannot tell you how much better I felt being able to see again. It made me feel so much more positive and I suddenly felt injected with an overwhelming sense of anger. In all the time that I had spent away from my family, the only emotions I had been feeling were that of being scared and anxious. I walked around the room trying to sort my head out. This scenario had obviously been planned down to the last detail, this was a pre-meditated kidnapping. I don't think that it was individual to me, I was just unlucky but I still did not know what exactly they wanted from me. I looked back on as much as I could remember from leaving my home to being stopped in my car. The man that I first met was forgettable, especially in the situation that I was in but I tried to re-live the moment in my mind. He was definitely of Arab origin. He had dark hair, brown eyes and a trimmed beard and moustache. Unfortunately a high proportion of the population looked like him. An image flashed in to my head from when I was first taken; as he pushed me in front of him shortly after he spoke on the walkie talkie I noticed that he did not have the tip of one of his fingers. Strange but true. I could not remember which finger or even which hand but it was one way of identifying him. Good, I thought to myself. I am pretty sure that it was not the same man that had come into the room earlier as I think they had different voices. There was no way that I could identify the second man as my eyes were streaming.

So, where the hell was I? There was no outside sound it was silent, there were no windows. I looked around the room to see if there was anything that would be able to identify where i was, but nothing. Time passed, I am not sure how much and I found myself worn out completely from all of the worrying. I dropped in and out of sleep and spent much of my time wandering around my prison. The boredom made me concentrate too much on the pain in my wrists and I tried so hard not to think about them. I attempted to pick at the food that was on the tray but I had no appetite at all. I was worried that me not eating would have cause for my kidnappers to react badly towards me and I did not want that to happen. I looked around for a stone or something so that I could mark on the walls how much time had passed but the floors were clear, the room had obviously been made ready for my arrival. No fruit basket or chocolates on my pillow, I won't be staying here again, I thought and smiled to myself.

The silence was playing games with my mind and I kept thinking about Tom Hanks in Castaway who went mad from spending to much time on his own. I tried to listen out for any kind of noise but there was nothing. I had managed to count time in my head and since I started four hours passed and then I lost track and had to start again. Suddenly I heard footsteps and my heart was pounding again, I felt sure that they would never come to the door and for some strange reason a small part of me wanted them too. I counted 46 steps before I heard the door being unlocked and I prepared myself not only for the light to be turned on but for what was in store for me next.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Day Three

The noise of footsteps work me from my chloroform induced slumber. My heart was pounding and I struggled to breath. I could not see as I had a blindfold tied tightly around my eyes, I was not gagged but I never made any attempt to speak or shout out. My wrists were throbbing from being bound by which I am sure was with cable ties. I have no idea where I was being held and not being able to see was so disorientating. I still am unaware as to how long I had been held in my 'prison' as days, hours rolled into one. The footsteps approached nearer and nearer and I felt sure that my heart was going to break out of my chest. I felt like crying but I think I was too shocked and scared. I just want to go home and I want my mum. Even after 33 years I still want my mum.

The footsteps stopped and it felt as if an eternity went by, the door was unlocked a light switch was turned on and the door left open. Even though I was blind folded it still made my eyes sensitive to the light. Footsteps came closer to me and a chair was dragged from nearby and I was pulled onto my feet and pushed into the chair. Something was placed on my lap, it was fairly big and heavy. I had no time to even think what was going to happen next as I felt hands reach to the back of my head and i thought, 'I am either going to get hit around the head or the blindfold taken off'. I flinched as my captor took off the blind fold as well as some of my hair. The sudden change from pitch black to light created a searing pain in my eyes and I could not help but close them until I adjusted to the light. As I tried to cover my eyes with my hands I remembered what was placed on my lap and had to stop it from falling off. As I reached down my captor spoke, 'there is a bucket in the corner, food on the tray. Do as we ask and you will not be hurt.' I could not see his face. Tears were streaming from my eyes as I struggled with the being able to 'see' again. He turned away, walked out of the door and locked it. As my eyes got used to the light I was able to see where I was being held. It was a room which needed a lot of attention, if you had ever thought of being held hostage this would be the ideal location. The room was empty apart from the chair, a bucket and myself. I suddenly felt a tiny bit better, being able to see again made me feel in more control. I looked down at the tray and it consisted of plastic plate similar to the ones that I have at home that I use for the children in case they get dropped. I have no idea what was on the plate but there was a concoction of rice, vegetables and something that resembled chicken. I toyed with the idea of ringing room service to see if they had a vegetarian option and the thought of that made the beginnings of a smile come to my face. That soon vanished when I remembered how dire the situation was that I was in and this was not the time of any kind of humour but at least I was alive, well for the moment.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Day Two

I have no idea what the time is or even how many days have gone by since i last saw my family. The last thing i remember was having a hankerchief stuffed in my face and being engulfed in a foul smelling stench that i can only think was chloroform or an equivalent. I know that this happened shortly after i first heard the voice of the man that abducted me. He didn't speak after that or if he did, i do not remember. Shortly after he told me i that i did not need my belongings from the car he must have sensed that i would become more resistant as his grasp on me grew tighter. His intuition was correct i finally had a moment of clarity and thought that actually i do have a choice and gun or no gun i had to try somehow to escape. Even as i write this i cannot believe that i would actually be that brave but my fight for survival was stronger than i thought it was. Not that it made any difference as he was obviously more experienced than i in these circumstances as he would allow no distance between us. The short trip from the car to me having chloroform shoved in my face felt like an eternity as my mind was going wild wondering what atrocities he had in store for me. It seemed logical to believe that him wielding a gun would not be the criteria attributed to a serial rapist or even an amateur rapist. Whilst i was trying to profile him he suddenly stopped me and took out a walkie talkie. He spoke to a man in Arabic and the conversation was over in less than 10 seconds. He then pushed me forward so that i was walking in front of him and that is the last thing i remember.

God knows where i am or what the time is or even how many days have passed. I am still feeling the effects of the chloroform and i can only imagine this is how it must to have been slipped the date rape drug. Memories of what happened come and go and i do not know what is real and what isn't. I am sure that at some point i was on a aeroplane and that would tie in with me being flagged down by the air strip. My mind is growing crazy, trying to discover why i was taken and what will happen to me. I cannot stop thinking about how my husband must be feeling, wondering whether i had planned to leave or if i was taken away or even if i am still alive.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Day One

This is my story, told by me Louise Castle. I am just your 'average' person, I am just like the lady you accidentally bump into in the street, utter your apology and then go about your everyday business. I care not for anyone else only for myself and my family and it is for them that I have to survive tomorrow. I have to write this down so that it seems real as each time I wake up I am re-living the same nightmare.

I think that it is best that I start from the beginning so that you know exactly what happened and it will give you and me, a better understanding. My day started just like any other, I have children and my days are spent looking after the ones that aren't at school. As any other stay at home mum will tell you, it certainly is not the most exciting job but it is full filling and i am my own boss so that cant be bad. I work part time, a few hours in the early morning and whilst i am working my friend Valerie takes the children to school and then by the time i get home in the morning she is on her way home and i take back my responsibility of Eden who is only 3 and Anna, only 1 and a half. That i guess is when my day starts, and really short of visiting my local town for a spot of shopping, (which at the moment is one of the things that i am living for) and that is as exciting as it got. That morning seems like centuries ago but it was only one day ago and i wish so much to be back there. Many times when i have been in situations that looking back were so mundane i have wished to be like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and having those fantastically sparkly shoes so that i could just click the heels together whisper a chant to myself and i would be back to wherever i had wanted to be.

This is no musical and no amount of wishing or chanting will get me back to my 'boring' life that i so wish i could be living at the moment. Yesterday i had gone to work, did the housewife things; washing, ironing, tidying and at that present moment in time was looking forward to seeing one of my closest friends. God i have wished that i had cancelled seeing Katherine but i had no idea that the term, 'wrong place, wrong time' would have such a detrimental effect on my life and instead of being tucked up in my bed with my husband next to me and my beautiful children in the next room i had no idea of knowing where i am and what time it is. Oh the beauty of hindsight. So the day went without a hitch and my husband came home from work yesterday afternoon, ( i think) so that i could leave the relative peace of the house and i could travel to Suffolk so that i could see Katherine. It is so hard to believe that i was actually looking forward to going out and a series of unfortunate events had led me to the situation that i am currently in.

I left my house and started the journey which on a good day should only have taken an hour tops. I was in my faithful car, radio on looking forward to a lovely evening catching up, no kids, nice food, few beers and a good old chat. I had only been on the road for about fifteen minutes and i came across a young man in his 20's, dark hair and skin, probably of Arab origin, frantically waving to me in what seemed the middle of the road. The road ran alongside a newly used small aircraft runway and no amount of common sense would have any other person react differently to how i reacted. I had no option but to stop and i had no idea that it was anything else except a man needing help. Looking back there was no car around so i guess i should have wondered why he would be flagging a passing motorist but my brain did not engage as quickly as it should have. So he was waving at me and i slowed down to pull in to a slip road next to him. I started to ask him what was wrong and that was when his manner completely changed and he no longer seemed vulnerable and i just knew that i was in trouble. He opened my door and ordered me out of the car, when i did not move fast enough he pulled me out of the car and as he did so i fell to the ground. As i scrambled to get up i could not utter one word. Inside my head i was screaming but no words would come out, i tried to pull his hands off of me but the gun that he had in his other hand immediately stopped me from even trying. He sensed that i had seen the gun as i started to do as he asked. He led me away from the car and that was when my voice decided to come back, 'what about my stuff?' I whispered, 'you will not need it' he replied. His voice was calm and expressed no emotion.