It was dark all around him. Except for a small one-meter hole a few feet ahead of him, that brought in faint light, he couldn’t see anything else in the room. He tried standing up, but he only felt the ropes tied to his hands and legs on the chair, tighten.
The door opened after a few minutes. Someone switched on the lights. He saw three people enter, one after another. They sat in three chairs kept around the circular table, before him. They were wearing black trousers, black suit, white shirt, black tie, and black glasses.
The person sitting opposite to him, probably the leader, spoke – “You’ve been kidnapped.”
He was silent for a couple of seconds and then burst out laughing. He laughed until he was coughing and there were tears in his eyes.
“What’s so funny about being kidnapped?” the Leader asked in a serious tone.
“No, I did not laugh for that. I laughed because you chose to kidnap a new and budding author. How much ransom you think you can extract out of a novelist? Don’t you guys do some research to identify the right prospects before kidnapping?” he said and beamed.
“If you’ve finished your lecture, we would like to clarify that we did not kidnap you for money. Of course, we have that much common sense!” the leader said.
“Then why did you kidnap me? Why?” he asked.
“You are the author of the recently released Mystery novel – The Great Bank Robbery, aren’t you?” the Leader asked.
His eyes widened in excitement. He said, “Yes. So you were that one person who bought it. Did you read it? Did you like it? Why don’t you leave a positive review for it on-“
“Stop it.” the Leader thundered. “We liked your plot, and the research you have done on the banking system. Besides, you are the only author of a bank robbery mystery living in this city.”
“Well I did expect some crazy fans,” he said with a smiling face. “But this is taking fandom to a whole new level. I mean, you could’ve just walked into my house if you had wanted my autograph. This kidnapping thing wasn’t-“
“Nonsense. The novel, for your information, was dull and unengagingly written. It was a hopeless mystery,” the Leader said looking straight into his eyes.
“Then why did you kidnap me?” he shouted, unable to hide his agony.
“If it isn’t obvious to you yet, we want you to write a foolproof plan for robbing the Royal Bank. With the kind of information you have, this should be easy,” the Leader said and smiled.
The enormity of the situation struck him hard. Even the lack of sales (except that one copy) did not discourage him. But this was walking into trouble. For the first time, he wished he hadn’t written a Bank Robbery Mystery. A Harlequin Romance might have been a better . . . safer choice? Hmm . . . 🙂