3WW CCLVI, "Sequestered"

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are drag, mumble and penetrate.

I don’t yet have Interwebs in Wyoming, meaning I’m using my phone as a personal hot-spot. Reading contributions, for me, will be difficult.


She worries about her skin, the health of it, and what the lack of sunlight is doing to it. She knows this for sure, the creeping blackness is sapping all of the vital nutrients and minerals and vitamins right out through her pores.

The cold penetrates her, much more so than the darkness, and she stands against a corner and hugs her chest with spindly arms, feeling her elbows rise and fall with her breath. She’s sure that if it were light enough, she would be able to see her breath come out like smoke.

It was time again to pace, she knew it. Movement meant activity and that made time more faster. The pit, its slate walls smooth to the touch, was three paces by five paces by three paces by five. She kept her left shoulder pressed to the cold tile and even though she couldn’t see the edges, time had engrained into her movements that she stopped, turned right and kept right on going.

She paces. She doesn’t count turns or steps. She doesn’t count to 60. Counting means time and when you’re all alone in the dark, you don’t need to know time. It’s an enemy that drags thoughts to madness, if you think about it too much. She was getting so very good at going blank when pacing.

The last trick, when she got a bit dizzy from the shuffling steps, lap after lap, right turn after right turn, was to turn and face a corner, then step backward until her shoulder blades touched tile in the opposite corner. Her “home” corner.

Then she mumbles her prayers, what she remembers anyway from Wednesday night confirmation classes. She knows bits and pieces and strings them together like the quilt her mother had made her with old T-shirts she’d outgrown.

Prayers done, she hugs herself some more, worries again about her skin, the loss of all those vitamins and minerals. When she worries too much, she calms herself by doing an inventory of her body. She run her hands slowly over her body, touching moles and blemishes, remembering what she looked like with clothing. Had it been so long ago? She dare not think about it, because that kind of thinking led to time and time wasn’t her friend any longer.

She ran her hands across her belly and felt again the bump. It was bigger now than it was the last time she’d checked, she was sure of it. She knows what means, but not the consequences.

She worries that the thing growing inside of her is sapping her of everything - fluids, minerals, vital nutrients – that she needs to survive.

Mostly, she worries what he’ll do, once he sees the bump and puts it all together. And she frets, causing tears to fall, that her usefulness will have expired.


Kim Green said...

Fascinating - much more than I expected from a prompt of 3 words.

Alice Audrey said...

I feel for you for the lack of good internet. I just moved and had a few hours down, and that was more than enough for me.

Sheilagh Lee said...

scary story poor woman.

VL Sheridan said...

Poor child, and I really do feel like this is a child. A child who knows she's not getting out of that room.

Damn, now I'm really depressed!

Kim Nelson said...

Just a bit horrifying...

Monica Manning said...

I'm reading this just before going to bed, and I know I'm going to have nightmares.

oldegg said...

The words you wrote so easily transformed into a horror visualization that reminded me of the old British movie "The Collector".

Beautifully written and full of dread for the outcome.

Shail said...

Scary!What a horrible situation to be in!

Andy Sewina said...

Wow! Cool flash,Thom!!!

jaerose said...

'when you're all alone in the dark..you don't need to know time'..indeed..she is not dead..she is carrying life and yet I feel she is buried alive..maybe she knows this too..great write..have you moved? Jae

Stu Pidasso said...

That is some darkness about darkness. The entire situation is forboding. Mesmerizing read, though.

dandelion girl said...

A very dark twist to the three words. An amazing way to describe a girl who can't see anything with so much detail.

Donna Hole said...

Dude, this was awesome. Creepy and intense. I love a scarry story.

I've been trying for two days to write my own excerpt, but things keep getting in the way. I miss 3WW . .

And, I totally loved your Cheap Trick videos. Takes me so far back to the 80's. Hmm, good times.


Jeni Mc said...


springcycle said...

Great story, makes painful reading: "time wasn't her friend any longer". Sums up her desperate trapped situation.

Bluebell Books said...


You write fabulous stories,

Please check out short story slam week 9 today.

Hope to see you around.