"Ah you sure you don' wan a ride?" Alexis asked me in her signature cockney accent. She brushed her caramel colored hair out of her face so it wouldn't cover her dark-chocolate brown eyes, wide with slight concern. "Really, Lynne, it wou-'t be a big deal, you don' live far," She assured me. She pronounced "far" like "fah."

"No, it's fine. Like you said, I don't live far. I can walk from here."

Here, by the way, is school. We go to a catholic school in Wales, and while some people drive miles to get here, it's a conveniently paved two blocks away from my house.

"I know you live, li… right there. But, you know… all the kidnappings lately. My mum's really worried about it," Alexis explained. You see, recently kids, some my age (10 years), and others not, have gone missing. Tons of missing posters are popping up on the walls, bulletins, poles, and anywhere else you can think of. In the newspaper they've had to add two more pages to the section to fit them all. Obviously some psycho killer or mastermind is up to something, and so far it doesn't look like a simple fix.

"She's especially worried abou' you, ya know. She knows you walk to and from school every day."

"Lexi, I'll be fine," I persuaded. A beat up minivan pulled through the flow-zone. That was Alexis's mum. Alexis glanced at her mum through the window. "Are you absolutely sure?"

"Positive." She picked up her bag and hesitated. "Look, I'll call you as soon as I get home. And I'll tell you how utterly kidnapped I am, you know, me being home and all." She rolled her eyes.

"Fine. See you tomorrow!" She hopped into the minivan, and before the door even closed the van was rolling away.

As soon as the parking lot was clear enough, I crossed the lot and the street to start my walk home. Like I was getting kidnapped! Right. I'm not gonna get kidnapped. I've been on the route hundreds of times before. Nothing bad has ever happened. Why would it happen now?


Before I had even been able to close the passenger door, mum started to drive away. Just like her, too, always impatient. She's quite a busy-body, you know? And a worry-wart. Although her worries about Lynne are somewhat reasonable and justified.

"So how was school?" Mum asked as she made a turn onto the street. Except not in the right direction towards our neighborhood. I'm not good at directions, and I can only hope I'll get better within the next six years before I even attempt to get my license, but I know that much.

"Fine, Mum-."

"Didn't you ask Alexis for a ride?" She questioned. I could only see the back of her hair, which was black with silver highlights due to age, but I can only imagine her overly-irritated face to match her worry-wart (I told you, didn't I?) voice.

"Yes, Mum, I did but-!"

"So she already got a ride? Is her mum pickin' her up, then?"

"Well, no…"

"That girl. She's walkin' home, isn't she? Stubborn, she is," Mum shook her head. She took another turn, and I realized she had just circled the whole school. Now we were facing the direction Lynne goes to get to her house.

"Mum, we're not gonna follow her, are we?"

I straightened up to see Mum's face in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were wide as she shook her head, "Of course we're following her."

I groaned lightly. Like I said, Mum's a worry-wart. The girl doesn't give up.

"That girl… stubborn, she is," Mum repeated.

Oh Mum… stubborn she is…