Picture it and write: Trapped
Hi everybody! This is my offering for this weeks picture it and write for Ermilia’s blog here. The picture is not mine, I just use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy!
Jim had been over half an hour looking for his sister but he was not worried, not yet, she did this kind of thing all of the time. She had always been a little ‘special’ had Susan, always different. But recently she had started acting strangely, even for her. Disappearing into the grounds, hiding for hours, people were starting to worry. She was starting to get at the end of everyone’s tether, even Jim’s. But she was his sister, he had to find her, again.
Jim had spent a lot of time with the game keeper between shoots with his father and his guests. The old man had taught Jim a little bush-craft, like how to track game. He had found that this had come in very handy these last few weeks. He caught Susan’s trail, those small tightly spaced foot prints were distinctive, heading in the direction of the river bank. Following the line of steps, he noted how it wavered and twisted, as if the walker was in a daze. This was definitely her. Keeping his eyes on the tracks, Jim almost failed to notice that he was heading for the briar patch by the river. It was kept deliberately wild, as a haven for the wildlife Jim’s father and his friends hunted. Neither Jim or Susan were allowed in there. There would be hell to pay if they were found there.
To Jim’s relief, he saw that the tracks curved away from the briars and around them. But his relief was short-lived when he realised that the footprints instead were going around the briars and down to the river. If she had been in the water for as long as she was missing, she could be dead. Jim raced to the bank and looked down, fearing the worse he looked down. But all was not lost, in the mud were some more tracks, going into the thorny tangle.
Jim carefully lowered himself into the soft mud and stepped to as close to the thorny vines and he dared. The sky was overcast and with the shading from the forest behind there was not enough light to see. But there was someone there, there was the sound of breathing, and stifled sniggering from amongst the thorns.
“Suzy. Is that you?” Jim asked, hoping his sister would end this charade. A dirty arm came out from the branches, “Suzy’s not home” said a thin reedy voice, Susan, definitely, “But Charlotte’s here!”
Jim did not like the sound of that ‘Charlotte’ was what Susan would say who did anything bad that she had done, like killing that kitten. Charlotte usually meant bad news. “Suzy!” Jim used his big-boy voice, “You should get out here and come home with me!” The voice from the briar patch sounded indignant “Stupid Jimmy should know when not to give orders” the dirty arm extended a finger that wagged in front of Jim’s face then withdrew quickly into the thorns before he could grab it.
Jim had enough of this “Suzy, don’t do this! I’m going to go and tell father” But as he stood there was a scream from the briar that stopped him cold. It was weak, as if it had been struggling and a voice, more like the sister Jim knew called out “Don’t leave me Jimmy, please don’t leave. Charlotte says that if you go She’ll do something to me, something horrible” Jim could hardly believe his ears “Suzy what are you talking about?” The voice changed again “You should listen to your sister Jimmy. She’s on to something!” Then back “Please don’t Jimmy! Please! I don’t want her to hurt me again”
That stopped Jim, he remembered when ‘Charlotte’ was blamed for those cuts on Susan’s arms. He sat down on the muddy bank and said he would stay. His sister’s voice sounded relieved, the other triumphant “I knew you’d be weak, stick with helping you sister. Pathetic.”
Jim tried to speak calmly, maybe he could convince his sister to come out one her own volition. “Stay with me Suzy. Everything will be alright. You might feel trapped, but we’ll, all of us who love you will help to get you out”
“I feel trapped?” the voice, definitely ‘Charlotte’, sounded even colder than usual “I’m not trapped at all, I can leave here whenever I choose, if I choose. Can you Jimmy? How does it feel, Jimmy? How does if feel… to be trapped?”