Prisoner Of War
by Sandra Seamans
The skittering of forest creatures through the dank, rotting leaves above, sends shivers through Amy's weary body, waking her from a restless sleep. The sun is sweeping high in the sky, pouring it's warmth down into the dry well where she sits, waiting for the final bite of the ax. She watches as a daddy-long-legs meanders across her thigh. He doesn’t talk, but at least she’s not alone.
For three days the logger has kept her trapped deep inside the rotting bowels of the woods, occasionally tossing scraps of food and water down into her cage. The sound of chainsaws grinding and timber falling the only hint that she's not alone.
She relishes the warmth of the sun on her clammy skin. The fragrant smell of freedom riding on sunbeams tickles her nose, giving her a fragile glint of hope. Amy tries once again to claw her way up the flagstone walls of the well toward the light. Her strength waning, her hand touches the solid earth of escape.
The woodsman is standing there, on the brink of her freedom, laughing at the tree-hugger who’s lost her final battle to save the stand of virgin timber his crew is skidding out of the woods. His spiked climbing boots tear holes in her shimmering hopes, as he reaches down and pulls her free of the well. Her screams of despair go unheard amid the cries of “Timber”.