Shannon could hear the footsteps behind her as she walked toward home. The thought of being followed made her heart beat faster. "You're being silly," she told herself, "no one is following you." Shannon said a quick prayer, "God, please get me home safely." She was glad she was almost home.


She made it safely and after tossing her books on the sofa, she decided to grab a snack and ~get on-line.~ She logged on under her screen name ByAngel213 and checked her Buddy List and saw  GoTo123 was on. She sent him an instant message:


ByAngel213: Hi. I'm glad you are on! I thought someone was following me home today. It was

really weird!


GoTo123: You watch too much TV. Why would someone be following you? Don't you live in a

safe neighborhood?


ByAngel213: Of course, I do. I guess it was my imagination cuz' I didn't see anybody when I

looked out.


GoTo123: Unless you gave your name out on-line. You haven't done that have you?


ByAngel213: Of course not. I'm not stupid, you know.


GoTo123: Did you have a softball game after school today?


ByAngel213: Yes, and we won!


GoTo123: That's great! Whom did you play?


ByAngel213: We played the Hornets. Their uniforms are so gross! They look like bees.


GoTo123: What is your team called?


ByAngel213: We are the Canton Cats. We have tiger paws on our uniforms. They are really cool.


GoTo123: Did you pitch?


ByAngel213: No, I play second base. I've got to go. My homework has to be done before my parents get home. I don't want them mad at me. Bye!


GoTo123: Catch you later. Bye


Meanwhile......GoTo123 went to the member menu and began to search for her profile. When it came up, he highlighted it and printed it out. He took out a pen and began to write down what he knew about Angel so far. Her name--Shannon; Birthday, January 3, 1985; Age--13. State where she lived--North Carolina. Hobbies--softball, chorus, skating and going to the mall.


Besides this information, he knew she lived in Canton, because she had just told him. He knew she stayed by herself until 6:30 p.m. every afternoon until her parents came home from work. He knew she played softball on Thursday afternoons on the school team; and the team was named the Canton Cats. Her favorite number 7 was printed on her jersey. He knew she was in the seventh grade at the Canton Junior High School. She had told him all this in the conversations they had on-line. He had enough information to find her now.


This story ends with the "bad guy" being a Police Officer who was teaching Shannon a lesson. Let it be a lesson to all of us. Do not let your kids have a computer in a private area, never let them in a chat room, only use AOL Instant Messenger with people YOU know.