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It’s made of glass and wrapped in chains. It’s half-buried in sawdust. It’s just the right size for someone like you.
Two kidnappers got into a taxi cab with the child they had just kidnapped. They were unshaven and smelled of sweat and alcohol. The child sat between them.
“Where to?” asked the cabdriver.
“The Old Mill.”
The kidnapper on the driver’s side turned to the child. His eyes were bloodshot.
“We’re taking you to the Old Mill. It nearly burned down when lightning struck it last year. Now it’s condemned and the boss uses it as a hideout. It’s got spiders and rocks and big old gears that make a horrible racket when they turn. No one will ever find you there.”
“But I don’t want to go to the Old Mill,” said the child.
Now the kidnapper on the other side addressed the child. He had a bandage on his head.
“The boss has a regular icosahedron there. Don’t you like icosahedrons?”
“That’s too bad. It’s made of glass and wrapped in chains. It’s half-buried in sawdust. It’s just the right size for someone like you. We’re going to put you inside and seal up the hatch. It’s going to be your new home. If you do well and thrive we have other, more unusual icosahedrons you’ll be moved into. A rhombic icosahedron. A small triambic icosahedron. A gyroelongated triangular cupola. A parabiaugmented dodecahedron. A triangular hebesphenorotunda. A Jessen's icosahedron. We even have a great icosahedron. But that’s only if you really, really impress us, and prove we made the right decision picking you.”
“What if I don’t thrive?”
“We have a hexacosichoron for children like that.”
“I don’t know what that is.”
“Well, it’s something you won’t like very much.”
“When would you let me out of it?”
“We wouldn’t ever be able to. Not even if we wanted to.”
“Is that possible?”
“That you can do something so bad that nothing ever makes it better?”
“Yes, it is possible.”
The kidnapped child started to cry. The cabdriver banged on the plexiglass divider.
“Hey, keep that kid quiet back there!”
The kidnapper with a bandage on his head twisted the child’s arm. The kidnapper with the bloodshot eyes hit the child in the jaw. A trickle of blood fell from the child’s lips. The child stopped crying and was never heard from again.
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