Captured and Bred by the BillionaireBy: Violet Savage
The sound of a lock opening jerked her awake and Leah moved to the back her cage, covering her breasts with her hands and staring wide eyed toward the door of the room. To her relief, a tiny and weathered Hispanic woman walked in carrying a plate of food that she slid through a slot in the front of the cage.
“Hola,” Leah said, the inviting aroma of spicy seared pork filling the room and making her mouth water. “Please help me!” she begged in Spanish, but the little old woman wouldn’t even make eye contact. She walked over to the window, opened it and then quickly shuffled out of the room.
Leah crawled over the food and attacked it. If she was going to be poisoned, so be it. It would probably be better than whatever her captors had in store for her. As she finished, she tried to listen to anything that could give her a clue to what lie outside the room. It was daylight again, but she could hear nothing outside her door. Although she sat very still, it seemed like she was moving. She rose to her knees and pushed her head against the top of her cage, straining to peek out the window.
Slumping down in defeat, Leah looked up and saw that a bird had landed on the windowsill. A rush of excitement ran through her as she reached toward it. It bounced around for a bit, looking at her with as much curiosity as she had for it. She recognized it as a Least Tern, a gray sea bird with a black head and bright yellow beak. Leah knew a great deal about birds. She was a zoologist, specifically an orinthologist who specialized in the study of birds. Although she held a master’s degree, she’d never been able to truly pursue her passion and currently worked as a manager at a department store, earning barely enough money to pay off her college debt and make the rent on her crummy apartment.
It flew away as quickly as it appeared and Leah pondered its meaning. As fresh air filled the room, she detected the distinct salty smell of seawater, and finally started to figure out where she was. The room was moving, she’d seen a seabird, and the air was salty. She was on a ship, on the ocean, and obviously very far from her home in Chicago.
She looked up at the camera and wondered what was in store for her. Panic had settled into a strange calmness as she accepted her fate, whatever it would be. She wasn’t leaving much of a life behind, if it did in fact end. Actually, she was rather depressed much of the time, and life seemed to be nothing but one meaningless day after another, with nothing to look forward to. She hated her job, she hated living in the city, had no family and no real friends. Her 27th birthday had recently passed and she hadn’t been in a real relationship since college, and it seemed unlikely that she would ever find a decent guy in time to have children. As terrifying as this was, if she allowed her mind to run through the possibilities of what was likely to happen to her, at least it was a little, well, exciting.
The day passed slowly as Leah lay there on her mattress, noting that it was strangely comfortable and covered with soft cloth. As the sun began to set, the little old woman returned with another meal and more water, this time closing the window before exiting promptly. It was once again delicious and Leah thought it odd fare for someone who was probably going to be sold into slavery. As it got dark, she once again curled up and slept through the night soundly, hopeful that tomorrow would be a more interesting day.
The old woman came in early that morning and tossed a small sandwich inside her cage before covering it entirely with large canvas cloths, tying them securely at the corners of the cage. Leah tried to eat but the anticipation was overwhelming and she simply sat there in silence, waiting. The next time the door opened, she heard several male voices and her heart started pounding so fast she though it was going to leap out of her chest. They were speaking a Spanish dialect she was unfamiliar with, and talking so quickly she couldn’t really make out what they were saying, but they seemed to be referring to her as mere cargo to transport, as if there were oblivious to what was inside.
Leah didn’t dare make a sound and lay down as motionless as possible as the cage was maneuvered through the tight doorway. Light filtered through into the enclosure as the canvas started to flap in the breeze and she gratefully inhaled the fresh air. The sounds of a bustling port tickled her ears and she peered out through a gap between the cloths to see that she was being carried down a ramp toward a truck. She was hastily loaded on to the back and secured with straps thrown over the top of her cage.
The engine started up and the smell of diesel filled her nostrils, but quickly dissipated as the truck pulled away from the port. Leah continued to look out of her enclosure and saw that she was in some tropical country, probably in Central or South America. There were fruit vendors on the corners and impoverished children playing in the streets as the truck made its way through a run down third world city.