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There was an unmistakable sound behind him. Max swung around… Even before he heard the noise, he knew what it was. He had been suspicious that someone was following him home the entire night, but he refused to acknowledge it. Max scrambled to hide behind a garbage can nearby, and he took out his phone to dial 911.

“H-hello?” said Max, in fear, “My name is Max, and I am being followed by someone with a gun.”

“Okay, stay calm,” replied the voice on the other end, “What are your whereabouts right now?”

“I’m at-” started Max, before he heard footsteps approaching. He quickly hung up the phone so the strange person wouldn’t be able to hear him. His heart began to quickly beat , that he felt as though everybody in the world could hear its beating. Suddenly, someone grabbed his hand from behind. He jumped, ready to fight the masked stranger, but unfortunately, he did not know how to defend himself very well. In a raspy and gruff voice, the stranger said: “Come with me, and you will not die here right now.”

Max did not want his life to end , so he nervously followed the strange man into a building that looked as though it would fall apart at any second. He was unaware of what was coming, but he followed the man down a dark creaky staircase anyways.

As they reached the bottom of the stairs, Max couldn’t see anything because of how dark it was. A strange shrieking noise made a shiver go down his spine. When the stranger knew that Max wasn’t expecting it, he put his cracked hand on Max’s mouth and nose, and brought him over to an old chair. Max was still not able to see, but he heard the sound of someone cutting a piece of tape. Though he knew what was coming next, he let the masked man place tape over his mouth. After half an hour or so, Max thought he heard another pair of feet reach the bottom of the stairs. He heard the new stranger ask:“Did you bring the kid here yet?”

The masked stranger that had brought Max responded: “Yes. And now I am going to take him to the cells.”

As Max heard those words, his heart started beating at twice the sped up rate it was already beating at. One of the strangers, Max didn’t know which, came over and pulled Max up from the collar of his shirt, proceeding to take him to what he expected were “the cells”. Suddenly, Max felt himself being tossed into the air, as he fell to the ground with a loud thump. This knocked the wind right out of him. He heard the sound of keys jingling as the door got locked shut. As Max got up, he walked around, trying to find out where he was. He heard a new, but oddly familiar voice say to him: “Hello.”

Max was so startled by this voice that he jumped up into the air, when the voice said, “Oh calm down, it’s just me, Rose.”

He immediately recognized the voice of his twin sister, Rose, who had gone missing a few months before. Tears streamed down his face as he hugged his sister.

“What is this place?” asked Max, puzzled about where he had been brought to.

“Well,” responded his sister, “I don’t know much, but I was brought here a few months back.

“I was so sad when you went missing.”

“Oh, Max,” replied Rose. “ I’ve been here for quite a while, so I’ve found out a bit about this place. These two strange men bring young children here to separate them from their families, but I don’t really know why.”

Max started to wonder why they had both been brought here. He soon made out the sound of keys jingling to open the door, yet again, when something that felt like a rock hit his head, almost making him lose consciousness. He yelped in pain as he picked up the rock-looking object.

“What is this thing?” he asked his sister.

“It’s our meal for the day. It’s actually a piece of super stale bread.

“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s eat!

“Oh thank you, Max!” exclaimed Rose “I’m so glad to have you here with me!”

They ate some of the crackers that Max had found in his pocket, while a small heater on the floor kept them warm for a short while. They lay down in each other's laps and both fell into a deep sleep.

Max suddenly jumped up because of the idea he had just thought of.

“Rose!” he shaked her awake.

“W-what is it, Max?” she tiredly said, still groggy from her sleep.

“I just remembered that the two strange men forgot to take my phone from me when they brought me here. We can use it to call the police so they can arrest them.” he exclaimed

“Yes! That’s a great idea!”

Max whipped out his phone and dialed 911 once again, this time being able to say his whereabouts without being afraid to speak in a quiet voice behind the thick metal door. Soon after, he heard the sound of blaring police cars approaching in the distance, when suddenly, a police officer kicked the door open and dragged the two children out of the cell. Max and Rose watched as the two masked men became handcuffed, and got taken outside. The two strange men were then escorted into the back of one police car, while the children got into the other. As the police car with the arrested strangers started to drive away, Max gave a merciless wave, and lay back in his seat.


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