The Spam Diaries # 3
The sentence is :
It had been just after daylight when she escaped from Jetts camp.
It had been just after daylight when she escaped from Jetts camp. The men had been up most of the night trying to keep her from escaping and the exhaustion from the past several days of travel finally got to them somewhere around daybreak. She had been smart and planned out the whole thing. She slept while they kept watch. There was no better time to sleep!
She knew she was valuable to them. They’d have to keep her safe and alive, with no marks. How would it look if the Governors daughter came back with bruises complaining of abuse from the men he had sent out to find her? All day long the previous day she had done everything she could to cause some sort of damage to her perfect skin. At first she clawed lightly at her own arms, but finally they had grown wise to what she was doing and tied her hands behind her back. Then she began trying to walk deliberately through bushes and even kicked a tree with her shin once. The men started thinking she was just insane! Finally they tied her legs together and threw her up and over a pack mule in order to haul her like cargo through the woods on the way home. They’d never figure out how she got so far from home on foot.
She crouched low behind an old log laying on the forest floor to watch from a distance. Surely they would expect her to head for high ground. She’d fool them all by not only going in the direction of home, but by staying low. She wanted to be able to watch them ride right past her and never know she was there.
Rebecca was a rebel at heart, yes. Surely every one of these men thought she was insane for the actions she was taking to try to draw attention to her well being when she got home. Why would someone want to damage themselves, just to get someone else into trouble? They didn’t understand. Rebecca knew they never would.
The abuse had started when she was only about seven years old. This wasn’t the first time she had run away, and if she did go back, it wouldn’t be the last. She gritted her teeth. This WAS going to be the last. She would make sure of it. She would never go back there. She’d had to put up with her horrible father for ten years while her mother just turned her back and her baby brother was too young to know what was going on.
She knew that if the men did manage to take her home and she looked damaged, there was a chance her father wouldn’t touch her at least until her wounds healed. He might even think she’d fallen victim to one of the men on the search party and would think of her as ‘tainted’ after that. That would buy her some time to plan her next escape. All of these thoughts had gone through her head as she walked along side the horses, before being tossed over the pack mule.
She had thought about how to escape while she was tied up and laying across the mule the previous afternoon. The ropes bound her hands behind her back, but she was flexible enough to be able to maneuver just enough. Somehow she managed to wiggle her arms around to her side where she dug for anything sharp enough to cut the ropes. She hadn’t planned on cutting them then and there though. She would wait until nightfall. Her hands found nothing. After several minutes, she gave up that thought. She’d find something when they stopped for the night. She wasn’t expecting the blessing that would come her way.
That night when they stopped to make camp, the burly man named Thomas lifted her off the mule. Her body ached from being left in that position on such a bony animal for so long. She fell to the ground, her legs too weak to support her. Thomas leaned over to pick her up and she leaned on him for support – but not before grabbing the small knife from the holster he had on his ankle. She palmed it carefully and went with him to where Charlie had laid a blanket on the ground for her. They laid her down on her stomach and went to unpack everything.
Rebecca dropped the knife on the blanket and reached as far as she could to grab some of the wool shroud in order to conceal the blade.
When the meal of the evening was done roasting over the fire, Charlie untied her hands so she could eat. It wasn’t the best rabbit she had ever tasted, but it would do. She was very hungry. She hadn’t eaten in several days. Once she was done with her meal, Charlie came back to tie her again.
“Please”, she asked him sweetly, “Can you tie my hands in front? It’s so hard to sleep with them behind me.”
Charlie grunted and did as she asked. She smiled to herself. That was all she needed! Cutting the ropes in the morning would be so much easier if she could see what she was doing.
It was a couple of hours before she started to hear the panicked voices of the men searching for the missing girl. In that much time she had managed to dig a nice ditch with a stick and a couple of rocks. It was deep enough to be able to hide herself from view with leaves without looking like an odd, human shaped lump next to a log. She knew it was going to be a very long day while the men looked for her. She climbed into her hole and covered herself carefully. All that was left was to wait.
Rebecca heard leaves crunch under foot a moment later, less than three feet from her head. That wasn’t something she had been thinking about. What if someone or something stepped on her?
She peered between two leaves and saw the massive form of a man sit down on the large log there beside her, his back to where she lay. She held her breath.