Trisha Campbell, a 31-year-old charity worker currently chained to a radiator in Yemen, was reported to be spending most of her time between being bundled roughly into the boot of cars and transferred between terrorist kidnap safe addresses dreading the photograph her parents would have chosen to distribute to news agencies covering the news of her abduction.
"It’ll be the cheesy graduation one from the mantelpiece, I know it," said the fundraising manager on a belated gap year, "I’ve been begging them to take it down for years but they love it. I don’t know why I thought that blouse was flattering or what kind of statement those glasses were supposed to be making. And how humiliating that apparently my greatest achievement in more than three decades on the planet is a 2:2 in American Literature and Media Studies from De Montfort."
Campbell was seized by masked gunmen in a busy market square last Tuesday and has become a high-profile pawn in ongoing regional conflict. In a chilling video she was forced, with a knife held to her throat, to plead for the release of a dozen freedom fighters incarcerated in Israel in exchange for her life. The event left her traumatised after she realised that everyone watching would have been able to see the henna tattoo on her neck she got one misguided night in Mumbai and that was supposed to have faded before she returned to the UK in search of a more corporate job. And, sobbing quietly to herself in her pitch black cell, she couldn’t believe the religious fundamentalists holding her didn’t forcefully cover her hair during the recording, meaning that newspapers around the world would be publishing pictures of her experiment with corn rows.
But it was while imagining her distraught parents tearfully responding to questions outside the family home, possibly holding that picture of "their little girl" when she was 13, had enormous braces and looked like a boy, that a more horrific outcome to her predicament entered her head. She realised that anytime now, somewhere in a TV studio in London, the funny-looking charity financial controller she’d somehow ended up shagging after her leaving drinks would be being interviewed as her boyfriend, and talking about "the Trisha I knew" in that awful nasal voice of his.
"Oh God, kill me now" she muttered as her 15-year-old AK47-wielding guard delivered her mould infested scraps for the day.