Captivity

27 05 2012

Once a woman who had lain naked and terrified in the house of her captor managed to escape. She ran away through the forest behind her prison, though her hands remained bound by the last, unbreakable, chain. At first the trees were wicked, perverted from their natural grace by the evil that emanated from the house. They reached out with thorns and branches to bar her way, ripping a thousand angry wounds in the woman’s tender flesh, but she would not be slowed nor turned aside. As she left the influence of her captor the forest mellowed and directed her to a stream which merged into a creek and then a river that flowed into the sea.

After a night and a day of running, the river led her out of the trees and onto a beach. Seeing her bleeding and bound, a gruff and bearded man ran up to her shouting and waving and terrifying her all over again. He grabbed her chains and shook them, pulled them, tried to smash them upon a rock, but could not break them. He shouted his frustrated rage at the sky and ran off for an ax to sever the links that bound her. She fled.

A second man had been watching this scene unfold, and had noted how terrified the woman was by the noise and violence of the bearded man. He wanted to help the woman, but he had seen how fast she ran and was afraid if she ran from him he would never catch her. He hung back and followed as best he could, choosing to wait until she slept before going to her aid.

While the second man hid, a third came upon the woman. He saw the panic that had possessed her as well as the pain, and he grieved. He removed his coat and laid it before her, for her own clothes were in tatters. He took all of his food – two apples, bread, and cheese – and laid it upon the coat. Then he moved a few paces off and sat with his back to the woman, that she might do with his offerings as she pleased.

The second man watched from his hiding place beyond the dune as the woman slowly approached the gifts. He watched as she draped the coat over herself and scarfed down the food. He then watched the woman crouch before the third man and hold her hands out to him; through some magic disguised by distance the chains fell from around her wrists and dissolved in the sand. The second man turned and marched toward the forest, seething with jealousy and impotence.

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