This story was written in answer to The Word of the Day Challenge : Blanket
Blanket means: A large piece of woollen or similar material used as a covering on a bed or elsewhere for warmth. Or cover completely with a thick layer of something.
Here’s what I came up with.
Sensation returning warm and cosy. Pain flaring in her right arm. Dazed feeling, headache. Burning rising from her stomach. Eyes open – bright light that feels like its searing her eyes. Lorretta rolled to her right and vomited. Her fingers tightened on the itchy cotton fabric of the green blanket she was beneath. ‘Outside! I can see the clouds and sun above me – what happened?’ she thought while fighting not to be sick again.
“Ah, good you’re awake. I was beginning to think you wouldn’t ever regain consciousness.” said a dry male voice.
Lorretta tried to sit and find him. Her world spun and she was sick again.
“Easy, now. Your plane crashed nearby. You have concussion and cuts to your wrist and leg.”
Lorretta peered beneath the blanket, she saw she was dressed in a khaki green, military flight suit. “I —” Memories fired in her brain – A Lockheed Martin F35B Lighting jet-plane hurtling like a tornado toward the ground. An ejector seat firing and then darkness. “I crashed my plane.”
“It would seem so, here.” The man took her by the shoulders and gently helped her sit against a boulder. “Try some soup,” he added handing her a bowl.
“Thanks.” Lorretta had a taste. Chicken and vegetables – not bad either. “She ate hungrily. The food seeming to calm her churning stomach. “Where are we?”
“Not far from Great Bear Lake in the Northern Territories of Canada.” said the man, eating his steaming bowl of soup.
Lorretta nodded. “Makes sense I was flying to Alaska. Do you have a radio? I need to call in.”
“Oh, you’re not going to anywhere,” the man’s friendly grin twisted into a sinister sneer.
“Why?” Lorretta felt her breath quickening, the realisation of the danger she was in dawning and tightening her chest.
“There’s not much in the way of people out here. So, I’m going to keep you see.”
Lorretta made to stand up. Her left leg wouldn’t move. A look revealed a length of chain tied about a spruce tree. It ran beneath her blanket and was locked about her ankle. “You can’t do this! Imprisoning people against their will is illegal.”
“Not here. There’s no sheriff in town see.” The man grinned and finished his meal. “No, you’ve just become Mrs Tanner Swindell
Lorretta abandoned her food. Feeling more cognizant, she scanned her surroundings. Rich pine and spruce forests all around her; gave no indicator as to where anything was. She was sitting in a small camp, with a single tent and a warm fire in a rocky circle. Beyond her captor was a beaten-up rucksack with a map on the top and her flight survival kit. Of course, none of this was useful while chained to a tree like a dog.
Tanner revealed Lorretta’s survival knife and began chopping an apple into slices. “Want some?”
“Sure, thanks.” Lorretta smiled as he rose and came over. With perfect timing, she kicked the blanket beneath his foot. As he transferred his weight to it, she yanked it away, flicking him off his feet and down upon her.
“Clever sow!” he said with a roar. “I’ll punish Yaa!”
Lorretta crushed his groin with a knee and bludgeoned his head with several strong elbows – knocking him out. “Touch me again and I’ll kill you!”
Lorretta dumped him off her and rummaged in his pockets. Keys – “Yes!” she fumbled several into the lock at her ankle until it clicked off. Taking her knife back, she shouldered her survival pack. Grabbing Tanner’s bag and the map she glanced at it. He’d helpfully marked it with an ‘X’ and the word ‘camp’
Great Bear Lake was due south and so she made use of the compass in her survival bag and set off running into the trees. She came upon many moose, deer and squirrel as she ran on. Having flown over the lake before she knew people lived there. She needed to make it to them as fast as she could.
Lorretta made great progress until a gunshot split the air. Pain seared through her shoulder and she fell to the floor. A hand to her upper bicep revealed she been shot and was bleeding heavily. Worse—through blurred vision she saw Tanner approaching with a black and silver Sig Sauer handgun in hand.
“Hallo, wifey. Where are you going?”
“I’d never marry a creep like you!” Lorretta gritted her teeth against the pain as he seized her hair and hauled her up.
“Run again and I’ll —”
Lorretta leapt off her feet, kicked the gun away and locked her legs around his middle – driving him to the floor. Lifting her right leg, she drove it down; bludgeoning his head only to scream in pain.
Tanner had squeezed her bullet wound as he fought out. He sneered as he punched her in the stomach and rolled away.
Lorretta groaned and doubled-up holding her ribs.
Tanner rose with a laugh. “Now, I got you. I love a feisty woman, you know.”
“I love stupid men.” Lorretta spun out of her ball, drove her knife into the back of his knee as hard as she could. She felt sinew sever as he slammed down screaming in pain. Rolling over his body, she synched in a headlock and wrenched it tight until he fell still.
Rolling off the creepy man she lay sucking in air and controlling her pain for a long moment. “I told you I’d kill you if you touched me again!” she breathed.
Rising with a hand over her shot shoulder, she retrieved the gun and the rucksack and set off again.
Three hours later, she stumbled into a hunting camp near Fort Confidence on the Great Bear Lake, shore. A family there watched her materialise from the trees like a wounded soldier. She got three steps from the firepit and collapsed.
Lorretta awoke beneath a blanket. A ceiling fan whirled and droned above her head. “Where am I?”
“You’re safe. You’re in the military hospital at Anchorage, Alaska. You’ve had surgery on your shoulder and will be fine in no time.
“Thank the lord for that.” Lorretta pulled the blanket up and fell asleep again.
Thanks for reading my friends. As always there are more stories to be enjoyed (I hope) in the Short Stories tab.
Have a great day!