‘Max? Max? Are you home? I thought you were picking me up for dinner?’ Paula called out as she made her way from the front door to the kitchen, where she usually found Max. It appeared that he wasn’t here, and yet, his car was parked in the driveway. She walked through to Max’s bedroom, and then into his bathroom. He wasn’t in either of those places.
As Paula walked back to the kitchen she heard him calling.
‘Down here. PLEASE, DOWN HERE! IN THE BASEMENT!’
Paula rushed down the basement stairs, almost falling the last two. She stopped dead when she saw Max’s lifeless body only metres away from Liam.
‘Miss H, you gotta help me.’
Paula looked at the boy, his face red and puffy. He was crying, and probably had been for a while. Then she looked at the body she knew was Max. She inched forward until she was standing at Max’s side. Crouching down beside him, she rolled him onto his back. He had been dead for a while. She knew that because the pool of blood that his body was laying in was congealing.
‘I stabbed him with a pen, Miss. I don’t want to go to jail for killing him.’
‘It’s okay, Liam.’ She looked back at the boy. He had no idea. She could play this out any way she wanted. Paula made a big scene of noticing that Liam was shackled. She rushed towards him, and pathetically tugged at the chain.
‘I think he has the key on him, Miss. In his pocket.’ Liam pointed to the body.
Hesitantly, Paula moved back over to the corpse. She patted his pockets and quickly found Max’s keys. She knew the key that would unlock the shackles would be found on the key ring, but fumbled with each key in the lock, before she happened upon the correct one.
Now free, Liam stood and walked to the prone body. He bent down and pulled to the balaclava from his kidnapper’s head. Paula stood beside him ready to feign shock. He recoiled, falling backwards when he revealed the man’s face.
‘Mr Walters? Oh my God. He was my Maths teacher.’
‘Liam, let’s go upstairs. We’ll call the police. Everything will be okay, now.’ She pushed Liam in front of her and ushered him up the stairs, smiling the whole way. Max Walters would now certainly have the attention of the police, but he wouldn’t be a problem for her any longer.
. . . The end . . .