Chapter OneI briskly walk through the park, hands stuffed in my fleece jacket pockets. My breath comes out in white clouds, and my heeled boots tap the pavement. I check my watch. 6:45. I should start heading home soon. I turn around and begin strolling back towards home when-
"Excuse me, miss."
I startle, almost tripping. When I regain my balance, I look around. There, half hidden in the trees, is a man. He looks as if he could possibly be homeless. He's scrawny, with a coarse coating of hair on his chin and a worn brown coat. He steps out into the moonlight.
He gives a tight-lipped smile. "My truck has engine problems, and if you could be so kind to come and help me..."
I start to nod and follow him, but I pause. Something about this just doesn't seem right. My heart pounds in my throat, and the atmosphere is quiet - too quiet. "Well, I really should be getting home-"
His hand shoots out and grabs my arm. "You're not going anywhere, young lady."
"Get your hand off of me!" I exclaim. Then I open my mouth to start to scream, but only get a breath of air out as he shoves his cold, dirty hand over my mouth. I squirm, but to no avail.
Time seems to slow down as he reaches into his pocket. He pulls something out.
My heart stops when I realize it's a gun.
He sees my fear and lets out a laugh. "Oh, don't worry, missy - I'm not going to shoot you." He raises the butt up high, and his sneer is lit up in the moonlight.
"But you will have an ugly little bump there."
He brings the butt of the gun down and I hear the crack as it connects with my skull.
I fight to remain alert, but despite my efforts, I am dragged down deep into unconsciousness.