Stranger Danger, Part 2

The elevator doors clunked shut just as I arrived, breathless. Slamming my hand on the stainless steel in frustration, I jabbed the elevator call button. Twice. Three times. A petite blonde woman rounded the corner. She eyed me and backed up a few steps. “You okay?” I must have looked as frantic as I felt.

“Yes, my daughter just got on the elevator with a stranger, and I need to catch up and make sure she’s okay.” I checked the numbers above her elevator. They’d stopped on the second floor. My truck was parked on the ground floor.

The woman relaxed and approached as the elevator chimed. We boarded. She was closest to the panel. “What floor?” In any other circumstance I’d be trying to place her accent, having a fascinating conversation about her home country.

Maybe my daughter hadn’t gotten off with him but I decided to take no chances. “Two, please.” The elevator lurched and creaked.

Her phone chirped and she answered. Her accented  “Hello?” echoed through the speaker on my phone.  She frowned at me.“How did you get my number?”

“I didn’t call you,” I said, confused. She waved the phone in my face. “This is not your number?” It was my number, but I hadn’t even touched the phone in my pocket. Distracted by her phone, the crack-crack-crack sound registered in my consciousness just a moment too late. Light exploded in my head.

Crumpling to the elevator floor, I remembered the article I’d read earlier that week. Some thieves could pick up credit card information by walking near your wallet. Cell phone thieves used similar technology. A phone thief, now? The irony seemed too great, but then I felt her slipping the cell from my pocket.

The elevator doors opened on the second floor. “All done?” The cheery male voice boomed into the small space with incongruous levity. My head lolled sideways; I saw the man from the hallway. “Yes, almost,” answered the woman.

Not a phone thief. She’s with him. She leaned over me again with a smirk. “Don’t you know?  Never let a child out of your sight. There are just too many crazy persons in the world.”

I tried to fight, to stand, to move, but my muscles betrayed me. Helpless, I watched as the man turned away, carrying the slumped form of my daughter.

Once again, I heard the taser, felt the surge. The woman spoke one last time as consciousness slid away. “Sweet dreams. Or, not.”

***

Heart pounding and sweat-soaked, I woke from this dream four nights ago. The terror, in my case, was imaginary.  For many victims of child trafficking, it is all too real.

Arkofhopeforchildren.org says 20.5 MILLION are victims worldwide. 1.5 million of these are within the U.S. And HALF of those victims are children.

Do something about child trafficking. Don’t wait for the elevator.

Visit hislittlefeet.org to start your research.

About Casey

Adoption = my life. I'll give it to you straight. Success, failure, truth.

Posted on May 15, 2015, in Adoption, Fiction and Fun, Parent, Writing101 and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel and commented:
    Please join me in prayer for all victims of abuse and human trafficking!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, so powerful!! I had tears in my eyes for you and your daughter. This is horrible and so much more needs to be done to stop child trafficking. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read this at 2am when I woke up in the middle of the night feeling awake. Oh Casey, I could not comment then cause of the emotions that it brought to me. You did a wonderful job at writing about something that is SO IMPORTANT! Something that we have discussed a lot being to the fact that we have 2 teen girls! Something that has invaded our home more than we wish 2 years ago. Thankful to say that no harm was done, just a scare. But a scare that impacted my girls hard. Have you ever seen the movie Taken? It deals with this very subject and is very moving.. I wouldn’t recommend it for a young audience but for teens and adults yes. You can talk to your kids about the dangers, but I think its so easy for them to dismiss it cause they don’t see it. Its that , “never would happen to me” attitude. Its hard for them to imagine what it really involves. The movie left no questions anymore.

    Like

  4. Casey, this is so beautifully written. You brought vivid attention to a topic that many refuse to acknowledge. While I am incredibly relieved that this is not your personal story, my heart aches for those for whom it is true. This story needs to be published and widely read!

    Liked by 1 person

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