Trade Off

When I was growing up, I never imagined I’d make a living by kidnapping kids for ransom. But here we are. I was running the rat-race for years and years until I realized there’s a better way.

But this latest kid is different. He didn’t even put up a fight when I snatched him near his school.

“Don’t worry kid.” I say. “Just think of this as a little vacation.”

It’s not like I’m keeping these kids in cages. I’ve put them in clean spacious rooms with TV, books, toys, and good wholesome food three times a day.

“You’ll be home before you know it.” I say.

He doesn’t reply. He’s hardly said anything since I took him.

“I don’t want to go home.” The boy says.

“Why not?” I ask.

The boy takes off his shirt and shows me the scars on his back.

Damn this kid for waking up my conscience. If I give the boy back to his parents, they’ll keep beating him.

“Well, there goes my ransom.” I sigh. “Listen kid, do you wanna live somewhere else?”

He immediately agrees.

I have a feeling he’ll like the orphanage I grew up in. It’s a good place, after all I turned out alright.

 

Writer: Rohan Parekh

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