**Trigger Warning: (kidnapping)_________
The glorious world of social media was able to distract Amber long enough, to completely steal all of her attention. Her hazel eyes were glued to the screen of her new cellphone, unaware that she had exited the safety of the glowing neon letters of the store. The sound of car horns booming like thunder awakens Amber from her fantasy, as she finds herself blinded by the headlights of the vehicles instantaneously approaching. Amber’s sneakers are suddenly glued to the pavement like gum clinging to one’s hair. The driver detects the girl in his path, slamming on the brakes with great force. The car haltingly barreled toward her as she frantically scurried away, seconds before becoming roadkill.
Relieved that she has escaped death, her thumbs begin tapping wildly at her cell phone screen, informing everyone of her hectic day. Amber’s crisp white sneakers barely skimmed the surface of the rugged curb, as elongated arms wrapped around her tiny waist, swiftly pulling her into the ghastly van. Rough, icy hands gripped her jaw, as her head violently shook, but unwelcoming fingers shielded her screams. Her cellphone hit the ground with a ‘thunk,’ flashing, “Be careful.”
Devious fingertips slithered around Amber’s wrists, inspecting her ivory skin, like a boa constrictor before it devours its prey. Brief compressions, tightening the ropes bound to her slender ankles. Tacky tape pressed against her lips, threatening against a bitter altercation. The tires skidding on uneven terrain, jerks her torso repetitively. A thick strip of fabric secured behind her head, conceals Amber’s eyes from the interior of the van, casting a pitch-black shadow.
The captor appears to be a lone man,. Amber can hear the low mumbling of his raspy voice behind the steering wheel. Her body jerks to the left after a brief pause at a red light. Extending her fingers to the opposite wrists behind her back, she begins to fidget soundlessly with the ropes, until they become loose.
A piercing ringtone sounds and the captor groans in response before taking the call. “Where are you?” the voice of a woman screeching through the speakers, “I’ve been waiting for over an hour!” Nervously the captor replies, “I ran into a small snag…” While her captor was distracted, Amber carefully untangles her ankles. “What kind of a snag?” his wife screams, her voice like daggers piercing through his soul. Amber, lifts the cloth covering her eyes up an inch and peers through the window. The captor is steaming with frustration, “It’s not my fault, why does it always have to be my fault?” With echoing words his wife replies, “Because you can never do anything right!”
Simultaneously, Amber springs forward at the sliding door, propelling her body from the van. Tumbling down the edge of the highway, her jeans rip at the knees, blood oozing from her wounds. Amber tugs the fabric that once covered her eyes and wraps it around her leg to stop the bleeding. She shoots up and darts into the forest.
The captor now realizing that his hostage has escaped, angrily smashes his cellphone with his thumb to dismiss the phone call and aggressively pulls over on the side of the highway. He hops out of the van onto the dried grass, with the moon as his only source of light. Dressed in all black, the captor blends into the night.
Amber’s heart is beating, adrenaline pumping through her veins as she anxiously formulates a plan. She emerges into the darkness of the forest, thousands of trees shading the land before her. Twigs snapping beneath her feet with each stride, as she heads to the calming sounds of running water. Peeking over her shoulder, Amber detects the captor chasing behind her. She scooped down, fisting a handful of sizable branches and chucked them at his malevolent face, causing him to stumble backward. Without hesitation, Amber sprinted toward the cable bridge.
She peered down at the rushing water and colossal boulders deposited beneath the cable bridge. A single roped line to walk upon and two parallel ropes above for her hands to grip. Falling was not an option. Positioning one soiled sneaker in front of the other, Amber cautiously crossed the bridge and reached the opposing edge of the forest, stumbling onto the tranquil terrain.
A pearly white SUV with three women inside slowed down along the highway. The captor not far behind with his wicked smile, yanked out a polished pocket-knife from his waistband. The woman with concerned blue eyes in the backseat uttered, “Hurry, get in, he’s coming…” Amber spotted the woman’s purse shoved underneath the front seat. The woman seated on the passenger side rapidly dialed 9-1-1. Amber took a chance and leaped into the car. The side door was still open as the driver sped away, leaving the captor to cough up dust.