She had just disappeared right before his eyes. That monstrous thing had taken her and dragged her into this deep dark hole, then just as quick as it had happen everything was back to normal. The sky brightened and the dead grass came back to life, but there was no Ava. Caiden sat kneeling against the ground calling her name. From the corner of his eye, he saw something glittering on the ground. Walking over to it he discovered it was the bracelet he had given her this morning. He began to weep.
"AVA!" He called out again. There was no reply, coming to his senses he ran back to the car and dug up his phone, opening it up he dialed 911.
"911, what is your emergency?" A woman said through the phone.
"My girlfriend... She's been taken or something, I am not really sure. One moment she was here and the next she was gone." There was no way anyone would believe him, it must have been a trick of his eye. Didn't the mind make things up when one experienced traumatic situations? Caiden just wanted Ava back.
"If you go to the local station, you can fill out a missing persons report. I can't help you on this line sir."
"I can't wait for that!" He shouted.
"I'm sorry, those are the rules." The woman replied in an even tone. Caiden hung up the phone exasperated. Was no one going to help?
After falling in darkness for what felt like hours, Ava landed on cold moist ground. There was a light here, she was able to look around . She was in the woods, somewhere. The trees were taller than any she had seen before. Moss covered them completely, it smelled musty here. It seemed to be night, the area was illuminated by what Ava thought to be the moon.
"Hello?" She called out, standing. "Caiden?" She started to shiver, it was freezing. All she could here was the echo of her own voice.
Sitting on the ground, Ava looked at her hands. They were covered in dirt and her wrists were cut and bruised from where that THING had grabbed her; she didn't even dare look at her dress. Her head shot up when she heard a rustling in the bushes nearby.
"Who's there?" She stuttered as she stood. The rustling grew closer and rather than waiting to see what would appear, she ran. Ava's feet got cut on rock and twigs, but she didn't slow down... she didn't dare. A sound came from her left and Ava spun and ran in the opposite direction. She tripped over tree roots and her dress snagged on thorns tearing her legs. Her heart was pounding; sweat dripping down her face. She was terrified. Looking over her shoulder to see if anything had followed her, she slammed into something hard and fell to the ground.
"Hello poppet," The voice said. Ava looked up, her black hair in her face. She say Red Eyes looking down at her. His horns had disappeared and he looked human again.
"Get away from me," Ava screamed scrambling backwards.
"You'll die here. Creatures here are worse than I am." he smiled slyly and as if on cue, howls, cackles, and shouts came from all around.
"Where am I?" She asked terrified. Now that she had stopped moving she could feel the cuts on her legs and arms, they were bleeding. She looked a mess.
"My dear, this is purgatory."
"Like limbo?" She asked shaking as she stood.
"You could say that." The thing replied.
"Is this where we go when we die?" Ava asked holding her arms to her chest. Looking around she noticed that the moisture from the ground was blood. Ava felt vile rise in her stomach; swallowing hard she looked at the monster.
"No. YOU are destined for something else. Come with me." He held out his hand and it changed, his skin burning again, fingers turning into talons, and the horns protruding. Up close, Ava could see that he had long fangs.
"No!" Ava stepped backwards. "Devil!"
"Such a compliment, but alas I am only a demon. Lucifer is far more powerful."
The man grabbed her wrist, skin burning on contact. Ava resisted to no avail. The monster dragged her through the forest of Purgatory until they came to a deep dark cave.
"Eternity awaits my dear." He said gesturing to the dark cave. It seemed that it was a vertical drop.
"I am not going down there." She said trying to step back.
"Yes you are." The demon said with a sly smile. He threw her into the cave and for a second time, Ava found herself falling in darkness.
'What have I done?' She asked herself, it was the thing she had though impossible her entire life.
Caiden had been waiting at the station for over an hour before anyone was able to help him. The officer who spoke with him was calm and collected, this helped Caiden feel better. He walked Caiden through the process and said that he should call back tomorrow and the form will be filed immediately.
"Why can't you do it now?" Caiden asked hitting his fist on the table.
"Rules and regulations, she could have just gone somewhere without telling you." The officer said.
"Were you not listening to me? Ava wouldn't do that. She vanished right before my eyes. It was like something, a monster, had taken her... but that's not possible right?"
"People can be monstrous . But I am afraid you are right, an actual monster taking your girlfriend is impossible. But I will tell you what I will do." The officer sat on the table and looked at Caiden.
"I will write up the form and send it in. But I cannot make any promises as to how long it will take for anything to become official."
"Thank you!" Caiden said jumping from the seat. He shook the man's hand and left the precinct still angry.
Not knowing what else to do, Caiden went home. The apartment was quiet without Ava there. He walked into their room and broke down. He sat at the edge of the bed and cried for a few minutes, maybe an hour. It wasn't manly of him and Ava would have told him so, but he didn't care. His entire world had just fallen from his hands. He stood and walked around the room. He opened the closet, thinking maybe should would be inside. But of course she wasn't; he looked at her clothes, they smelled like her. He noticed a box high up on a shelf; bringing it down he read the tag.
'To Caiden on our special day.' It was her handwriting. He opened the box, inside there was a large photo album filled with pictures of them together. On one of the pages, a locket was taped to it. Inside the locket, their favorite picture was inside. He clutched the locket in his hand and walked over to the dresser. After fumbling around in the top drawer he found the small box he had been looking for. He took the item out of its case and looked it over. Then he put it around the chain of the locket and pulled it over his head. He looked down at the locket and the ring around his neck. Sitting on the floor Caiden began flipping through the photo album. Towards the back there was a picture of their last anniversary. It was of them standing outside a restaurant.
"When you think of your life in ten years, where do you see yourself?" She had asked over a year ago as she sipped some white wine. They were celebrating early because Caiden had to go away on their anniversary for his internship.
"With you, living happily." Caiden responded, as soon as the words were out of his mouth he had meant it.
He bought the ring six months afterwards. Tonight he had planned on proposing during dinner, the photographer there to document the whole thing. After that picture there weren't anymore of that day because after they had left there was an accident, Ava had been driving. They were at an intersection when a semi had run a red light, he had been texting and driving. Even though the accident had not been Ava's fault at all, she blamed herself. To her, she had been intoxicated and unfit to drive. She even had a test taken, and the results said she was sober. Regardless, she continued to blame herself. But on top of that, the airbags in the car had failed. When cops had arrived on scene, Caiden's side of the car was completely smashed. Ava got away with a mild concussion and whip lash. From what he had been told, Caiden was severely injured and surgery was performed immediately. Even then he remained unconscious for weeks; the doctors had decided he would never recover. But miraculously he had woken up on their anniversary and made a full recovery. Ava was there at his bedside the entire time. That was exactly a year ago, and today Caiden lost his entire world in the blink of an eye. Ava had been snatched away from him and sucked into darkness.
He sat on the floor, leaning against the door and cried the rest of the night.