Friday, December 2, 2011


My breath is ragged. I rest my head against the brick wall and try to calm my racing heart. Perspiration soaks my hair and rivellets meander down my back. I shake; not in fear, but in an attempt to rid the drugs they have been administering me during my captivity. I’ve no doubt that most of it has been experimental. That non-committal, casual air the nurses had gave it away.  A real nurse would care about the pain they cause patients. 
My eyes dart around the manicured garden, caressing the whitewashed steps and wooden furniture tastefully arrayed about the small space. I’ve never been into this part of the facility. I’m sure its a secluded spot the doctors huddle to discuss their next devious step. I begin to hyperventilate picturing cruel eyes judging me. The way they pinned me to that chair, forcing me to conduct abhorrent practices. The way the doctors would come round every day, pretending to be concerned and ask the same questions. I saw through their act  immedialty. I’ve always prided myself on the strength of my resolve; my resourcefulness.  I never answered them. I refused to look them in the eye. 
Two voices casually discuss the big game they plan to watch tonight. I hear the faint flick of a lighter and smell of a newly lit cigarette as the smoke wafts around me.  I freeze. They must be the other side of the wall, inches from my crouched, shivering body. If they stop talking, they’ll hear my heart thundering. I wonder how they hadn’t heard me as I’d crept up earlier.
Scrunching gravel tells me that their break is over. I head a door creak as its opened and then shut firmly behind them. There is that unmistakable sound of a large lock tumbler turning; ensuring that uninvited guests don’t spoil the perfect garden. 
My breath evens out. I shiver again as dusks cool breath licks my chest through the thin garment I wear. I listen. The alarm hasn’t been sounded yet. My escape has still to be discovered. 
I know there is freedom across the lawn. The distant hum of traffic tells me that the world continues to exist, even though I am sure my disappearance has been masterfully covered up.  I can’t wait until dark. I decide to risk discovery to make my dash toward the trees and fence beyond.
As I run, the grass and trees are blurry. I feel each blade as I step and stomp across it.  I grip the rough bark of the first tree as I collapse against it. I remember I used to be able to run such distances. I blame the drugs and my captivity.
A tiny voice beckons me from the wide boughs above me. I laugh telling them I haven’t climbed a tree in years. I need to get back to work. I have important things to do. I need to escape from this place. The voice quavers and I know they must be crying.
I glance back at the big building and its perfect lawn. The upstairs lights are on and I wonder what they look like from inside the tree’s safe leafy embrace. I tell the voice I’ll come up. But only for a moment.
I fumble around the tree and gasp with surprise as I find some foot holds chiseled into the trunk.  One hand and foot at a time, I clamber up to the first branch and ungracefully straddle it. I caress the bark with my hands, delighting in its sensuous, gritting feel. No longer cold, I pull the thin gown off and fling it to the ground and allow my stomach to rub along the bough. My arms feel slick and wet.
The lights at the big house are still twinkling as I hear confident feet swishing through the long grass toward me.
“Its time to come down now.”
I bellow in pain and frustration.
“You don’t want us to call your sister again do you?”
I shake my head. I remember now that Sissy gets so angry with me she makes the nurses take my icecream away for a week. I slither down and collapse on the ground crying.
One of the nurses picks my arm up and snorts. “Looks like we have some more stitches to do on your arms. You’ve rubbed them ragged against that bark.”
My breath is ragged from crying as they take me back.

This is a first draft.
PROMPT:   Use this sentiment or theme for your story “Your character is escaping”
This story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything  and submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash via Twitter.  

Its also recorded as a Spoken Sunday on Audioboo ( or will be soon....)


Adam B said...

It's all tricksy and twisty and turny. Thought it was going one way then it turned and went somewhere else.
Adam B @revhappiness

Cat Russell said...

I like how this is open-ended. Is she crazy? A little girl? Is she really unjustly imprisoned? *Imagination stirring*

David said...

I liked it. I like how the narrator seems aware and unaware at the same time.

Did you ever read
"The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?

Li said...

I like the open-ended style as well, and the use of "ragged". And I can highly recommend "The Yellow Wallpaper".