Land of Entrapment

Land of Entrapment by Andi Marquette

Book: Land of Entrapment by Andi Marquette Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andi Marquette
out of my lungs until I couldn’t even cry and I ached all over like I’d been beaten.
    I swallowed past the lump in my throat. I’d get her out of this. I had to. No way was I going to let some asshole suck the soul from her body. Not without a hell of a fight. Hang in there, Megan. I’ll find you. I finally managed a deep breath and returned to the computer, sinking back into analytical mode.
    Megan was depending on me. So was Melissa. I had to make this right. I owed it to Megan. And in a roundabout way, I owed it to Melissa, too. I jiggled the mouse to bring the e-mail back onto the screen and started reading again.
    Month six, I reminded myself. Megan asked Cody if he thought Melissa could be cured. He responded in the affirmative, but she had to want to be cured. He said that being gay was like being addicted to something and then he said that he knew she knew something about that and she knew how hard it was to break an addiction. I stopped again for a little bit, needing to clear my head again. I threw a sandwich together with stuff I had bought the day before and looked over Megan’s bookshelves while I ate. I turned the radio on and tuned to my favorite public radio station, KUNM. Their afternoon music show reminded me to see what Megan listened to.
    I checked the spines of the CDs in the living room, chewing another bite of my sandwich. Megan had a few, but nothing like the collections of people who were into music before digital downloading. Standard pop. A few hip-hop CDs. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I hadn’t found an iPod, so if she had one or some comparable MP3 player, she probably had it with her.
    I went back to her computer and opened up the file in her documents division called “Music.” More standard pop. Some country and even a few salsa tunes. Hip-hop and punk. Okay. I scrolled down. Yep, here were some racist groups. Final Solution, Oi Boys, and White Terror. These were harder-edged than punk and probably sounded like speed metal. I didn’t listen. I didn’t need to. She had one album of each on her hard drive. I wiped my hands on my shorts and went back to her e-mail files and by the end of month six, she was talking about that music with Cody.
    I slogged through months seven and eight, sadness, anger, and fear twisting around in my stomach as she was drawn in to the movement. In month nine, Cody said that he could see himself marrying her and would she maybe consider that with him? He also started talking about “preparing.” That was a buzz word for the end of the world through a race war. He clarified in subsequent messages, saying that he needed a strong woman by his side in order to further the cause. He said that “something big” was going to happen soon and he had chosen her to weather the storm with him.
    I sat back, trying to sort through all the emotions and thoughts running through my heart and head.
    Cody Sorrell had the makings of a charismatic leader.
    The rhetoric he used, the manipulation of Megan’s feelings through flattery and appeals to her strength, references to how strong she was to kick her addiction and find a path of righteousness—Megan had been sucked right in. He found her weaknesses and he exploited them, convincing her that she belonged with him, that her “friends” were in the movement.
    These were tactics, I knew, that abusive partners used in relationships. Flattery, manipulation, then isolation from outside support networks, and finally, control.
    Was Cody abusive, as well? Most likely. The thought tore at me, dug its teeth into my psyche.
    I took a deep breath and forced myself back into research mode, paying extra attention to the e-mail messages from month ten to eleven. Cody had started saying that he had to leave soon and would she come with him? He started talking about buying a place out in the country somewhere where they could live without having to worry about minority crime or drugs. He said that they should get

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