Helen was just leaving the grocery store when she noticed a crying child sitting on the sidewalk.
"Hey," she called out. A boy of about five years looked up with tears running down his cheeks. "What happened?" Helen asked, kneeling down to his eye level. "Are you hurt?"
The boy slid the back of his right hand across his nose.
"M-my mommy went h... home w-without me. I d-d-don't know how to go home... from here."
"Do you know your address? I can drive you home."
"Yeah. *sniff* Thank you."
The boy stood and followed Helen to her car. He sat in the passenger seat when she opened the door.
Helen put her plastic bag of groceries into the back seat. When she got into the driver's seat, she asked the boy for his address. She knew of the street, so she drove away.
The car drove through a suburban area through which street lights lit the way.
"There's my house. That brown one."
The boy pointed at a two-story house with a garage on its side. Lights could be seen through the downstairs windows. A leafless tree stood on the lawn.
Helen pulled over and unlocked the passenger door.
"Are you sure your parents are home?"
"Yeah. Thank you, miss."
Helen smiled. "No problem."
The boy left the car and ran up the concrete path. He continued to run to the door and knocked.
Soon, the door opened and a woman stood before the boy. She immediately knelt down to hug him. Then she gestured him into the house. When the boy was out of sight, she waved at Helen.
Helen honked her horn and waved back.
Out the corner of her eye, Helen saw a figure lunge out from behind the tree and toward her car. Before she could even attempt to lock it, the passenger door swung open and a hand covered her mouth. The hand roughly pushed her head against the window before sliding down to her neck.
With a dizzy vision, Helen saw the woman step outside of the house. She wiggled in her attacker's grasp and hit the horn twice.
The man reached back to close the passenger door.
Standing outside of the house with the door closed, the woman calmly watched the struggle take place.
Moments later, the passenger door opened. Helen's attacker walked out and to the back of the car. He opened the trunk and looked up and down the street. Finding no potential witnesses, he disappeared to the driver's side. He reemerged with Helen cradled in his arms and gently set her in the trunk.
The woman went back into the house to find her son sitting in the living room.
"He's saying 'thank you' to the lady who brought you home. You did good tonight, Christopher. You always do."