Hi there blog readers from the web. You’ve come back for another taste of madness I see. This was written in response to a challenge prompt that a friend of mine put out this week. You can check her blog out here. The prompt was do not enter, and the only requirement was that the work be centered around that theme. I hope you enjoy!
other, unsure what their next step would be. They had expected
immediate freedom when they’d been released from the cell they’d been
trapped in for what seemed like forever. Now they sat in a circle
trying to decide their next move.
over her shoulder, she was glad she’d had it up in ponytail. “I
think we should go for it.”
the cautious one of the group, asked with fear evident in his voice.
The experience had been the hardest on him.
that? Release us just to recapture us?” Helen countered his
argument with her usual sensible logic.
final member, the quietest one, added his opinion. “Either it’s a
trap or it’s not. We have to decide and then stand behind our
decision.” He stood and walked away from the group recalling the
events of the past week in his mind and trying to make sense of them.
usual Friday night pizza when it had started to rain.
the forecast.” Helen was looking at the sky in wonder.
through the forest. It would get us home in half the time.” Doug
watched his friends knowing that Stan would be the holdout.
from the forest on the night of a full-moon.” Stan’s voice was
shaking and frightened.
Florence laughed at him. “Besides the trees are thick and will
keep us from getting too wet if we hurry.” She ran into the forest
leaving the others no choice but to follow.
beginning. They’d walked through the forest for less than five
minutes when they’d been surrounded by a circle of shadows that
slowly closed in on them. Doug watched as Stanley fell to his knees
with a cry and then collapsed, unconscious on the ground. Flo was
next, she cried a little in fear. Helen followed her to her knees
with an unbelieving look on her face and the words “Run Doug!”
before she passed out. The last thing Doug remembered was watching
the ground rush up to meet him before he woke.
and noted that Flo was the only other conscious one amongst them.
She looked around them. “I’ve only been awake a few minutes longer
dimly lit area noting the hardened dirt floor under them. It
appeared to be some sort of cave with bars at the front. “Have you
whoever caught us angry.” She glanced down in embarrassment.
the head rush it brought on. Standing at the bars he hollered
loudly, “Is anyone there? Let us out!” The echo of his voice
was his only answer.
head hurts.” Helen held her head as she moved to stand.
attention if we don’t have to.” Stan cowered on the ground.
and we need to get them to let us out.” Doug gave his friend an
the bars and yelled as well. “Hey! You won’t get away with this!
Let us out!”
next few hours arguing amongst themselves as to whether they should
attract the attention of their captors or not. Doug and Helen had
both felt it was their best chance, Flo agreed with them but was
afraid, and Stan was completely terrified of the idea.
our release?” Helen argued with the two hold outs. They had
agreed to be quiet until they’d reached a group decision.
quiet?” Stan had countered.
didn’t know their captors reason for trapping them and so they didn’t
have any idea what the terms of release would be. They all sat and
stared at each other wavering in their resolve and how to escape.
his childhood friend. “If they were going to harm us they’d have
done it by now. We’ve been in here for hours. We have to try and
get their attention so we can get out.”
blonde head, pony tail bobbing up and down behind her.
across Stan’s face as he looked into the shadows beyond the bars.
“What’s out there might be scarier than what’s in here.”
you’ll never know if you don’t try.” He smiled reassuringly at the
redhead. “It’s like life. You have to keep taking risks. You
have to trust yourself and your strength.”
they stood around him. “If you say so.” He stood shakily to his
feet and approached the bars with them.
the key to the cell the door drifted open. They all looked at each
other in amazement and walked through it, wonder filling their eyes
at how easily it had opened. They squinted in the dark and found a
corridor leading off the open room their cell had been in. Now they
were at the end of that corridor facing a door with an ominous sign
who can see what is around them and not be ruled by it.
it.” Doug ran his hand through his short black hair. “So far we
haven’t been hurt for acting on our own.” He rose from the group,
striding over to the door.
think it means?” Helen joined him at the door, squinting at the
care.” Doug shook his head and reached for the handle.
stood and ran to him. “It’s a trap.”
so.” Flo joined them. “I think it’s a riddle and whoever solves
the riddle can open the door for us.”
Doug shrugged and twisted the handle. Click, click, but the door
ruled by what is around you?” Flo scowled at the sign. “What’s
around us? Darkness, I’m not afraid of the dark.”
and smiled. “How can you see what’s around you when it’s dark?”
words, light dawning in his eyes. “It’s me.” He smiled at his
can open the door.” He reached for the knob with a new strength in
his hand and confidence in his eyes. “I can see the world around
me and not allow their lousy opinions of me to keep me trapped any
longer because I have friends to lean on and keep me strong when I
need them to.”
gasped in unison. “Stan!”
you’ve been telling me for years,” he looked Doug in the eye,
“don’t let the idiot’s get you down.” He grinned broadly. “I
see it all so clearly now. I can see the idiots that make fun of me
and cut me down but I don’t have to let them decide who I am anymore.
I can let my friends do that with me.” He chuckled. “I should
have seen it so much sooner.” Reaching for the door he paused at
have seen it so much sooner?” Doug held him back with his hand on
been staring me in the face since our cell opened.” He smiled
confidently up at his lifetime friend. “When we worked as a team
our prison opened. When I stop looking to the world for who I am and
instead look to my friends the cell opened, I trusted you to be there
with me when things went wrong. It’s time for me to stop being ruled
by the bullies and start living.” He crowed like a rooster. “Here
I come world, watch out!” He gripped the handle of the door and
washed over them as they tumbled through the doorway into Flo’s
This is where the shortcut through the woods brings us.” Flo
looked around them in surprise. “Hey, where’s the door?” She
was looking behind them in disbelief.
around her shoulder and shook his head gently. “It’s all in my
mind, Flo, all in my mind.”