Walking along Stanbury Street, Josie's mind was re-playing today's events. Another day of being bullied and name-called. Four-eyes, Brainiac, Bookworm . That was from the girls at Tremont High. The guys looked right past her.
No matter. Writers work alone. It's the price of the passion: butt-in-chair discipline. She loved her characters and lived her life in their shoes. It was far more exciting than her home life with her socialite stepmother and absentee workaholic father.
She may not be invited to parties or belong to the in-crowd, but she traveled to exotic places, rode galloping steeds and kissed tall, dark heroes-at least, her characters did.
Josie knew she was destined to be a writer; it's all she wanted to do. She spent hours in her room completely absorbed as storied ideas waxed and waned, ebbed and flowed. Her thoughts would fill her creative sponge and then she would wring in out onto paper. Most she kept secreted away from prying eyes.
Deep in thought, Josie didn't hear the rusty, blue van until it was right beside her. The door flew open and she was jerked inside as it raced away. The driver never looked her way. The man in the backseat holding her down wore a stocking over his face. She screamed as she struggled with him.
“Shut her up!”
The last thing she remembered was a cloth forced over her nose and mouth and the stench of chloroform.
The worst headache of her fourteen years woke her into a dark room with a cold concrete floor. It was quiet.. It took her a few minutes to gather her thoughts and remember what had happened. The only light came from a small window high above her head. Hearing keys rattling against the metal door, Josie jumped to her feet.
“Here.” The rough man pushed a cold sandwich and Coke into her hands.
“Gotta keep you alive, at least until the ransom is paid.” He left slamming the door as he went.
Ransom? My stepmother won't pay a ransom; she's probably involved. She'd love to see me out of the way, securing a more prominent place in Father's will. I need an escape plan. He's too big for me to subdue. Must use my brain...have to outsmart him.
When he brings the telephone...they always make a telephone call. He'll insist I speak to Father. That's it! I won't speak. Father won't pay if he doesn't hear my voice. I'll have the upper hand.
Before Josie could finish the Coke, the man came in with a telephone. Thrusting it into her face he whispered savagely, “Speak.”
She shook her head. “Speak!” Josie nodded again. Grabbing her by the hair, he forced her face against the phone. “SPEAK or I'll cut your throat here and now!”.
Um-mm. This is a tight spot. What now? Need to re-think this. I better hurry home before I forget this plot. Fallon...that's her name. Long red hair. Her father's super rich. He'll pay any amount for her safety. Maybe her abductor could be handsome? No, her rescuer... someone who has been in love with her and afraid she would reject him. Yes, that's it. Oh, yes. Her father will see the truth, change his ways and spend more time with her. Paris. This takes place in Paris. Fallon had been sent away to boarding school by her evil stepmother. Yes, now I've got it. .
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