I can still hear the excitement in my husband’s voice, telling me his plans for that day. The day I found out how murder victims feel before they die. A gun holstered on his hip, he held up the large machete he’d hand-crafted just for me. Or more specifically, for my death.
I was on the floor, hands tied behind my back, dazed from a blow to the head. Moments earlier, his fist came out of nowhere, and knocked me out cold. Before that, we were getting along fine, but now, I struggled to comprehend what was happening.
“You better start making peace with God because you’re going to die today. I’m taking you to that field by the lake, and I’m going to blow your head off. Then I’ll cut up your body and feed you to the fish,” he said.
He dragged me by the hair, kicking and screaming, to the carport, forcing me into the back seat of my SUV. Then he smashed his fist into my head and got behind the wheel.
A Nightmare That Won’t Wake
“Wake up, Serena. You need to listen to me. This truck is mine now since you’re about to be dead. So, I really don’t want to shoot you in here. But I will if you try to do anything stupid. You better think about Colton. I’ll be the one taking him to school from now on. You don’t want him seeing your blood and brains splattered everywhere, do you? So just stay still and be a good girl. Now’s the time to make peace with God. I’d start praying if it were me.”
Never in my life had I been so afraid. My teeth chattered, and my body trembled uncontrollably. Paralyzed by fear, I took his advice and began to pray.
There is no need for me to curse you. The murderer survives the victim, only to learn that it was himself he longed to be rid of.-Thornton Wilder
“Hey Serena, do you remember those big turtles I showed you the last time we went to the lake? I’m going to feed you to them, and there won’t be anything left, either. Cause if the turtles miss a piece, the fish will get it. Want to hear something funny? The turtles and fish are going to eat you, and I’m going to eat them. It’s like I’ll be eating you myself. Don’t you think that’s funny?”
He said these things as if we were having a casual conversation. His jovial tone made the words even more chilling, and I couldn’t stop the tears that flowed freely.
Facing Off with Satan
I didn’t want to die, but mostly, I was devastated for my son, Colton. He’s autistic, and very dependent on me. My death would be so hard for him. And I thought about my daughter, Savannah, who died at birth. At least I was finally going to meet her.
It was ironic, really. I had to die to get away from the devil.
“Are you scared? You should be. I know I told you to pray, but it won’t do any good. God’s not listening. He already knows you’re going straight to hell. Hey, when you get there, tell your momma I said hi.”
Years later, that day still haunts me. What saved my life was his desire not to go to jail for kidnapping and murder. Driving to the lake, he remembered the security cameras I’d recently gotten installed.
It had briefly crossed my mind that the cameras would provide the evidence to convict him of my murder. But I assumed he turned them off before throwing the first punch. Thank God, I was wrong.