I looked out of the airplane window but all I saw was the white, fluffy clouds. I was finally going back to England after three years in Australia. I closed the curtain and leaned my head against the rumbling metal of the plane.
My family and I were having a board game night. Mum was putting on a film and Dad and Katie were making cups of tea while I chose the game. I took Cluedo out of the game box and placed in on the floor near the fire so we could keep warm. I took blankets and pillows and placed them around the board.
“Hurry up! It’s all ready.” I said as my Dad and sister walked in the room, a mug of steaming tea in each hand. I took the two out of Katie’s hands so she wouldn’t spill them and placed them in our usual spaces, backs to the chimney. We all settled down as The Grinch started.
I jerked awake and flailed around in my seat, tears running down my face. A voice was speaking in the distance.
“We are currently going through some turbulences. Please put on your seatbelts.”
Mum reached over me and clicked in my seatbelt then, buckled herself in.
“You got that Katie?” she asked my sister.
“I’m ten Mum! I’m not a baby!” Mum nodded and turned back to me.
“The dream again?” I nodded shakily, tears still running down my cheeks and dropping onto Dads old jumper. “I thought you’d stopped having them.” she said while caressing my hand.
“Not completely.” I said shakily. I wiped my face with the sleeves of my jumper and took a deep breath. I looked around and saw everyone stare at me then look away as soon as they saw I was looking at them. “Was I screaming?” Mum nodded.
“It was a year and a half ago, Lila.”
“It’s not as if you’ve gotten over it.” I snapped. Ever since the incident, Mum had frequent panic attacks, paranoia and hallucinations. I had two of them: panic attacks and paranoia. They’ve practically gon now. The nightmares never stopped. Mum’s hallucinations were a side effect from the anti-depressants. She stopped taking them a couple of years ago, but the hallucinations never went away.
Five men crashed into our house. Scary men. Big, scary men. With guns.
Everything was going in slow motion; Katie crawling into her little hiding space next to the chimney before anyone saw her, Dad getting up, ready to protect his family, Mum throwing steaming tea in one of the attackers faces, the attacker howling in pain, both of my parents being dragged out of the house. And then, all was suddenly going fast again. One of the men took hold of my wrists and twisted them behind my back. He pulled me up and started carrying me over to the front door.
“GET OFF ME! LEAVE US ALONE!” I thrashed around, tried to kick the man behind me, tried to bite him, did everything I could to get the scary man off of me. It was no use. There was only one thing left to do. I turned my head to look at where Katie was hidden. She was watching me being dragged away, silently crying, hands over her mouth.
“911.” I mouthed at her. She nodded. She might have only been nine years old, but she was intelligent. My parents had taught her what to do in case of an emergency. She had been taught how to dial the phone. I just had to hope she remembered how to. I got blindfolded and gagged and shoved into the back of a car.
“London Stansted. We hope you have enjoyed your flight with us.”
I slid the curtain up and looked out of the window in shock. We were already here?
The next few hours passed in a blur. We collected our bags and headed home in the car the Secret Services had gotten ready for us.
All our furniture had already arrived so as soon as we stepped in the door, we unpacked. We had all slept on the plane so we weren’t that tired anyway. We finished many, many hours later, late into the night and collapsed onto the sofa.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” I said.
“Sweety, honey, they’re in prison. They’ve all been found. They are all gone.”
“I know I just… I can’t explain it.”
“It’s going to be fine.” she said before falling asleep, Katie in the arms.
I wasn’t so sure.
It was nearing the end of the English summer holidays so I mostly played around with Katie. I couldn’t stand the sight of my old room anymore. I didn’t know why, it just kind of reminded me of the incident so, I redecorated. I went down to the closest DIY shop and picked up a couple of tubs of paint and painted over the sickly sweet pink with a mustard color. It took five coats of paint but finally, the pink couldn’t be seen through the yellow. After that, when it was all dry, Katie and I painted little flowers along the bottom of the wall. I painted my drawers in white and stuck pictures of me with friends and family all around my walls. It took us about a week to do all of this. When we had finally finished, Mum called for us. We trudged into the kitchen and sat down.
“Mum! We redecorated Lila’s room! Do you want to come and see?” Said Katie excitedly.
“In a moment sweetheart. I got letters from both of your schools. They’ve sent a list of stuff you need and you’re both starting on the first of September. Lila, you have to go in early to speak with the Headmistress.”
“Okay.” I really wasn’t looking forward to going back to school. I didn’t feel like I could face my old school mates but I was going to do it, for Mum.
I was in a dark, dank room and I looked up at ceiling praying to God my family would make it out alive. I tried to pull at the ropes binding my hands together but they were too tight. I abandoned the ropes and groped around for my mothers hand, who was bound just as tightly behind me. I found it and squeezed hard. She was trembling.
“I keep telling you, you’ve got the wrong person!” my father shouted, not taking his eyes off the gun that was pointed at him.
A/N: The title ‘Mysterious Man’ is not definite.