He strained against the ropes as the sun moved across the sky above the trees. A gentle breeze made the canopy whistle and sway. It was the only sound.

He still saw the painted face under the tousled hair, the horrific voice still echoed in his head.

‘The judgement of the Gods will decide your fate. When the sun is at its zenith it will shine through the hole in the bowed tree. Should your skin burn then the Gods will have decreed your death. Should the ropes burn then you shall be free.’

She was out there somewhere in the undergrowth, watching him, along with the rest of her tribe, those that followed her as their deity. They waited to see his fate sealed. The collection of bones at his feet, picked clean of their flesh, did not bode well.

The more he struggled the more the ropes tightened around his wrists above his head, around his torso and his ankles. Strung up like a piece of dead meat there was nothing he could do.

He cursed the day he had discovered the tribe of female warriors. He cursed their make-believe Gods. He cursed the way he had trusted them.

His eyelids fluttered as the sun peeked through the tree tops and aligned with the hole in the tree. The hole in which the convex glass sat, magnifying the rays onto a point on his forehead.

His skin began to burn.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the Thursday Photo Prompt – Caught curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

29 responses to “CAUGHT”

  1. That’s a stron story, Iain. The tree does have a sinuous, feminine feel to it too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really does, plus I’ve recently re-read Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, and this image fitted in with that kind of atmosphere.


      1. Yes, I imagine it would.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicely written, graphic description of terror.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like this story, horrible beat to die!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I agree!


      1. Sorry I meant it a horrible way to die 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I had to read this twice. It gave me chills! Awesome story!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. He cursed the day he had discovered the tribe of female warriors.
    Great turn in the story on that sentence, then strong finish. Cool story 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A shining example, or of burning interest? Still, it isn’t fair. There should be some way he can redirect the rays to a chunk of rope?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, if only he could! 🙂


  7. I liked this take. The ending was spine-tingling!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ouch. His is not a predicament to wish upon anyone. Well told, leaving me checking my exits are clear. Death by burning sun must be such a horrible one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’d have been better staying at home 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. May be he wriggle and the rope burns and he is free. Astounded by his freedom they crown him King … now there is a sequel! Great write.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ellen, good idea!


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