A Short Story
She wasn’t sure how many cigarettes she’d smoked today. She knew she only have five left in her pack.
She’d smuggled the pack into the camp, jamming the remaining cigarettes, along with a small lighter, down the front of her pants, praying to the gods she didn’t believe in that she wouldn’t be patted down. Evidently, the gods had answered her prayer.
There wasn’t anything wrong with her – nothing physically, that is. She had been displaced two days earlier, and still this evening, her third day here, she looked just as she did when she entered. Black shoulder length hair, with long bangs that she liked to bat about with her eyelashes, something she’d done since she was a little girl. Pale blue eyes that men mistakenly equated to a woman who always ready and always willing for their cheap advances, and if she’d allow, a night or more in her bed, with further advances from men and morons who seemed they’d never held the female form in their arms…ever.
Her mother, who was surely taking care of her only child right now, always mentioned that she had a ‘well turned ankle’. She never understood such a statement as she took a drag of her cigarette, looking upon her bare ankle, twisting it from side to side trying to understand it all.
She was given a room alone, she was told, because the admitting guard wanted her left untouched. She knew perversion well. She knew what that meant.
There was the three taps on the door. She quickly extinguished what was left of her cigarette, and approached the door, pressing her forehead against the wired cage as she’d done for the past three days.
“You’re fine,” the female guard snickered. “98.6…just as you should be.”
She offered in her gentle voice, “why then, won’t you let me leave?”
The guard laughed. “Amanda, you’re right where you should be.”
The door to her room, which wasn’t much more than a jail cell, opened, with the guard tossing in clean underwear. She picked up the white cotton panties and then looked up to the ceiling corner of the room. The camera was on as it had been from the moment she arrived, red light blinking, capturing her every move.
There was a small shower area adjacent to her living quarters. It had been three days and though she rarely sweated, she needed a wash. She knew they’d been watching her, the demonic souls they were, as she relieved herself on the toilet – she knew they’d be watching with closer intent if she decided to shower.
The hair on her legs had grown uncomfortably long for her. A safety razor provided on the shower ledge – she wondered if she had the courage. The courage not to shave her legs – the courage to orphan her child.
An extra blanket laid at the end of the bed she had spent the past two restless nights sleeping on, provided a thought. Perhaps she could somehow drape it over the shower head, allowing her the tiniest bit of privacy as she washed. Probably not, she thought, with tears welling in her eyes.
She was at the grocery store, picking up needed items for her ‘littlest’, as she called her 5 year old, when the horribleness ensued.
She hadn’t a mask, she was told. No other shoppers at the grocery store had a mask – all were ordered into the van.
The dawn of that day had provided no hint of trouble. The local news was as perfectly boring as it always was.
“All of you…into the van,” the armored roids ordered.
The screaming of innocents did not deter the hellions. They had orders to obey.
The virus, the manufactured illness created to cull the herd – it had spread. so they were told.
She shared a van that wreaked of human stench from previous occupants. A couple in their 80’s, a teenager running errands, a middle aged woman just like her, and the dozen of workers of varying ages who worked at the grocery store – they were the new living dead.
All were being quarantined.
And when they all, nearly in unison, screamed ‘why’…the doors on the van were slammed shut. No reason given, no reasons needed.
She looked down upon her ankle…she then looked upon her bare feet. Her ankle may have been shapely, she thought – she doubted her foot, with a dancer’s arch, was attractive. Such nonsense mattered not now.
As the third day of her captivity was coming to a close, she looked to the heavens, asking why – why was the Son of God was only required to endure three hours of unearthly sufferings, and here I am, after three days of the same type of torture, and all I have to look forward to is more.
Three taps on the door came again…she looked to the door, and then quickly to the shower with the razor. A split second afforded to her…a split second of the depravity of choice given. She closed her eyes, and for the final time in her life, chose love.
Tonight’s musical offering: