Zach is kidnapped along with a poor, abused girl named Abbie. They are taken to China to be sold as slaves. Luckily for them they managed to escape. Now they only have one problem...how do they get back home to New York?
“GET UP ZACH! WE’RE GOING TO THE PARK!” My younger sister, Ellie, shouted excitedly in my ear.
I groaned and rolled to face Ellie. I opened one eye and mumbled, “Alright, alright…get out of my room and I’ll think about getting up.”
Ellie bounced happily out of the room, closing the door behind her. I groaned again then dragged myself out of bed. I staggered over to my wardrobe and fumbled through my clothing till I found my favorite skin-tight, red T-shirt and pulled it on with a pair of faded jeans. It was cold outside, so I pulled on a black, zip-up hoodie as well.
I had started to wake up by this point so I moved on down the hall into the bathroom. After taking care of the urgent business, I took a hair brush and ran it quickly through my hair before discarding the brush and moving downstairs, where I smelt eggs and heard bacon sizzling in the pan. I got seated at the table just as mom stuck my plate of food on the table. I smiled at the humongous heap of eggs piled onto my plate as well as the six pieces of bacon. Mom knew me well.
After breakfast we all got our shoes on and headed outside to the park. As usual, Ellie hopped around me the whole way there. “We’re going to the pa-ark, we’re going to the pa-ark,” she sang. It always made me smile how for some reason, Ellie just adored the park. Ellie was pretty little nine year old with hair so blonde that it was almost white and strikingly bright gray eyes. I loved her to bits, even if she did get annoying every once in a while.
“Hey Zach,” mom called to me, “would you mind running over to the Salker’s house and picking up Sarah?” she asked.
“Sure mom!” I replied, and then changed my direction so that I was headed to the Salker’s house. Sarah was Ellie’s best friend. Normally I would have been annoyed, but today was a perfect day, the sky was blue and it was just chilly enough to need a sweatshirt. So I really didn’t mind going for a walk. And who knows, maybe today would be my lucky day and I would meet the girl of my dreams on the way there. I smiled to myself, as if-
I didn’t finish the thought, a hand clamped down over my mouth and I was pulled into an alleyway. A man in a mask pointed a gun at me. “One wrong move and you’re dead kid,” he hissed.
My eyes went wide and I nodded shakily. Another man tied my hands behind my back and stuffed a gag into my mouth. Then he bent down and tried to hobble me, but I kicked him in the face. All that got me was a kick in the gut. I was pretty tractable after that. I stood still as the man hobbled me. Then allowed myself to be led through the alley into a building. When we got in the building the man who had tied me up (he must have been at least 6”5) decided I was going to slow and just heaved me and slung me over his shoulder.
The next thing I knew I was thrown into the back of a moving van and the doors were closed, leaving me in semi-darkness. I spat out the gag, but didn’t cry out…I knew it was useless, there was no one around, and calling out would just have earned me another punishment. About 10 minutes later one of the men came in and untied me, then left again. Only to reappear with a girl. She had auburn hair and beautiful brown eyes. She had a scar marring the right side of her face, running from just below her eye, to the tip of her mouth. They unceremoniously threw her in then once again shut the doors. A few minutes later, the van started up and we began to move.
It we had just gotten out of New York City (Did I mention that that is where I live?) when I heard the girl begin to cry quietly. I reached out and touched her gently. She flung herself away. “Please don’t hurt me! I didn’t do anything!” she cried.
I flinched away, very surprised by her reaction. I decided to try again, “I’m not here to hurt you I promised as I reached out to lay my hand on her back. I felt her tense up at my touch, as if she were expecting my hand to come down hard and painfully. My eyebrows bunched up. What had they done to her to cause this reaction? I felt her start to shake and realized she was still waiting for the pain to begin. I gritted my teeth, whoever could cause this kind of expectations in someone else was a monster!
I slowly began to rub her back, hoping to show that I really meant no harm. Slowly, little by little, she began to relax under my touch. With a final shudder she bagan to cry again. Immediately my heart went out to her and I wanted to comfort her somehow. I moved closer to her so that my thigh was almost touching her stomach where she lay. She wasted no time in curling up around me and laying her head in my lap. I was probably the first person to show her kindness in a long time, if ever.
I gently began to stroke her hair and speak calmly. I didn’t talk about anything in particular, it was more just using my voice to soothe her. It wasn’t long before she fell asleep. I continued to stroke her hair as she slept, watching the rhythmic rise and fall of her chest. The sleeve on her right hand had fallen down her arm to reveal several scars at her wrists, I grimaced when I noticed those…she must have been living a bad life even before being captured by…whoever these people are.
When she woke up she jumped away from me yet again, I could see by her face that she couldn’t remember how she got here or who I was. She thought I was going to hurt her. I raised my hands in the air as her eyes darted around fearfully. “I’m not here to hurt you, remember?” I asked. Slowly, recognition filled her eyes, and she relaxed a little. I began to lower my arms when suddenly she jumped at me. Before I realized what was happening she was curled up against my chest. For a few seconds I just sat there, completely stunned; then I wrapped my arms protectively around her.
“I’m Zach,” I introduced myself…a little late I suppose.
“Abbie,” she replied in a still scared voice.
The van suddenly stopped and a few minutes later, the doors were opened and light poured in. I squinted out and saw a man there. He looked like the same man who had kidnapped me, only this time he had no mask on.
He smiled mockingly at us, “Aww, isn’t that shweet, the little boy is comforting the poor little girl.”
I glared at him, but he only laughed. “Alright you two, you will do exactly as I say or neither of you will survive this trip, you got that?” We both nodded and Abbie pressed herself harder against me. “Now both of you get out!” the man ordered. We both crawled out of the van and looked around. We were at an airport somewhere. I had no idea where because we had been driving for a long time and I didn’t know in which direction. “You two are to follow me. If anyone asks I am Nick, his guardian” the man said as he pointed to me, He then pointed his finger at Abbie who shrunk away from it, “You are his girlfriend. You two got that?” Again we nodded, “Good, and you had better not forget it.”
Then the man led us through the airport and boarded us onto a plane. We got the window seat while he sat next to us in an isle seat. I let Abbie take the seat next to the window, and placed myself between her and ‘Nick.’
“Good morning passengers, and welcome to China express,” came the pilots voice over the intercom. He went on with the usual pilot prattle, giving details about the flight, then we began to move. Farther and farther from home. I sighed…I was going to get back, somehow I would. We were going to China, but with God’s help, I was still going to get back to New York.