by M. J. Joachim
There in the shadows, deep within the cold, damp woods of this dense and overgrown forest, Elsa wept silently so Angelo couldn’t hear her. She wasn’t sure where he was, or when he might come back. All she knew was that when she least expected it, he’d be there pleading with her to understand.
Elsa’s mind raced to a happier time in their lives, a time when Angelo would smile and talk to her as they sat on the park bench, or he walked her home from school. Life was so blissful then. She was open and honest with him, telling him all the teenage drama, exaggerating about how hard it was living at home.
Angelo listened patiently. Sometimes he’d put his arm around her shoulder and pull her close. Angelo was so supportive and understanding. Elsa wondered why he never said much. What was he thinking when she told him how unreasonable her parents were, and how angry she always was with her siblings?
The course, heavy rope that tied her to branches overhead singed her skin as she inched further away from the tree. “In time the rope would wear down,” Elsa thought, “I might even be able to escape before Angelo gets back,” she whispered aloud. Before she finished speaking the words, Angelo appeared before her. He tied another rope to her other arm, attached the end to his truck and slowly drove away.
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