Word of the Day: Ransom

“Sit there and be quiet. It won’t take long for Mike to give your folks the ransom note.” Joe squiggled in his seat, and tried to pull off the blindfold. “No use doing that but if you try it again, I’ll tie your hands too.”

Joe was only twelve but he had read plenty of crime comics and wondered why they were asking for ransom? His family had no money. He recognized the voices as the troublemakers at school, but they were bigger and bullies, so he didn’t dare cross them. It was Jack who did all the talking now, but wherever Mike was, Jack was too.

He didn’t really feel afraid, just curious. Joe wondered what they would do with him once his family couldn’t pay? He thought of his mom and how scared she would be. He thought of his dad and what he’d do to them once he knew who they were. He started fidgeting in his chair and was increasingly nervous. “You know my dad, don’t you, Jack? He’s going to be really mad. Why are you doing this? We don’t have money.”

“Your dad works at the bank, don’t he? He’s got money. Once he knows we’ll hurt you if he don’t pay, he’ll get the money.” By this time Joe was more frightened. He knew his dad wouldn’t do it and when he didn’t? Then after they were through doing whatever they said in the ransom note, he was even afraid for Mike and Jack.

“Look, you know my dad. You know how he can be. He won’t give you money and he’ll hunt you down if you hurt me. Give it up, Jack.”

Mike runs into the room looking sweaty and white. “Let him go, Jack. It’s not gonna work. And we need to get out of here, maybe out of town. Joe’s dad is right behind me.”

With that the two sixteen year old boys ran out, leaving Joe in the chair. Joe’s dad ran in, picked him up and hugged him. “Are you all right, son? Did they hurt you?”

Joe was surprised at the sign of affection from his father but just hugged him back, really tight. “I’m okay now, dad.”


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