Hello Friends! Are you excited for a new prompt? I know I was.
Just quickly, I wanted to share with you the process of picking a new prompt every month. I still live at home with my parents and my brother. So when it’s time to pick a new prompt, I take my prompt jar to everyone in the family to draw out a prompt. I obviously pick one myself. I then read the 4 prompts and either pick my favorite, or get my mom to help me decide which one to do. This month was a little harder to choose because the ones that were drawn were all so fun! But I narrowed it down to this one…
Jessa moved silently through the dense forest, listening for the heavy footsteps of the man she had been following for the past week. She had learned over the years that it’s best to take your time when tracking a male. Even after all of Jessa’s training, some of the males were stronger than her. She couldn’t be reckless and she had to catch them off guard.
Jessa watched from above the man as she sat on a limb in the tree. He had scouted out his surroundings, knowing the dangers of the new world. No one person was safe, unless you were a hunter. And only women were truly accepted as hunters now. Jessa had never asked what happened to the humans she had presented to Vic, just that she got more when it was a male. So she spent most of her time tracking down the men.
Vic was the head honcho, big man on campus, the boss lady. Vic was as muscular as any man that Jessa had ever captured. She wore her hair slicked back in a tight bun and always dressed in a suit. Jessa was sure the boss lady slept in her suit, if she slept at all. Vic was vicious and demanding. If Jessa was gone for too long, one of Vic’s dogs came for her. And Jessa was feeling her time running out.
She sat in the tree and watched as the man lit a fire, long enough to cook some meat and warm up for the long cold night. The man had no idea he was being watched and Jessa knew it was time to strike. She didn’t like what she did. She didn’t like taking people from the little freedom they had, just to turn them into Vic. She may not know what happened to them, but judging by Vic’s attitude, she imagined it wasn’t all that great for them.
Jessa waited until the man seemed to fall asleep. He was peaceful in his sleep, forgetting the terrible condition of the world. Not many people alive remembered the old world other than the stories that had been tossed around. A world where people lived in homes and worked from sun up to sun down and were able to go home to a warm bed. A world where people sat at tables to eat every night. A world where you could bathe under warm water whenever you wanted.
It was all just stories now. This world was dirty. You were lucky to have a proper bath with clean water and soap once a month, sometimes longer than that. Meals were eaten quickly while crouching around a fire. Your home was a bundle of sticks you had thrown together to look like just a random pile of forest left overs.
Jessa sighed as she crawled down from the tree and made her way to the man. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a spray bottle. The liquid inside was a mixture Jessa had created to keep any human calm and mostly asleep while she tied them up. It was a simple mix of jasmine, lavender, and black skullcap. She misted the spray in the man’s face and waited for his lips to turn blue. They were not the same blue as someone who couldn’t breathe or suffering from the cold. They were more of a sky blue and the effect only lasted 10 seconds.
She tied the man up, making sure the knots could not be undone.
“Don’t do this.” The man said, shocking Jessa. She paused for a moment, but grunted at him, refusing to speak to him. It was never good to speak to the person whose life you had just condemned. “You can still untie me.”
“Quiet.” She said as she sat him against the tree and began to prepare a stretcher to drag the man back to Vic.
“I have escaped Vic once; I know what she does to them in there.” He said, grabbing Jessa’s attention. She turned to him, listening, but not saying anything. “For the men, she castrates them.” He winced. Jessa continued making her stretcher, and the man continued speaking. “The women get off a little easier. They are impregnated by Vic’s chosen men. Then she puts them all, male and female, in the mines, finding as much gold as they can. There is rumor that she has other places, other camps, where they are forced to mine for other jewels and anything valuable. She says once the world is reestablished, she will be the queen of it all.”
“That is what happened in the first place.” Jessa spat. “One ruler destroyed the whole world. Too much power was given to one man.” She looked at the man, her head cocked to the side. “Why would she be so stupid as to do that again?”
“Because she feels as a woman she will do a better job.” He told her. “But look what she has already done. She has turned human on human worse than what it was before. She kills the slaves once they are too weak to continue, and they weaken quickly. She does not feed them properly or give them enough water.”
“What do I care?” Jessa asked as she finished her project. She tested the knots to make sure the stretcher would not fall apart.
“Because you will be in there one day. Have you ever wondered why there are so few hunters? How many have you crossed in the past year?”
“It takes a strong person to be a hunter.” Jessa said with her hands on her hips. The man raised his hands, free of the knots.
“I was strong. I was a hunter and I brought in more men and woman than any other hunter.” He stood up, not threatening Jessa, but showing her she had failed. “Vic turned on me when I found out what she was doing. She is allowing women to be raped, and she is mutilating men.”
“Lies.” Jessa said to him.
“Why do you think she sends out her dogs to find you when you have been gone too long? She is checking to make sure you are not plotting against her. She is running the show already, but the longer she has to take control of it all, the worse it will be for the rest of us.”
“You are just trying to get free.”
“I am already free.” The man said, a frown on his face. “I can show you.” He said, taking a step towards Jessa. She didn’t move. She would not show weakness. “I can show you everything, prove it all. I can get back in the way I got out. We can save them all. Even the ones you have turned in yourself.”
“They would kill me.” Jessa said, a sick feeling in her stomach. Now that the man stood closer she could see the sorrow in his eyes, the pain and grief, the results of a hard life. She even saw guilt in his eyes. She knew he was telling the truth, she could feel it radiating from his very soul. “It takes more than two to rescue the world.” She said, shaking her head.
“There are more than just you and me.”
I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Come back next Wednesday for a new story!