Sammy fiddled his thumbs as he stared at the blank page before him.

Sammy wasn’t a writer, but his profession required that he write clearly and succinctly.

He remembered the secret to good writing from his days in high school, but when the moment came to make a blank sheet of paper less pure, he was always caught in the vise of not wanting to say the wrong thing in the right way.

Sammy, feeling pale, stared out the window and watched a Blue Jay pecking at an empty bird feeder in the sun.

Sammy rapped his knuckles on the paper in time with the fluttering of the bird’s wings.

When the Blue Jay flew away, Sammy crumpled the paper into a ball in his fist.

As his frustration settled, Sammy unwound the crumpled mess with his fingers and smoothed the paper flat again with the non-business edge of his forearm.

Sammy picked up a red crayon and scrawled a few burgundy words across the pulpy, virgin, landscape.

“I have your daughter and I am holding her for ransom.”

It was a good start, Sammy thought, as the rush of success flushed his ruddy face crimson and he cinched the rope tighter around Katherine’s bleeding hands.


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