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Surprise!

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A white van came speeding down the street. Nick began to walk a little faster. As the van approached, Nick’s hands began sweating. His legs started to get weaker. He began to jog. The white van jumped over the curb and screeched to a halt. The doors opened as two masked men, wearing all black, came sprinting towards Nick. Scared and shocked at what was taking place, he tried to cut through the backyard of the neighboring house. Nick hurdled over the fence, slid under the clothesline, and leaped over a fallen down oak tree. The masked men followed, and quickly were within feet of Nick. In a final attempt to shake the kidnappers, he attempted to climb over an old brick wall, about six feet high. The kidnappers were breathing hard and it seemed as though he may get away. His hands grasped the top of the wall and he easily pulled the rest of his body up. He glanced back at the pursuing men and felt a sensation of premature relief. His house—his well-lit, locked-up house—was within a block. Just at the top of the wall, Nick’s feet fell from under him and he fell face-first to the ground, as one of the beaten-up bricks on top crumbled after him.

Nick regained consciousness but had lost his vision—or so it seemed. He could hear the distinct voices of three different women. Grimacing, he tried to lift his arm with little success. Then, he remembered what had happened. His kidnappers weren’t men, but what sounded like young women. The blindfold scratched against his eyelids as he tried to get a view of his surroundings. Separating his hands no more than an inch, he noticed that his hands were tied up. He couldn’t make out any images, but could feel the rumble of an old van engine from underneath his seat.

Nick licked his lips and coughed, as he tried to get rid of the dryness in his mouth. The women cursed under their breath and before he could say a single word, Nick was grabbed and pushed to the floor of the vehicle. He fought the kidnappers with all of his might, but struggled to accomplish anything. The taste of sweaty cotton flooded into his mouth, as he was gagged with what could only be described as the most foul smelling sport sock found in a high-school locker room. His stomach turned upside-down, just as he started coughing again. Was this the end?

The kidnappers laughed at a radio commercial. The relaxation was frightening. They were clearly trained professionals with no intention of being caught. A montage of scenes from every horror movie Nick had ever seen began running through his mind. Tears began soaking into the blindfold and he began trembling at the thought of what was next.

One of the kidnappers was stroking his hair as if she was petting a family cat.

“Everything will be okay,” she whispered slowly, her lips practically touching his ear. Nick jerked his head from her hand and tried to scream, but nothing came out, his shirt now feeling as if it had been left outside in a rainstorm overnight.

“We’re here,” announced the woman who must have been driving, “bring him in.” The door opened and the familiar voices of two men came closer and closer. The men grabbed him, one on each side, and dragged him up a set of stairs, through a door, and into a silent room. A woman’s hand stroked his cheek before she placed her fingers around the knot of the blindfold.

“Ready?” she whispered again into his ear, Her voice sounding familiar, too. The sweaty sock was taken out of Nick’s mouth. The woman separated the two ends of the blindfold and the knot was undone. The blindfold was ripped away from his face, and Nick reluctantly opened his eyes. This was it…

“SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK!”

Every one of his friends and his entire family stared back at him with enormous smiles. His father and uncle let go of his arms, but he lacked the ability to move. Still in awe, he turned around to see his girlfriend and his two sisters, dressed in black. His girlfriend approached him, grinning ear-to-ear, and stroked his hair.
“Did we surprise you?” she asked.





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