Captive

Photo credit; vanitas-art.deviantart.com

Lola struggled to get on her feet. The Rifleman now had his gun pointed at her back. He was prodding and pushing her along a dusty, endless path. The birds continued to circle and call. She could feel herself bleeding. The crusty dirt on her clothes and skin. Her nose and mouth choked with the dregs of the earth. Her blonde locks withered to straw. Her shoes fragmented by beaks. Her gait off-kilter- making it appear as if she were drunk. The Rifleman wordless. Although Lola had difficulty seeing due to the heat and glare, she detected a certain grunt in his appearance and character. A putrid odor emanated  from his body. Prod. Push. Shove. They reached a small shed situated on the side of the path. He reached around her, shoved it open and threw her inside.

Lola was glad of the cool relief but was aware the worst was yet to come. She knew that this location was probably a holding center for the remnants of the Restoration Party. She had heard of these places from other scouts-those who successfully avoided capture. Lola knew that all male scouts were quickly executed and that the female scouts “disappeared”. It was rumored the Restorers siphoned off women to different locations to be used as domestics or breeders. The party was decimated during the Revolution and those few left were determined to rule once again.

She had just gotten used to the darkness when she found herself yanked up by both her arms and tied to a chair. Two burly bearded men stood on the left and right side of her. She couldn’t see them clearly but their musky odor stifled her breathing. From behind, she felt another presence reach overhead to turn on a light. Typical. A single bulb shone on her face. A faceless hand lifted her chin.  At her feet, two more hands removed her shoes.  Snip. Rip. Yank. Her clothes began to disappear. First her pants. Difficult to do while leashed, but these hands were expert. Rip. Pop. Tear. The faceless hand destroyed her shirt and brassiere.

And then-just as quickly as they appeared-they were gone. Leaving Lola covered in nothing but her wounds and the stench of men in heat.

Note to readers: this post is a loose continuation of two previous FWF Time Place Scenario posts “Underground Hope” and “The Scout”.

The Scout

Credit: Tumblr

Credit: Tumblr

Peck. Peck. Peck. Poke. Poke. Poke.  She could hardly move. The midday heat was burning her up. Lola had fallen asleep in a cornfield the night before. The cool air had lulled her into a deep sleep and she missed the sunrise.The chance to get a head start. Her two day journey to freedom was testing her endurance. Lola needed to get information to the Renewal Party about the enemy. And here she lay-prone-arms out, palms up in an offering. Peck. Peck. Peck. Poke. Poke. Poke. She opened one eye and then the other. The sun was blinding, making it difficult to see what the annoyance was. Something was tapping at both her hands. Lola tried to lift her head a bit. Even opening her mouth was impossible; it was dried shut. She began to wiggle her fingers and toes. Peck. Peck. Peck. Poke. Poke. Poke. It was getting worse. Her ears perked up at the sound of a swoosh landing at the left side of her body. Another swoosh on the right. Then the sound and pain of flesh being torn from her skin. Lola tried to scream but all that emerged was a raspy whisper in her throat. Rip. Peck. Poke. She rolled over into a fetal position still unsure as to the source of her pain and anguish. She rose on all fours and began to crawl out of the field. In her blurred vision she could see a forested patch. Then SWOOSH, SWOOSH once more. Turkey vultures! More were coming in for the kill. Except she wasn’t dead. Yet. They were poking and tearing at her back as she was slowly crawling out of the maze. Gaining strength, she began to lift herself into a crouch. And just when Lola was nearly back on two feet, she felt the icy end of the rifle in the center of her forehead. “Git yourself all the way up, woman. You ain’t goin nowhere.”

Once again, our dear Ms. Kellie Elmore presents us with a challenging and imaginative prompt for this week!

#FWF Free Write Friday: Time & Place Scenario

by Kellie Elmore

It’s high noon. Sun blazing. You awake in a field and birds are pecking
your skin… GO!

Acadia, Acadia

Photo credit: colonelssuites.com

A rough hewn beauty

A rocky coast of sheer cliffs

Fallen, red hued boulders

made smooth and slick

by the North Atlantic’s unforgiving surf

Glaciers melted and heaved up pieces of Earth

Towers above the indigo ocean below

Icy still as we shock our bodies with the cold

A fertile ground for lobsters and clams

Those delectable and delicious creatures of the deep

Forest dense with birch, pine and oak

Dotted with flora and fauna

too fragile for our feet

Damp and verdant

Cool to touch

Much like its natatory cousin

Mountains

Ragged Craggy Jagged

Haphazard Unpredictable Asymmetrical

We scramble, scamper and slide

as we ascend the winding paths to your peaks

Within these hills lie lakes

Eagle Jordan Echo

Serene and Still

A stark contrast to the sea’s roaring waves

Surrounded by bubbles of peaks

Long endless bottomless

Acadia Acadia

We feel your sacred ancientness

in the oversized gems beneath our feet

in the majesty of your pines

in the scent of the briny air

Stories told and untold

Secrets kept and revealed

Geographical Escape 3.5: Fade to Black

photo credit: studiofovea.deviantart.com

“I know where her body is buried.” Tom was sitting in a dark booth at a dive bar on the outskirts of Louis Port. He stopped in to visit Marlena, an old friend of his mother. He had ordered one too many drinks and Marlena stayed after to help him sober up. She had the looks of a woman who I had seen and heard it all. They got around to talking about old times and soon they found themselves on the subject of his father.

“Your mother hated leaving you with him,” she said. Tom’s mother work nights as a nurse at the local hospital. His father worked at the docks loading cargo that was being shipped down river. Jim’s tall frame had become naturally muscular from years of heavy lifting. Tom’s thinness stood in sharp contrast to his father’s imposing body and equally intimidating personality. Already possessing a shy demeanor, Tom became mute whenever he was with him. In turn, Tom’s father did his best to ignore his son. He wasn’t a man who was good at conversation and he made no attempts to keep enough food in the house or cook a meal.

Jim was a heavy drinker and perpetual womanizer. Often times he would head down to the neighborhood tavern leaving his son alone for the night. Sometimes Tommy fell asleep to the hum of the tv set or put himself to bed. Jim would come home drunk, always with company for the night. Tommy could hear them through the walls. Bed creaking. His father moaning. A woman mewing or at times screaming. He covered his ears with a pillow to block out the noises. Some of them would stay around for a few months. They attempted to be friendly but more often than not, they were more interested in fucking his father. Jim would often send Tommy off on his bike during these times telling him to stay out of the house because “Daddy had business to take care of.” He would ride for hours all over town. Joe would meet up with him and they would head to his house where Joe’s mom would cook them up a special treat. Or he would ride over to the Trackside Diner, where Marlena was working at the time. She always made sure he ate a hearty meal, his belly full to bursting.

When he did arrive back at his Dad’s, he and his latest date would often be passed out on the couch with beer cans strewn on the floor and cigarettes still burning in the ashtrays.

His father knew no boundaries. He didn’t seem to care when Tommy would accidentally walk in on his acts in the living room or even the kitchen. “Hey there son, Daddy is just  having some fun with this little lady. You go on back to bed now,” he’d laugh. Or there would be two women with him. Unabashed in their nakedness. “I had trouble choosing. So I thought I would invite both of them home with me.”

Tommy was overwhelmed. He did not have the words to even speak of the situations he witnessed. He was always relieved to be back with his mother, putting those times out of his mind.

And this is what he thought he did that one last time. He was awakened once again by the sounds from his father’s bedroom. This time, however, it was different. Fearful screaming. Furniture banging against the wall. His father making monstrous noises. More yelling. “Please stop! You’re hurting me. Let go of me!”  Then the sound of someone falling to the floor with a loud thud.

Tommy couldn’t help himself. He got out of bed and peeked in the doorway of his father’s room. He saw his father straddled over the bloody, naked body of his latest conquest. A knife was in his hands. When he turned and saw his son, he said, “She wouldn’t listen, son. Help me clean up.” He began to roll her body in a rug. “Go open up the car’s trunk and get a shovel too. Then get in the back seat.”

They drove out to Cedar Grove Forest. He left Tommy in the car while he walked down the path with the shovel. A few minutes later, he came back for her. “Help me out here son. Hold the flashlight. I don’t want to trip on the path with this heavy load.”  Tommy held the light out in front of him as his father walked behind. When they got to the hole, he father said, “Go on back to the car and wait for me.”

Minutes later, Tommy heard the car door open and watched his father slide into the driver’s seat. Then he turned around and brought Tommy’s face close to his. He was filthy and reeked of sweat and blood. Breathing heavily, nearly spitting out the words, he said: “Don’t you ever tell a god damn soul.”

The smell of bleach awakened him. Sunlight streamed across his face. “Get dressed. I am taking you back to your mother’s.” He dropped his son at the curb and sped off. That was the last time he saw his father. It was only three years later, when Tommy was twelve, that he heard about his father’s death in a cheap motel room. He had been found shot to death.

By the time he was done talking, the sun was about to rise. The confession purged his soul. He knew that he would need to talk to the authorities. But first he would go home. He no idea of how he would tell Ella about his past. No clue about his present misdeeds. Their future together was uncertain. But he owed her the truth.

These thoughts were swimming in his sleepless mind as he said goodbye to Marlena and headed out towards the airport. Dazed and distracted, he was unaware of the moose in the middle of the road. He hit it head on, the car flipping over and over into the air until it landed in a ditch. They say you travel towards a white light at the end. But all Tom saw was red.

Geographical Escape 3.4: Sirens Song

https://buildingalifeofhope.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/191c9-sirens.jpg

photo credit: www.mywanderingstory.com

He had set foot in an alternate reality. On the outside,the building looked as if it were a residence with many rooms. However, with the exception of the ante-room and a small number of private rooms on the upper floors, the inside had the look and feel of flowered  gardens bursting with color. Dispersed throughout were pools laced with lily pads and small waterfalls. Butterflies flitted about adding depth and grace to this verdant paradise. In the distance, he heard the sounds of flutes and stringed instruments.

Aurora was dressed in a sheer red wrap that revealed her nakedness in just the right places. She was holding Tom’s hand gently in hers as she gave him a tour of the facilities. When he arrived once again at the residence, the men removed his clothing and donned him in a white wrap for comfort. As he walked with Aurora, Tom took in all the sights and sounds. In the rooms above, whispered ecstasy. In the pools below, synchronous sensuality. Some bathed each other as they would a newborn child. Others caressed as lovers would. The reverberation of their harmonious climaxes nearly drove him to tears.

But it was the sound of melodious singing that was drawing Tom to yet another pooled Eden. Before him were several women playing and singing in the water. They washed their long tresses and cleansed their bodies. They were lovely. Goddesses. Queens. Deities. He got down on his knees at the water’s edge. One beauty took his hand into the soothing water. The music lulled him into a state of perfect bliss.  He opened his mouth to drink their elixir. His eyes became heavy. His body limp as he fell into a deep and permanent slumber.

“Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please.” Tom woke with a start. The pilot was speaking.  “We are having engine trouble and our flight is being diverted to Louis Port Regional Airport.” He rubbed his eyes. First, a sigh of relief came over him as he realized it all had been a dream. Yes, he had been to San Fransisco for work. No, he had not strayed this time.  But then a sense of horrible dread invaded him. Louis Port-his childhood home- was the place where it all began and ended.

Geographical Landscape 3.3: Odyssey

photo credit: spontaneouspotato.deviantart.com

His malaise became more of a burden. His words and actions were wooden. Cracks appeared in his facade. Ella did her best to provide comfort and advice but her frustration and impatience began to show.  “You need to share the wealth, Tom. With a professional. Something is not right and I am worried for you and for us.”

She was right, of course. But the act of beginning that journey overwhelmed him. He knew that he would eventually have to share the pain of his past. Never mind his current deceits. He wasn’t ready to think about the consequences of his truths.

It remained hard to say if the timing of yet another business trip was a good thing or a bad thing. Good because he could use it as an excuse to put off getting help. Bad for another reason. Would Temptation visit him a third time? Could he control himself?  This trip would take him far from home. He would leave for the West Coast site in the San Fransisco area. It would be a six week stint.  Ella could barely hide her anger. “These obligations are taking a toll on us. Each time you have come back from one of these trips in the past year,the night terrors resume. You need to tell your boss this is the last one. Time to focus on taking care of you and your family.”

He left home with a heavy heart and plunged into work. He had an outstanding reputation as a problem solver. He needed this part of his life to remain strong. By the end of the first week, he had fixed the first of a series of  issues at the site. On Friday night, he sat down at the hotel’s bar and asked for a whiskey.

He was two drinks in and about to order another when he  heard a voice behind him. “Need a bit more to take the edge off?”  White porcelain skin. Long black hair. Wearing a stunning black dress. Her eyes looked like pools of water. She placed her hand in his. “I’m Lilith.” I can take you to a place that will bring you peace.” She place a card in his hand. “Call if you are interested.” And then she was gone.

The card was plain. No name. No title. Just a phone number. The bartender gave him a knowing wink. “Great experience for those who need it,” he said. Tom took out his phone and started to dial. His mouth began to water. His heart raced. A recorded voice stated: “Thank you for calling. A driver will be ready to pick you up in 15 minutes. Please wait outside.”  He gave the bartender a puzzled look. “No worries, man. Just go.”

When he got into the back seat of the limousine, the driver opened the window slightly. Facing forward so as to remain unseen, he told Tom to put on a black faceless mask. Without thinking, he obeyed. Then they drove off.

In a matter of minutes, they arrived at a palatial residence. Secluded by hedges and a large forest, it looked over the city lights. His mask was removed once he set foot in the door. Lilith stood before him. “Welcome,” was all she said as she led him to a red-draped ante room. Six people-three men and three women- sat relaxing on the room’s fine furnishings.

An older, attractive woman dressed to match the room stood up and held Tom’s hands in hers. “Lilith sensed your need. We are glad you called.We believe in the healing powers of sensual expression. Many here come to us because they are hemmed in by society’s pressures. Our mission is provide a safe place to fill your needs, heal your pain and escape your troubles. All of us are participants in this endeavor, as we too have other lives. We fill our needs as much as you do yours. We charge no fees. We are here by choice and to enjoy one another. We do not use violence. We are selective about our members. So, if you choose to stay, you must engage in these same practices. We promise you unforgettable experiences.”

Geographical Escape 3.2: Mud Season

photo credit: info.forwater.com

The ground was squishy beneath his feet. His legs hard to lift. His lungs heavy with effort. His body soaked with sweat and muddy splatter. His clothes at one with his skin. He’d fall into a puddle of muck only to rise and have his face raked by the knives of branches. He was blind. The path a long shadow of darkness.  He could hear the pounding of feet and exerted breath of someone behind him.  Gaining ground.

He was overpowered by the force. Jumped from behind. His face planted in the mud. Hands at the back of his neck.  Legs squatted on his spine.  His words were muffled screams. “I promise I won’t tell! I promise I won’t tell! Let me go! Let me go! Let me go!”

Ella was shaking him. Her face scratched and her arms red with the imprints of his fingers. Tears streamed down her face. “STOP! STOP! TOM! TOM! WAKE UP PLEASE!

He was hyperventilating. Losing air. His heart wrenched at the sight of his wife’s wounds. He began to weep. ” I know you didn’t mean it, darling. But the nightmares have gotten worse.”  Do you want to talk about it?”  He shook his head emphatically. He would just need to get a grip that’s all.  He thought the winter’s affair had cleansed him of the stench on his soul. But the nightmare was so vivid in its action and its accompanying emotions. Fear and Guilt hung in the air.

He had begun to dread bedtime. He would creep out of bed after Ella fell asleep and wander the house. Check on the kids. The doors and windows. The rains were relentless, causing area rivers to overflow their banks. Some roads became impassable. He was unable to ride his bike for relief. Sometimes Tom sat outside in the midnight torrents not sure if the water might drown him. He was drenched in stink.

The weather became an inspiration for Ella. She painted and sculpted productively through the winter season while he was away.  The current season’s gloom lent a noir element to her art. So much so that their nearby city’s well-known gallery wanted  to show her work. To Tom’s  inquiries about her theme, her reply was simple. “All of us have a dark side, sweetheart. But it remains our choice as to how we express it.”

So here he sat in yet another downpour. Warm air moved in and with it great claps of thunder and dangerous bolts of lightning.  He knew who was on top of him in the incubus. But how could he tell anyone it was the face of his father?