When dusk vanished below the horizon, she could emerge. The aliens had been on the prowl throughout the day. They were not as silent as they thought they were and she was in her cave before they came near enough to see her. One or two poked his head into the cave, but none ever braved entering it. Their torches showed only a rocky floor and narrow walls that quickly turned to the right. It had been searched shortly after they landed and found vacant. Those who went in the farthest, though, told of an eeriness and dankness that they would never volunteer to encounter again.

It seemed innocent enough and their commander was always satisfied when he received the report that “nothing had changed since the prior inspection.”

It had changed. She had found it. There was a slight opening above her deep in the cave and it allowed her to keep a very small fire for heat and cooking. She used care to minimize any smoke from reaching the surface. She used care to set a number of traps for anyone venturing past the curve-to-the-right in the wall just past the entrance. She knew she could not stay there much longer tough and was prepared to flee in one-week’s time. She did not know where she would go. But she knew the woods and knew that the aliens never ventured away from their camp at night.

It was her time to be free. She was lucky. Tonight the sky was clear and a full moon was above the horizon. Its light set the waterfall aglow. She bathed. She did not know where she could go. But she could feel the cold, cascading water revitalize here and hoped it would tell her what to do.

From Friday Fast Fiction