Started as a Literary Lion AM posting with photo and catch me if youcan line. See site below for details
Posted as part of Dark Side Thursday
Escape! But from what? There are few things more upsetting then waking in a cage. Waking up in a cage six feet off the ground. Waking up in cage suspended from the ceiling. Waking up in a cage with your back against a door on the bottom of the cage. An alligator in the room six feet below you loose in the same room. A very narrow window and a thin door way too close to an alligator. Just a few more upsetting things then the cage.
Seneca desperately retraces her steps. There was a casino. There were a couple extra drinks. There were offers of jungle adventures deep in the island. But there was no end to the night. No leaving the casino. No ride to anywhere. A mishmash of games and people. Drinks, oh there were too many of those. Her vision was still a little burry. Her back was sore from iron pressed against her.
The room surrounding her is large blocks, grey, black, and off white blocks create a not quite square maybe ten feet across. No sounds come from outside. None come from the inside either. Her cage mate doesn’t move, only stares, at her. Above her another four feet of chain, suspending her from the ground.
“Is the alligator worse then the person who put me here? It’s not fair, a gator and a cage. I bet could climb the rough wall. The gaps in stone…feet on edges. The door doesn’t have a lock on this side. Maybe they left it open… Yeah, big sign. Beware of alligator…. Uuugggghhhhh!”
The cage door opens outward. Or in this case toward the floor. Getting out means danglingto the floor. And pulling herself back in if her room mate moves.
“No more drinking alone. I’ve got to try. Oh shit. ..’there is no try’. Why does this come to mind? That thing hasn’t moved yet. It’s time to go.”
The three by four foot cage is cramped, but the door makes up almost had to bottom. After several tried of shifting weight side to side, sliding the catch is possible. Planning how to open a cage is never done ahead of time. Looking for roommate. He’s further away then the door. She’s ready to leave the hot perch.
The catch slides with a terrible grinding noise. The door clangs as it swings on it’s hinges. There was no surprise possible now. . There’s not really any place to stay in cage. Expect for hanging feet through the door.
“At which point do you move? When I run or jump down?”
The alligator didn’t answer. He just sits there staring. Like he was stuffed, just sits there.
Faith and Seneca take a slow leap. Using her hands.. lowering herself in as small movements as possible. Pain staking slow movement. .. arms and hands pulled and twisting against metal webbing of the cage. The last foot is drop to the ground.
Back on earth, she regards her roommate. He’s not moving. Her heart is two beats from exploding. Her breath is halted by the horrible smell. It’s death, it’s musty, it’s putrid. She wants to choke but can’t. Fear of the beast grips her. Door is six of the longest feet she will ever walk toward the alligator.
The first step is agonizing. Watching for movement. Any kind of movement. None. Step two, with a pause. Checking always checking for slightest motion. Step three is closer to the door then cage. There’s a pause, a long pause here. Two steps to the door, but when she got there her back woukd have to turn. The next two steps are way too fast. The door! There’s a simple push lever to freedom. Looking back the gator hasn’t moved. He sits there smiling at her from this angle.
The door clunk as the lever is pushed.
The bright light rushes in, blinding and overwhelming. The humidity and tropical heat suck the energy that’s left. But there is still an alligator behind her. Stepping into the light, pulling the door hard behind her. She’s in a half cleared sugar cane field. Palm trees in the distance and a sight smell of the sea.