She’s tempting, beautiful, wearing a provocatively revealing swimsuit, and most importantly, alone. She notices me approaching and glances at me with an unmistakable look of seductive interest in her eyes.

“I’d like you to share dinner and a bottle of Champagne with me this evening.”

She smiles, “You’re quite a bold one. I don’t even know you. Still, how do I know you’re not a serial killer?”

Marcus paused to laugh and asked, “What are the odds of that? Meeting a serial killer while on vacation, especially in an ancient fortress high in the mountains of Mexico.”

Her smile momentarily faded, then returned even brighter than before, “Well, if you’re not planning to off me before we finish the appetizer, I‘d love to join you for dinner and Champagne. By the way, I’m Bridget.”

Pausing, Bridget adds, “You’re quite the lady killer, aren’t you?”

Smiling, Marcus responded, “No fears, lovely lady. Indicted, but never convicted.”

“Seriously, a lady killer?”

Marcus laughed evilly, “But of course, as I said, never convicted. I’m Marcus.”

As dinner progressed, a second bottle of Champagne followed the first. Watching as the waiter opened that second bottle and refilled my glass, “If I didn’t know better, Sir. I would think you’re trying to get me drunk.”

“Drunk Bridget? Never. Besides, where would be the fun in that? I’m merely trying to overcome any lingering inhibitions you might have before escorting you down to this fortress’s dungeon, where I intend to spend a few delightful hours slowly torturing you to death.”

Picking up my glass, I paused for another sip of Champagne, “Well, I’ll admit that’s a delightfully tempting offer. As for overcoming any inhibitions, I believe the first bottle of Champagne pleasantly accomplished that task. Shall we go, Marcus?”

Honestly, I thought we’d be heading up to his guest suite. Instead, Marcus led me through a hidden entrance, and rather than going upstairs, we descended the steep, winding, torch-lit steps that eventually ended in a short corridor with a heavy-looking locked door. Unsurprisingly, a lock for which he had the key.

Entering that torch-lit chamber, I felt my heartbeat quicken at the sight of its diabolically evil furnishings. Turning, I helplessly watched as Marcus closed and locked the dungeon’s entrance, “I’d imagined this would be just another creepy old dungeon. A place with a few old jail cells and perhaps somewhere you might string me up and whip me. However, I never expected this, a horrifyingly well-equipped medieval torture chamber.”

Marcus saw a faint smile of evil anticipation slowly appearing on Bridget’s face as she continued, “Well, as I recall, you did promise to torture me to death.”

Hours later...

Marcus, the castle’s owner, having disposed of Bridget’s mutilated remains in the catacombs deep beneath the dungeon, took the hidden staircase to the owner’s suite that occupied the castle’s top two floors.

Surprisingly, it turned out that Bridget was quite the masochist. Even at the end, Marcus was still unsure if Bridget had been screaming in agony or ecstasy as she died. But then again, as he’d discovered long ago, when torturing a real masochist to death, it’s often impossible to tell the difference...