This is one of my favorite challenges:
Slowly opening his eyes, the lad realized it was daytime. The crack of light was not from the moon any longer but the warm sun. He needed that tiny sliver, as he huddled closer to it, trying to receive as much warmth as possible. It was a wonder he didn’t freeze to death the night before. In his small blurred vision he was able to make out some of his surroundings.
Joseph only remembered walking home with a bag full of holiday treats, hot bread, cheese, fruit and a bit of chocolate. Suddenly he was grabbed and thrown into a car, knocked unconscious and woke up blindfolded and hurting. Shoved into this new home of an old stable, he was again knocked out.
The warming sunlight was not enough to keep him from shivering. He needed a fire or heater. He pulled the dry straw around him, curling up to retain his natural body heat. Why was this happening to him? What could they possibly want? He had no money, no rich parents to provide a ransom, nothing really, except himself. His thoughts then turned to the diabolical way kidnapped victims were treated, the rare survival, and fear started to creep up on him, sending a new set of shivers up his spine. His imagination joined in the fearsomeness and tears welled in his eyes. He tried to shake it off, to calm himself. He needed to make a plan to escape.
Joseph was a young man, a school teacher of the younger students, and quite naive to most of the rougher ways of the world. He was content and happy with his work and tried to maintain his life on an even keel. He didn’t go out much, was satisfied to be at home by himself, reading and listening to music. His life may have seemed lonely to outsiders, but he was living this way by choice. This may have been one of the reasons he was not missed that evening. It was a school holiday and he had no interaction planned with school friends and no family.
The straw did little to help barricade the cold, and he wondered what “they” were planning. He knew there was more than one, however he couldn’t decipher if they were men or women, old or young. It was too quick, too surprising, and not a word was spoken. His fingers ran over his forehead to feel a large sore bruise and his cheek and teeth were also sore. He only hoped these were the only punishments he would receive. He tried to go back to sleep and gather needed strength for what might come next.
He woke again to see the light had widened, the door was open. He couldn’t believe the vision. He slowly crept toward the opened door.
The kidnappers made a mistake, had taken the wrong man. They abandoned Joseph and now he was free to leave.