That Hugh Grant Face

James Pyne

A pinch in Gary’s neck with him blacking out had him waking up roped to a chair in a dimly lit kitchen. Wintery-grey hair draped his captor’s back who he hadn’t seen face to face yet.

“Where am I?” He tried wiggling loose.  Who are—”

By the sounds of it and looks of the package of carrots, she was cutting some on a cutting board.

“I’m Barb’s ex.” She pulled out a carrot from the bag. “Why so quiet? Your wife didn’t tell you that she was into girls? Does that excite you?”

Barbra’s family was from money. Ransom was the only explanation; his luck to end up with a smartass kidnapper.

“She gave me the speech,” the woman continued, “about how she’ll always love me but she’s met someone else. Looks like Hugh Grant in his prime, she said. Like it was the most important thing ever.”

“Money, is that what you want?”

“I tried winning her back.” She sliced some more. “But, Hugh, you got your roots deep inside her.” Gary caught himself from correcting her on his actual name. He didn’t want to provoke her, especially when she held up a knife with carrot bits on it as if looking at her reflection in it. “Yes, this one will do just nicely.”

She spun around. Her face was a painted-skull of black and mustard-yellow makeup with dark branches spreading from her eyes and a black saw-like mouth drawn up to either ear.

“Look, whatever you want, you got, just don’t kill me.”

“I’m not going to kill you, Hugh.” She smirked, pressing the knife tip against the cleft of her chin. “Question: When she finds you, and Barb will, I’ll make sure of that, do you think she’ll still love you without a face?”

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