There were no last-second attempts to communicate or escape.
The interior of the shed is cold, dark and drafty--a dirty-weathered wood floor, walls held together by thin wood planks, and a slightly angled, eighteen-foot ceiling that is far out of reach. Loosely fitting double doors are padlocked from the outside.
The darkness inside approaches black.
The prisoner is almost sure that their fate is sealed if they are unable to escape soon.
Completely undiscovered by the prisoner, near the center of the ceiling is a six-sided wood frame in the shape of a hexagon. Resting over it is a domed Skylight with hatch, ever-so-slightly cracked open. The Skylight is partially covered by a thin film of small leaves and light dirt.
Filled with fear, in the cold darkness, seeking escape, the captive tries to feel their way around the room. Other than the padlocked doors, there does not appear to be a second way out.
The prisoner feels helpless in the moment, but remains hopeful as they bide their time. A couple of hours pass, and the person does not hear anyone outside the shed. Other than leaves rustling in the light wind, there is a quiet.
SUDDENLY STRUCK WITH TERROR
Out the corner of the left eye, they see what appears to be the shape of a nondescript cobra, standing tall and coiled around itself in the center of the space. Because of the darkness, the captive cannot discern where cobra starts and where it ends.
Trembling, they very slowly and silently retreat into a corner. As the loose double doors move subtly back and forth with the outside wind, they can barely sense the outline of the cobra slithering ever so slightly over the floor.
For more than an hour, but for what feels like an eternity to this hungry captive--with stillness, focused attention, and deliberate breathing, they keep eyes and other senses squarely fixed on this potentially deadly threat.
Shortly after 1:00 am, on this mostly overcast night, the clouds part for just a few moments to allow a sliver of light from a crescent moon to become visible.
The glow of the heavens barely penetrates through the dirty Skylight window into the make-shift prison. Enough moonlight passes through to make the cobra just barely visible.
In an instant, there is a modest sense of relief. What was until this very moment a fierce and deadly serpent, is now uncertainty. The moonlight only lasted for mere seconds, but it may have been just enough.
The prisoner is not entirely sure, but the cobra may not be a venomous serpent after all, but rather a rope--hanging from the ceiling--loosely coiled three times around on the floor. The captive is leaning toward the possibility of serpent as rope, but still not convinced.
The prisoner sees the object of fear continuing to slither across the floor boards. They have gained enough awareness to know that the movement could be due to the room's draftiness.
The prisoner is still unaware that there is a Skylight in the ceiling. They were so fixated on the apparition, that they never bothered to look up.
There is now a bit more awareness, a few options, and some choices to make.
If it is determined that the serpent-rope is nothing more than a thick cord, there is a decision at hand. The prisoner may choose to do nothing, may choose to climb, and see where the rope leads, or they may attempt to fasten a noose and hang themself.
. . .
Something small and lightweight is felt dropping out of the right pant bottom. With panicky nerves, it is reflexively kicked some distance into the center of the room. An intense jolt of adrenaline and jubilation wash over.
It may be the envelope. The captors didn't seize it.
There is an urgent and important message that must be delivered before it is too late.
Hope and purpose are alive and well.
. . .
Knowing that time is of the essence, does the prisoner remain still and continue to observe the serpent-rope, or do they move closer into the fear?
The night is still young. Ropes can be slippery, and what lies ahead is unknown.
If the captive chooses to move forward to retrieve the envelope and climb, they may like to acquire a few skills and benefit from the experience of a guide--not a guru, but a guide.
With a humble bow, and deep gratitude,
I welcome you to a living journeywork ceremony :)