We have come Full Circle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a short descriptive story I wrote that investigates the workings of a man who is facing execution. This is a completely new genre for me and I would really appreciate any advise or criticisms that you can offer :)

Submitted: September 09, 2012

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Submitted: September 09, 2012

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This was the end of the beginning. He had only been seventeen years old when she left, it must have been then that it started. The anger and fleeting moments of relief seemed to be the only stable aspect of his existence. But there was never any indication, for him, that it could have ended this way. This was too abrupt, too incomplete. There was no way up from here. He had done his worst.

The room was white and smelled like stale urine. He had his head rested on a cold and hard surface of grey metal when she walked in. He raised it slowly, as if willing the world to change his fate in the few seconds before his life, this choice, became the moment that the universe chose to remember of him. Nothing changed. In the bright silence of regret he knew his breaths were numbered. He exhaled the last air that belonged to him and inhaled the taste of captivity. It was strangely sweet, he thought, to know that so many choices were no longer his to make. They belonged, instead, to people he would never know.

He spent months holed up in that place. Within a few weeks he had gotten used to the smell of rot and the premature aging that had eroded the occasional face he was allowed to see. After a while he didn’t even notice the number of lines that were etched onto the wall. This became his solitude, a place where he could delve into the depths of his insanity. Each time he came back far less certain of who he had been to start off with. This was a journey he became gradually more willing to take.

But the time he spent here did not belong to him. He was reminded of that with each breath he took. His lungs burned for freedom at times. At others they collapsed into a silence of acceptance. But they were not his anymore, the air they breathed belonged to the strangers he had learned to distinguish by their smell.

And so it was that he had reached the beginning of the end. He walked out into the air for the last time that morning. It had been his last request; the one the world feels obliged to grant you. The air had been cold and he had felt it lift the hair on his arms, as if they were all saluting the dawn. In another life this might have been his every morning. But he had decided in the months that led up to this moment that it no longer mattered what could or should have been. There is a point at which it no longer matters which way you walk as long as you don’t stop moving. He would stop moving that afternoon, for the last time, and then it would be over. The birds swept across the sky as if flaunting the claim they had of their freedom. He could see the way they looked at him as he walked across the garden in his chains. He was embarrassed by their limitless potential in the face of his own unquestionable confinement to an unchangeable fate.

He had asked for her to be in the room with him as it happened. He knew that she would have no mercy. She flipped the switch and only looked into his face for a second before turning away in disgust. He enjoyed watching her squirm under his gaze, it made him feel alive. He could remember the days when, as a child, he would paint his face with the blood from a dead bird to see how many people would turn away from him with that same expression. It was a face he knew well, a face that had been waiting for him at every corner, on every doorstep and in every heartbeat. It had only hurt him once, but in the end it had hurt her more – he had hurt her more.

As the darkness crept into the noisiest compartments of his brain he felt each moment of his life disappear into a silent question of what it could have been. He did not know where her life ended and his began. It was her face he saw last, though, crying bloody rivers. But she was smiling for the first time in his memory of her. He had let her win again. She was coming with him into the world that followed this one. He was never going to escape her.

The worst part of all this, he thought as the darkness swept through his last conscious fragment, was that he had no idea why he had done it.


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