Wednesday, April 22, 2009

30 Days: The Prisoner

The Prisoner
by Tiffany Dominguez

The back of the tall uniformed guard was as stiff and straight as the fence behind him. With his cap pulled low over his eyes and his weapons visible on his belt, he seemed on first look to match perfectly the two dozen guards positioned at staggered posts along the perimeter.

But Melia knew differently. When he’d walked by her during the shift change this morning, she’d recognized the deceptively casual walk and mild demeanor.

Had he been sent to save her, or to watch her die? Though she’d made no secret of her love for him, he’d never given her any indication of what he felt.

Without betraying one emotion (after all, she’d been well trained in this), Melia sat down at the loom and began the morning as she usually did. Any sign of slothfulness in prisoners meant a lashing from the guards or restricted food rations. From the first day she’d arrived here, Melia had seen no reason to show defiance. What would it accomplish, drawing such attention to herself?

As her now callused fingers worked the thread in and out, back and forth, she watched the guard out of the corner of her eye. Would he give her a sign?

Three hours later, the bell rang, signaling a water break for the prisoners. As Melia rose from her chair, she found herself staring straight into the eyes of the new guard. He took her arm roughly, as if to hurry her along, but he whispered into her ear, “Do you trust me?”

Melia nodded without hesitation. This young yet seasoned soldier had always served her family faithfully.“Now,” he grunted as he pulled her along to the punishment shed, where the lashings took place. The trail of blood made Melia gag for a moment, but her steps never faltered.
The guard at the door snorted at Melia’s captor. “Always thought that girl was too obedient. Give her a good reminder who’s boss.”

Melia shivered at his harsh tone. She’d seen enough scars on her fellow prisoners to know how little mercy had been shown at this place. Glancing at her captor’s face, she searched it for some sign that he cared for her, that he wouldn’t leave her here to die. But Tristan looked as cold and unresponsive as always.

Once inside, Tristan dropped her arm, took the knife from his belt and tapped on the exterior wall three times. There was a responding tap and then a section of the wall disappeared. The face of a family friend appeared in the opening, a grin on his broad face.

“Hey, princess. Come along. You’re safe now,” he whispered, holding out a hand.Trembling, Melia took it and stepped out into the forest, a free woman for the first time in over twelve months. Once they’d traveled in silence a safe distance from the prison compound, Tristan took her in his arms and pulled her close.

“I’ll always protect you, your highness.”

Copyright 2009 by Tiffany Dominguez, author retains all story rights.


Kiirsi said...

Great job, Tiffany! I'm totally intrigued to find out what happens next. I like the detailed atmosphere/setting, and the tension. The characters are really interesting and I want to know their backstories.

*Note to any other blog editors: I tried to get this post to show paragraph breaks, but it wouldn't work for me. If any of you want to edit it to show that, feel free. :)

Kimberly Kay said...

You're writing is amazing, and the characters are interesting! I also want to know more info! You made a really interesting in only a few paragraphs! That's amazing!

Jolynn said...

Very interesting! Have you written any more of this story? If not, continue to write the story it's great! By the way I have a similar story about my husbands grandpa who really did die in a concentration camp. If you are interested in reading my story I can email it to you personaly.

Yamile said...

Oh my gosh Tiffany! This is an amazing story! I love the names you chose for your characters, and I too want to know more about them! Great job!

Taffy said...

Great start to what sounds like an interesting story!