I hate it when my mother is right.
It's not that I don't love my mother. Now that my dad's gone, she's the one person in the world I know I can really count on. The one person I know loves me.
But I really hate it when one of her paranoid warnings turns out to have some merit.
She watches the news way too much and is constantly warning me about anything and everything she sees a story on. I swear if she had her way, I would live in a bubble and never leave the house.
She hates it when I go out alone. She especially hates that I come to my little secluded spot at the reservoir so early every morning to read, but I love it here. It's the only place I'm able to go, to really relax. It's so peaceful, sitting on the dock with the sun shining down on me, and the ducks and occasional boats going about their business.
Plenty of people know about the reservoir, of course, but no one knows about my little spot. I had to really hunt for it, originally.
Today was like any other day. I sat in my leopard print lawn chair, coffee nearby, and the sounds of the water and wildlife keeping me company as I read.
The story was just getting good when my attention was abruptly torn away from the fictional action.
A beefy hand clamped over my mouth as an equally proportioned arm went across my chest, pulling me out of the chair.
Whoever it was, never would have had a shot to get near me if I'd been paying attention. Unfortunately, I wasn't.
Appropriately freaked out, but still not scared stupid, I was about to free myself.
Before I could do anything, though, more ridiculously strong hands latched onto my arms and legs, effectively immobilizing me.
I'd been able to claim plenty of useful qualities in my life - photographic memory, perfect vision, envious metabolism. Unfortunately, super strength was never among those qualities and my avid attempts to free myself were completely useless as I was hauled toward an unexceptional white van.
The thing that bothered me most wasn't that I was headed for a creepy van or that I was currently helpless against the four men that held me. Or even that I was apparently being kidnapped.
The thing that really scared me was that the men weren't even trying to hide their faces. That, and the fact that they seemed to be completely organized. They hadn't uttered one word, yet were working in perfect synchronization.
I could deal with a few random guys who happened to catch me unaware. I was an expert at self defense, usually.
I could even deal with the van situation, once my arms and legs were free.
But I knew they wouldn't give me the opportunity. They had to know enough about me to know that it would take more than one or two guys to subdue me. And if they knew that, they would also know they couldn't drop their guard even slightly.
They had this planned.
The fact that they obviously didn't care whether I was able to identify them, told me that they were planning on either keeping me wherever it was they were taking me or killing me.
Neither option sounded terribly appealing.
They loaded me into the van and, as expected, they didn't give me the chance to free myself. They kept their vice-like grips locked on me as another one of them shut the door and the van started driving away.
The driver wasn't even speeding. He was just driving the stupid snail like speed limit while in the parking lot, calm as anything.
I assessed the men surrounding me and figured out who would be the easiest to take down when they let me go. They had to move eventually. Someone was bound to have to shift at some point. I'd wait.
I realized that my chances against five strong and organized men weren't great in a cramped van, but I was, at the very least, breaking some noses. Whatever their plan for me, I wasn't going down without a fight.
I only waited for my opportunity for a minute before I knew for sure I wasn't getting one.
The guy who had shut the door, turned around and revealed what he'd been doing while he had his back to us. He'd been setting up a syringe with clear liquid that was, no doubt, bound to knock me out.
I tried once again to free myself. I was more insistent than before, but it still did absolutely nothing.
A second later, I grunted as I felt the needle prick my exposed arm and the sting of the liquid as it was forced into me.
Whatever it was, was extremely fast-acting. Almost immediately after the needle was withdrawn, I started feeling the effects. My muscles involuntarily relaxed and my head started going fuzzy.
I fought to stay conscious as long as possible, but every second it was becoming harder and harder.
The last thing I thought, before I passed out, other than wondering who I could have possibly ticked off so badly to deserve this, was how annoyed I was that they made me lose my place in my book.
That, and I really hated it when my mother was right.
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