Caught Book 1 (MA 18+)
I haven’t been okay since what happened. I haven’t slept the same or been able to work. I haven’t even been able to replace what was taken from me. I don’t know if I ever will. I’ll start from the beginning so you can understand. I began working at this day job when I lived in California. I basically just made calls to small businesses all around the US. I met a few people in my training group. One named Miley who was oddly young for working there but super sweet! Another was Eric, he ended up leaving for the firefighter academy. Finally, Claudia, she looked like a little boy; but she was a 24-year-old woman. A dyke. Claudia always fell asleep during our training sessions for work, and during actual work. I just thought she was tired considering we started work at 6 am. Us four became a little clique. We would go to lunches together, spend breaks with each other, and even visit each other outside of work. Unfortunately, after a few months Miley had found another job, and Eric was fighting off wildfires. This left me and Claudia alone. At this point we had already begun carpooling together for the twenty-minute drive to work. It seemed like a normal working relationship. Until after work one day in March. She started acting weird in a way that gave me goosebumps on my arms. I knew something was up. I was right. She asked me if I was ready to go shopping. My answer was normal, “I can't go we don’t get paid until next Friday.” Claudia proceeded to tell me I did not need to worry because she could handle all the money. She then tells me to think up a first and last name. Me, thinking this is all a big joke gives out a first and last name. Little did I know Claudia would go on to pull up that person's confidential information. Their social number, their ID number, their credit cards, addresses, etc. It got serious. After introducing me to this software she had coded into her phone. She looks over at me and smiles and says “ Now you know the bare minimum of what I’m capable of. If I were you I would cooperate with anything and everything.” This opened my eyes to a whole new person. I quickly realized she was sleeping at work due to her withdrawal from Meth. I quickly realized she PICKED me to prey on. She tells me to get in the car as she drives to a small little house in Little Saigon. This house was in a normal neighborhood with kids playing around on the street two houses down. But on the inside it was something completely different. It was a slaphouse.
The house on Madison street was one of thousands of slap houses put up around California. There was a metal gate, lining the front yard and driveway. There were cars along the street and trash on the front porch. Upon walking up I noticed a security camera on the front door. Claudia looked at me and said “if you want to be safe here you need to act like my girlfriend.” This caught me off guard, making me immediately turn back towards her car. She did not like that. She grabbed me by my ponytail and pulled me back next to her, wrapping her arm around my neck. We went inside. To my left was a trashy couch with a girl drugged out and laying across it; facing a ‘slap machine’ most would call the fish game. Basically it is a large table with joysticks all around it. You put money in for credits, your credits turn to ammo which you use to shoot the fish, then the fish you shoot turns into credits which you can then turn to cash by yelling “cashout”. Turning right into the house following Claudia there was a smaller version of the game where the kitchen table would be. Then, down a hallway filled with cigarette smoke were tables and monitors for people to play slot games, blackjack, poker, and any other game they could acquire. After a few hours of watching people do meth, and throw their money away at the illegal casino built by crackheads; Claudia was ready to go. In the car she spoke with me about her plans with her friend Dee who we were going to meet. They wanted to open their own slaphouse. She explained to me how it would work; “you start with someone who owns the house or business, a normal person and they never even have to go to it but still get 25% or so of all the money. Then you have your king, the guy who brings in the machines from Hong Kong he gets a cut of all the machines sold to the house/business owners place. Then there are the house keepers, these are the people who live in the rooms of the house (usually people who have nothing to lose). They are given 20 dollars or so a day to play the games. But their responsibilities are to take care of the house and cash people out when needed, as well as run the pawn business they have. If you bring a brand new item to a slaphouse you get 50-75% of what that item was originally worth.” This encouraged robbery, large walkouts, and receipt/check fraud. Claudia told me information that police don’t even know about…how a slaphouse is run. Her and Dee were going to open a slaphouse and I knew at that moment I was never going to be free.
We pulled up to this beat up Motel in Westminster California. Claudia tucked her meth pipe in her sock and grabbed me to go in with her. It was time to meet Dee. Dee was a close friend of hers who had just gotten out of jail. We walked inside to a hotboxed room and Dee with his girlfriend Ellie smoking meth and cigarettes. Claudia looked at me with her fucked up smile and introduced me as her girlfriend to Dee and Ellie. I knew I wasn’t getting out any time soon. She reached for their crack pipes when instead, they decided to do lines in the bathroom. I was left outside with Ellie. I waited for the bathroom door to shut behind Dee and Claudia before running towards the exit of the room. I wanted out. Right when I reached the door Ellie cried out to Claudia “your girlfriend is having a lot of anxiety you should help her.” Claudia then came out of the bathroom and popped a full Xanax in my mouth. I was awake for as long as I can remember but after a moment I couldn’t register what I was doing, saying, or thinking. The Xanax took over and I was mentally gone. I woke up in a completely different place wearing completely different clothes. We were in another slap house. This one was a café right off the main road. However, you were supposed to enter from the back. This house I especially hated due to the fact that they paid the Westminster police dept. to keep them running.
Her addictions were power, money, and meth. But they were also her weakness. She felt that she was being followed by special detectives, she felt that every person in a car was a person who was either undercover or in a gang. The fact that she collected money from a gang labeled “Asian boys” to take me to Tijuana as a sex slave didn’t help her paranoia. Now she really had people after her, and I had people after me. At that point in time my future read ‘dead’ or ‘sex slave’. We stayed in this Asian man’s house. He rents off little studio apartments through his website that is written only in Asian. Good thing Dee was around to translate and get us a place. The place was only scary because I was there with Claudia. It was behind this slap house and you have to go down this tiny alley and through a gate to get in. When you walk in there is a bathroom to your right, a queen size bed to your left, a small closet with sliding doors straight out and to the left, then to the right of that was a small TV above a mini fridge and table. In the right corner of the room there was another door, to the rest of the house, but it was locked and taped shut with clear duct tape. The room was creepy and cold and I did not want to be stuck in it with Claudia. But here I was. She told me it was time to shower. You know, before Dee got there. She opened the bathroom door and showed me my way in. I tried closing the door but she told me I wasn’t allowed to..for my safety. She told me I had to shower with the door open. I do not like my body, let alone do I like other people seeing and judging my body. I told her I did not want to shower and she began to take my clothes off for me. My body was no longer MY body. It was hers. She took that from me. She took me from me. I’m gone.
End Of Book One...More to come :)