caged

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen the stars.

The news that occasionally aired on the TV told her she’d been there over two months, but no matter how hard she tried thinking about the last time she laid on the cool, prickly grass with her kids nuzzled into her on either side as they all gazed up at the night sky, she just couldn’t remember.

Oh how she missed her babies.

Ethan was 9 and sure to be quite upset that she was gone; Emily, 6, probably cried a lot for their mommy.

Maybe this is why God took them away from me and gave them to Brad? All that time I spent pissed that they were with him during the week and me on weekends… maybe God knew I’d be taken away from them. Maybe He was protecting them.

Jennifer’s arm started to ache. She had it scrunched below her for too long. She needed to stretch.

But she couldn’t.

The cage wasn’t much bigger than that for a medium sized dog. Like a bulldog. Of course a bulldog would at least have a bit more room to move around than Jennifer whose body folded and remained contorted for hours on end until she was released for cleaning or sex.

Jennifer did her best to keep believing she’d catch a break and be freed, but the days were so fucking excruciatingly long. She even begged the male captor—“Babe”— to shoot her with the rifle he hid behind the door to the mobile home.

Babe just coughed out a laugh. “How you gone make me a baby if I shoo-cha?”

That was the last time Jennifer allowed tears to stream down her face. Inside she screamed and cried all the time, but when Babe and the female abductor called “Kitten” were nearby, Jennifer did her best not to show any kind of emotion.

67elcona

 

The nutty aroma of coffee filled the air. Jennifer tried focusing on that rather than the nearby putrid scent of her own excrement as she opened her eyes to a brightness washing over her.

She was hungry.

It had been at least two days since she was given some food. Her stomach started twisting at the scent of the coffee, and when the sizzle of something frying started to scream out, Jennifer finally couldn’t hold it in any longer and begged, “Please can I have somethin’ ta eat. And some water. Please.”

Kitten’s eyes moved from the TV to the cage. “Maybe if there’s some left over.”

Babe wandered into the room with two paper plates piled high with eggs, potatoes, bacon.

“You should probably save some for her,” Babe said, handing a plate to Kitten. “She gone need her strength.”

Jennifer closed her eyes and started falling.

Miles below her were her children. They were small like ants but she knew they were there watching her fall; she could see their bright eyes, their blond hair. Their arms reached up for her and she reached down for them as she fell. Not a scream came from her, not a worry. She fell and fell and fell. Soon she’d feel their arms around her.

Soon.

 

 

(inspired by this week’s speakeasy prompts as well as this disgusting news story i read yesterday)

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18 thoughts on “caged

  1. Whew – that was a gut punch – probably because it could happen. It’s like an episode of “Law & Order,” in that it could be totally plucked from today’s headlines. You packed so much into such a concise package. Well done!

  2. Gorgeous writing about a less than gorgeous subject. I could see the whole scene and I love how you softened the harshness with mention of Jennifer’s babies (must be the mama in me!)
    I think it’s crazy how the YeahWrite prompt brought out the darkness in many of us.
    This was sooooo good!

  3. Oh this made me so sad. I think it was the kids’ role in the story that did me in. Your juxtaposition of the tenderness of a mother’s love with the horrors of her situation worked really well. And I read the story you linked to. Ugh. That was twisted and awful.

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