On Pain and Punishment

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


A brief glimpse into the mind of a man ridden with guilt

Submitted: July 12, 2018

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Submitted: July 12, 2018

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Look here, see the man sprawled across his bed. Smell the fear lingering around his body, remnants of terror from the night before. Listen to the droning in his head. It drowns out the silence of the bedroom. It tells the tale of many doubts, doubts as to whether he will ever be able to control his desires. Watch him as he takes out an imaginary whip. Follow the motion of his right arm - the man is flogging himself, each hit a reminder of a desire that he must keep under control. Yet as he continues the motion of his hand, he forgets the reasons that gave birth to this pantomime. He now hits himself because that is the only punishment he knows. The pain is somehow soothing. It feels right, as though he is guilty of the ugliest crimes against himself, and this is the sole punishment he deserves. He knows that now, comfortable in the sanctuary of his own room, he is able to exercise control. There is nothing to fear, no outside forces that would shake his fragile will. Even the whip is a concoction of his own mind, and as he rains down punishment upon himself, he feels that power is at last on his side.


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