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throwaway126612 t1_isba12j wrote

Having an identical twin sounds cool until said twin ends up becoming rich, famous, and desired by the entire fricking world while you slowly fade into the background until everyone forgets you exist.

Even my sister's wikipedia page doesn't mention her having an identical twin. I've been reduced to an obscure celebrity trivia answer. Only the true fans know that I exist. Only the elite fans know my name.

I stay out of the spotlight, so people don't accidentally mistake me for Penny and inevitably grow disappointed when it's just little old me. Boring, mousy Polly. No one has seen me in years. I work remotely, using my mother's maiden name. I order groceries delivery. I don't post pictures online. My entire life painstakingly curated.

If I'm going to live in my sister's shadow, I might as well get comfy and do it my way.

But instacart was down and my veggies had gone bad and I thought just this once a trip to the grocery store wouldn't be the end of the world. If I wore a hoodie and glasses and kept my head down it would be fine, right?

Besides, my famous sister was known for her signature mega-watt smile. My face was etched in a permanent frown. Identical, but opposite. A literary foil come to life. Who in their right mind would mistake me for her?

Kidnappers would, apparently.

It didn't take them long to figure out I am not, in fact, Penny. We may be identical, but her celebrity status grants her luxury spa treatments, top of the line hair care, and a team of personal estheticians to keep her looking her best.

My nails are chewed to the bed, my hair is riddled with split ends, and my pores could be seen with the naked eye.

I'm not Penny. Not even close.

Once the kidnappers realized that, their plan was ruined.

"You could just let me go. I won't press charges."

"Shut up. We can't walk away with nothing," on kidnapper growls at me.

"You'll never get the millions you want. Not from me." I insist.

The kidnapper grumbles. "I'd settle for a couple hundred bucks at this point."

I can work with that.

"A couple hundred, huh? I bet my family would pay that. Give them a call, tell 'em its Polly, and ask for the money. Then you can let me go and we can both pretend like this embarrassing little fiasco never happened. Whatdya say?"

Her captor rolled his eyes, but sighed in resignation. "Better than nothing, I guess."

He dials my home phone. It rings a few times, and my mom picks up.

"Hello, how can I help you?"

"Listen to me very carefully. I have your daughter hostage and will hold her here until ransom is paid."

My mom gasped in horror. I felt a rush of love and affection for her. Maybe she cares more than I thought.

"Oh goodness, not our Penny! Please, we'll do whatever you want!"

Spoke too soon...

"N-no. Your other daughter...uh" the man covered the receiver and whispered, "What's your name again?"

"Polly." I deadpanned.

He cleared his throat. "Yes, we have your daughter Polly.

I tried not to let my mom's sigh of relief affect me.

"Your daughter is gonna get hurt real bad unless you pay ransom. The longer it takes, the more she breaks."

I snort as his terrible rhyme.

My mom is exasperated now. "Alright, alright. How much?"


"Oh, that's too bad. I only have about $80 cash right now."

My captor stumbled over his words in shock. "Th-Then get more, lady! Go to the bank! Or I'll start breaking fingers."

My mother, damn her, just clucked her tongue. "It's Sunday. Bank is closed. I have fittings all day Monday for a new reality show we're doing with Penny....Soonest I can do is Tuesday.

"This isn't....I mean....You're not making an appointment here! This is life or death! If you want to see your daughter alive again, you'll find me the money and you'll bring it to-"

Mom cuts him off. "As I said before, the best I can do is Tuesday. Try calling me then."


My captor stares at the phone, dumbfounded.

"Woof... I would hate to be you right now," I say, trying to make light of the fact that my mom would literally let me die at the hands of kidnappers rather than inconvenience herself 200 bucks.

Sad eyes turn to me, and I hate it.

"Hey! Don't look at me like that. I don't need your pity, buddy."

"How do you put up with that shit?" he asks.

I shake my head. "By staying as far away as possible."

I always knew my family didn't give a shit about me. They had everything they wanted in Penny. I was just the spare. The extra. The leftover trimmings. And I was treated like it.

But not even work $200? Not even worth more than a 10 minute phone call? That hurt. It hurt a lot. And it was unfair. I was their daughter, they were supposed to love me, protect me, help me when I needed it. But a fitting for a reality show took precedence over my well-being.

I was So. Fucking. Done.

"Hey, kidnapper dude, I have an idea."

"I'm listening."

"I'll help you get the real prize. I'll help you snag my sister. Hold a real ransom. Do it the right way. I know her routine better than you, and I know where to hit the hardest. To make sure it works. My family will be putty in your hands by the time we're done. You'll make millions.

He narrows his eyes at me. "What's in it for you?"

I shrug. "Revenge. Notoriety. Money."

"How can I trust you?"

Now I smile, and I know it's a cruel one because he cringes away infinitesimally. "You can trust me, my dear sweet captor, because I just found out I'm worth literally nothing to my parents. Therefore, I have literally nothing to lose by torturing them. And, tell you what, if all goes well and we find we make a good team, I'll find ways for us to torture them for the rest of their miserable lives, until their fortune is hours and they lose their narrow minds. How does that sound?"

He contemplates for a few minutes. Then he cuts my bindings and takes my outstretched hand.



StarzZd t1_isd5i39 wrote

Damn, this was a nice read! Well done! 👏


Surinical t1_isadgaw wrote

"Erty ucks!" Angela tried to yell through the gag.

One of the kidnappers tapped a foot against her leg as he watched TV, like he was absent-mindedly rocking a fussy baby. The obnoxious commercial was for some type of hair schrunchie.

She managed to work the gag down under her chin. She took a deep breath. "You're only asking for thirty bucks?"

"Hmm," the kidnapper on the phone said. The voice modulator made him sound like yoda. "If you pick her up, we can do twenty-five. Gas prices, you know?"

"My dad is haggling you down!" Angela yelled, flabbergasted. "Let me talk to him."

The other kidnapper shushed gently.

"Do you want to talk to her? No? Okay, let me text you the address."

"Twenty-five dollars. I can't believe that's all I'm worth to him." Angela said, flopping to the side on the couch, bound hands under her.

"Did someone say twenty-five dollars?!" An energetic man yelled from outside. "Police, open up!"

"Oh, thank god!" Angela yelled. "Help me!"

The kidnapper stood up calmly and opened the door, stepping to the side as a man in a short sleeve button-up and cargo pants rolled into the apartment, wearing some twisted fabric on each wrist.

"Just kidding! But it's a good thing the police aren't here because a deal this good is a certified steal!" the man stood and dusted himself off. Somewhere, a crowd cheered and clapped. "Say hello to the tactical scrunchie. It has knives, mace, pepper spray, salt spray, glass breaker, glasses repair kit. You might as well ask what it doesn't have!"

"For just three easy breezy hold the cheesy payments of eight dollars and thirty three three three three three three three three..."

The man began to stutter and spasm as he continued forcing out "three three three three."

"Damn it!" the kidnapper said.

"Cut!" came a voice from nowhere.

Two of the walls pulled away revealing a film set. A screen on a popup table showed footage of Angela tied on the couch in black and white below the words -Has this ever happened to you?-

"You told me the AI Pitchman was as good as Mays," a man yelled, folding a script and beating another over the head. "This tactical scrunchie has to sell. It has to sell hard!"

"He is! We just have some kinks to work out, diviser issue, super quick fix." The other man shielded his head from the blows as he typed on his phone.

"Excuse me!" Angela yelled. "What's going on? Am I not being kidnapped?"

"The black and white segment actors are always kidnapped, sweetie," a lady said from the side of the set. "More realism that way."

"Take two, from entry!" the director said, sitting back in his chair. "Action!"




TinkerTech t1_isdh3jy wrote

[Sliiiiiiight NSFW Warning]

“Six Candy bars.” He said, incredulously.

“Anna pizza! With spri-kles!”

What had started as a simple game of ‘Imagine’ while her husband was at work had quickly spiraled out of control. The Cardboard ‘castle’ that the ‘princess’ had been held captive in was mostly now in shreds on the floor, save for the largest which still had lime green yarn ‘bars’ over its open face. Caroline sat inside the box and watched her husband’s face do its best to remain stoic in the presence of a master negotiator.

“And this is all the princess is worth to you?” He finally said, hand in an almost-believable thoughtful position over his mouth.

“Harold!” Caroline gasped in mock horror.

“Now, now, I’m sure this… Knight-errant can be negotiated down to say… three candy bars?” A hopefully-suave smile spread across her husband’s face, watching their four-year old son with interest. “Still a mighty and just reward for saving the princess of the kingdom?”

“Am I truly only worth three candy bars to you?” Caroline said with a pleading voice, while her eyes communicated a far drier tone: We are not giving him any candy bars.

“ummmmm….” The young knight lowered his ‘sword’, thinking furiously as his mop-bucket helmet slid down one side of his head. The king was just supposed to say ‘yes’, after all. Negotiation was a new concept to him. “How many is three?”

Don’t you dare lie to him.

I’m not gonna lie to him!

Harold knelt down so he was eye-level with the young knight. “How many of us are there in the family?”

The Young Knight thought hard. “aaah… There’s Papa… And Mama… An me!” He slowly held up fingers as he counted. “An.. that’s one… two… Three!” He held up four fingers proudly.

“That’s right.” Harold said, slowly nudging down the last finger. “So there is one candy bar for papa, one for mama, and one for you.”


Close enough, right? It will be a small candy bar.

…I want dark chocolate.

“Now, will you tell the king how you rescued the fair princess?” Harold said aloud, appealing to the Young Knight’s sense of adventure over his accounting ability.

The Young Knight’s eyes brightened. “Yeah! Firs, I found da le-legen-“

“Legendary.” Caroline said gently.

“Ya! Le-gendary blade of Vi-gore that shakes in the pre-“ the Young Knight Squinted. “-sence of evil!” He held up his ‘sword’ proudly.

Harold’s eyes grew wide and he let out mock gasp of horror. “Young Knight! You have been led perilously astray! That weapon is the greatest weakness of the Princess! One wrong blow could strike her down!”

The Young Knight looked slowly at the blade, before screaming and throwing it across the living room. It bounced to a soft stop as he turned and tore off the yarn ‘bars’, diving into his mother’s waiting arms. “maaaamaa!”

“There, there, I am safe.” Caroline cooed, patting her son’s back as she raised an eyebrow at her husband.

Was that really necessary?

Harold ignored her, sliding into the box behind them. “And with that, the Young Knight rescued the princess from any harm, and the kingdom was safe.”

The Young Knight Sniffed in the Princess’ arms. “An-an dey lived happy ever after?”

Caroline leaned her head against her husband’s shoulder. “Very happily.”

The Young Knight’s near-brush with disaster was quickly forgotten. “Yaaaaaay!”

“Now, how about the King treats this victorious knight to a feast?” Harold said, taking his son gently out of his mother’s arms. “How does pizza sound?”

“With spri-kles?”

Caroline lightly rolled her eyes. “Why not?” Harold said with a smile. “Yaaaaay!” The Young Knight jumped out of his arms and ran into the kitchen. “I’ll get the sprinkles!”

“One day he’s going to figure out ‘sprinkles’ is just extra cheese.” Caroline said, as Harold pulled her to her feet.

“And hopefully that day is a long ways off.” Harold said, before reaching over to the couch and picking up the ‘sword’. “And this stays in the locked drawer of your dresser from now on.”

“Yes dear.”


SeungHae9 t1_ise98vj wrote



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PN_Guin t1_isa701a wrote

Julius Caesar was in a similar predicament once. He demanded a much higher ransom to be asked, or he would get them all crucified. In the meanwhile he spend a comparably comfortable time with them and much camaraderie was shared.

The ransom was raised, the ransom was paid after some time, Caesar got released, Caesar organised an army and had every single pirate crucified.


theottomanSlol t1_isdcyh9 wrote

As an act of mercy, he slit their throats so they die painlessly