I am here. Me. Wherever I am. Whoever I’ve become. These are the thoughts that drive me as I make my way through the dampened emerald foliage. I look up through the leafy shingles like a lime green wall above me, towards the blades of moonlight that cut through the fortifications of nature. I no longer count the days that I have been here for. Either anyone who would come for me has forgotten or stopped caring, and as I step into the open air of my island I breathe in a truly free breath.
There is no tax to pay. No thug will come to the door for his due. I am alone and in that I have perhaps achieved the ultimate freedom. Looking out onto the bay I see the fog as it begins to lift up off the water's surface like steam. I watch it as it rolls closer and closer as the island gets darker. The nights are growing longer and the island and the sun on my shoulders feels colder now.
As these thoughts skim my mind my pace quickens, I cannot afford to dawdle here too long. I need food like any other animal, Surely if I run long enough I can spook up something. At this thought the heavens smile upon me as the clamping of small hooves pick up and I spot a small baby boar squealing out of the treeline. Without hesitation my legs spring me forward through the air. It has spotted me but it is too late. It’s too young yet to know when it has lost. I see the fear in its eyes. I wrap my arms around its front legs and hold it still as I scramble to unsheath my knife. I let the blade sink deep into its throat and I hear as tendons pull and tear, just like any other animal. This feeling of triumph has long been settled into me. There is nothing more easily relished than a hunt such as this. I wipe the blood down my arms to try and clean off but to no avail, I simply hoist the
carcass over my shoulders until I can once again find shelter.
But not yet. I can hear the intense shaky breathing behind me. I begin to run not hesitating at anything in my path. The mother will do the same. I cling to the carcass that I need to feed me. I cannot afford to lose this. I break through the foliage and climb the first tree I can. It is my only viable option. The boar will not risk staying out in the open like this. I take a moment to examine the cliffs ahead of me. The night has calmed and the fog is receding. I look towards my lodgings and my heart stops. I see the sails of ships, all too familiar. They have found me. My execution has begun.
by Ian Childs