“It has been two years since my last book came out! The publishers are asking me for a new one, but I can’t do it. I think I am having writer’s block,” said Saul Robinson.
Saul was a writer, you might have figured that out. He was a bestselling writer to be precise. His last book was so good that it had been turned into movie. But now he was not able to write a book.
“Don’t worry Saul. This is just a phase, after this is over, you will write another book which is gonna be even better than the last one. I am sure of it,” said Sally, his wife.
“ You are sure of it! Right….you see, you are not the one who writes the book. It’s me who does it, it’s me who has to face the readers, the people,” screamed Saul, who was in a pretty bad mood.
“Look, I understand that you are stressed. You are worried. But screaming at me, at your children is not going to help you. It won’t give you an idea,” retaliated Sally.
“How about this, how about I spend the rest of the day somewhere outside and then get back to you. How about that?”
“Fine. That is alright with me.”
Saul took his car keys and walked towards the door. On the way, he saw his son and his daughter staring at him. They heard the conversation, well more of a fight, between their parents. He stared back at them and opened the door.
His wife and his children heard the sound of the engine of the car come to life. Then they heard the tires screech and then there was silence.
Saul was sitting in a diner. The day had turned to night and he was thinking about all that had happened that day. He was sitting on a table which was facing the window.
“What would you like to have?” asked the waitress.
“Give me some Pepsi for now,” said Saul.
“Okay,” said the waitress and went back.
Saul sat staring outside the window. He was thinking a lot about the things that had happened. He felt that he was a man who was not worth all the success that he had, the way that he talked with his wife, it made him feel that he was not worth it.
The waitress bought him a glass of Pepsi. He thanked her and went back to staring outside the window.
He saw a man standing outside, suddenly a car came out of nowhere and two men got out of it. They put a mask on his face and dragged him inside. The car went away.
He was shocked to see this. He looked around him, no one had seen that except him. He started sweating, his hands started shivering. He kept a five dollar note on the table, picked up the glass of Pepsi, took a sip from it and moved towards the door.
Saul sat in front of the television in his house. He kept changing from one news channel to another. He was looking if there were any reports about the kidnappings. But to his surprise there weren’t.
He heard someone behind him, he turned around. It was his wife. He heaved a sigh of relief.
“So? Any new ideas?” asked his wife.
“I don’t know.”
Saul and his wife were sitting in the porch of their house. Saul did not tell anyone about the kidnapping, not his wife, not even the police. He was waiting for someone else to report it.
Sally was reading the newspaper. Suddenly they heard a sound of a speeding car which suddenly applied brakes. They looked who it was, a car had stopped right in front of their house.
“Who is that?” asked Sally.
“How am I supposed to know?” replied Saul sarcastically.
“Well, why don’t you go and ask what has happened,” said Sally.
“Okay,” said Saul.
He got up from his chair and walked towards the car, he turned back to look at Sally, she looked back at him.
Saul reached the car. He knocked at the window which was shut. It rolled down, there was a man sitting inside.
“Any problem?” asked Saul.
A man walked behind him from the other side of the car and put a mask on him, opened the door and shoved him inside. Then he sat inside and the car started moving.
Sally was shocked to see this, for a moment she felt paralysed with the shock. Then she regained he senses and ran inside to call the police. Just as she was about to call the police, she heard the phone ring.
She picked it up.
“Hello?” asked Sally.
“Sally! Sally! Listen to me! You should not call the cops! Don’t even think about it! Or else these guys are gonna put a bullet right through my head.”
“Listen to what you’re husband said to you. If you report it to the police, we will know about it, thanks to the fame of the famous writer Saul Robinson. And don’t even think about telling this to your children. We don’t want them to spread the message. Stay beside your phone,” said a mysterious voice on the phone.
Then the man hung up.
Tears rolled down Sally’s eyes. She was shocked. She had to keep this away from her children and the police or else.
It was just two hours before her children got back. She had to prepare to tell them something, some stupid reason for their father’s absence. But what if they think that their parents are getting a divorce, after the fight they had the day before. Oh, that’s just pathetic. They were too young to know about divorce. But their father had written some books about divorce. They might have seen that particular word and searched it in the dictionary, who knows?
Sally was losing her mind. She could not bear all this. She could not call the cops, could not tell the kids. What was she supposed to do?
Sally was in the kitchen, when her kids arrived.
“Hey mom,” said her son Chuck.
“Hey Chuck, hey Kate,” she said.
“Where is dad?” asked Kate.
That was the one question that Sally did not want to hear. She was not prepared for this.
“Daddy has gone out of town, for a while,” Sally said.
“When will he be back?” asked Chuck.
“I don’t know he did not say anything about it,” Sally replied, as she tried to control her emotions.
“I hope everything is fine between you two,” said Kate.
“Yeah, yeah. It is. Now go wash your faces and come back, then I will give you some snacks.”
A day passed. There was no sign of Saul, nor was there any call from the kidnappers. Maybe they had killed him, maybe not. Sally was getting all sorts of bad feelings about this.
She thought of calling the cops, but then what if he was still alive and the news reached the kidnappers and they killed him. Lets stay positive, she kept thinking.
Her children had gone to school when the phone began ringing.
She walked towards it and picked it up.
“Sally! Thank God! How are you? How are the ki….” Saul said, before the kidnappers snatched the phone from him.
“Saul! Its so good to hear fro…”
“Listen to me. I need five hundred grand in exchange for freeing your man,” said the voice over the phone.
“How? How? How am I supposed to pay it you? Do accept debit card?” asked Sally stupidly, she was too nervous.
“You stupid? You think I am some guy working in a departmental store waiting for you to pay me through a ‘debit card’? Lady bring in cash, alright?” said the man on the phone.
“Okay! Sorry for my question. Where should I bring it?” asked Sally.
The man on the phone gave her the address and hung up.
As soon as he hung up, Sally rushed to the bank.
When her turn came, in the bank, to withdraw money. She was asked why she required such a huge amount of money. She lied that she was gonna buy a piece of land.
She took all the cash and stuffed in a bag, that she had brought along with her. Then she walked back to her car and looked around to see if anyone was looking at her. She did not want to attract any attention.
Sally reached the place where she was supposed to meet with the kidnappers. The place was a recycling unit.
Her phone began ringing, she picked it up.
“Leave the bag on the ground an go back to your house. Your husband is waiting for you there,” said the man on the phone and hung up.
Sally looked around and saw there was no one around. Maybe there was someone far away with a sniper aimed at her, waiting to blow her brains the minute she tried to call the cops. She did as she was told. She kept the bag on the ground and rushed back to her home.
Sally opened the door of her house and saw that Saul was sitting in the hall watching television. He switched it off when he saw her.
“Thank God you are okay!” said Sally, as she hugged him.
“Of course I am okay,” said Saul.
“Lets call the cops now and get our money back,” she said. She was very tense now.
“Don’t worry about it,” he said
“What do you mean don’t worry?” she asked.
“I planned all this. The money is on its way back.”
“You crazy fool! Why?” screamed Sally.
“I had a writers block. You know about that I needed an idea and here it is. I planned all this, I wanted to write the story from your side.”
“What do you mean my side?”
“I mean, the way you reacted on watching me get kidnapped. The way you felt about it and all.”
“You’re a fool I hope you know that.”
“Yeah and an intelligent one,” replied Saul with a smile and hugged his wife.
Then he thought about the man that had been kidnapped, he never bothered to tell the cops about it and he didn’t want to.
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