Next: Easy; As It Was Before

“Today’s children should be taught the importance of family!”

A sobbing Regina Childs exclaimed through shaky breath as she pulled her handkerchief to her nose and blowed once more before wiping her eyes with the same piece of cloth. Sitting across from her was her teenage daughter, Narumi, whose head was hung in shame. And for a good reason too! She had been missing for almost a month now; one month that was filled with depression and hopelessness for the sobbing woman. The teen looked indifferent, a shadow of a smile at her lips. Or maybe Regina was imagining it.
“Why did you run away? I know that you haven’t been having the best year, but running away is never the solution!” She turned to the tall man who had brought her darling seventeen year old back to her. He had apparently found her in the forest, walking in the opposite direction of her house.
“Thank-you so very much, Mr.…?” Regina flushed light red, forgetting if she had asked the man's name.
“Carlson. Joey Carlson.” The man smiled at the mother, his dark eyes viewing her with something...sinister. Maybe it was just his personality...Shaking her head, she smiled. While Narumi had been away, Regina had learned to view people in a deeper perspective. And something was off about the man lounging against the door.
“Yes. Mr. Carlson. Thank-you for bringing my daughter back home; I don't know how to repay you. I was very worried about her. I thought maybe she had d-di-died...” She sobbed once more into the tattered snot rag.
Looking at her daughter, she sniffed. "Now, Narumi, what do you say?" she could barely get her words out.
Looking at her mother with an almost weary glance, she dry sobbed. "M-mom...I'm so sorry! Thank-you Mr.Carlson for bringing me back! I missed you so much, Mom!" she had lept over the table at this time and was hugging her mother close. She sobbed into her shoulder.
Looking up at the man, she gasped. "Oh! I forgot! I have the reward for you. I said that I would give five thousand to anyone who brought my dearest baby back. So please, take it. I won't let you leave without it." she tried to smile, but it turned out looking more like a grimace. Pushing the money towards him, she cleared her throat.
“Thank-you, Mrs. Childs.” He said, smiling. "But I could not." For a few minutes, the two adults fought over the money. In the end, he ended up pocketing it and walking out the door. Narumi's eyes followed him cautiously.

---

Narumi packed her small bags, a slight knowing smile on her face. The bags that she was packing did not hold any clothes or food, or any necessities for that matter. It held anything of value that had been laying around the house. Quietly exiting the house through the window, she checked the clock on the small table. 2:23 a.m.; meaning she still had a few minutes. Sliding off of the roof and landing on the ground with a slight 'oof!' sound, she looked up in time to see a car stop by the mail box. Smiling, she skipped over to the passenger side door, getting in.

“Hello, Mr. Carlson.” She mocked, kissing the man on his smiling cheek. She leaned back in her seat and laughed, pulling off of her long black haired wig that had made her resemble Narumi Childs. Once again, the plan had worked; it was successful once more. Once more they had out-smarted regular people. She hung her feet out the window, laying her head on the man's shoulder. She beamed up at him, uttering a single word. "Next."





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