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Behind the restroom building, the man lies in wait, ready for any opportunity. A car pulls in and rolls to a stop. Before the driver can open his door, the kids bound out and hurtle around the corner, straight into his arms. The girl is first, though she is younger. Her brother stops dead when he sees the gun.
It’s years since Beth has been abducted. Her current reality is the only one she knows. And then the man offers her freedom.
A STOCKHOLM SYNDROME contemporary story. Not suitable for young readers or those unused to psychological horror. Contains gory, gruesome horror and violence, sexual deviancy situations, and could be triggering for some readers.
"Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have irrational positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with them."
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Excerpt from Beyond Psycho:
To make sure he wasn't in for any surprises and had things under control, he pulled the girl back tight against him and pressed the gun to her head. The boy looked like he was about to piss his pants.
He looked the boy in the eye and asked him, “Is anybody else here besides the three of you? And don't you lie to me or I'll have to hurt her.” The gun wobbled when he shook it toward the girl's head. He watched the boy's eyes bug out as he shook his head in reply to the question.
He pointed the gun toward their dad and told the kids to move. A quick look around revealed no other vehicles as they approached the kids’ dad.
“We’re all gonna get in the car and go for a short ride.”
He forced the boy to sit in the front passenger seat, then pushed Beth into the back seat and shoved the gun into her side.
“If anybody tries to be a hero, you will be digging her grave.” He gave them all a moment to think about what he said, then, with a calm voice that didn’t betray how fast his heart was beating, he told the father, “Get back on the road and take the next exit.”