The Pickup (A Cautionary Tale), by Bobby Warner

“Hi, cutie. You want a ride? I got some candy, and we’ll stop for ice cream. Well, maybe …

“Come on. Here, I’ll hold the door open. Hop right in.

“It’s okay. You’ll be fine riding in the back of the van.

“Let me fasten your seat belt. And strap your little arms down snugly. Same with your legs. And put a little tape over your mouth.

“No, don’t squirm around so much. And don’t cry. Nobody’s going to hurt you. You’ll see. Got a nice place fixed for you in my basement. We’ll have great fun!”

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