Paradise Lodge

Mel Ciavucco

 “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Day 1

 

I woke in darkness with no idea what date or what time it was.

After some fumbling around I found some candles and matches and discovered I was in a small wooden hut. I realised that the tight uncomfortable feeling around my ankle was caused by a chain attached to the bed.  I have been in this hut for, I’m guessing, about 5 hours now.  In that time I have strained, pushed, pulled at the chain around my ankle, and shouted and screamed for help……but nothing. Nobody came.  Nothing happened.  The chain is just about long enough for me to reach the end of the bed, but not quite the door. It’s a basic single bed with a thin, dirty mattress and just a flimsy sheet.  The legs of the bed must be nailed into the floor because it won’t budge. Next to the bed is a small table on which there is a bottle of water and the candles and matches.  My backpack is at the bottom of the bed, which I can just about reach.  Most of my belongings have gone.  There are some clothes, a towel, a note book, and a few pens.  All of my useful or valuable belongings have gone – my passport, important documents, purse, and phone.   There is a bucket in the corner, I didn’t enjoy having to utilise it. The hut stinks now.

I thought it was all a nightmare at first, so I lay down again for a while hoping that I would wake up safely in my own bed at home.  I got increasingly scared as it sunk in that this was in fact reality.  Panic suddenly set in and my stomach tied itself in knots.  Fear shot through me like a lightning bolt.  I have been shouting for help for hours now.  My throat is raw, my ankle is red and sore and I feel nauseous, dizzy and weak.  I’m so thirsty. I didn’t know what else to do so I grabbed the notebook and pen and started writing.  My heart is trapped in my throat, and it feels like something is gripping and twisting my internal organs.

Where am I? Why am I here?

Okay, I have to try and calm down so that I can look at this rationally and re-trace my steps to work out why I’m trapped here.  I was travelling through Thailand and had met a few other travellers who asked me to join them in Laos, the land locked country between Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. I had landed in the capital city, Vientiane, only to find out that my travelling friends were way up North. Not wanting to make the gruelling, uncomfortable trip to go and meet them I decided to explore the city, which is actually more like a town with its calm and blasé atmosphere. I visited temples and sipped latte in the lovely little French style café’s. It seems like a million miles away now. I came across a poster showing a place of pure serenity and nature within a few hours drive from the city. It was called ‘Paradise Lodge’, an eco lodge nestled in the jungle with a small community of friendly, welcoming people.

I decided I would go the very next day and took a note of the phone number on the poster.  A friendly man with a thick French accent answered and he offered to drive me there the next morning.  He picked me up from my hotel in a rickety old pickup truck. Now accustomed to the array of transport experienced in travelling South East Asia, I thought nothing of it and tossed my backpack in the back.  The French man was lovely and made friendly chit chat on the long and bumpy drive there.  He made a few short stops in small villages along the way to buy interesting local snacks for me to try. My memories of the latter part of the journey are rather hazy. I must have fallen asleep or something, but goodness knows how when the ride was so bumpy.  Come to think of it I have a vague memory of another man with big bushy hair strained back into a pony tail, but I can’t seem to recall anything else. It’s so frustrating! Who on Earth are these people?

I wish I had told somebody where I was going.  I came here on such a whim.  Overcoming the fear of being in the city on my own must have gone to my head as it didn’t even occur to me that it might be dangerous to go into the middle of the forest alone.  I spoke to my family just a few days ago, but said I was meeting my friends soon, more to just put their mind at ease.  They don’t agree with the notion of women travelling alone, if at all.  They really didn’t want me to go travelling. God, I wish I had listened to them.  Now they will have no idea where I am.  I love them so much and miss them terribly. I wish I was at home safely with them.

 

Day 2

 

For the remainder of yesterday I crumpled myself in the corner with a sheet over my head until eventually, the man with the big hair came to my hut.  He was holding a tray of food which he set down on the floor and pushed closer to me with his foot.  He looked quite apprehensive of me, which was a surprise being as it was I who was cowering in the corner.  He said nothing; he didn’t even look at me.  He turned to leave but I shot up and started firing questions at him: “Who are you? What do you want from me?”, but he didn’t even turn around, he just carried on his way and closed the door.  I kept shouting and screaming for help again but he didn’t come back, and soon I was alone in the darkness.  I felt tired and weak and so eventually decided to eat some of the food he had brought for me. Surprisingly, he had made quite a feast, something similar to a mushroom risotto, with a glass of wine and a bottle of water.  What kind of kidnapper gives his captive a glass of wine?! Maybe he intends to intoxicate me, so I didn’t drink it.  Not that I could have stomached it, I only managed a few mouthfuls of risotto before my stomach churned.  I just feel too scared to eat.  My body is fuelled with fear at the moment.

I sat alone in the darkness crying most of the night.  I used some of the candles but I didn’t want to use too many in case he doesn’t bring me anymore.  The darkness seemed to last an eternity, and I couldn’t sleep.  I have been over and over in my mind the events leading me to here, but I just can’t remember the latter parts and I can’t understand why he has chained me up! What is he planning to do with me? I feel sick at the thought.

The sounds of the nocturnal jungle certainly weren’t helping either.  I jumped at every rustle, every hiss and every howl.  Cries of native birds sent haunting shivers through my body.  The eerie peace of nature dominated my mind.  No human sounds for miles except the sound of my own shallow breathing.  The short times when I did manage to sleep, my dreams were so vivid and fearsome.  The darkness engulfed me so much so that I sometimes did not know if I was awake or asleep.  In one of my dreams I was spinning through space. I felt lost in eternity, a black mass of emptiness filling my heart. I awoke many times feeling dazed and confused, blind and shaking all over, drowning in a bottomless black hole of eternity.  Like the universe was swallowing me whole.  I gripped onto the bed to try and pull myself back to reality, sweating profusely as I tried to regulate my breathing.  My heart thumped so hard I thought it might burst through my chest. 

The heat is another problem.  The humidity never ceases here.  The hut doesn’t allow for a breeze, not that I imagine that there is one. My skin is constantly sticky and clammy.  What I wouldn’t give for shower now!  I was relieved when the sun started to sneak through the cracks in the hut to relieve me from the darkness, but now the heat has surrounded me.  At least it is now light again, but the fear of what is to come still grips me.

 

Day 3

 

I now have 29 mosquito bites and counting.  They itch so much I feel like my skins on fire.  I have checked all the pockets of my backpack again hoping the insect repellent is still in there, but it’s gone too.  This is a malarial region, damn-it!  Although that should be the least of my worries being as I have no idea how I’m going to get out of here.  My second night here was filled with the same terrors as the first. I’m so scared, I’m desperate to go home.

He bought me lunch and dinner yesterday, and he said nothing at both times. I screamed at him: “Tell me what you want from me? What are you going to do with me?!” but he only said “please eat”. I asked him to loosen the chain around the ankle because it’s so sore, but he ignored me. At least he emptied the bucket. I feel so disgusting!  I asked him to loosen the chain around the ankle as it’s so sore, but he ignored me. Who the hell is this guy?!  What does he want from me?  And why on Earth he would hold me captive but then feed me with gourmet food? Last night I had fresh fish beautifully decorated with mushrooms and spinach (this guy obviously has a thing for mushrooms).  The fish tasted like it was fresh out of the river, so we must be close to the Mekong.  The mushrooms are wild, succulent and juicy. I’m guessing they and the spinach are freshly picked too.  That would make sense I suppose as it is unlikely there is a supermarket next door.

All this time in solitude is driving me crazy. I’m beginning to irritate myself with my mind chatter. One part of my brain is having an argument with another part about how stupid I was to come here on my own. If I try to think about something else, about my travels, or family and friends, it just makes me more depressed as I wonder if I will ever get out of here.  I could die in this forest and no-one would know. Eventually my family will start to worry when they realise they haven’t heard from me in a while and hopefully start looking for me, only for me to end up as one of those ‘missing backpackers’ that are never found because they are chopped up by some weirdo in the middle of nowhere or something. Oh God I really shouldn’t think like that! If he was going to kill me or play out some weird sexual fantasy wouldn’t he have done so already? What’s the point in just keeping me here and feeding me?  Even if he doesn’t kill me, I’m going to end up a nut job with malaria, but that this stage I would probably settle for that to be able to get out of here.  I desperately want to go home; I miss my family so much and am so scared I may never see them again.

 

Day 4

 

Still, he says nothing. He won’t give me any answers.  I’ve tried asking him calmly, I’ve tried pleading, I’ve tried shouting, but all he says is ‘eat please’ or ‘enjoy your food’. He speaks in a calm, quiet manner, sometimes with a hint of a smile.  He certainly isn’t a local, I think he might be French too but it is hard to say when he has hardly spoken. He’s not particularly tall and has a small frame, and I would say he’s in his early 30’s. He seems rather introverted and strange.   I am still astounded by how well he’s feeding me though. Yesterday he made me a salad with many types of leaves and local fruit and vegetables.  So I asked him why, not actually expecting an answer.  He replied “I just try to be a good host”. I was so confused but I ate all of the salad anyway.

The night closed in on me again. I’m still not used to the nights, they are just getting worse. Last night, like every night, I felt so edgy and paranoid and I jumped at every little noise.  I swear there must have been a bat or something in the roof. Sometimes I think I hear scratching on the sides of the hut, and I feel like I’m being watched.  I know it sounds crazy, how can I be watched in pitch black darkness? But I really do feel it. Every night I lay awake in darkness with my eyes wide, twitching and flinching with every scratch, rustle and creak.  Sometimes it sounds so close the noise feels like there is something in the rooms with me. Or someone.

 

Day 5

 

I was crying when he delivered my meal.  I think I had started to give up hope and didn’t even try my usual barrage of questions.  I did try to look him in the eye though, which he really tried to avoid, as always. But he must have caught a glimpse of my tear stained face because for a moment I thought I saw a hint of sympathy in his eyes. And then he spoke. Finally he spoke to me properly!

He said that if I could stay calm and play by the rules that he would unchain me for a few hours tomorrow.  Of course I quickly agreed and thanked him profusely.  I obviously have to get on his good side, even if I really don’t mean it, because this could be my chance to escape.  I just need to build up his trust first and then formulate a plan to sneak out when he least expects it.

Tomorrow will be the first day of our new routine and I can’t wait to get out of this hut and get this chain off my leg! He says I can wash in the river too, which in all honesty, is very much needed.  God I miss soap, perfume, deodorant, shampoo, and all those wonderful smelling things.  I smell repulsive.

 

Day 6

 

My moment of ‘freedom’ was fantastic!  Of course it wasn’t really freedom at all because he didn’t let me out of his sight, but I honestly didn’t care as I was too mesmerised by my surroundings. I never realised the beauty that surrounds my captivity. There is an abundance of nature, bushes, trees, flowers, wildlife.  I never realised how far out in the jungle I am.  There are no buildings to be seen, no cars to be heard.  The air is clean and fragrant, even through the humidity.  Unusual native butterflies flutter through the bush with their elegant dance.  For a moment, I forgot I was captive.  Ironically, I probably would have stayed here of my own accord for this long.  I wonder why he thinks it’s necessary to chain me up to keep me in such a beautiful place.  I’m sure people must have visited here and thought it was paradise and never wanted to leave. But where are they now? Has he scared so many people off that now he needs to chain people up in order to keep them here?

He spoke a little more when I was out, not that I cared.  He explained how he had moved to Laos a few years ago and he and some friends had decided to build an eco lodge.  The huts are all built to fit the forest, so to avoid any damage to the land.   This weirdo is keeping me chained up yet he says he wants to protect the Earth!  Whenever I asked questions he ignored me.  It’s like he was just talking randomly to whoever might be listening, or maybe just himself, and he didn’t seem to hear me speak.  He doesn’t even look at me. I mean he watches me but when I try to look him in the eye he shies away. He’s such a weirdo freak, I hate him.

I walked around a little but he wouldn’t let me go far.  I abided by his rules as promised, but I hope as time goes on he will let me venture a little further.  He explained that the other huts are spaced out over the 10 hectares of land he owns.  I wonder if there are other people trapped in the other huts.   I have to find out.  He says he will let me out again tomorrow but for now I am chained up again. Finally, I can see a glimmer of hope, something to keep me sane from the solitude driving me crazy in this hut.

 

Day 7

 

I saw another hut today.  I couldn’t go near it because he was with me, but at least I know where it is now.  He is still watching my every move but hopefully as his trust grows he will become a little more relaxed and start to be a little less vigilant with his surveillance. It’s my only hope of being able to escape.

I have not yet worked out where he lives.  It must be somewhere hidden away, yet not too far as he still delivers my food while it’s still hot.  He must have a kitchen despite the lack of electricity. He must also have some kind of contact with the outside world, I have no idea how though; there’s no way he would get phone signal or internet access out here.  I wouldn’t put it past him to live with no outside connection; he does seem quite a loner.  Although he is now talking more, he never answers any questions, or asks any for that matter.  He appears to have the social skills of a lamppost.  He speaks calmly but from an expressionless face, with glazed over eyes staring indistinctly in the distance.  He talks about nature, insects, birds, animals etc.  He often tells me the names of all of the plants and flowers.  I nod along but I couldn’t care less.  I tell him I’m interested and thank him, that it’s a beautiful place and it must be lovely to live here.  Of course, I would never actually want to live here, and am not remotely interested in what that freak has to say. I just want to play along so I can try to get out of here!  I think he’s buying it, I sometimes see a little satisfied smile on his face like a house proud housewife.  I mean it is actually a really beautiful place but how can I really appreciate it when I’m being held captive, or hostage, or whatever, here.  No, it can’t be a hostage situation; this guy certainly doesn’t seem to be in it for the money.  He grows most of his own food, he’s built his own huts, designed his own composting toilets (slightly more dignified than the bucket), so he is rather impressively self-sufficient.  I personally, would rather pop to the supermarket.

I now miss normal life so much.  Asia is not for me, I never want to come back here ever again!  I miss shampoo, I miss my nice clothes and my shoes and my hair straighteners.  I miss the comfort of home, and CD collection and my computer, and Facebook! Oh, people must have noticed my lack of posts on Facebook!!  I really hope people will come looking for me soon.  I want to go home to modern civilization and normality.  My parents were right, I should have carried on with my studies and got a secure, well paid job which would support me for the rest of my life.  I had never realised that travelling in South East Asia would be so hard.  From friend’s pictures and stories it seemed like one big gap year party.  I should have gone to Australia and New Zealand instead, that would have been safer, but I couldn’t afford to and my parents refused to give me any more money.  I really do miss them so much and wish I could tell them how sorry I am.  I should have stayed at home like they said, they were right, and I’m so sorry now.

 

Day 8

 

He made me chopping wood today.  I am begrudgingly pretending to be ok with it, but I think it’s paying off as he’s not watching me quite as much.  Not that I can go anywhere, if he hears me stop chopping he comes to check on me.  I distract him by saying that I was looking at a very interesting plant so he goes off on one of his boring save the Earth rants.  At least it distracts him from the fact that I had stopped chopping!  I just need to keep persevering and eventually he will trust me enough to stop watching me every move, so I can sneak off.  It’s still difficult to know which way would be the closest way out and back to the main road.  Just as long as I get a good head start, and then I can hopefully work it out when the time comes.  Even if I could just get to the perimeter fence I could find some local people to help me.

I had nightmares again last night.  One was that I tried to escape but was being shot at.  I was trying to run but couldn’t keep my footing and was struggling to dodge bullets.  Just as I woke up, a bullet tore through my arm.  I could actually feel the searing pain, I even felt for blood to check it wasn’t real.  Of course there was nothing there and so I instantly felt silly.  I have been having so many vivid dreams since I got here.  Most of them are horrible, I don’t even want to try and remember them.  They seem so real that sometimes I lie on the bed not being able to move, sweating, drifting in and out of consciousness, floating, falling, spinning.……. My mind slipping away from my body and my head filling with darkness and lunacy.

Sometimes I feel like there is someone in the room with me.  Sometimes I just hear voices.  This is hard to even write down because I feel like I’m crazy!  I have also had dreams of giant mushrooms dancing around me and laughing at me, this place is messing with my mind!!

Some nights I just don’t know what’s real, but I just close my eyes and pretend it’s not happening, and tell the voices to leave me alone.  I wish I could wake up in my comfortable warm bed at home and find that this whole place was just a bad dream. Every hour of darkness which passes by I pray for the light to come.

 

Day 9

 

Good news! He’s letting me stay out longer now and leaving me alone more often; the plan is working! I’m still chopping wood for him but sometimes he does some too and lets me sit and rest.  It’s strange how sometimes he does show these strange acts of kindness, but I don’t let it distract me from the horrible inhumane person he really is.  He is still chaining me to a bed, and inside I know this all too well and it’s hard pretending to be nice to him.  I know this will be worth it in the end though.  He now trusts me more; he seems more relaxed and is beginning to open up a little.  Having said that, I do find most of what he says extremely boring.  Today he talked about global warming for what felt like hours, it’s enough to put me to sleep. Then he says these radical, over the top things, about the world ending soon at the fault of the ‘incessant greed of humanity’.  He says any lame attempts people have made at trying to stop global warming can only slow it down a little and buy us more time on Earth, but ironically we will probably blow each other up before then anyway.  Either way we are doomed – he says we are a ticking time bomb. 

What a cheerful guy!  He seems to think that being out here in the middle of nowhere makes him separate to the modern world.  It’s like he’s desperate not to be part of normal society.  If the whole world ends soon, as he so insists, it won’t matter if he’s here or the other side of the planet! He goes off on rants about big corporations taking over the world and technology taking over our minds.  He says the world has fallen in love with power, when really we were put here to discover the power of love.

Bloody hippy, why can’t he fuck off and go hug a tree?! No wonder he’s an outcast to normal society.  Thank God he’s stuck out here so he won’t be a burden on society with his ‘new age views’ as my father says.  Now I finally understand what my Father meant. People like him, the weed-smoking, tree hugging, jibber-jabbering hippies, are probably best being extradited.  He must take drugs because his eyes sometimes look huge, like his pupils are taking over his eye balls.  I would never touch drugs, my parents would kill me. 

Maybe he is best being left alone out here hugging trees and babbling on his own. Except he’s not, he’s babbling at me and holding me captive.  He chained me to a bed for goodness sake; he obviously isn’t the humanitarian he says he is.  He must have had some major issues to make him move out here into the middle of nowhere with no contact with civilization.  Not that I care what his issues were, but his state of mind does scare me.  He’s obviously quite insane and not able to cope with a normal life, in fact he probably needs to be locked away for the good of humanity.  The most worrying thing is, he insists he would never harm any living thing, yet he chains me to the bed! His idea of ‘harming’ is obviously completely inaccurate; he’s totally deluded and has no idea of what is normal.

Or maybe I should be thinking myself lucky.  As far as psychotic kidnappers go, he’s nowhere near as bad as the ones you see in the movies.  In all fairness, he hasn’t really laid a finger on me.  He brings lovely food to me, lets me go to the river to wash and he doesn’t even try to look, he always has turns his back and waits patiently.

I wonder if this is some kind of strategic plan of his to try and win my trust before he does something awful.  It’s hard to believe that a guy who is holding a girl hostage is not actually going to cause any harm.  I’ve been here 9 days and it is really starting to feel like he’s not going to do anything, but he must have something planned or else what is the point of all this! It’s driving me crazy, I’m so confused and still so scared!

For now I should look at this in a positive way for myself.  I am beginning to get to know him and feel that I can take advantage of his supposed good natured side.  When I am out of the hut he is leaving me alone more, and letting me wander.  I am gaining his trust and it will all be worth it when I escape.

 

Day 10

 

The plan appears to be working! I have been as nice as humanly possible to him, under the circumstances.  I told him that I honestly really like it here and he doesn’t need to chain me up because I am happy to stay.  Surprisingly, he seems to believe me and left me alone for longer today.   But he still makes sure I am securely chained up when we get back to the hut.  Today I carefully wandered a little further than usual and saw another hut again.  I took the risk and made a dash to it to have a look inside. I just had to know if there was somebody in there.  Somebody held captive like me.  Another poor soul chained to the bed, scared and alone.  Then I wouldn’t be alone either……

There wasn’t anyone in there.  In fact there was nothing, not even a bed, except some resident spiders and their webs. I got back without him noticing and tried my best to hide my sinking hope and disappointment.  Maybe I can find more huts.  Maybe I can find his, he must have one somewhere too!  Today he left me unattended for about 45 minutes.  I think that must be long enough to get a head start and make my escape.  I’m guessing of course, I have no idea how long it would take to get out or get to a perimeter fence. That’s presuming there is one.

I’ve got to stay strong.

I can do this.

I will escape.

I have to get back to civilisation, to safety, and let my family know I’m alright.

Tomorrow is the day……

 

Day 11

 

Still here.

        Chained up.

It’s going dark and he hasn’t bought me any dinner yet.  I probably won’t get any tonight.  He’s very upset with me.  I’ve ruined all my hard work.  I feel hopeless.  I blew my chance and now he’s never going to let me out of his sight again.

It had started off well.  He said how well I had been doing and he was pleased he could trust me more now. Once I made sure he was out of sight I made my escape. I hoped that like the day before I would have about 45 minutes or longer before he came back to check on me so I could get a good head start.  Once out of the hut, he set me a few menial gardening tasks and left me alone to complete them, I waited until he was a safe distance away before making my escape.

I had no idea which direction to head in, but I didn’t care, I just ran.  I just had to get away!

But it wasn’t long before I began to feel disorientated.  There was a mass of dense jungle which all looked the same in every direction.  I didn’t know if I was going in a straight line or back ground in a circle.  There was no perimeter fence to be seen, or any huts, or anything distinguishing for that matter, just the looming trees and forest canopy closing in on me.  I couldn’t turn back, I just had to keep going, but I felt increasingly lost.  I was trying to run but kept tripping over branches so I had to slow down a little.  I didn’t know if the noises around me were just normal wildlife or if he had found me and was chasing me.  I kept looking over my shoulder but saw nothing but the looming dark green of the dizzying forest.  I dodged a snake at last minute and felt my heart leap into my throat for a moment.

I must have been going for about an hour and wasn’t getting anywhere. The jungle still looked the same. My frustration grew as more and more trees came into vision, no fence, no huts, and no people.  I could do nothing else but keep going, but I was getting tired and irritated and more scared at my disorientation which was making me feel giddy and lightheaded.  I stopped for a moment to catch my breath and regain my balance.  I listened carefully, I was sure I heard dogs in the distance.  I remained still; yes, there were dogs, and they were getting closer.  I picked up my pace again, but the barking grew louder until I could see them between the trees ahead, bounding towards me.  They looked wild and ravage, so I dashed behind the nearest tree.  I peeked out again and realised that this was not going to suffice – I needed to be at the top of that tree unless I wanted to be ravaged by crazed dogs.  There wasn’t a lot to hold onto but I managed to shimmy myself far up enough to be out of their reach.  They reached the tree and jumped around the trunk in frenzy. I buried my head in my arm and sobbed manically wishing them to go away.  Fortunately they did lose interest quickly. To be safe, I waited as long as I could; my arms strained with ripping pain, before slipping off the tree falling into roughage at the bottom.  My arms seized and started to feel numb with pain. I knocked my head with the fall and nearly blacked out.  After a few moments I managed to pull myself up, my whole body aching, my muscles throbbing.

I knew I had to keep going so I dragged myself along, my sore head feeling heavy and making me sway through the jungle.  The pain blurred my vision and made me squint through the trees ahead. I couldn’t even see where I was going.  I also didn’t see the man with the shot gun until he was right in front of me. The dogs snarled at me from behind their master.

He motioned for me to turn back with a flick of his gun and a look of unadulterated ruthlessness in his eyes.  He obviously didn’t speak English, but he didn’t have to. I remembered my dream and quivered. I nodded in compliance and turned around; I didn’t have the strength to resist. I sobbed as I walked back to my captivity with the shotgun in my back.

 

Day 12

 

I haven’t seen anybody since I got back to my hut, aching and sobbing, yesterday.  I am immensely disappointed in myself.   I feel I gave up too easily, but I was so weak and dizzy.  I couldn’t even see properly. My captor had looked very upset when his local ‘friend’ returned me to him.  He appears to maybe work for my captor as they spoke a few words in the local language and I saw him slip the local guy some money.  Surprisingly, he wasn’t angry with me, just upset, but maybe that’s worse.  I always hated when my parents were ‘disappointed in me’ as opposed to just shouting and getting it out of the way. And that’s exactly what he said, he was so disappointed in me and any trust we had built up had now definitely gone.  In fact he actually looked like he might cry.  He hasn’t been back to my hut since.  Are those slight twinges in the pit of my stomach feelings of guilt? Surely not. I will not feel bad for this guy.  He’s taken my life away from me.

My arms are so incredibly sore and my head is pounding.  My heart sinks deeper into a pit of hopelessness.  Even the locals are on his side, I have no chance of escaping, no hope of ever getting back any kind of normal life.  I will never see my family again.  Hopefully after this is all over, however long that may be, somebody will find these journals and the truth will be told and closure can be found.

Maybe he will let me starve to death now.  I want this all to be over.  I have had enough, I can’t handle this anymore.  I can’t loose anymore tears or I might shrivel up.

 

Day 13

 

Lucky number 13. Apparently not.  I’m getting ill now. Feverish, sweating, vomiting.  It’s so horrible.  The hut stinks and is turning into a mass of human produce. I’ve got vomit all down me, I’m a mess.  I have been shaking, it does make it difficult to write, but I have to – it’s the only thing that keeps me sane.  This is torture; he is basically torturing me now!  He bought me food last night for the first time since I tried to escape.  I was so desperately hungry that I wolfed it down, much to my regret now.  The bastard must be poisoning me.  I have had the most horrible, scary experiences, the sickness is nothing compared to it.  It’s almost too terrifying to write about.   It must have been a dream because I had risen up out of my body and was looking back at myself.  It felt so real, but it must have just been a very vivid dream. It couldn’t have actually been real, could it? No that’s just silly……but it was so REAL. It was like the hut was full of people; I couldn’t see any of them in the darkness but their voices surrounded me, all talking at once.    They were staying ‘love him, love him, stay forever, you are safe here’. It was so loud; I put my fingers in my ears.  I was rising up, pushing against the ceiling, crawling at it – let me out, let me out! I could just make out the shape of my lifeless body on the bed in the darkness.  Voices continued to engulf the room.  Freaking out, I tried to get back down off the ceiling, but it was like gravity had reversed and I was unable to move.  Terrified, the only thing I could thing to do is close my eyes and wish myself back into my body.  I just kept wishing it all away and wishing for the sun to rise quickly, until I woke drenched in sweat and short of breath.

Even my own mind is turning against me! Is he somehow brainwashing me? Does he want me to fall in love with him? I am not going to be one of those weak, lost little girls who is kidnapped for 20 years and falls in love with her captor!  I hate him! He must be stopped!  He’s torturing me, brainwashing me! He’s an evil, inhumane bastard who needs stopping by any means possible!  I hate this place, I hate his food, I hate his bushy hair, and I hate his ridiculous hippy views! I hate every bone in his body!

I don’t deserve this.  I have a nice family, have had a good upbringing, with money, and a nice home and nice car.  All I want is to be free. Free to lead a normal life. He can’t take that away from me!  He may think he is free here, but he ran away from the normal world because he couldn’t handle it.

 

 

 

 

Day 14

 

Yes, I was angry in my last entry. I have now had time to reflect but I still feel I have every right to be angry.  I do however wish I hadn’t kicked the bucket over in my fit of rage.  I’m living in filth and squalor, I am repulsed by myself.  He tried to give me some food but I refused to eat it as my sickness is only just starting to subside.  I told him I will not eat his dirty poisoned food again, I would rather starve.

Some people in this world are so evil, and the hatred you feel is uncontrollable when they have taken your whole life away from you.  I’m pretty sure it’s normal to feel that way.  However, I know I have to try and control this hate, because we have to build up the ‘trust’ again.  It’s the only way that I can achieve at least some freedom at least.  I know I have a temper, but I have to try and contain it.  I’m thinking more rationally now and understand that I have to start over again, to win back his trust.  It won’t be too hard, he’s already proved how soft he is.  He did his quoting thing again, saying “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong”.  Obviously he has forgiven me already thanks to one of his hippy leaders he must follow.  He’s not strong, he is just trying to pretend he is but is failing miserably.  He’s weak, he will let me out again in no time.  Then I will make a run for it and nothing is going to stand in my way this time!  I’m not scared anymore. I’m not scared of him or any of the locals who work for him. I’ve got nothing to lose.  I have to save myself, my sanity, by any means possible. I’m not going to sit here and watch my life slip away because of one misguided social outcast.  I want my normal life back.  I want my home and my clothes, my TV and my mobile phone.  I want the security of my parents. I have always dreamed of owning a big house, and a flashy car, and a cleaner and a gardener.  My parents always taught me this was the way to be successful. I just want to be given the chance to live the dream. Free and rich and happy, and make my parents proud.

This isn’t paradise, this is a nightmare.

 

 

Day 15

I am still refusing to eat as I do not trust his food.  I must admit, it is getting hard now.  I’m so hungry, my stomach is growling uncontrollably.  However, in another sense, I have been feeling better as my vomiting has subsided.  No wonder, as I now have nothing left in my system.  The best part is, there haven’t been any crazy dreams and my mind feels clearer!

As I am now no longer scared and have nothing to lose, I told my captor straight out that I would not eat his food because he is drugging me and trying to control my mind.  He said that upsets him, and he would never put anything dangerous in my food.  He says he just loves to cook and likes people to enjoy his food.  He said he would never dream of adding anything s to it which didn’t enhance its flavour. I don’t believe him.

He says we need to start trusting each other again, and if I could try to eat a little, he would consider unchaining me for a short time tomorrow.  Instantly I saw my opportunity, so I did just as he asked, ate just a little.  Just one spoon of the creamy risotto. I was so hungry and it felt so satisfying as it slid down my throat into my ravenous belly.  It was hard to stop myself from eating anymore, but I have to keep my mind clear.  That was a few hours ago and I still feel fine so hopefully I am safe for tonight.  Tomorrow I will regain my freedom.  I’m going to escape and there’s nothing he can do to stop me! I won’t even wait to see if he leaves me alone, as he probably won’t. A good hard kick in the balls should throw him off his feet initially, and then I will run. I will just keep running, and will not stop for anyone.  I’m willing to take the risk of the man with the shot gun and dogs and anybody else he may have on his side. If he shoots me, then so be it.  I would rather be dead than live the rest of my life here.

 

Day 16

It’s over.

What have I done……?

Things got out of hand.  I don’t know what to do! It’s all over, this is what I wanted, but I didn’t want it to end this way.  Not like this! Now it’s all fucked! I just wanted to run.  To leave him here and run away.

As soon as he unchained me and we left the hut I kicked him as planned.  He rolled into the bushes gripping his crotch with tears in his eyes. And I ran. I ran as fast as I could, desperation was driving me.  I don’t know how I found it, but I stumbled into a large hut.  Inside was a kitchen, with pots and pans everywhere and gas bottles for the stoves.  There were whole wild mushrooms on the side, and marijuana growing by the windows.  Why hadn’t I thought of it before! Nearly all of the meals I had involved mushrooms or salad leaves; he had been feeding me drugs! Rage ruptured from the pit of my stomach.

He had caught up with me and grabbed me.  I couldn’t shake him off, I kept hitting him but he wouldn’t let go.  He gripped my arms tightly and pleaded with me not to leave. He said we could live in peace and happiness here, safe from the toxic outside world. I told him he was a freak and that I hate this place and I hate him, and I will hate him forever for trying to take my freedom.  He demanded that I was not really free in society and I could be free here.  He said the modern world was far from free, our minds controlled and brainwashed by the media and deluded politicians. I continued struggling out of his grasp stumbling around the hut knocking everything off the shelves.  Vegetables flew off the bench, and I tried to grab a pan to hit him with.  Then I found the knife on the bench. 

I didn’t mean to!  I was so angry about the drugs, I flipped! I couldn’t stop! Now there’s blood everywhere. His blood, all over me. I just came back to the hut. I’m so scared and didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t think straight, I had to write.  I don’t know what else to do.  I just had to write. Make it fiction. As he bled he said, “I just wanted to create a better world”.

I can hear the dogs coming. They are so close now.

What have I done? SLQ

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