You iPad pings. You hesitate. Answering text and calls when out with another is not polite.
Your lunch partner gives you a nod. Go ahead; take a look.
You open your tablet. It's from friend (or family member). S/he is sending you a live video stream of a crime in progress, but the sound is muted. The terrified sender is playing it live on Facebook as well. All anyone knows is what they can see: A natural stretch of beach along a large body of water. A young man in tight jeans has his hands tied behind his back. He is being forced at gun point towards the water's edge. No one sees faces. You probably do not know the victim nor the gunman. You only know the person sending the live video as a trusted individual who is probably risking his/her own life to take the video, hopefully hidden from the man with the gun.
Your lunch partner reads your horrified face and edges the tablet down so he can see.
"It's gotta be along our shore line," he surmises. "But how far east or west of here?"
The victim pauses. He refuses to advance. He wildly tugs at the ropes keeping his wrists tightly bound.
The entire restaurant freezes in silence before you realize you had just screamed and shouted.
The camera does a clock wise pan of the area . . .
Another person is on the beach, but it is unclear if he can see what you saw on the video.
He mouths something, angrily it seems, as he waves. Maybe he doesn't like his picture taken?
The scene shakes wildly. All you can see is sky once things settle.
What do you do? What are you thinking? Do you think it is possible your friend was caught taking the video, or maybe even shot?
The view shakes once more as if the tablet is being lifted. The streaming video ends.
Two traumatic crimes are played out in stories being developed for the Birch Clump Village Reader series.
The first is on the second BC Village General Store robbery. One victim is left tied up over night. Another is taken as a hostage.
The second crime is about a teenage boy who witnesses a older teen being coaxed along the beach, hands tied behind his back by a lone gunman. He's barely concealed behind thin weeds on the beach; praying he is not discovered. This is in the days before cellular communications.