Part 1 * Part 2

Julia looked at the photo again and cursed her stupid luck.

Her parents were rich but had they’d made it clear from an early age that she’d be getting none of it as they intended to give it away to charity.

Oh sure, they sent her to the best schools and made sure she had the essentials, but there was never any money of the finer things.  All her friends had the latest designer clothes and newest gadgets, but she had to get by on second class brands and a two year old phone.

She’d come up with the plan to fix her problems a few months ago and had enlisted a few of the other ‘second’ class students who she knew would be interested in getting some extra cash.

It was simple enough, a fake kidnapping and her parents would pay a small fortune to get her back.  And they could afford it.

But after they’d sent the ransom demand she’d sent a ‘proof of life’ picture, but selected the wrong one on the phone.  Sending instead the one she looked at now, of her and her friends posing for the camera like gangsters.

The plot had come unravelled quickly after that, the police had burst in to their hide out (one of her co-conspirators summer cottage) and taken them all downtown.

Luckily her family managed to get her out of the worst of it and kept the whole thing out of the press, but she looked at the picture nearly every day to remind her how close she’d come to getting what she wanted.

Her parents had seen through her ‘apology’ and while they were still civil with her, they were more distant now.

She put her phone away and walked out of the lecture and in to the cool night air and towards her decidedly economy class car.  She’d parked it under a light post because she knew it would be dark outside, but for some reason the light had not come on.  She fumbled for her keys in the darkness but eventually got them out and her car door unlocked.

Just as she was about to pull the handle a hand with a cloth moved in to her sight and covered her mouth.  She struggled and tried to scream but the cloth muffled her voice and whatever was on it was quickly sapping her strength.

She tried one last time to break free but lost the battle as everything went black.

Julia woke up, her head throbbing, her body aching all over.  She was sitting in a chair in a non-descript room, her arms and legs tied down.  She struggled vainly for a few minutes before the noise finally caught the attention of her captors and they entered the room.

“Ah, awake, good.”  The large burly man said, his face covered in a simple white mask.  He held up his phone and took a photo, he typed for a few seconds and then returned his attention to her.

“There, your parents should have the ransom demand in a few minutes and in a few short hours I’m sure you’ll be comfortably back in your pampered life.  Unless of course you decide to try and make trouble for me… then, well, you may not be so comfortable ever again.” he said menacingly.

Julia hung her head and her captor took it for capitulation, Julia though knew she was in deep trouble.  Her parents would never believe another kidnapping story after she’d cried wolf once already.

He left the room and Julia wondered what would happen when he didn’t get his money.

“What do you mean they refuse to pay!” Julia heard him scream from the other room.

The door opened and Julia saw the tension in his body.

“Apparently you’re not the apple of your father’s eye, he has refused to even hear what we have to say.”

Julia winced.

“Sad, but these things happen.  Fortunately there are other ways to make a profit on such a venture gone wrong such as this.”

Julia struggled again as he left, dialing his phone once more.

Julia woke up groggy and no longer in the chair.  She was still strapped down, but it was a different room and she was in some kind of medical gurney.

“So it’s a deal then?” she heard someone say as she looked over towards the voices.  A man in a white lab coat was holding out his hand towards another bearded man.  She recognized the second man as her captor from his clothes but he was no longer wearing his mask.

“Deal, though I didn’t know the market was so down these days.”

“Yes, a sad state of affairs I’m afraid.  Flooded with cheap product, not like what we create here.”

“Of course, we’ll good doing business with you again.”

The voices faded as someone wheeled her gurney down the hallway.

To be continued…

Inspired by @juliatobimbo​.