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"CHILDREN, this is so funny. You have to see this."

Bella's eyes slowly opened to Mommy's bony figure wheeling a clunky television in through the door. Mommy was laughing maniacally under frantic breaths as she turned the television on. The white, static-screen and the crackling noise paired with it made the three of them jump awake in fear.

Bella's eyes were tired; she felt so drowsy and dehydrated. Her throat was intensely arid, her stomach turned and rumbled loudly, and her head ached with every slight movement she made. Thankfully, her skin had cooled down a significant amount, and she felt as if she could finally breathe.

Mommy flicked the light bulb off, and they all stared at the blank television screen with tired eyes.

"I recorded it for you guys," Mommy exclaimed with eerie excitement in her tone.

Mommy then slipped a VHS tape into the player, and the screen crackled until a news report came onto the screen. A man with slicked, salt-and-pepper hair was seated at a glass table, his fingers threaded together in a professional manner as he stared at the screen.

"The search is on for sixteen-year-old Cole Mancini, fourteen-year-old Isabella Bryers, and seven-year-old Elliot Greene. It is believed by law enforcement that all three children have been kidnapped by the same suspect, as they went missing around the same time. All three were last seen walking to their schools January 12th, it is now the 14th and still no updates on where they may be."

It has already been that long? Two days? Bella couldn't believe her ears - she felt like it had only been a few hours.

"Here we have a message from each of their families," the reporter continued, "as they plead for their children to be brought back. If anybody has any information on where these children may be, or if they are seen anywhere, please call this number immediately."

A large white number flashed on the screen, and Bella stared at Mommy as she watched the screen with a terrifying grin on her face.

A petite woman was shown standing in front of the camera. Bella instantly connected that she had to have been Cole's mother - she had midnight black hair, the same thick and dark eyebrows which framed her eyes in a flattering manner, the same angular jaw shape and pale pigmented skin.

Beside the mother was a man who she assumed was Cole's father - he, too, had a dark head of hair, though it was clearly thinning around the top. He had a round belly, similar thick eyebrows except they were messier and even thicker, and a dark mustache above his lips.

"Please," Cole's mother pleaded on the screen, and Bella looked over to find Cole's eyes locked on the ground. "Please give my son back to me."

The Italian accent was so intense, Bella could barely understand what she was saying.

"I am so upset from the kidnapping of my son Cole Mancini. I will offer big reward for anybody who bring Cole back to me. Please. I am begging. Cole, I love you bel ragazzo. Please come home to me. I will give money, as much money as wanted. Thank you."

Cole's mother's hand flew up to cover her mouth as she sobbed ruthlessly into her small palms. His father was shown comforting his mother by rubbing her small shoulder.

Bella looked over at Cole with sympathy in her eyes. She could tell he was bothered, because a muscle ticked angrily in his jaw and he gnawed on the inside of his cheek. His dark hair was falling into his eyes and sticking to his face. His light eyes were filled to the brim with glistening tears, and Bella noticed a tear slide from his eye, only one, right down the slope of his cheek.

"Why are you doing this to us?" Bella asked Mommy so suddenly, she didn't even register that it was herself who spoke for a quick moment.

Mommy's beady eyes looked over to her, and Bella's lungs deflated. How could she be so stupid to say something?

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