“Aah!!” Eva heard a scream as she hid behind the counter top.It sounded like her sister. Eva was mortified. The young girl had no idea what was happening. Just a while ago, she had been abruptly awoken by her mother screaming in her face to go run and hide. As Eva ran across the hallway, she saw her mom, Josephine, being pulled across the floor of the hallway. As her mom vanished from view, Eva saw the silhouette of a man in the shadows. He eerily disappeared into the shadows along with her mom. It was three in the morning and there was no sign of the man who had taken her mother away. Once she decided the coast was clear, Eva ran across the kitchen floor and found a new hiding spot. She knew that she wouldn’t be able to keep this up for much longer. Eva could hear the grumbling of her stomach, as if there was a angry lion inside of her. Her stomach felt like a empty pit. Although Eva’s eyes were drooping from not having a good night’s sleep, the fear of being killed kept her awake. At any time, she could suffer the same fate as her mom and sister had. Terrified, Eva was painfully aware of her surroundings as tried to stay away from the dangerous man. She felt like she was in some kind of horror movie where a murderer kills off each family member one by one. But the girl did not want to lose hope that her family was still alive. Suddenly, Eva heard stomping footsteps and then a voice. The manly voice had a gruff edge to it. She peered over the couch just enough to get a good look at the man but not so much that he could see her. The spectacle that her eyes laid upon surprised her. The man was a stout, but strong man with tattoos running along his muscled arms.. His chin was slightly stuck forward and his face was filled with scars. His mouth was also set in a grim line and his eyes were as cold as stone. His hair was as black and shiny as a well polished shoe. The person who owned the voice tauntingly sang, ” Eva…little Eva, come out, come out wherever you are. My names is Arnold and I am a professional mercenary, meaning I kill people for a living. I already have your mom and sister; you know you’re not going to escape so you might as well surrender.” At this offer, Eva was slightly tempted because what was the point of continuing on if she might be captured anyway. Ashamed of herself for even thinking of this, she shook the idea off and kept quiet. She was careful to not give any indication to the man to where she was hiding. Arnold was silent for a few seconds as if waiting for Eva to answer. Once, the man seemed to understand that Eva wouldn’t budge, he threateningly stated, ” So that’s how it’s going to be huh? That’s ok. I have never lost a game of cat and mouse and I certainly won’t today. Enjoy the last few precious hours of your life because by tonight you won’t be alive anymore.” And with that, the man cackled evilly and continued on to another room with his loud footsteps. Eva stayed in the same spot for a few seconds just to make sure that Arnold was gone. Once she was sure, Eva ran to the nearest room with a phone. That was a big mistake. There waiting casually sitting on a chair was Arnold. He was reading a book and as Eva entered the room, looked up from it as if nothing was wrong.”Welcome Eva.” Arnold said in a mockingly chivalrous tone. “I have been waiting for you.”Eva was so scared she felt like she had wet her pants. She started assessing her surroundings trying to find a way to escape. Arnold came to stand in front of her and it only took him two strides. He sized up Eva and shook her crazily.” Did you actually think that you could escape from me?” he asked her.”No…no sir.” she stuttered.”That’s what I thought.” he retorted. Arnold dragged Eva to a enclosed room where the young girl first saw her unconcious mother and sister. The girl felt like throwing up. “Why is this happening to me and my family?” she thought to herself. Out loud, Eva asked the mercenary half sobbing, “Why are you doing this?” Arnold seemed to think about it. “Do you really not know little girl?” he asked back. “No, I don’t, you monster!” Eva yelled. “Then let me tell you.” Arnold started, “Almost 30 years ago, when you weren’t even alive, the woman that you call your mother was my wife.” “You liar. You don’t know anything about my mom.” the girl accused. “You see that’s where you are wrong. I am not lying when I say that I was her husband before she was your mother. Now let me continue.” Arnold snapped.Eva surprised by the sudden change of tone in his voice immediately became quiet.” Now as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted. We were the happiest couple on the street. For 18 years, our marriage continued without a hitch in the road. She and I never fought because I loved her too much to do so. Suddenly, I became sick. The doctors said that there was something wrong with my brain that they couldn’t fix. Josephine, your mom, stayed with me and supported me for a year. I fought with her for the most trivial matters. My brain would justify it but in reality there was no justifying to be made. Alas, people can only suffer things for so long before they leave you and that’s exactly what happened. Josephine left me and pursued a life of her own. I continued growing worse. I completely broke when I heard that Josephine had remarried and actually had kids. I slowly recovered from the shock and channeled my betrayed feeling and anger into activities such as gambling, street fighting and more. One day while I was in a fist fight, a stranger came up to me and offered me a way to channel my energy into things that were useful. I was in such a need for help that I would have agreed to anything at that point and so I accepted. Once I passed my initiation test, I became part of a group that had a sole purpose of killing people for money. And that’s what I had been doing for the past 10 years.” Arnold explained.Eva couldn’t believe it. Her mom, the person she had looked up to her whole life, had done this. At the same time, the young girl felt bad that the mercenary had had such a bad life partly because of her mom. While all these thoughts were going through her head, Arnold observed her face.He continued on to say, ” But there is more to the story. A few months ago I decided to take revenge on Josephine for all that she made me go through. After all the months of severe planning, I came up with the perfect idea which led us to this moment.”At this, Eva was disgusted. How dare he march into the house and threaten the people she loved. She realized that there was no getting out of this unless she was smart. Out of the corner of her eye, Eva spotted a knife lying around. While Arnold was facing the other way, she shuffled over as fast and quietly as she could and pocketed the knife. The girl got back just in time. Arnold kept a sharp eye on her. It was clear that he wasn’t letting her go any time soon. Eva shifted her weight so she could cut her ropes without making it too obvious. Once she finished, Eva stayed still.To distract him, Eva yelled, “Arnold, I saw someone outside.”Arnold, who took all threats seriously, decided to investigate. Once he was gone, Eva rushed to the phone as fast as her legs would let her.”Hello?” a voice on the phone answered.”Hello, please send the police to my house. My mom, sister, and I are being held hostage against our will by a man who claims to be my mom’s ex-husband with a grudge.””OK. There will be reinforcements at your house in a few minutes. Meanwhile, please remain calm and try to stay safe.” the voice on the other end stated.”Thank you.” Eva quickly said, hung up the phone, and ran back to her spot.Arnold was back in the room a few minutes later.”There was nothing there.” he said angry that he had to leave for a false alarm.”I’m sorry. I guess the light was just playing tricks in my eyes.” she answered.Suddenly, the sound of the front door being broken down echoed throughout the house. Arnold looked surprised. Police officers came in from all directions and swarmed Arnold. He was handcuffed and taken away. Once that was over, Eva’s mom and sister were from their restraints and taken care of. When Eva’s mom and sister were conscious and able stand, they all hugged each other. Eva’s mom sadly said, “I’m so sorry. I put you girls in danger. I thought that the old part of my life would never catch up to me and it did. I promise it will never happen again.” Eva quickly consoled her mom and answered, “Mom, it wasn’t your fault. Besides, we will have a great story to tell dad when he gets home.”At that, Eva’s mom smiled and brought Eva and her sister in for another hug.