How to Kidnap a popstar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A pop-star gets kidnapped by a shy man and his high strung girlfriend

Submitted: February 04, 2013

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Submitted: February 04, 2013

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Meet and Greet

Martin didn’t have to wait much longer, soon weeks of planning and anticipation would pay off. The place was at the Destiny Hill Mall, the person was teen pop sensation Linda Niles, and the plan was to kidnap her. The mall had been advertising about her appearance, she was going to be there for the opening of the new Zidane’s clothing store. The store’s target audience was the same as the target audience for Linda’s music, so it made sense for the two to team up.

Destiny Hill was a small town and people knew Martin, especially at the cancer research center that he poured thousands of dollars of his own money into. Considering what he was planning to do, it would be foolish to not wear a disguise. He wore a jerry curl wig, along with a fake curly stubble. His skin on his face was covered with a tan makeup making his skin look darker. The wig and stubble were itchy and the urge to scratch was difficult to overcome.

He had arrived at six in the morning, he was a bit surprised to see a few others already waiting. Linda was to be there at noon and that meant six hours of waiting. He couldn’t leave to eat or go to the bathroom in fear of losing of his spot. As the hours passed the line grew longer, the screaming grew louder and his heart thumped faster. The security guards tried to keep order but as the time grew closer, they knew there wasn’t going to be any.

The kidnapping was to be a bloodless affair; Martin didn’t bring any weapons except for a handkerchief covered with chloroform and he didn’t plan to use violence. The back of the store had a mandatory fire door which lead to an exit to a parking lot where his car was waiting. He was to drive the car to an abandoned gas station where his real car was. The car he planned to get away from the mall in was stolen. He had taken it a few days earlier and by the end of the day it would be back in its owner’s hands.

Martin checked his watch; it was just a few minutes till noon and the tweens behind him grew restless, the variety of screams, cries and whining filled the air.

“Open up”

“Quit shoving”

“Mommy is she going to be here?”

“You stop shoving”

“Be quiet or we’re going home”

Martin’s plan would only have a few seconds to take place, it was undoubtedly going to be a get in and get out type of affair. Since he was in the front of the line he would meet her while she still had energy and be willing to take a photo with him. His watch started beeping and the doors opened along with the mouths of hundreds of kids screaming.

The few people in front of him where in and out within a few minutes, finally it was Martin’s turn. He walked into the store; there was Linda with a marker in her hand and a stack of photos of herself. He had only seen her in person once before at a concert last summer, she looked different then, probably because of the fancy outfit she wore then and the casual wear she wore now.

“Hello, name?” Linda said in a cheery voice, oblivious to the events about to occur.

“Uh, Jacob, Jacob Walker” Martin said lying.

“To Jacob Walker, keep rocking on, yours truly Linda Niles” Linda said slowly writing out each word on a photo as she talked. She then handed the photo to Martin.

“Can I have a photo with you?” Martin nervously asked. Linda dismissed the nervousness as him being in awe of her.

“Ok but just one, Steve get the camera” Linda said talking to a photographer with a camera on a tripod. They walked in front of the camera, Linda put her arm around Martin as he put his hand into his pocket and grabbed the chloroform stained handkerchief.

“Nice big smile now” Steve the photographer said robotically, probably because he had said it hundreds of times over his career. A security guard was to Martin’s left, Linda to his right and the fire exit right behind him. He pulled the handkerchief out of his pocket with his right hand and put it over Linda’s mouth. He then used his left arm to hoist her over his shoulder and he darted out the door. He ignored the security guards screams, along with Linda kicking his chest. He ran out the fire exit setting off an alarm, down the stairs, out another door and into the parking lot.

By this time the chloroform had knocked Linda out and she stopped kicking. The car was in the front of the lot; he opened the back door and tossed Linda in the back seat. Martin didn’t bother to lock the car earlier; people were here to see the celebrity not steal cars. He got into the driver’s seat and looked out the windshield to see several security guards running out the fire exit. He quickly speeded out of the parking lot and headed for the exit. A security jeep was blocking the exit but the barley trained security guard showed his inexperience. Adjacent to the exit weren’t walls but just a meridian separating the parking lot from the main road. The car Martin was in had no trouble going over it and soon the security guard had lost sight of him.

Welcome

Linda woke up, she felt like what a drum must feel after a concert of being banged on. She looked around, she was in a windowless room with a carpet a couch and a TV, there was a pillar in the middle and two doors. Her wrist had a shackle on it and the shackle and was built into the pillar, she tried tugging but to avail, she cursed herself for even thinking that would work. A guy walked in, it couldn’t have been the kidnapper, his skin was lighter, his hair shorter, not curly and he didn’t have a stubble.

“Good afternoon firecracker” the man said in a very relaxed way. Linda wanted to scream, she wanted to demand letting her go but no words came, she felt a fear far worse than any stage fright.

“I know this a shock to you so I’m going to let you settle in and see how are you are this evening, the bathroom is through the other door, your shackle is long enough to reach it and don’t waste energy screaming nobody will hear you” the kidnapper said as walked out the door. Linda didn’t feel like going to the restroom, she noticed the TV the guy forgot to mention, she was able to walk over to it and turn it on, to her surprise the TV worked and seem to have cable, not to her surprise her kidnapping was on every channel.

“The small town of Destiny Hill was in for a shock today when an unknown man kidnapped teen pop star Linda Niles, she was at the Destiny Hill Mall for a meet and greet when one of the fans grabbed her and ran off with her, the man was able to get to a car and drive off with her, the car was found a few miles away in an abandon gas station, police say the car used was reported stolen about a week ago, no ransom has been reported, and the police have no leads, fans today have a mixture of fear, sadness and anger, shrines have been set up around the country as people pray for her safe return, even in this time of grief people have expressed their rage over what they call poor planning by the mall security team. Joe Tyler the head of the security of the mall has already submitted his resignation; stay tuned as more details become available”

The rest of the report talked about Linda’s music career, to her shock some of what they reported was actually true. According to the clock on the TV channel, it was nearly two in the afternoon, she remembered the meet and greet started out noon and she was kidnapped about 5 minutes later, meaning she was out for almost two hours. She then grew extremely nervous; she took off her clothes for a moment looking for bruises or any sign that the kidnapper did anything to her, she didn’t find any but that didn’t mean it didn’t happen. If he was a sexual predator he wouldn’t have left like that after she woke up right? What if he brought her there and just planned to leave her to starve? Maybe he just needed money and wanted a ransom. How much could he possible want? A million? Two million? If all he wanted was money then this could be easy, if not, well she didn’t want to think about it. He said he would be back later so she just had to wait and see.

After a few hours she became bored of watching her own kidnapping report and had switched to cartoons, she thought that if she was a voice actress this wouldn’t have happened. At six exactly the door opened up, the light skinned kidnapper was there and Linda’s heart jumped, this time however she was able to find the words.

“Where’s the other guy?” Linda said in a rush.

“What other guy?” the kidnapper asked slightly amused.

“The one with the curly hair and scruffy beard”

The man laughed. “I am him, that was disguise, only a mourn would kidnap the most popular teen in the country without one”

“Oh I’m sorry I just thought there were two of you”

The man laughed again. “Don’t apologize; I doubt anyone would be able to think straight if they were in your situation”

“So uh what happens now?” Linda said fearing the answer.

“Now we eat, even kidnappers get hungry” the man said in a joking matter.

“Listen Linda, I am going to remove you from that shackle, I have been and plan on being kind, if you try to do something dumb such as run or scream for help my kindness will end and you won’t like the replacement”

“Of, of course not”

“That’s a good girl” The man took out a key and unlocked the shackle, instinct told Linda to run but her brain told her not to be an idiot. The man took her by the wrist and pulled her along gently, as if trying to avoid hurting her. In the next room was a flight of stairs and they ascended them. The next floor had windows and Linda saw a very orange sun set. Not too far from the stairs was a table with food, the man tugged her to the table, there were mac and cheese on one side and very fancy looking pork chops on the other.

“Three different tween magazines said you liked mac and cheese”

“Uh yeah thank you” Linda said surprised she had just thanked the guy who was holding her against her will. The man sat down at the chair with the pork chops in front of it, Linda sat down with the one with the Mac and cheese. She was nervous but hungry if the food was poisoned it would be worth it. Linda looked around, the man was very formally cutting his food and eating it, a cup of orange juice was next to the plate, along the walls of the kitchen where posters of different bands, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Mighty Mighty Blossoms, No Doubt, Linda was surprised by the variety. Attached to each poster were concert tickets, some had more than others, one post caught her eye, it was a poster with her on it. It had two concert tickets attached to it; the tickets were for the same day, who went with him she wondered.

“Well aren’t you going to eat? I can assure you I know how to cook” the man said calmly.

“Of course, I just was looking at the posters” Linda said quickly taking her fork and grabbing a big chunk of mac. She looked at her fork, it was plastic, but the kidnapper’s was metal, this guy thought of everything. After the dinner the man got up walked over to her, Linda could contain her fears no more.

“Are you going rape me?” Linda asked her heart beating faster than ever. The faint smile the man had went away as if she just offended him by implying he would do such a thing.

“If I wanted a good fucking I would have done something much easier then kidnapping you” the man said in a now annoyed tone.

“I’m sorry I just, well you haven’t told me anything”

The man’s smiled returned. “Unfortunately you won’t be useful for another 72 hours, I’m sorry for the inconvenience but this was the only time you’d be in town, 72 hours from now you were going to appear on a LA talk show”

“72 hours, that’s three days right?”

“Someone was awake during math class, but yes it is, I will explain things eventually, in the mean time relax, I have no intention of harming you, just try to resist the urge to run, it won’t do anyone any good, now I’m going to have to bring back your room, the couch has a fold out bed”

The man took her by the wrist and tugged her along back down the stairs and to the room. He put the shackle back on her wrist and headed out.

“Good night firecracker” the man said as he turned the light switch off. Linda was able to easily unfold the bed from the couch, pillows and a blanket in a corner of the room proved there worth when she went to lay down. She was tired but couldn’t find the energy to sleep, questions raced through her mind, who was this guy? What were her parents thinking? And most of all, what was he planning three days from now?

Day One

Linda awoke after a night of bizarre dreams. She couldn’t exactly remember what they were but she knew for sure she didn’t enjoy them. She felt more tired than she did before she went to sleep, the sheets she was laying on had many wrinkles which meant she was trashing in her sleep. Something then caught Linda’s attention, the shackle was removed from her wrist, and it defiantly was on before she went to sleep. While she was wondering what happened the smell of pancakes filled the air and her stomach began to growl.

Linda headed out of her room and into the main room of the basement. Since the kidnapper was not tugging her along like last time she decided to look around. There was not much to see, it was just a bare room with the staircase in the middle, the white walls added to the bleakness. The room was carpeted and large dust deposits began to gather in certain spots indicated the kidnapper didn’t go down here that often. The carpets also had creases where something was dragged; it must have been when the kidnapper carried the TV and the couch down to Linda’s room. The couch and TV were heavy, there was no way the man could have moved it by himself. Once again while Linda was in thought the pancakes smell brought her back to reality.

She went up the stairs and to the kitchen. Sure enough the kidnapper was there making pancakes, there was a large stack of them on a plate, another plate had a smaller stack that was waiting for other pancakes to join them. Somehow the man was aware of Linda’s presence.

“Good Moring firecracker sleep well?” The man said keeping his eyes on the pancakes he was flipping.

“Not really” Linda said also looking at the pancakes.

“Yeah that happens to many during the first night or at least I’m told so, you’re the first person I’ve done this too”

“So uh I noticed you removed the shackle”

“Oh yeah I thought you might break your wrist in the night if you kept thrashing in your sleep with that thing on”

“Thanks so I guess we’re having pancakes for breakfast”

“You guess correctly, one of the tween magazines said you liked buttermilk pancakes”

“The same one that said I liked Mac and cheese?”

“The very one”

The man had finished making the pancakes and picked up both plates. He placed one on one side of the table and one on the other. One side had plastic utensils and the other had metal ones making it was obvious which plate was for her. She sat down at her side and noticed there wasn’t any beverage. She was a bit nervous to ask but felt strong enough to do so.

“Is there anything to drink?” she asked hoping that he wouldn’t take offense.

“In the fridge, glasses are next to the sink” the man said eyes focusing on cutting his pancakes.

Linda got up and went next to the sink to get a glass, there weren’t glasses as much as they were mugs, one of them said “Happy 15th Birthday” on it along with fithteen candles drawn on it. She then went to the fridge, inside must have been five or six cartons of orange juice. Linda had never seen so much orange juice in her life, all of them pulp free. One of them was open and so she poured it into her mug and sat back down. The man eyes spotted the mug and seemed to get sad for a moment, he then quickly went back to eating his breakfast unaware Linda had noticed the whole thing. She wanted to ask whose mug it was but decided not to.

The breakfast was very quiet; the kidnapper seemed to forget Linda was even there for a few moments. It seemed like he was used to eating alone. He finished before Linda did, he got up and put his plate and utensils in the sink.

“When you’re done please put your stuff in the sink and then return to your room” The man said in his calm manner.

He left and Linda finished shortly afterwards, she put her plate and the mug in the sink and headed toward the basement when she noticed the front door. She could run for it and scream help, but would anyone hear? She had no idea where she was and who knows how fast this man could run and of course the front door could simply be locked, knowing the odds were against her escape plan Linda decided to simply go back down to the basement. When she reached her room she turned on the TV, the clock said it was around eight thirty and her kidnapping was still the top story.

“Twenty hours after the kidnapping of teen pop star Linda Niles, the police are still no closer to locating her or figuring out who was behind it. A video was released showing the kidnapper but no one has been able to identify him. Although several people including, a white supremacist group and a black Islamic group have claimed to be holding her and demanding money, police say they are not credible. An official who requested to remain anonymous has said the police has little hope in finder Linda Niles alive, a candle vigilante was held for her last night and many celebrities have pleaded for her release unharmed”

Linda turned off the TV when they began talking about her career again. She fell back on the pullout bed and dozed off. She woke up to see the kidnapper standing in the door.

“Hey firecracker listen up” the man said in his once again calm voice that would have one convinced he takes tranquilizers.

“A friend of mine is coming to visit, her name is Jeanette and she can be a bit, well let’s just say she can be a handful”

“Oh does she know I’m here?” Linda worried about what this new person be like.

“Yes, in fact that is why she’s here, once she knew she demanded that she come and see you, just try to ignore her obnoxiousness, she has quite a temper”

“Ok so when she is coming over?”

“She said she’d be here in five minutes so that means she’ll be here in three, best to be going upstairs”

The man took Linda by the wrist again and gently pulled her along up the stairs. When they got to the main floor they went to a different area besides the kitchen. To the left of the front door was a room with two loveseats, the kidnapper walked Linda to one and let go of her wrist, implying he wanted her to sit. She did so, and the man began to walk to front door. Linda noticed he was becoming a bit nervous.

Before long a pounding that passed for knocking was at the door. The man went over and opened it, in the door was a girl slightly younger then the kidnapper but older then Linda. She wore jean short shorts that were tattered and worn. Her shirt was once dark blue but had faded and had become lighter, there was some sort of character on her shirt but like everything else it too was faded; her hair was dirty blond and was almost waist length. Her right hand a case of Whitford beer bottles and her left had one bottle of beer, but the case in her right hand had all six bottles, implying she must like to drink.

“I’ve brought the party with me” The girl said holding up both the case and the indepdent bottle.

“Nice to see you sparkplug” The kidnapper said. Linda wonder if he had a nickname for everybody.

She and the kidnapper hugged and she proceeded to kiss him on the lips. Her attention then turned to Linda.

“Holy buckets of shit, it is true” The girl said while putting down the six pack but not the spare bottle. She then removed the twist off cap and took a sip from the bottle.

“So you’re motherfuckin Linda Niles”

There was no doubt this was Jeanette, all at once Linda figured out why the man had warned her about Jeanette and why he was nervous.

“Is it true you lip synched at the concert in Portland? Because a bunch of 14 year olds are killing each other over the internet arguing about it”

The question remained Linda about the Portland concert, she remember there was a problem with the sound equipment that delayed her voice form being by the audience making it look like she lip synched very badly ,while in deep thought she forgot to answer the question.

“Are you a mute or what?” Jeanette asked getting impatient over Linda’s lack of response. The kidnapper intervened.

“Don’t be shy Linda; this is Jeanette who I have told you abut”

“Uh, sorry I was thinking back, no I didn’t lip synch” Linda said becoming as nervous as she was the previous evening.

“Of course you’d say that whether it was true or not” Jeanette said as she then turned her attention to the kidnapper.

“But anyway I can’t believe you actually pulled it off, so this is for-“

“Yeah it is” the kidnapper said interrupting Jeanette before she could finish.

“But that isn’t for another, what two days, so what do we do with her until then?”

Linda became far more nervous then she been during her entire captivity, this girl had danger written all over her and who knows what she had in store for Linda. Jeanette took another sip for her bottle she reached down to the six pack, grabbed a bottle and tossed it to the kidnapper.

“Sorry kiddo no beer for the underage, can you imagine what tabloids would do if they got pictures of you drinking, I mean your career would over in like a second”

“It’s quite alright” Linda said too afraid to even make eye contact. The kidnapper had opened his bottle and had taken a sip. Jeanette knew Linda was afraid of her. She then sat down next to her as Linda eyes remained glued to the floor.

“Have you ever tried Ménage à trois?”

The question got Linda to jump up off the couch, causing Jeanette to start laugh.

“Oh come on don’t you think he’s kind of cute?” Jeanette said referring to the kidnapper.

“I…I” Linda tried to speak but the words all got tangled up, the kidnapper intervened again.

“She’s joking” The kidnapper said somehow retaining his calmness. Jeanette went over to the kidnapper and put her arm around him.

“You bet I’m joking, I spent months trying to reel this one in and I have no intention of sharing him” Jeanette said as she finished the rest of her beer and tossed it to ground.

“Now listen snowflake you have made me wait a whole week so I’m not going to beg I’m going to tell you, get your ass upstairs or I swear to god we’ll do it right here in front of her” Jeanette demanded. The kidnapper finished his bottle and tossed it to ground.

“I’ll be up in a moment sparkplug let me just have a word with our guest”

“You fucking better be, on second thought I’ll be in your car, I always loved that place more” Jeanette said, grabbing the other bottles and headed out.

“She’s a keeper” Linda said sarcastically.

“Hardy fucking har, I assume you can show yourself to your room firecracker” the man said as headed out. Linda eyed the front door again, but the fear of Jeanette chasing her was more than enough to get any ideas out of her head. She was about to head back down when noticed a different staircase headed up. Linda couldn’t resist and went up the stairs. There were two doors; one of them was painted pink and the other white. The pink door was locked but the white door wasn’t. She headed in, a quick glance and it was obvious this was the kidnapper’s room.

There were band posters along the walls and like the ones in the kitchen they had concert tickets attached to them. There was a basic bed and a desk covered with papers. Some of the papers were flyers advertising Linda’s appearance at the mall. Another one was a map of the mall with a red arrow going through the store she was promoting. A second map should the parking lot with a red arrow from a particularly space to a nearby exit. A receipt from a pharmacy for a bottle chloroform was also there. Other receipts were from a makeup department store and a costume store.

Linda opened the draw in the desk and found a photo of the kidnapper and Jeanette. Jeanette looked a little more enthusiastic then he did. Then there was a folded note that said “Snowflake” on it. She opened up the note it read:

“My dearest Snowflake, I am sorry to hear such a sad cruel thing can happen to someone so sweet. I understand what you’re going through better than most people will. It saddens me to see the world’s most innocent person suffer, while millions of assholes continue to prosper. I will be with you every step of the way (And a couple of Whitford beers will come along as well) you are the best person I have ever met and I won’t abandoned you in your time of need. Your Sparkplug Jeanette”

Linda was blown away, the same person who asked her about a threesome, wrote this. What was happening here, what was the letter talking about and what role did Linda play in all this? Linda carefully put the letter back and went back to her room in the basement. After two hours of watching cartoons, the kidnapper appeared with a box of pizza and a couple of Kramer sodas.

“Let me guess, a tween magazine told you that I liked mushroom pizzas and Kramer soda” Linda said beginning to loosen up.

“You catch on fast” the kidnapper said with a faint smile. He handed Linda a can as she took a slice of the pizza.

“I’m sure glad I didn’t say I enjoyed eating dog shit”

“Yeah me too because no one in the neighborhood has a dog, it wouldn’t have been difficult getting any”

Linda laughed at the statement and for a second being held against her will didn’t seem so bad.

“So what happened to Jeanette?” Linda asked.

“She always falls asleep afterwards”

“Why didn’t tell me she was your girlfriend, you just said she was a friend”

“We are just friends, she thinks we’re going steady but we aren’t”

“Don’t you tell her you two aren’t together?”

“I could but then I couldn’t nail her”

Linda was taking a sip of the soda when he said this; she laughed causing her to spit out her soda.

“Ah, that got in my nose, it really burns” Linda said playfully.

“Try spending a weekend with Jeanette then talk to me about pain”

“Why wasn’t she there when you kidnapped me?”

“I didn’t want anyone hurt and I knew if I brought her along that would be impossible”

“You two couldn’t be more different, how’d you two find each other”

“She is a psycho path and nobody wants to be near her, however even psychos get lonely and so she settled for me”

“And you’d accepted her friendship because…”

“She looked liked fun in the sack and she was”

“Seriously”

“She is not just the loud person she appears to be, she has her soft side”

Linda thought of the note. She finished the slice of pizza and grabbed another one.

“So what’s with the nicknames? Sparkplug, snowflake, firecracker”

“Jeanette is sparkplug because of her energy; I’m snowflake because I have pale skin and your firecracker because at a concert last year you had an explosive presence”

“I can’t choose my own nickname?”

“That’s the one rule, you can’t chose, Jeanette picked snowflake and I picked sparkplug”

“What if you don’t like your nickname?”

“Tough”

“Wait you said at a concert I had a lot of energy, which was that?”

“The one at Nassau Coliseum”

“That one was at the beginning of the tour no wonder I had energy”

“So the fans at the end get a half rated show?”

“You try signing the same songs for thirty-two days in a row running across the country so fast you have to be remained what state you’re in and still be perky”

“Point taken, I gotta get back to Jeanette before she starts to get worried, I’ll catch you later firecracker”

“Wait, why does she tell her real name and you don’t?”

“It’s Martin, my name is Martin”

“Martin? No wonder you didn’t tell me”

Martin petted Linda’s head the way you would pet a dog’s head and headed out the door. She then realized she had a conversation with a guy who is holding her against her will; she also noticed it didn’t seem to bother her. She just shrugged it off as she grabbed another slice.

Revelations

The next morning Linda awoke from a better sleep then the one she had the previous night. A yellow sticky note on the door caught her eye. She got up and headed over to the door to read it. The note read:

“Firecracker, I’ve realized you’ve not had a shower or a change of clothes since you’ve arrived. You will find both in the bathroom in the back of the house, when your done come see in the pool in the backyard we have things to discuss”

Linda then gave her herself a whiff. The smell was nauseating at best, the recent events had caused her forget about hygiene. It was then brought to her attention that she was still wearing the same clothes since she was kidnapped at the mall. She headed upstairs pass the front door and through the room with the two love seats. The next room was the bathroom that the note had mentioned. It looked very polished and clean. There was a pile of clothes on the floor, they weren’t Linda’s style but they were fresh. After a shower and putting on the clothes she noticed the sink where an unwrapped toothbrush was. She didn’t know if it was for her but her breath must be revolting by now. A half empty tube of toothpaste was next to the brush, now that she had the essentials she began to improve her oral hygiene.

The medicine cabinet above the sink was slightly ajar. She opened it out of curiosity and found nothing very interesting, a new tube of toothpaste, aftershave, cologne, shaving cream and a pack of razors. One did stand out, a medication bottle filled with small pills. The label had been removed but when Linda looked at the small pills they were labeled “Prozac”. She already had a hunch he was taking medication and this proved it. Now that the mystery of Martin’s calm demeanor was solved she headed to backyard. The door out was through the kitchen onto a deck. It had been over a day and a half since she last stepped outside, air never felt so good. She observed the backyard, not a lot was grass, most of it was a wooden area with tress that blocked her from seeing far. To the right was the pool, she could see Martin swimming in it.

As Linda stepped off the deck she stopped to feel grass it was a great sensation on her feet. Eventually she came to her senses that she was still captive here and not free just because she stepped outside. She walked over to the pool, Martin was drying himself with a towel, it was white with a green cancer ribbon on it. Did he have cancer she wondered and which one did the green ribbon mean?

“Ah, good you’re here” Martin stated as he dried his hair with the towel.

“I hope Jeanette’s clothes fit alright”

“Their fine, not exactly what I would have picked but they fit perfectly” Linda replied.

Martin finished drying off and sat down on a beach chair next to the pool, he stared at the pool.

“I know what has been going through your head since you got here” Martin said in a serious tone far different then how normal speaks.

“And what would that be?” Linda asked.

“You want to know why I brought you here, why I kidnapped you, well now you’re going to know the answer. Linda didn’t say anything, her heat began to race.

“I have a sister named Kate; she’s fifthteen, about a year ago she was diagnosed with liver cancer, we tried chemo and sorts of treatments. It was no use and it has become terminal, she gets out of the hospital tomorrow, simply so she can enjoy the last days of her life”

“I’m sorry; I don’t know what to say” Linda responded.

“After she was diagnosed, we went to so many support centers, they comforted her but the fact remained she was going to die, not all the walkathons in the world could change that, not all the ribbons or donated wigs or speeches about fighting strong, none them changed reality, the reality that she would not have a sweet sixteen birthday party, she would never experience college, getting married having kids of her own, driving a car or simply growing up” Martin stopped for a moment, he was getting very upset but he managed to pull himself together.

“My parents died in a car accident when I was seventeen, a drunk truck driver smashed into them, the money from the lawsuit, allowed us to live without going to an orphanage, I all of sudden had to play the role of father, mother and brother to her, being the parent and helping her with homework, bullies and boys left me without a life of my own but I didn’t care, Kate was my world, helping her with every obstacle she faced, I told her life would never be a solo journey, that if a mountain seemed to high I’d help her, that if a goal seemed too far, I’d help her, then she got cancer and I couldn’t help her, I failed to hold up my promise, so I made her another promise that she would be happy for the rest of her days, she heard you were coming to the mall but the doctors wouldn’t release her early, I told her not to worry, that if she couldn’t go to Linda Niles, I’d bring Linda Niles to her, I know what I’ve done is wrong, illegal and extreme, but I am not going back on my promise again”

“You want me to meet her then?”

“Yes but that’s not all, I own a theater called The Float, it has a stage, you are going to give her a private concert, after you have done so, I’ll let you go”

“A concert? It’s not that simple I need-“

“I got a stage crew; I got a lead guitarist, a bassist, a drummer, backup vocals and whatever else your songs need, they know your songs, they practiced with Jeanette being the vocalist, you should know your own songs better than anyone else so you shouldn’t need as much practice, that’s what today’s agenda is, we are going to The Float and you are going to practice”

Martin got up from the chair and headed back toward the house.

“We leave in a hour be ready”

Linda returned to her room, the TV was no longer showing her kidnapping as the top story; a burning apartment building was now on every channel, the only mention of her was that her CD sales had greatly increased. Exactly one hour later Martin appeared, he didn’t tug her along by the wrist this time, he just simply said that it was time and Linda followed him the garage. The garage was littered with a lot of junk most of it was covered in dust, only the car seemed to be in good condition. They got in with Linda riding in the shotgun seat. Her stomach began to growl.

“There’s food at the theater” Martin said still in his serious tone. Linda began to worry; she had never seen him like this.

“I’ll be glad to do it, the concert I mean, I won’t give her the half rate show people at the end of my tours get” Linda said hoping to lighten the mood. It seemed to have worked; Martin briefly smiled and patted her head. The drive was only about 15 minutes but seeing the outside again, made Linda really enjoy it. They arrived at a large theater, the words “THE FLOAT” appeared on the upper walls. Below the words “CLOSED FOR REPAIRS” were written. They pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car.

“Don’t worry the place is in good condition; we just put that sign up to avoid people from wondering in” Martin said referring to the second sign. Inside the first room were posters for various bands, Linda didn’t recognize any of them, in the main concert area; several people were playing a song on the stage with Jeanette as the vocalist.

“She’s coming down fast, yes she is, yes she is, coming down” Jeanette sang in a very tone deaf way. Afterwards she spotted Martin and Linda.

“What do you think?” Jeanette asked energetically.

“I think it’s going to be a while before my ears stop bleeding” Martin teased.

“Fuck you”

“Too early in the day, now listen kiddos you’ve done well with the rehearsals so far, don’t blow it now” Martin turned to Linda.

“Ready firecracker?”

“Can I eat something first?” Linda asked.

“Oh yeah there is food backstage”

Linda walked to the backstage; there was a buffet of every breakfast food known to man. Linda grabbed a plate of pancakes and a cup of orange juice. She sat down a table that was set up nearby. Jeanette walked over to her.

“I see Martin has you hooked on that shit as well” Jeanette said referring to the orange juice.

“Yeah I noticed he had a lot of it”

“I remember on our first date he drank six glasses of them, when we first kissed it was like kissing a fucking orange”

Linda laughed at the statement. “Why do you act much more obnoxious then you really are?” Linda asked.

“What makes you think that I do that?”

“Come on, I work with celebrities, they all have their on screen personalities and their actually personalities, I noticed everyone is like that, it’s just easier to notice with stars”

“You know you’re not as dense as I thought you would be firecracker”

“I know you’re much more caring then you want people to know, Martin has very little time for himself, the fact that you still stay with him shows you’re patient and understanding, yet anyone who goes by just what you say will think the exact opposite”

“There was something about me that made people stay away from me, maybe it was just that I couldn’t talk to people properly, but no one wanted to be near me, I resented people for that, I decided if they were treat me like that, I might as well return the favor, but Martin was different, he didn’t run off, he didn’t seem to mind at all”

“How did you two meet?”

“My father had liver cancer; we meet at a support rally”

“What is his sister like?”

“At the time she was optimistic, she had high hopes that the chemo therapy would work, Martin did too, but a few weeks later, it became terminal she spent a lot of time at the hospital I rarely saw her, by then my father had died and the hospital reminded me too much of him, when it became terminal I wrote a letter to Martin, I promised to kill him if he showed it to anyone”

Martin came backstage. “Ok time to rock firecracker”

Linda headed to front of the stage in front of a microphone. The only two people in the audience were Martin and Jeanette. It felt awkward performing a song in front of only two people.

“You’re going to start with “Over the horizon” then” Into the night” followed by “Star studded evening”, which will be followed “Two’s a crowd” and you’re going to end “I found out” Martin said from his seat.

“I found out?” Linda said puzzled, the song was a bomb and she hadn’t ever used it for a concert.

“That is Kate’s favorite song so you’re going to sing it”

Practice through the first four songs went well; the band she was with knew the notes perfectly, Linda wondered how much they practice before she arrived. Finally it was time for “I found out” she began to get a bit nervous, memories of the critics reaction to the song came to mind, one in particularly said Linda’s career was coming to an end, which thankfully wasn’t the case. The lead guitarist started the intro, soon the bassist and the drummer joined in, finally Linda began the song:

“I remember when we first met now there is a day I will regret, he was so charming and sweet, he swept me off my feet, one day we stayed out late, that action I forever hate because I found out, he’s a psycho and wants to make me the fifth one, he’s not going to stop until he’s done” Linda sang, she then stopped for the guitar solo, she could see Jeanette trying to hold back a laugh, the next verse then began

“The sun rose in the sky, I was glad I didn’t die, I headed home, hoping it was done, little did I know it just began, because I found out, he knows where I live and he’s armed with a shiv, I hope I can run and that my life isn’t done” The second solo began, she just had to do the outro and this song was over, Jeanette by this time had stopped trying to hold back laughing.

“He was so charming and sweet he swept me off my feet, one day we stayed out late, that action I forever hate because I found out, he’s a psycho and wants to make me the fifth one, he’s going to stop until he’s done, he’s not going to stop until he’s done, he’s not going to stop until he’s done” Finally the song was over. Jeanette and Martin both clapped, they then headed onto the stage.

“Ok we tortured you enough, you don’t have to do that song” Martin said now back in his claim mood.

“I thought it was Kate’s favorite” Linda said confused.

“Dude that song sucks, nobody likes it, we just said that as a joke” Jeanette responded.

“Don’t worry you just have to do the first four”

“You’re an ass” Linda said to Martin.

“It was Jeanette’s idea”

“Don’t blame me, you went along with it”

The three of them then started laughing. Jeanette was called over by one the stage hands, Martin then put his hands on Linda shoulders.

“You’re doing a good thing; I know you didn’t have much say in this but I just wanted to thank you for going along with it” Martin said in a sort of claim and serious tone

“You’re a good person Martin, I mean you did kidnap me but I everyone has their faults” Linda replied. Jeanette then called over Martin, Linda looked over the row of empty seats, soon the reason for all of this would take place.

Kate

Linda awoke to the smell of food, but unlike the pleasant pancakes from two days ago this was odor was from tuna, a smell that was always nauseating to her. It couldn’t have been much more than a little past seven in the morning; she wondered who was having tuna at this hour. Linda went up the stairs to the kitchen and her question was answered. Jeanette was sitting at the table with a can of tuna and a can of Kramer soda, she was wearing pink pajamas with yellow faded stars on them, her attention turned to Linda.

“Mornin” Jeanette acknowledged while grabbing a piece of tuna with a fork.

“Hey, where’s Martin?” Linda asked politely.

“Snowflake went to pick up his sister, he should be back soon, help yourself to a donut”

On a counter there was a box of donuts. When Linda went over to open the box she noticed that all of them were glazed, her favorite. She took the box and sat down across from Jeanette at the table.

“Snowflake said those were your favorites” Jeanette said taking a sip from the soda.

“I had no idea my entire diet was available from a magazine” Linda said while grabbing a donut.

Linda looked around at the posters again and once again noticed her poster with the two tickets.

“Did you go with Martin to my concert in Nassau?” Linda asked still looking at the posters.

“Yeah, he originally got the tickets for himself and Kate before she got diagnosed” Jeanette answered.

“I was never as big into music as they were; I mean I have a few favorites but not as much Martin and Kate”

“Why are they such music fans?”

“They grew up with music, their parents owned The Float and they saw all sorts of bands has kids, I personally think Martin likes it because it reminds him of better times, his parents still alive and his sister cancer free”

Linda and Jeanette ate for a few more minutes before the door leading to the garage opened. Martin walked in and made a facial gesture to Jeanette. Jeanette walked over to him and the two whispered, Linda got slightly nervous but calmed down when she noticed the facial expressions seemed to be positive. Jeanette walked out the door and Linda could hear her and another girl’s voice talking. Then a girl walked through the door, there was no doubt that this was Kate. She was about a foot shorter then Martin but except for the hair they shared many physical characteristics including eye color and chin size.

Her faced lit up when she saw Linda, she walked over to her while Martin headed out the door.

“Oh my god it is you” Kate said barely able to contain her excitement.

When she walked closer to Linda her knees began to shake due to her being up close to her idol.

“I’m sorry I’m acting like a child, it’s just, wow I was half expecting to find out Martin had just lost his mind or something”

“It’s ok kiddo, I’m a human just like everyone else” Linda said amused by Kate’s reaction.

“I’m wondering what did my brother tell you about me, because he tends to hide stuff from people”

“He said you have liver cancer, he tries not to show it but it has shaken him greatly”

“I’m surprised he told you, maybe he has crush on you”

“I doubt it and Jeanette would none too pleased if it were true”

“I remember Jeanette from one of the rallies, her father constantly reprimanded her for her language, she really became depressed after he died, I think she would have fallen apart if she didn’t meet Martin, but enough of the misery, let’s go outside I have been cooped up in a room for months”

Kate opened the door to the deck and ran out, Linda followed her. Out of the corner of her eye she spotted Martin and Jeanette watching from the driveway. She then walked to the front of the deck where Kate was looking out into the woods.

“I missed this view” Kate said still looking out into the back yard.

“I remember Martin had to help me see over the railing when I was younger, I used to be obsessed with finding out what was beyond the trees until one day I ran off into the woods to find out, I got so scared I started screaming until my brother came to the rescue”

“Did you ever find out what was beyond the trees?” Linda asked.

“All that curiosity just to find out an office building was there”

“You and Martin look so alike except for the hair”

“It’s a wig” Kate said as she momentary lifted her hair up to show her bald head.

“But yeah we get that a lot, I don’t think there was one rally or support group we went too where someone didn’t mention it, but enough about that I was told you’re going to play a concert”

“Yeah exclusively for you down at The Float”

Kate began to grin and her knees began to shake again upon hearing that.

“Oh man I missed The Float a lot, when I was little I used to love that I got to sat in the front row for free” Kate said tapping her fingers on the deck railing in excitement.

“I noticed you’re brother likes to use nicknames for everybody, what was yours?” Linda asked.

“Ugh you don’t wanna know”

“C’mon it can’t be that bad”

“Tell me yours first”

“Mine is firecracker”

“That’s not as bad as mine”

“Well?”

“It’s short stack because I am shorter than him”

“That isn’t so bad”

“Before I got diagnosed he used to call me it every day, it drove me crazy even more so that he didn’t get bothered by his nickname”

“He stopped calling you that once you got diagnosed?”

“He changed dramatically after the doctor’s visit, it was a day and night change, he tried to be optimistic during the chemo but he didn’t really ever hold out much hope for it”

“How did Martin change?”

“He became very withdrawn from everything, I tried to convince him to see a therapist but other than giving him medication it didn’t really do anything, for the better part of a year, he rarely said anything to anyone other than me and Jeanette, believe it or not my hospitalization had a silver lining because it forced him to go out into the world”

The grin on Kate’s faced had faded but it quickly return as Kate grabbed Linda by the arm.

“I want to show you something” Kate excitably.

Kate pulled Linda by the wrist much less gently then Martin did. The two went the stairs and to the room with the pink door that was locked two days ago. Martin must have unlocked it at some point because Kate was able to up it with ease. It was Kate’s room, the walls were also painted pink and there were also band posters but they were more focused on girl and tween bands. There was a chest of drawers on one side of the room, on top was a television set with a VCR built into it. Kate opened one of the draws, pulled out a video tape and put into the TV; she pressed two buttons and turned her attention to Linda.

“Wait till you see this”

The video began to play; it was a little fuzzy indicating it was a home video. Immediately Linda recognized the setting as New York City, she had been there more times then she could count. Kate was in the video only she looked slightly younger, it had to have been before she had cancer, because her hair was longer and a different shade. She was running on a sidewalk with the cameraman trying to keep up, she eventually stopped at the entrance to a very extravagant building.

“Is this the place?” the cameraman asked. Linda recognized the voice as Martin’s.

“Yeah, any minute now, come on hold it steady” Kate replied.

A black stretch limo appeared. The chauffer came out, he was a large built man, he must have also doubled as a body guard. He went to the door in the back and opened it; the person who came was none other than Linda herself. Watching the video Linda was a bit surprised she had no memory of what was going on in the video. The chauffer walked with Linda as she headed for the entrance of the building. He quickly glanced at Kate, obviously a little uncomfortable with their presence.

“Linda you rock!” Kate shouted.

Linda turned her head and noticed Kate; she gave a quick wave and headed inside the building. Kate turned to Martin.

“Did you see that? She waved to us that was so awesome” Kate very happily.

“I was convinced she’d just ignore us” Martin responded.

“Not Linda Niles, she’s awesome, you know she’s having a concert at the Nassau Coliseum we should so go to it”

“Sure thing short stuff”

The video then cut to static, Kate went over and turned off the TV.

“You don’t remember that do you?” Kate asked.

“I’m sorry kiddo”

“It’s alright, I wanted to see a concert, I just had to wait a little longer then I thought that’s all”

“You bet, I’m going to make sure it’s my best one ever”

Kate and Linda spent the next several hours talking about a variety of subjects. Kate talked the various concerts she had been too, the bands she saw at the float, pranks she pulled on Martin, boys she thought were hot. Linda contributed to the conversation by mentioning her favorite and worst concerts, her best and worst songs, the ups and downs of her career. Hours of talking they last track of time until there was a knock at the door. Kate got up and opened it, Martin was standing in the door way.

“Time to get ready ladies” Martin said in his signature calm voice.

“Now Kate you’re going to go with me, Linda you’re going to be driven by Jeanette”

“Why are we going separately?” Kate asked puzzled.

“Because Linda has to get setup and we are stopping at Luca’s to eat first”.

The mention of the place got Kate wide-eyed.

“Awesome I missed Luca’s do they still make that pepperoni sandwich thing?”

“The calzone, and yes I think they do”

“Let’s get going then”

Kate giddily ran out the door as Martin turned to Linda.

“Jeanette is going be waiting downstairs” Martin stated.

Martin headed out the door with Linda following about a minute later. Jeanette was sitting at the table fidgeting with a set of keys. She was wearing an emerald dress, a sharp contrast to what she normally wore. She quickly noticed Linda.

“Alright let’s get cracking” Jeanette said chirpily.

Jeanette headed to the garage with Linda behind her. A sedan that was a little worn was in the garage waiting to be used. Jeanette used her key to unlock the doors and Linda got in the passenger seat. They then drove out of the garage, through the driveway and on to the road.

“I just wanted to say sorry for being a bitch the other day” Jeanette said referring to when they first met.

“It’s just that I thought you were going to be some stuck up cunt and I have had more than my fair share of those”

“Its fine don’t worry about” Linda said still a little nervous around her.

“You’re really like nice and cool and shit, I mean we have kidnapped you and held you against you’re will and you’re being really cool about it”

“It’s perfectly alright”

“In a way it was awesome to have another girl to talk too for a change, I love Martin but I need some girl time you know?”

“I understand”

Jeanette and Linda talked for a little while longer and then arrived at the float. When they arrived Linda headed for the stage where she and the band checked to make sure all the instruments were in tune and all the microphones and amps were working. Once everything was all set Linda waited backstage for the show to start. While waited it occurred to her that after this she will be let go, the nervousness that subsided for a while returned. Would Martin keep his word, was he confident that Linda wouldn’t tell the police about everything, was he really going to let her leave just like that? Her focused then returned to the concert, if it all went well her chances of this ending happily would increase.

About a hour later, Linda was all dressed up for the stage, she could hear the opening guitar solo for her hit “Over the horizon” playing. Her cue was right after it ended, she dashed out to the stage, Martin, Jeanette and Kate were watching from the front row. Kate was without a doubt the most enthusiastic, Martin seemed more reserved and Jeanette looked a bit bored. The show was without exaggeration her best one ever, it was ironic it was also to the smallest crowd she ever played to. It was a bit odd not to have the screaming of thousands of fans but this didn’t thrown Linda off. When it was all over the three audience members gave her a standing ovation. They then went up on stage to her and Linda’s nervousness returned.

“That was so awesome beyond awesome, awesome just isn’t a strong enough word” Kate said fast and excitably.

“Could’ve have been worse” Jeanette said in an attempt at dry humor.

“You did great firecracker” Martin said cheerfully.

“What happens now?” Linda said almost as nervous as the day she was kidnapped.

“Now we say goodbye” Martin responded.

Kate went up to Linda and squeezed her tightly.

“Thanks for everything” she said still squeezing tight.

“If you leave out the main entrance and turn right there is a phone booth” Martin said sounding a bit sad.

Linda walked to the main entrance. Before she walked out she turned and looked back at the three, they waved and she returned the wave. She then walked through the doors and just like that she was free.

Homecoming

The next few days were a blur for Linda. Once it became public that she was alive and well, seas of reporters and journalists surrounded her where ever she went. She had called the police from the pay phone Martin mentioned and once she proved that she was Linda Niles the bombardment of paparazzi and the like began. At the official press conference she made up a story how she was held by unknown captors for three days and was able to escape. The press bought the story and soon she was back home in Los Angles.

She missed her home it had been weeks since she was last there; she was planning to come back the day of her kidnapping. The kitchen table was covered with welcome back flowers and cards. The couch in the living room was just comfy as she remembered. For a while nothing else mattered just the fact she was home was the only thing that occupied her thoughts. It couldn’t have been more than an hour before her agent; Lenny Hamilton let himself into the house. Lenny was an older man his hair begging to thin and his waist begging to spread.

“Thank god you’re alright sorry I couldn’t meet up back at Destiny Hill” Lenny said as he proceeded to hug Linda.

“It’s alright; it’s good to see you Lenny” Linda replied with a hint of joy in her voice.

“So are you ok, I mean you weren’t beaten or forced to do anything?”

“I’m fine Lenny, I just had this conversation with the parents, I’m ok, and I’m not in shell shock or need consoling”

“That’s great, the security at the mall really fucked up, I mean an A-list like you arrives and they just rely on unarmed security guards? The asshole didn’t even need a gun; we are going to sue the shit out of that mall and we are never going to set foot in Destiny Hill again, small quiet town my ass”

“Please don’t Lenny; I just want to put the situation behind me”

“Linda you can’t just let some country bumpkins fuck up like that, they got to learn to treat certain people with respect”

“Country bumpkins? They were in the middle of New Jersey”

“Shit you’re right think it was Mafia related?”

“Look Lenny I’m safe so let’s just leave it at that ok? Also tell Jerry I want to see him”

“Fine whatever just let me know when you change your mind, I’ll tell Jerry to come over, the kid has been crying nonstop since this whole thing started”

Twenty minutes later, Linda’s personal assistant Jerry Bonham arrived. Despite being older then Linda she often called him kid due to him acti


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