Creative Writing:

The Advent Kidnapper

Creative Writing:

Google

Helen Ambrose, Staff Writer

December: a magical and delightful time of year filled with children’s laughter and the suspense of gifts to come. People from different parts of the world celebrating something together. This was a feeling I have never experienced in Ridgeville. My town was caught between the feeling of sadness and fear. Around this time of year, instead of the newest toy disappearing off the shelf, children disappear and there is nothing we can do about it.  

The Advent Kidnapper, as we call them, strikes every December. Each day one child is taken and is never seen from again. They always strike right after dusk while everyone is watching the setting sun. The kidnapper always leaves the child’s favorite toy behind when they take them. I have seen many stuffed animals, toy cars, and footballleft behind in my lifetime.  

In a way it is heartbreaking, but people are stupid, especially children, and refuse to listen when an authority tells them to be extremely careful. Kids do not leave their house to go to school or go to the store with their parents. Instead, they love to play in the yard right before nightfall. They are asking for it, to be honest. The entire town is always on the verge of tears for the next person they are going to lose because they know there is no mercy in December.  

 I have lost an older brother and a baby sister to the Advent Kidnapper. They were both taken last year, and my mother lives in constant fear that I, her precious baby girl, is the next to be taken. My father left years ago. He claimed he could not stand the pain of watching children disappear, but it is really because he was scared for himself.  

December 29 

“Mom, what day is it?” I ask as I walk down our creaking stairs. could not tell you the date for the life of me. 

“Three more days until this is over. Only three more days, Lilly,” she mumbles from the kitchen. It was a day until the anniversary of my sister’s disappearance, a week after my brother’s. I miss them, but life carries on, and I must too. 

I hug my mom goodbye before I leave for my daily walk. I may hate this town, but it is stunning when snow covers it. The icy atmosphere gives the town a fresh look, glossing over the dirty buildings and musty storefronts. The few places that still bother to decorate for Christmas have strings of red and green lights lining their stores. The only thing out of place is the many missing signs scatted around town. What is the point? There is no way you can get your kid back.  

I walk all the way to the only good place to get food in Ridgeville, Café Maria. It is not the best name, but the food speaks for itself. I order a chocolate chip cookie and a large coffee with cream. Someone is at my usual table, so I sit in the back corner by the doors to the kitchen.  

Missing signs cover the walls here too. Some of them were from last year because no one bothers to take them down. Some of the kids I recognize. I go to school with them, or at least I did. They look like genuinely good kids. Too bad they were stupid just one time. It is their fault.  

I make sure to get home an hour before sunset. 

December 30 

I wake up later than I should and look at the clock. It reads 10:00 am. I am so late. I leap out of bed and quickly get dressed in the easiest thing I could find. oversee making breakfast on the last day of December. It is my way of celebrating the departure of the Advent kidnapper until next year. Yes, a child was taken last night leaving behind their stuffed bunny, but I had made it. One more day until things get back to normal for a while.  

My mom is sitting on the couch when I come down the stairs. She is holding her favorite coffee cup while reading book on birds. She has a plate of eggs in front of her, so she already made breakfast for herself. Great! She ruined our celebration! Whatever, I will eat what she left for me. I go to the kitchen and make myself a plate of eggs. I sit at the counter and chew silently. I was mad. How could she just forget? She knows how much I love to make breakfast.  

I wash my plate in the sink and grab the car keys. I have my license, so I am going for a drive. I walk outside just as I hear my mom get up off the couch because I slammed the door. I put the car in reverse and back out of our dirt driveway. The streets are empty, as usual, so I go as fast as I want until I reach Ridgeville’s limits. I hate this place. Why would anyone chose to live here? 

I get out of our Ford truck and sit down on top of the town sign. It is the giant wooden block with Ridgeville craveinto it. Nothing special, like this entire town.  

Suddenly, the wind picks up and a piece of paper hits my faceIt is a flyer from when my sister first went missing. The typing was slightly smudged from the snow, but it is a picture of her. I miss her every day and I can feel the hole in my heart she and my brother used to fill.  

I sat there in between tears of sadness because they were gone forever and tears of happiness because at least I am still here for my mom. Once I am calm and the tears have dried, I go back home 

I make sure to get home thirty minutes before sunset.  

December 31 

It was New Year’s Day. They will not return for a while. I am overjoyed by this fact. I can roam free after dark and enjoy the sunset from my backyard without the fear of being kidnapped. I wake up bright and early to tell my mom we are safe, but she is not there when I go downstairs.  

While I wait for her, I order breakfast for us from Café Maria and sit down to watch TV. What a sense of relief! I forgot what it feels like. Yesterday was a lot, so it feels amazing to relax and watch the tension release from my body. 

My mom finally comes home around noon and I am not happy. I have been waiting for four hours for her. 

“Where were you?” I question. I am careful not to raise my voice too much.  

“I was buying groceries if you must know,” she replies. 

And with that I walk back up the stairs and slam the door. 

*** 

I go back down around dusk. I want to watch the sunset from my front yard. I sit down on the itchy grass and spread my legs out. I breath in the fresh air and watch the sky become a painting of reds and oranges.  

LILLY! “my mom screams” What are you doing out there? Get back inside right now.” 

“What are you talking about?” I yell back. 

I see my mom run onto the back porch just as I feel a rough hand cover my mouth. I hear a gasp as something hits my head and I black out.