The Deadliness of Strangers

January 23, 2009
By Lauren Sobczak, Coatesville, PA

It was just like any other day. My twin brother, Luke, and I were walking home from school. Luke
said we should try a different way home because the old way was too long to walk. I told him we
shouldn't go a different way without asking mum which way to go, but you know boys, they always
want to break the rules. As we were walking I heard a rustling in the bushes. "I don't like this
at all, Luke. You know we shouldn't be here without mum's permission." "Lydia, we aren't
always going to be able to ask mum for advice," Luke told me. The way he said it was like he was
talking to a child. "Fine. But I do hope that we could walk faster. I am pining for an
croissant," I said with dreamy eyes. I was very hungry. Luke laughed at my childish behavior and
walked faster. Even though he was only ten minutes older then I, he acted as if he was 10 years
older. There was another rustle in the bushes. I was about to excuse it as the wind when a man with
a mask jumped out and covered my mouth so I couldn't scream. He threw me over his shoulders and
began to carry me away. I bit into the man's thumb and he let out a shrill cry of pain. When he
let go I yelled out for help. I glanced back at Luke and at first he looked unperturbed but then the
realization showed on his face. He started running towards me but the man was too fast for my petite
brother. "Luke!" I shouted. "Luke, you must help me! Help me, Luke!" "I'll save you,
Lydia," Luke shouted as he lunged for the man. Once again the man was too fast for my brother. He
fell on the ground as the man carried me to his beat up car. The man threw me into the front seat of
the car. I looked back at my helpless brother running on the path. I glared at the stain on the
street from where the car oil seeped out of the engine. The car began to drive away as I stared at
my brother with tears running down my cheeks. The thought of never seeing him again gouged out my
heart. I could feel the car start to speed up. I gently shut my eyes and prayed for this to be an
atrocious nightmare. I felt a tremor of fear run through my whole body. The car suddenly stopped and
the car door burst opened. The man reached in to pick me up. I recoiled at the sight of his hands
reaching towards me with a ski mask over his face. "Please don't hurt me. If you let me go I
promise I won't tell anyone. Just please don't harm me." The man was smirking at my
beseeching. He grabbed me by my hair and yanked me up onto his shoulders like he had done before. He
carried me to an elusive shack in the woods. He threw me down on the front porch. He grabbed my
ankles and began pulling me inside. I screamed at the pain running up and down my back. Once we were
inside he let my feet drop to the floor with a sickening thwank. I grabbed my feet and began to cry.
He started walking for the door when I started shouting. "You will never get away with this. My
mum and dad will capture you and they will take you to the London Jail," I screamed at the back of
his head. He began to turn around. The way he did it was horrifying. His head slowly turned to face
me and at the sight of those menacing eyes I couldn't bear to look at him any longer. "I will
get away with this. Do you want to know why? Once I get the money from your family I will be rich
and then I will set you free. They wouldn't want their precious daughter, Lydia, to be harmed.
They will give me what I ask for. Once I get that I will let you go. But if you tell anyone about
the things I did to you, what I look like, or where I kept you, I will find you and make sure you
never tell another soul about the misfortune I have caused you," he said brazenly. At that he let
out a cackling laugh and slammed the door behind me. I grabbed my knees and curled up into the
corner. I shut my eyes and once again prayed that this would all end. The door burst open again and
I noticed that it was dark outside. I realized I must have fallen asleep. The man was carrying a
tray of food. He set it down in front of me and walked back to sit on a chair. "Eat up," he
said. "That is going to be your only food for a long time." I glared at him but I didn't move
anywhere nearer to the grotesque pile of mush on the plate in front of me. I looked away from the
plate and stared out the window. When it looked like he wasn't going to leave unless I ate, I
stuck my finger in the disgusting food and licked it off. I was overwhelmed with a sudden sense of
qualm. I grabbed my gut when my stomach lurched. I stared back at the man wondering if he had
poisoned my food. "Oh come on. My cooking isn't that bad," he said with a chuckle. I pushed
the plate away and stared out the window. When he got the message that I wasn't going to eat
anymore he began walking towards the door. Right as he was about to leave he turned around and gave
me a menacing smile. "As soon as your parents decide to start cooperating I will let you go," he
said and slammed the door behind me. Without knowing what I was doing, I grabbed the tray of food
and threw it at the door. The food oozed down the wood and made a puddle on the floor. I felt sick
to my stomach. No one would ever find me. I would be stuck in this house with this awful man for the
rest of my life. I began to sob. I moved back and used the wooden bar on the wall as a bolster. I
closed my eyes and prayed that this would end. The next day the man came into the room angrier than
usual. "Your parents do not believe that I am taking care of you and will not give me the money
unless I prove to you that you are fine," he deplored. "I really didn't want to do it this way
but if they insist then it must be done." I didn't know what he meant but suddenly he reached
down and grabbed my hair and began pulling me towards the door. He pulled me across the ground until
we arrived at a small house a few blocks from the shack. He pulled me inside and threw me into a
small closet. I heard him talking to someone but when I looked underneath the door there was only
one pair of feet. The door burst open and he pulled me out. "Someone wants to say 'Hello' to
you," he said with a smile. He pointed me towards a room at the end of the hall. I slowly walked
down the corridor and approached the room with caution. In the room there was nothing but a small
computer with a video camera on top of the screen and a desk. There was a woman on the computer
screen. At once I recognized who it was. "Mum, oh mum," I yelled through the computer. I was
overcome with emotion. I began to sob. "Calm down darling. Your father and I are going to get you
and arrest that evil man." "That's not likely," the man said from the door. He was so quiet
I hadn't realized he was there. He came up towards me and pushed me out of the way from the
computer. I heard my mom shout from the screen. "Look lady, once you give me the money I will let
your precious daughter leave," he said annoyingly. "Fine. I'll give you whatever you want."
"How much money do you want?" He put his finger up to his chin and pondered this question. "I
would like three million pounds please," he said with a cackle "That is impossible," my mum
exclaimed. "We don't have that kind of money." "I know you have much more than that so
don't lie to me." He jumped up from the computer and marched over towards me. He took his hand
and pulled it back behind his head. He let it go and hit me across the face. I let out a gasp and
reached up to my cheek which was know as red as a beet. "Ok, I will give you a million but that is
all," she said desperately. He smiled and slapped me across the face again. I could hear my mother
weeping from the computer. "FINE! I will give you three million," she exclaimed "Let me see
you fill out a withdrawal slip for the bank," the man said. She let out an exasperated sigh and
held up the paper towards the computer screen. He perused the slip to make sure that it was exactly
what he wanted. "Good. Now I will tell you where to put the money so I may receive it," he said
with a sneer. "Just hold on while I dispose of this monster." He walked over to me, grabbed my
hair and pulled me out into the hall. I could hear my mum screaming while he pulled me out onto the
lawn and down the path to the shack. "Now stay in here and be quiet like a good little girl," he
said. "As if you had a choice" He walked out of the room and shut the door. I looked at the door
and the pile of residue from where I had thrown my food. I used the wooden bar again as a pillow and
shut my eyes. "Lydia Lydia LYDIA!!!" I woke to someone's hand clamped over my mouth. The
person seemed like they had been shouting my name for a long time. I couldn't see who the person
was as I lay prone on the floor. I assumed it was the man but when I turned around it was my
brother, Luke "Luke! I am so happy to se-----" He put his hand back over my mouth and put one
finger up to his lips. "You have to be quiet or he will find us," he said. "He doesn't stay
in this house. He has his own house a few blocks away," I whispered. "Well, he is not staying
there now because he is right outside the door." "WHAT!" I screamed before I was able to stop
myself. "Be quiet!" he shouted at me. He stood up and then reached down to help me. I stood up
and had to lean against him so he could sustain me. I hadn't eaten for days and I was becoming
faint. He helped me walk to the door. "I have to sit down," I said breathlessly "Are you okay?
What did he do to you?" He looked at me with curiosity. I remembered the day when I saw him
running down the road to try and save me from the man. "Yes. I am fine. Just help me," I said as
I stood up. I got up and leaned against him as we walked. We got to door and he opened it very
cautiously. "Are you sure he is still out there?" I asked "Only one way to find out." He
opened the door a tiny crack and you could see the man without his mask sitting in a chair asleep.
Luke opened the door a little more and it creaked. The man moved in his sleep. Luke pushed the door
open wide enough for us to walk out of. On the way out, Luke grabbed a piece of wood from my room
and walked up to the man. "What are you doing?" I exclaimed. "If we just leave, the police
will never catch him. We have to bring him to the police." He didn't wait for my answer. He took
the piece of wood and hit the man really hard in the shin. The man woke up to find his prisoner and
her brother standing in front of him with a weapon. "Now what do you think you are doing, young
lady? Don't you remember what I said about ratting me out to the police," he said with a smile.
"Don't worry about him, Lydia. Go wait for me outside," Luke said as he gave me a little shove
towards the door. "I am not leaving you," I said He wouldn't take no for an answer. This time
he forcefully shoved me out the door and locked it. "Let me back in!" I shouted as I banged on
the door. I couldn't hear very much from the inside but then the door was unlocked and my brother
came walking out. All he said was that he ousted the man threw the back window of the house. "I
rode over on my bike but I ran over some glass so now the tires are porous. We are going to have to
walk home," Luke said calmly "How far are we from home and what about him," I said as I
pointed towards the door. "Don't worry about him. I took care of him," he said reassuringly. I
smiled at Luke because was just so happy to see him again. I gave him a playful shove and walked
down the road. Before I knew it, we were back at home. I walked up to the house that would have my
mother and father waiting inside. Nothing had changed. The house was still bright from the ornate
decorations for the Christmas season. My mother caught sight of me and ran towards me to give me a
hug. "Oh sweetie are you all right?" she asked as she buried her tears in my filthy sweater.
"I have dinner all ready for you. It is your favorite." I held on as tight as I could to her and
walked with her to the dining room. I looked back at my brother and mouthed the words "Thank
You!" He smiled. "Honey, I want you to tell me all about it," my mom said with a comforting
hand on my shoulder. "Okay, it all started when I was walking home from school on Thursday"

The End

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