Jason had never spoken to her. Seeing her as merely a play toy, an object to satisfy his amusement and lust—and Father’s directive—he communicated with pokes, prods, and, occasionally, gesticulating motions, as if she were a German Shepherd. Sit. Stay. Quiet.

The basement was damp and dreary this time of year, the rainy season, late April, but Jason didn’t mind. Most of his days he spent at work, and his nights he slept in his comfortable bed. Still though, this prize hadn’t brought him the joy of the last three. He sighed as he looked at the calendar hanging by the wall phone in his bright kitchen, twelve days down, twenty-eight to go. The specific methods were at Jason’s discretion, but the timeline followed his father’s precisely. The capture the night of the full moon. The sacrifice forty days later. He filled his thermos with fresh coffee from the percolator before heading to the office.