At the stroke of midnight, when the devil calls, spread your wings and fly. When death is knocking at your door trying to sell you lies, lock your door and stay inside. If a virus comes to bring you sorrow, lose yourself in the beauty of life. When you are left with nothing but a singed heart, do not sell your soul, mask your terror and show your strength. You are the epitome of life, love, and glory.
As he crawled along the underbrush, the maze of brambles scraped his sunburnt skin. His back still bore the scars of the lashing he received when he first became trapped in this hellhole. His hand had calluses along the palm, evidence of his hard labor. It was a shipwreck that brought him here, what was it? Last year? He remembered the ocean rising above his small vessel, armed with ten-foot waves that crashed down upon the deck. He had tried to stash his valuables in his pockets, knowing he would capsize. Before being tossed into the raging waters he saw a speck of land on the horizon. He had known this was his only hope for survival. And now, trying to escape, all he could hear is the chatter of the other prisoners as they sit upon dirt floors, in the dark, waiting for someone to save them.
When I woke, I saw the face of my captor. I don’t know why he took me from my home. I don’t even know the distance I traveled to be counted as part of this cult, but I know the restrictions now imposed upon me were serious. I knew I could not call home, my hands were tied, as I realized the times were changing quickly. I would no longer look into the eyes of my loving mother or feel the tight hug from my father. I was now part of a group who had tight boundaries and was going to have to learn to follow them or face consequences unknown to someone like me, a girl from a small town in Oklahoma.
Two hands on the wheel, Karen twisted her neck to see if anyone was behind her, before pulling out. Once out on the road she gave a sigh of relief, pressed her foot down harder on the pedal, and took off toward the cabin. It was still about three hours until she could turn onto the familiar dirt driveway. She just hoped she wouldn’t meet any of the locals on the way in, she just wanted a break from the hustle and bustle of the real world.
Karen thought about the last few days at work. A ping of fear swept through her, thinking about the phrase her coworker, Brian, kept saying; “Don’t go anywhere alone!”. Was he being a flake about the rumors that there was a killer on the loose? Karen thought Brian would be the last one to fall for rumors. This little hiatus to the cabin would be good for her. The trend to go out drinking when you have a problem, was not her method of coping.
The car seemed to drive itself down the familiar highway roads. Singing along to the radio, Karen didn’t even realize how much time was passing. Suddenly she saw it, the mailbox where letters came from family members. She had thought about it, after purchasing the cabin, that the only people she would give the address to would be people in her family.
Slowly, Karen pulled up next to the mailbox, rolled down her window, and reached out to open the mailbox. Her hand stopped in mid-air as she froze. Past the box, the long driveway led to the cabin, which had its lights on. She never left the lights on. Who was in the cabin? Should she ask the police to come with her or just drive up and check it out herself? She figured she was acting foolishly, even though rumors of murder hung in the air over the whole area.
From the top of the stone wall, Jack could see the crystal in the rock formation shimmering in the sunlight. The shining rock seemed to blink in the sun as the clouds moved slowly across the sky, blocking sunlight at small intervals. Jack could just imagine taking a piece of that crystal and mounting it on a beautiful gold ring for his soon to be fiancé.
He started down the embankment, fixing his vision on the stone. Once he was able to chip off his portion, he would check to make sure it was clear enough and would still fit in the setting. He knew the tone of the gold would accent the gem and was sure Pam would love it.
After leaving the jeweler, Jack headed toward the hotel’s lounge, knowing Pam was waiting for him. He could not believe his eyes when he saw Pam in her tight black dress and matching black pumps with the stiletto heels. He was so lucky to have this beautiful woman and was excited to ask her to take his hand in marriage.