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

Submitted: December 25, 2013

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Submitted: December 25, 2013




The prisoner.






At night when the lights are down and the noise from the fighting ceases to pound on the walls,

I often dream I am in a paleolithic cave .

And in the silence of the night I pick up a piece of chalk and start to trace a line along the wall.

Drawing the first image ever drawn .Tracing a new distance ;one that never impedes .

I never trouble beforehand to think what form that image might take , perhaps a bull like at

other times , perhaps a stag ; a bear ; perhaps a woman,or a man or some other creature entirely.

Something as yet unborn, not yet in existence .


But now amidst these eidelonsI ly , staring into darkness, doing nothing , feeling nowhere;

the chalk lying crushed at my side , because as of this morning I am free.


As of this morning I am one of those forms .

Free to pick myself up off this pallet and out that door .

Free to roam among the hills on the outskirts of the city or trample down it`s filthy

dead-end streets.

Free to dance in the taverns or run in the fields .Free to meet a woman ;try to woo her ,

meet a man .

Drink eat laugh cry run crawl love hate sing .

But despite all this liberty here i remain .

For I crave that distance which isn`t one,

It is the only proximity I can bare .


There was a time , as you can see by my walls , when I could trace a billion lines in a night.

Or rather one line weaving through infinite reaches ,feel all unborn forms beneath my fingerprints like welts on a new cancerous skin,smear countless lives across emerging landscapes that sprung to life at my caress.


But this morning,

as I was tracing the spine of a celestial dragon baking the skin of a new born globe in it`s fiery breath,

it happened;

the door opened and she came in .


`your free`.

She spoke to me!

`your free to leave . The war is over .`

I mouthed the words after her .

She looked at me and smiled .`The tyrant has been overthrown.your free .we`re all free..`


And she moved as if to touch me .

Reached out to my hand.

I flinched and she froze ; perplexed.

Then she broadened her gaze and took in the walls.

First surprise jolted her then awe flickered across her tired countenance transforming it.

I thought for a minute she was going to prostrate herself before me.

She stepped lightly around the room whorling in my visions and I saw in her face her absolute immersion in my creations.

For those moments she was again a being of my realm .

In every pore In every fluid cell of her body.


My lines scored into her vision and seared into the hungry warscarred belly of her soul.

She was mine and I was world.

Then her gaze dropped.there was a hint of recognition. ,a glint of her eye when she turned it to me .I saw her hand flex by the weapon at her side.

`what`s your name??`,

And I saw in her face the wonder and pity that all mortals have for gods.

She switched her torchbeam to glare full in my face and pinned me in its hard shell aginst my own formations.


Then she looked from my feet to my forehead absorbing every detail .

I felt her eyes in the torchlight carve concentric patterns into my flesh as I stood there helpless. Patterns that came from that universe where lines cease to be form but are wounds .


And as she stood there in the eclipse of her own light I saw in turn the scenes that she`d lived through etched into her skin ;the horror , the grief ,the loss, the exhaustion , the bravery , the hate and the love .


Here was someone who had ridden that old dragons spine; the line that pierces through one and out ones back changing one forever .

And they were my lines etched into her skin ;

The very same countours as the images on my walls .


There was an awful silence between us which shyly filled up with distant voices from far flung corners of the citadel ;

The sounds of other prisoners being freed.


Then she stepped toward the open door .

Half-Turning before stepping out she muttered ,

`your free to go, `once more.

And was gone.

I ly here and wait for her image to recede.


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