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Captive
Michelle, Age 14, Maple Ridge, BC

The water drizzled down the bars of the only window in the tiny jail cell. Lisa ran her bony fingers over the moist stone that covered the prison floor. The pitter patter of the rain on the castle walls was the only sound that filled the air besides the consistent whistling of the smug, old guard.

He sat on his leather chair while sipping steaming hot cocoa.

Lisa could see the steam coming from the chipped mug on his desk. She would give her oxygen up for three minutes just to have a sip of its warming nectar. No, four minutes. Anything to know once again what it felt like to have warmth run through her body.

She got up from the safety of her little, straw bed to gaze longingly out the window and dream of freedom. She pressed her cold face against the bars and reached her hands towards the heavens. If she concentrated hard enough, she was sure she could reach them. If her wishes were strong enough, maybe they would hear her calls.

“Let it end!” She whispered into the night, arms stretched to the rain-filled sky. “Let it be over!”

But the only response came from the rain that now soaked her flesh and gown.

Lisa wiped the salty tears from under her eyes and fell lifelessly back to her bed. The straw was damp and smelled awful, like the beach after a hot summer. This was all she had known for years, the smell of the straw and the drizzle of the rain, and this tiny bed was the only thing that kept her warm in a world so cold.

Her robes, the fabric as course as a potato sack, were dripping with sweat and rain and blood. Her hair, matted and tangled, hung limply in front of her eyes.

Lisa curled up on the straw and pressed her hand deep into it, retrieving the only thing that kept her sane in the madness.

She ran her fingers along the mildewed face of her brown teddy bear, Bosworth. She rubbed her fingers across his plastic eyes, the cataracts dug deep into his manufactured pupils from years of being shoved under the straw when the guards strolled down the corridor. Lisa tied up his little red bowtie and held the teddy bear close to her.

“One day,” She whispered to him, smiling brightly. “We will get out of here. And we’ll have a family who loves us.”

She held the bear up, the colour from his little pink nose was beginning to fade.

She hugged the bear, his wet fabric moistening her robes, and touched his nose with her little finger. The raindrops outside were still cascading down the steel bars of her prison and landing in a clutter on the floor between the bricks. But they never came so close as to dampen her bed or her spirits.

Lisa smiled again at the bear, holding him tightly to her chest.

In her mind, Bosworth smiled back at her. And that was all Lisa needed to keep her going for one more lonely day.

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