Prologue

When their mother is kidnapped by a criminal called "The Wasp," two teenage children find themselves on a collision course with trouble.

He arrived home from school on time—in completely normal fashion—expecting nothing to have changed. The key to the house was hidden in the place that it always was, and the door still made the same typical creaking sound when it opened. Everything was normal. Or at least, it seemed to be.

The whole house was clean. That was the first thing Mack noticed as he entered. The second thing he noticed was that the back door was open. He quickly rectified that before setting his backpack down at the foot of the dining table and heading for the stairs. He climbed them at a normal pace as he performed a mental check of his day. He had an essay due at the end of the week, but that seemed to be the only homework that he had to worry about at the moment.

Mack turned and went for his bedroom. But then, almost on cue, his stomach growled. "Hey, mom," he called, walking back towards the stairs, "do you know if we have any milk?" There was no reply, so he continued: "I want to have some cereal." Quickly, he added, "I didn't have much of a lunch today."

When, still, there was no reply, Mack began to frown.

"Mom?"

Mack approached his mother's bedroom and gently knocked. "Hello? Mom? You there?" After knocking a few more times, and after still not receiving any reply, Mack opened the door. He peered in cautiously, as the thought of walking in on his mother undressing unnerved him. 

But there was no one there.

Mack quickly checked his phone. No voice mails, no missed calls, no new text messages. The last text Mack had received, in fact, was a text from his mother, asking him when he would be home from school. So she had to have been at home when she sent it, right?

Mack couldn't be sure, but he decided he wouldn't worry about it. He closed the bedroom door and headed for the stairs. He assumed his mom was out with her boyfriend, Lars, or possibly at the grocery store, and decided her absence wasn't anything to fret about.

Mack descended the stairs and went into the kitchen. He approached the fridge with an outstretched hand, but stopped once his hand touched the handle.

There was a sticky note.

Mack took it off the refrigerator door and read it.

A few moments later, Mack Longman dialed 911.

A few minutes later, the NYPD showed up at his home address in Queens.

A few hours laters, Camille Longman, Mack's little sister, showed up at the house. And that's when everything really started.

The End

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