A Decent Ransom: A Story of a Kidnapping Gone Right by Ivana Hruba

By Ivana Hruba

While a abducted woman's husband refuses to pay her ransom, she plots revenge with the aid of her reluctant kidnapper. Discovering her husband's plan to betray her, she frames him for her personal "murder," forcing her young kidnapper into an unexpected moral drawback that may switch him forever. This shrewdpermanent and fast moving mystery blends pathos with trickery and intrigue, drawing the reader into the non-public global of a weak 15-year-old boy who believes himself to be the savior and protector of a wronged lady.

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I stretched his legs the whole length of the back seat and I got him a blanket. I also rolled down the window a bit to ensure flow of air. This, I hoped, would help him get a muchneeded rest, and so the chances of him blowing his stack when he woke up would be diminished. Back at the house, everything was just as before. Not a sound was heard from Kathryn’s room, for which I was grateful because I was 60 n I V A N A H R U B Á exhausted. I crawled onto the couch and when I woke up, it was four in the afternoon and I still had my boots on.

I promised I’d behave. On his way out, Kenny playfully cuffed me and slammed the door behind him. 7 When Kenny left, I turned off the TV and went about doing my chores. I cleaned the kitchen and the lounge, and tidied up Kenny’s room, throwing out all empty tomato juice bottles. Kenny was very fond of tomato juice and always kept a box handy under his bed. My job was to refill that box at the end of the week. As I worked, I glanced towards my bedroom from time to time, wondering what Kathryn was up to.

Towards the morning, things got worse. I thought I was losing my mind. Maybe I dreamt it, maybe I didn’t. I don’t know. But there was someone there. A man came out of the shadows. It was Kenny, as onedimensional and flat as cardboard. He laughed at me, his teeth as white in the dark as sugar cubes. He looked like a rabbit. Or a dead man. A D E C E N T R A N S O M n 53 10 Phoebus! Phoebus, you turd, get up! Kenny’s voice penetrated my consciousness like a spear. I lay listening to him berating me and I felt relieved; I felt as if I were sinking into a warm bath and the world around me was full of lovely things: candles, clean towels and musical notes bursting with joy.

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