by Jack Roth Caroline stood with her hand pressed against her lips. She looked and waited for the black figure to speak again. Or attack. She didn’t need to look behind to know if her angel wings were damaged. The last attack had been the worst. The black figure somehow just appeared and tackled her. He laughed, growled, and spat. She had barely managed to escape his grip to run away. And ran she did. She even smiled when she ran. Her hair danced in the breeze and she felt free. She even opened her arms and wished she would just up and fly. With that thought, she heard a tiny voice from insider her whisper “soon”. The trees looked perfect as they whizzed by her. The ground was slightly moist. The sun was high and bright. Everything was great. Until she stopped running. Caroline realized she was in the same spot as the attack before. She hadn’t moved. Confused, she wondered how she felt the wind, tasted nature’s air, and smiled. “Dig,” a voice called out. It came from behind her. She knew it was the black figure. “To be free, dig,” the voice said. Caroline stood quiet. There has to be a way out of here, she thought. “Dig,” the voice screamed. “NOW!” Caroline turned and the black figure was next to her. “Dig now.” The black figure disappeared. “To be free,” the voice echoed in the wind. Before she knew what was happening, Caroline had dropped to her knees and started to dig. Her small hands dug feverously, tearing the earth to shreds. Worms coiled in chunks of dirt and tiny insects buzzed in swarms around her head. Then she saw a bone. An off white colored bone. Just lying there in a shallow hole. Or grave. Caroline dug deeper and found more bones. Some where small pieces she couldn’t identify while others were obvious (with the skull being the most obvious). Then she found something else. A pair of dirty angel wings. She reached behind her and found her angel wings were missing. Her mind went frantic. Screams. Pain. Blood. An echo of laughing came from behind her and she felt someone push her into the hold she’d just dug. She looked up and saw the black figure. “Body. Now soul,” it said. Caroline couldn’t move as the earth started to cover her. Again.