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The Girl on the News

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Elisabeth Carpenter


My heart pounds as I take in the headline: ‘Missing girl believed kidnapped’. Underneath is a photo of my beautiful daughter Mia, her gap-toothed grin unmistakable. But Mia is safe beside me, snuggled up on the sofa. Who has taken a photo of her, and put it on the news? And what message are they trying to send me…?

I run to the window of our little house – the cosy, homely place my husband Mark and I bought so Mia could have everything I didn’t as a child – and pull the curtains tightly shut, hiding us from sight as terror courses through my body. Why would someone pretend my daughter has been taken?

Unless it’s not a threat, but a warning. A hint of what might be to come…

Memories flash through my mind of news reports from twenty years ago: when my own name was in the headlines. The accusation of murder. The loss of my best friend. I was just a child, but that didn’t save me… is someone from my dark past sending me a message?

Then my worst nightmares come true. Mia is taken, snatched from the playground, and my world collapses.

I will do anything to get her back. Because I’m convinced now that this has something to do with what happened all those years ago. But the person who has my daughter? They might have known me back then, but they don’t know who I am now. Or what I’m willing to do to get Mia home safe…