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Paralyzed with fear, thought Linda, Would’ve been a better approach to the situation at hand.
The sun was baking hot, although Linda did not feel it. She tried to feel the heat, alert that sense, but she couldn’t. Linda ran through tall yellow grass that was swaying in the warm wind without a care. She, however, was not as nonchalant. On a normal day, Linda would’ve brought her friends to this field to fool around or just hang out like normal kids. She might’ve even brought a book and read. Although today, her kidnapper was running after her, thankfully having trouble snatching her in this field.
Linda clutched her phone which was, in many ways, her only defense. If she dropped it, he would pick it up and all would be lost. He would find her house phone number, her address too. Linda’s friends would be in jeopardy. They would be texting some random person who would want more than just their money.
“Instead of bolting” she scolded “I should’ve slowly backed away into the pizzeria that was just behind me!”
Suddenly, Linda felt her foot sink into something sickeningly warm and gooey. Reluctantly, she looked down, fearing anything that would slow her down.
“Oh God. Oh God God God. Help me!” she said, looking towards the sky in desperation.
Linda had come across a clearing. Unfortunately, she could not run across the thick mud that occupied the space, without sinking into it. Her eyes darted across the new landscape looking for anyway of escape besides going around.
“You have to be kidding me” she muttered to herself, trudging around the swamp – ish place. She had to flail her arms to give her momentum so she wouldn’t trip. The mud was the thicker than it looked. It was also infested with flies.
The heat was creeping up on Linda. Her hands were clammy. Her back was damp. But… her face was only slightly sweaty.
There was a rustling behind her. Her captivator was getting closer. She could smell his presence. The stench of sweat, blood and whatever else this man associated himself with could not go unnoticed.
She made an extra effort to speed herself up, trying to beat the gunky mud. Her arms were swinging wildly. At one specifically muddy spot, Linda swung her arm around with such force, it sent her phone flying a couple of feet and plopped down into the mud. She froze in disbelief. Her phone was gone. Linda’s mouth was gaping. She could have called somebody… 911 or something… but she couldn’t anymore. Linda scooped up some mud, which sent flies scattering, and threw it over her phone. Hiding it was the first step, running the next. Her only fear was that the area where her phone had fallen would look unnaturally lumpy and her cell phone could be discovered. Linda didn’t care anymore. She wasn’t worried, couldn’t worry, about that.
“The yellow building…” she said vaguely as if she were trying to force a memory to resurface from the depths of her brain.
There it was in the distance, a building yellow with age. It used to be an Inn which housed all the rich who came to visit the quaint, small town.
At the moment, Linda did not care which historical figures supposedly stayed at the Inn. She knew she had to get there and fast. She’d be able to find some desperately needed help.
She made a bee line for it, one foot in the mud, one foot out. Her medium length, red pony tail was slapping her neck. She was forced to limp which slowed her down, adding to her struggle. If she wasn’t sly and sneaky this person would take her.
“And then what would he do to me?” Linda said aloud. Her mind was racing with disturbing images of the intentions this man held.
Linda kept repeating to herself “The Inn. Get to the Inn,” as a personal mantra to keep her going.
As she got there, Linda stole a glance behind her.
There he was in all his insane glory. Thick hair smeared with mud and garbage. The teeth he had left over were blackened. For a fat man, he was awfully fast.
She had stumbled upon this person around the local pizzeria as she threw out some garbage behind the restaurant. Linda had actually wanted to escape a heated argument between her and her family, but wound up escaping this mentally unstable, homeless person instead.
She raced around the corner of the Inn. She pictured a map of the town in her head. The Laundromat was the next place to go. Newly discovered adrenaline coursed through her veins. She was not going to let him get to her. Ever.
Linda was thinking about was how the tears falling on her face was making her look. It was her given personality that made her bolt away from the psychopath. If she had just backed away in the other direction things could have been so different…
Linda felt a scratch at her shirt.
With a burst of energy, she screamed “GET! AWAY! FROM! ME!” She started to cry.
“I need to stop thinking. Just get to the Laundromat and loose this guy!” Linda told herself.
She ran faster and faster until she felt like she would trip over her own feet and succumb to the lunatic. But it was all part of the plan.
Too bad this part of town was desolate. That made it seem even more unrealistic.
Linda thought about her family and what she had said to them just before she left, making her feel even more miserable. She was just stubborn, that was all. There was no way to say sorry anymore. No way to listen to their concerns and ideas without yelling at their innocent faces.
“I’m going to get back to them, and when I do, I will never act like I just did” she vowed. “I was so… so… inconsiderate of the people who loved and cared about me. Everyone was staring…”
Linda’s thought wandered until she came upon the details of her kidnapper.
She had seen him carrying a brick or a thick piece of wood. Any moment he could throw it at her head and drag her into some dark alley far, far away. She let her emotions seep onto her face. The sadness, anger, frustration and shock were all there, on display, so the people watching could see the emotional turmoil she was going through.
The Laundromat was right there. Its blue sign was flickering with white light. The bricks were brown and worn. Unconsciously she slowed down, smiling at her victory.
Relief flooded Linda’s face. But it didn’t last for long.
The Lunatic grabbed her arm. Her heart fell all the way down to her feet.
“LET ME GO!!” shrieked Linda.
“Not after you made me run for so long. You have to pay for it” he said with a malicious smile.
The smell of his breath made Linda gag. She had been so close to freedom and safety.
She was not going to give up just yet. Linda squirmed and bit his arm, her braces cutting his skin. He howled with pain but didn’t let go. The metallic taste of blood was in her mouth, but she didn’t stop to care.
Linda screamed and yelled; she did everything her teachers in her elementary school had told her to do. No one seemed to acknowledge her.
Linda had one more idea, her last hope. She grabbed hold of the door to the Laundromat with her free hand.
“What. Are. You. Doing?!” said the homeless man through gritted teeth. Linda was putting up a vicious fight.
She twisted around and threw her kidnapper into the Laundromat for everyone to see…
It was deserted.
Linda ran deeper into the store, hoping to find the manager or some other human being. Much to her dismay, the man caught her foot. She kept running; there was no way she wouldn’t see her family again. She had to say sorry, had to express her love for the amazing family which she had taken for granted.
As she moved out of the view of the cameras, Anna relaxed herself and wiped off the ‘tears’ on her face. A thick layer of dirt came off with them, mixed with a little fluid that was carefully placed on her forehead so it could ‘slip’ down while she was running. Sweat.
The abductor let go of her. They both shared a quiet laugh.
“CUT!” called the director. “Good emotions Anna! The crying really made me sympathetic towards your… desperate state. Very convincing. David, you need more make up. We’re going to do this one more time. Keep it up guys!”
“Actually” started Anna, the actress playing Linda “I have some input on my reaction to the mad man I’m supposed to be ‘running away’ from. Maybe I should seem a little more… paralyzed with fear.”