The accidental kidnapping

11th June 2020

“Do you mind if we just drive them over the other side of the road to Bottomside? “
“Sure” Ella’s mum replies.

Before we leave she draws her into her arms and they nestle into a hug. Her mum defines the word petit; her feet are minute and her tiny face poking just over her Ella’s head at what must be just about 5ft. Their affection is heartwarming. Her mum looks like she has a story; her youthful face full of innocence and mystery.

We hop into Sian’s gold 80’s Mercedes and she navigates the dodgy clutch with familiarity; easing the girl up the hill with enough stamina to roll into neutral and cruise down.

“You were meant to turn there!” the kids squeal, strapped into seat belts that drown them; legs dangling just over the worn leather seats.

Sian looks at me in horror as we glide onto a motorway having missed our turning. We were meant to be driving these kids 500 yards, we have now kidnapped three 8 year olds and on a road with no sign of an exit.
We cross a bridge.
As the minutes increase I watch Sian tapping the wheel anxiously and occasionally pivoting to me with a wired eyes that plead, “do something…”

I laugh and peek back at the excitable rascals; wide – eyed and giddy with the unforeseen road trip they are now on.

“Shit…we need to turn back Sian…”
A pointless comment that clearly isn’t going to help her distressed conscience right now.

Eventually after 10 long minutes of our experience of being kidnappers we spot and exit and dart a U turn.

We arrive at Bottomside and literally cradle the kids out of the car, gripping their hands with over zealous protection as we cross the road.

Soon the affair is forgotten and we are building with sticks and chatting about school. They take pictures of each other, glaring down my viewfinder like a kaleidoscope. I predict the blurry tree photos my lab will soon reveal.

Without warning the adult sass in these youngsters reveals itself in abundance. As I shoot they chant…

” My neck…my back…. my pussy and my crack.”

Sian and I freeze


The singing continues as we watch them dance. The 8-year-old boy is leading the clan as they belt in unison. We burst into fits of laughter at the filth they chirp with complete naive innocence. It’s both shocking but adorable.

We play for a few hours and then realize that disappearing in a car with two strangers may cause concerns if we are gone too long. Sian drives back at a snails pace; absolutely certain not to miss our turn.

As we pull in Ella returns to her mother’s arms with glee and they wave goodbye, still buzzing from our little escapade. I will never listen to that Missy Elliot song again without thinking of this moment. OAO