The Kidnapping

| February 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

By: Lindsay Kutac

    The urge to interrupt him before he had finished was impossibly overwhelming. Jackson wasn’t looking at me. He was staring at the rifles nailed to the ceiling while he droned on about the Civil War’s impact on modern times and a bunch of other boring facts that went in one ear and out the other.

    Once the lout finished his speech, I raised an eyebrow. Was he serious?

    “Well?” Jackson asked. “What do you think?”

    My blank stare must not have given him the clue, so I breathed in deeply and stood up from the high backed museum chair. “I think those kids are going to fall over dead before they absorb any of what you just said.”

    I gathered my files and was nearly out the polished oak door before I heard my best friend call out, “Hey, wait a minute, Leslie!”

    Rolling my eyes, I turned around to face Jackson. He was never going to get the job – even being my best friend was not going to give him the push he needed when it comes to being a tour guide. There is simply no way my dad, Ronald Brookes, was going to let Jackson talk to the customers at the Brookes Museum of American History. Absolutely not.

    “Tell me what I did wrong,” Jackson pleaded. He was sincerely desperate to stop working as the evening custodian here, and I sympathized, but it was going to be hard to tell him he was simply awful.

    I sighed and closed my eyes for a moment. “Jackson…you stare at the 1854 Lorenz musket and don’t make eye contact, you fiddle with your shirt buttons, and you make the Battle of Sabine Pass sound like a college lecture! I can’t possibly – “

    “You’ve been to a college lecture?”

    Groaning, I shook my head. He was impossible. And the fact that we really needed an exhibit guide made it all the worse. Obviously, he hadn’t prepared like he was supposed to.

    “No, Jackson, and that’s the kind of off-track thinking that will leave our customers unsatisfied. You need to practice more. A lot more. And no,” I objected, seeing his hopeful expression, “I cannot help you. That would be considered biased and an act of favoritism. Honestly, Jacks, I don’t think this is your thing. The truth is you’re rather inept and maladroit. It’s not the thing for you. The way you do it is ineffectual.”

    “What’s a maladroit? It’s it a kind of mandrake, like from Harry Potter?” he asked. I cursed in frustration. I tended to use big words when I got wound up, and hardly anyone knew what they meant. Jackson continued, “The eideticy of this situation is confusing me.”
“Eideticy isn’t a word!” I exclaimed. “And I’ve told you I prefer for  you to say ‘total recall’.”




    I stumbled through the front door of my house, shutting it quickly so as not to let the icy arctic cold into my kitchen. My hair must have looked like a nest of birds, but I didn’t care. My precious Saturday was spent auditioning people for the ‘Civil War Impact’ guide. And Jackson wasn’t going to make it. I sighed with exasperation. What was I going to do?

    No one was outstanding, to tell the truth. Everyone had something wrong. This one kid had a beautiful charisma, but she kept forgetting the words. Another would mumble to themselves to the point where I didn’t even know if she was reciting the script. Others, like Jackson wouldn’t make eye contact with me, and it was a frustrating group. I believed, though, that I was going to call in Katrina – the girl with personality – in for a re-audition so that she might have the script in order by then.

    “Hey Leslie,” my dad greeted me, not looking up from his Daily Journal newspaper. “How was auditions?”

    “Awful,” I groaned. “Not only did I have to do it on a Saturday all day, no one really had it together! This one guy just kind of mumbled everything and glanced everywhere around me. It was horrid.”

    “Well,” my dad said slowly, putting his paper down, “how did it go with Jackson?”

    I stopped in the middle of putting my coat up and let my forehead fall against the hideous pinflower wallpaper. “In short, there is no way he’s ever going to make it.”

    My dad frowned. “Oh, that’s too bad. I was really hoping he had something going for him. I could have let it slide.”

    Frowning, I sighed and didn’t answer him. I was too hungry. Nothing was really going to stand between me and the kitchen. And tomorrow, I had to get up at  6 a.m. to start my seven o’clock shift at the museum. I could only hope it was uneventful.



    It was too early to learn. No one should be wanting to learn about American history at this time of day. Sometimes I wished I had a less interesting life. Thankfully, everyone had the same idea: 7 a.m. was not a good way to begin a Sunday. Period.

    I was honestly holding out for it to be an uneventful morning. I was sipping a black coffee that most likely wasn’t healthy for my sixteen-year-old heart, and I was trying to wake my brain up with crossword puzzles. So it was perfectly reasonable for me to freak out when the shrill burglar alarm broke the peacefully still silence.

    My coffee was catapulted over the welcome desk and it spilled all over the floor as I scrambled under the counter to disable to alarm. A few pushes of buttons and splicings of wires gave me the sweet silence I had been enjoying before. After gathering my nerves, I went on red-alert. The alarm went off because someone was inside. And I was the only other person in the building.

    Silently, I crept towards the glass door which warm sunlight filtered through and I turned around the OPEN sign to say CLOSED before tiptoeing out of the tiled lobby and onto the carpeted Mayflower exhibit chamber. There was something horribly eerie in the silent air I had been relaxing in just moments prior. Hairs on the back of my neck prickled up and I froze.

    I turned around, a sixth sense telling me there something I needed to see.

    That’s when I was when I turned around to see that everything was dark.

    I was being kidnapped.

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Category: Creative Writing, Short Story

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