Fire on the Mountain

I look back and smile as smoke billows up from the distant hillside. A fire in the forest should be frightening, but this one sends a thrill of joy through me. I’m finally free of those bastards. They never even noticed me slip out, drunk as they were. There was only one thing they thought I was good for.

They promised a job with steady pay, all meals included.  Times are tough. You take work when you can, even when it drags you to the middle of nowhere. The pay never materialized, neither did the food, unless you count stale bread and broth. We were only cheap labor for their little endeavor…and entertainment.

Life on the streets taught me patience always pays off. I played along, even pretended to enjoy it, all the while sneaking supplies and scattering explosives around the camp. The others who came with me didn’t fare so well. Eugene died in a rock slide, Jimmy from too many fists. Carlene, well, she tried to say no. The list goes on.

I didn’t ask the right questions when they hired me, but neither did they. Discounting me and not asking about what I knew was a mistake they’ll never repeat. Now my bags are filled with their treasures. Dad taught me well before he died. I’d be fine out here. Rubble and ash are all anyone will find of those men. Don’t ever mess with a rebel’s daughter. She’ll put you in your place.

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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