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the kidnapper's basement
Susan Smith sat up on the ragged cot in which she was given to sleep on and looked around the dark, cold, rat-infested basement. She saw pipes rusted from age, cracks in the wall, and a very dim light bulb dangling down from the ceiling. Then she heard someone coming from upstairs. "Oh God," she silently prayed, "please let that be the police or at least someone, anyone who can save me." Her hopes of freedom soon came down like a crashing plane as the door opened and it was her masked kidnapper.
"I need you to do a favor for me Susan," he said wickedly as he gave her a piece of paper with words on it and set down a tape recorder. "Read it out loud."
Susan was reluctant to read it, but was scared at what may happen if she disobeyed her assailant. She read out loud in a voice so trembling it could hardly be understood, "Mom, this is Susan, I'm scared Mom, please pay the ransom money. I don't want to die." Tears started streaming down Susan's face as she realized just how sick the masked man really was. Whether her mother paid the ransom or not, he was going to kill her.
the Smith's house
Amber Alert: Fourteen-year-old Susan Smith was abducted on her way back from school two days ago on November 5th, 2009. An eyewitness claims to have seen a suspicious-looking vehicle around the site of the kidnapping during the hour Susan is believed to have gone missing. The victim's mother called police after Susan didn't arrive home for dinner that night. The victim is caucasian, has brown hair, brown eyes, is five feet tall, and weighs one hundred and twenty pounds. If you see Susan, please call the Houston, Texas Police Department. This has been Bob Nickelson with CNN news, good night everyone.
Scarlet Smith turned the television off. "How long until you find my Susie?" asked Scarlet with tearful eyes.
"Well," the police officer inside her house began, "I'm going to be honest with you Ms. Smith. We're not even sure if Susan will be coming home."
As if on cue, the phone rang just as the officer finished speaking. Scarlet grabbed the telephone in a heartbeat, hoping it would be Susan. "Hello?" Scarlet said anxiously. "Who is this?" The voice on the other end of the line was a man's voice, deep and disguised with what seemed to be a rag over his mouth.
"My name is none of your business, however, I would think your daughter is," the man said with a chuckle.
Scarlet's heart skipped a beat and felt as though she would faint, but she quickly pulled herself together. "Where is she?" Scarlet asked impatiently. "I demand you tell me this instant!"
"It is not you that will be demanding me," the man said, "but it is I who will be demanding you. If you ever want to see your precious Susan again, it will cost you one hundred thousand dollars."
"How do I know if she's okay?" asked Scarlet worriedly. "Let me talk to her." She almost went into complete shock as she listened to the voice on the other end of the line.
"Mom, this is Susan, I'm scared Mom, please pay the ransom money. I don't want to die."
Things seemed a little odd about Mr. Johnson to his fifteen-year-old neighbor, Timothy Cross. Ever since Mr. Johnson moved in one month earlier, Timothy thought of him as the biggest maniac in the universe. Timothy would often come outside after hearing somebody yelling, only to find it was Mr. Johnson, shouting into thin air that his landlord was money-hungry and that one day he'll "take care" of him. On November 7th, four days after Susan Smith went missing, Timothy was practicing his baseball pitches in his backyard. One pitch accidentally went over the fence and landed at the side of Mr. Johnson's house, next to the small basement window. Timothy went over to pick up his baseball and thought he heard something as he bent down to pick it up. He brushed aside some small plants and looked inside the basement window. What he saw next seemed completely unrealistic. It was a crying brown-haired girl not much younger than himself and she looked so familiar. After taking a moment to collect his thoughts, he remembered that he saw this girl at school. That girl was Susan Smith.
the basement window
Susan Smith had been crying nonstop since her masked kidnapper made her read the ransom message to her mother. It seemed as if she had cried enough tears to fill the entire basement. She cried even more when she began thinking of her mother. "Mom must be so lonely without me," Susan said quietly. "First Dad ran out on her two years ago and now I'm gone too. Mom has lost all of her family." Susan had given up all hope of freedom, but then she heard a tiny knock outside the basement window. Susan couldn't believe her eyes. It was a boy she had seen at school, Timothy, who was knocking. Susan leapt up from where she sat and ran to the window. "Let me out of here," Susan mouthed to Timothy.
Timothy tried opening the window, but it was nailed shut. Looking around for something to break the glass with, he found his baseball. Timothy signaled to Susan to stand back and pitched the baseball straight into the window.
To some people, the sound of glass breaking would be alarming, but to Susan it was as beautiful a sound as singing birds. It was the sound of freedom.
"Give me your hand," said Timothy, "hurry."
Susan grabbed his hand and felt as though she was holding the hand of her savior. She was halfway out the window when something started pulling her back in.
"Where do you think you're going?" asked the angry kidnapper.
"Kick him!" Timothy yelled to Susan. "Kick him hard!"
"I'm trying!" she shouted. Susan was being pulled so tightly she felt like a toy being fought over by two children. Despite how hard Timothy pulled, he was no match for a grown man. Susan was pulled back into the basement and Timothy came tumbling down beside her.
"Look who decided to join us," sneered the masked kidnapper.
in the basement
Timothy was about to grab Susan and make a dash for the door, but saw the kidnapper had already shut it and was now blocking it.
"You shouldn't have come here Timothy," spoke the kidnapper in a low voice. "What you did was trespassing. Now, not only must I kill Susan, but you as well."
Timothy was shocked beyond belief. Not only did he fear for his own life, but for the life of Susan.
"I won't let you," said Timothy courageously. "I won't let you kill Susan."
"We'll see about that," said the kidnapper as he grabbed a gun out of his pocket.
Timothy quickly saw the gun and looked around for a weapon of his own, the only thing he found was the baseball he used to break the window. Just as the kidnapper lifted his gun, Timothy picked up the baseball and threw it at the kidnapper's head harder than he's ever thrown a baseball in his life. The kidnapper fell to the floor with a thud and had blood coming out of one of his ears.
"I think you killed him," gasped Susan.
"I didn't mean to kill him, I was just protecting us," said Timothy nervously.
Susan and Timothy both went over to the masked kidnapper's body. Timothy told Susan it was probably Mr. Johnson, since this was his basement and he knew Timothy's name. Just to make sure he was right, Timothy slowly removed the kidnapper's mask.
"Oh my gosh," Susan said with a face as white as a ghost, "that's my father."
Everything was figured out within the next few days exactly what happened and why. Susan's father, Mr. Smith, left his family two years ago saying that he hated having a family and spent all his money on luxury items. Mr. Smith soon found out he was bankrupt and devised a devious plan to get money -- kidnap his own daughter for ransom. So he rented a house in Houston, Texas and changed his name to Mr. Johnson. Mr. Smith (or Mr. Johnson) didn't expect for Timothy to throw a baseball so hard at him while saving Susan. Mr. Smith didn't die, but he had a concussion and was also diagnosed with a mental disorder. Mr. Smith now resides in Houston, Texas Mental Hospital and Susan was returned home to her mother.