PICK-UP

They waved him through the road block. No one noticed the sweat on his hands where they gripped the steering wheel. No one checked the rusty trunk on the rusty flatbed truck. They were looking for a Prius, not a clapped out pick-up.

He drove for another five miles, then pulled into a layby. He unlocked the trunk. The kid was still asleep. Perhaps he had used too much of the drug. He wasn’t a pharmacist.

He dialled the number on the burner phone. She answered, distraught.

‘Two million, or you never see the kid again.’ He hung up and tossed the phone.


Copyright Bill Reynolds

Written for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visiHERE.

72 responses to “PICK-UP”

  1. A schoolboy error. He didn’t tell her where to make the drop. Now he’s going to have to buy another phone

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He only had 100 words! 🙂 He’s got it planned out, plenty of burner phones ready. Or perhaps he knows her and she will know where to put the money for him to collect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh good. I can’t abide a sloppy kidnapper

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Very intense story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Iain,

    That story certainly took a sinister turn. I wasn’t familiar with the word layby. Another to add to my list of British terms. Love it. Some of them even find their way into my vocabulary which gets me interesting looks. And Bob’s your uncle.
    Good story, sir.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I see a new pick up on its way. But the child must be released first.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, a perfectly horrid tale. Great writing! this could be too true….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much – let’s hope it’s not true!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly, it probably is somewhere along the border. sigh…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Good one. I’ll admit that actually did -lol- when I read your response to Neil about number of words your kidnapper had to work with…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s not easy coming up with a convaluted kidnap plan with only 100 words to work with! Thanks Trent 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The kidnapper needs to be one of those outback silent types.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Tense and thrilling, well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Must be tense moment for kidnapper… good story Iain

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I was thinking along the lines Neil did thought I figured he had already made the drop off location known… Of course, I read your response and see the plan 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dale, word limits and kidnaps do not mix well! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Only when your readers are being brats 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Sounds like he had it well planned (except for the 100 word limit). 🙂
    Let’s hope he didn’t use too much of the drug. Great writing, Iain. Loved the suspense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Russell, hope you are well.

      Like

  11. Reminds me of the story I read, “The Chain,” where a child gets kidnapped and in order to get the child back the parents have to pay a ransom AND kidnap another child. Scary stuff. Great take on the photo though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Janet, always lovely to hear from you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I see your kidnapper also thought it was a good place to hide “things.” Good story, Iain. I hope the kid gets home safely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have hopes of a happy ending for this one. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope the child gets erscued! A good beginning for a longer story?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alana – who knows! 🙂

      Like

  14. SO realistic and tense. Pick up trucks must inspire stories like this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely something about this truckbthat is bringing out a few worst fears today! Thanks Larry.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Well said in a 100 words.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your writing here is very assured and professional. Great story, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh, so clever to hide in plain sight. Well done, Iain. :-).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. He’s jumped the first hurdle. What next I wonder! Nice one Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Seems like he still has a way to go before this is a success. Thanks Keith.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Horrible man – poor little kid – and a parent’s nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, whatever his motives, its not a good way to go about things.

      Like

  20. no instruction to deliver the ransom money? looks like we’re dealing with a neophyte here. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh boy, he’s a cool customer. Very tense story. Leaves me in an agony of suspense about the welfare of the little boy and his family. And road block personnel should always check for sweaty palmed drivers with kid-sized trunks in back. Dead give-away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those local cops, never any use in any film I’ve seen! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. You’ve got to pick your friends carefully around here. Having someone reading your stories trying to decide whether they’re going to save your life or carve you up. Steal your share of the loot, or kidnap your kid. It’s a tough world. I really enjoyed your story and think you did well in 100 words and hiding someone in that rust bucket.
    I hope the kid gets home safely and this character rots away in gaol. However, this guy is crafty and could get away with it.
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always a high body count every week on FriFic! Thanks Rowena

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, but I think I was the only one down the suicide path this week. Should I be concerned?

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Let’s hope he didn’t use way too much of the drug or everyone could be out of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Powered pack in 100 words … those pesky ransoms. Who has 2 million dollars.
    Keep the kid. LOL just kidding. Oh my G-d, I can just see people outraged with me saying that.
    I do have a sick sense of humor. BUT … you know kidnapped kids or adults never seem to come out alive.
    Let’s hope he really wants the money and gets it so the child can be returned.
    Have a wonderful weekdend, Iain.
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Ooooo creepy. Sounds reasonably planned, second vehicle, drugs… hopefully she gets her kid back. I wonder what his motive is…I mean a part from money. Sounds desperate. Great tension and descriptions of his mood

    Liked by 1 person

  26. in fact the story now begins

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Who cares about the drop-off. That can be arranged. I found it much better that you focussed on the state of the kid, that makes the horror of the kidnapping complete. Great, tense story.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Tightly told, info-packed dark story, Iain, I really liked the subtle line about the drug measure. Things could turn a lot darker.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Unless he’s talking about pesos, that’s an expensive kid. Does he have a cheaper kid? Let’s make a deal.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Price of everything going up.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. I’m having almost as much with the comments as with the story, here Iain – and that’s how you know it is a really great story, when people have so much fun with it. Great story told in so few words too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I do like it when readers get involved 😊

      Like

  31. Plot twist: this occurred during the pandemic. Mom sent the 2mil with the instruction to keep her kid.

    Great story. It was sinister, but not *too* sinister – just the right amount of sinister. Now, if he hadn’t gotten the drug dose correct… Well then, that would be a whole lotta sinister.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, you may be right. Lockdown was a trying time for a lot of parents!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Oh wait, you can’t end there! Curious minds want to know! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 100 words only! Sorry! 😉

      Like

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