Dark Burden

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A dark introspection. Let me know what you think.

Submitted: August 08, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 08, 2011



The small sliver of light laughs at the prisoner, and the prisoner laughs back. There is no humor in his situation and there is no pleasure behind his laugh, but after you’ve been in a hole this long, laughter is the same as crying.

The prisoner would beg for death if he weren’t already dead. His heart beats low and slow, he knows this because it is the only sound he recognizes. The light teases that there is life outside his cell, but it also reminds him that this is the only measure of sanity he has left. It’s the embodiment of his mind, for if the light was gone, surely he would let his basic motors expire and wilt.

How long had the prisoner sat in his own filth and bile? Weeks, months, years, and possibly seconds have passed since this became the end of his being. What thoughts does the prisoner’s rotten brain consider? Colors, fears, unspoken words, and sex flow through the corridors of darkness that have become his mind. The prisoner doesn’t consider the reason for his incarceration, just as he doesn’t bend his mind around the cause of his death.

The light smiles arrogantly.

Sitting, then pressing the floor and pushing his tired bones away from the earth, the prisoner stands and finds a bearing in this cell. The light gives the space dimensionality and he finds the walls that hold his fate inside. My fate, the prisoner thought slowly, has been decided.

The sting of the humid air stung the prisoner’s nose and throat, causing him to cough deeply after standing in the darkness. He moves so slowly, so clumsily, that his muscles seem to have atrophied for centuries. Why am I standing, his mind asks reasonable questions of his body. The body replies with cracks of bone and sharp pains tingling within his musculature. His head swivels and finds that the space he resides in is unbearably small. A hand reaches back, slowly, to find the wall behind him. The prisoner is disgusted by the warm, wet feeling of mold and membrane holding his being in contempt.

The time of escape is soon, but a body must be able to react and move with urgency for such dalliances to become fate. He takes stock of his abilities and finds that moving itself is not prudent or possible at this point. His mind screams at him, the pain from every quadrant of his frame has overloaded the receptors in his spinal cord. The prisoner has fire in both legs, and arms hanging from sockets that have lost grip due to being cramped in every conceivable way. His spine curves warily forward hoping to find some respite from holding up the sack of flesh and bone.

The light glares deeply and thoughtfully at the prisoner.

The clouds of the mind build slowly over time and in this case the thunderheads built up in his mind have found solace in the darkness here. The thunder booms with urgency, and the lightning signals his pains, but occasional sparks of lucid thought come through. I give up, truly lucid thoughts, I cannot move god damn it! However compelled to fall, there are forces inside him that will not allow his failure to happen. The light laughs and the forces compel. This duality will not hinder, but is a necessary symbiotic relationship.

The light moves upward and down again, teasing its freedom.

What do you want from me, the prisoner begs from his mind.

The light beams and takes pleasure in the prisoner’s pain. The light moves again, and becomes brighter. The cell is open. The light beckons.

The prisoner’s eyes become slits in response to the excessive glare from the orb of light now floating his way. Give me strength, dear one, with tears the prisoner thought. The light pulsates and finds more pleasure in the pain. As if shocked with energy and injected with some kind of power, the prisoner hears the light in his mind. The clouds recede enough to allow the message to sink deep into his cortex.

Move with me, the light beckons.

The prisoner takes comfort in the words, partially due to the energy that has invigorated his body, and also due to the warm comforting feel washing over his frame. Where am I?, the prisoner asks an unanswered question. If the first question goes unanswered, then no point in trying to rationalize with the light, just do as you’re told and move.

The rounded door swings on a bundle of tendon and capillary. The further it opens, the small cell is filled with musty gusts of air. The prisoner coughs and loses sight in the right eye. Fragility has become the only point of existence now. Survival was the final goal of the prisoner long ago, and prior to that he hung on to Fear of Death. Even further into his sordid past, we find Rational Thought and even the glimmer of Hope appearing to nest in the frontal lobe. What manner of cruelty and pain must he have inflicted to receive the equivalent in return? The prisoner doesn’t know, nor does the light reveal anything, except for lighting the hall just outside the door.

Creaking, screaming , and hurting, his body protests. The movement alone is more than this prisoner has seen in what seems like a lifetime. But move he will, for the light commands, demands, and compels.

Just outside the door now. Just inside insanity now. The light nods in acceptance.

Following the light allows for some glimpses of the surroundings, but working with just one eye isn’t helping. The hallway doesn’t seem familiar, no clue of when he was placed in the small wet cell. Even less clue of what the reasoning behind being placed there was. It is best not to think, best not to question the powers that be, best to allow the clouds of thought to take back over and cushion this malignant reality.

The prisoner smiles a toothless grin at the light. The light flickers and responds with anger. The colorless light intensifies and purposely leaves the left eye with bright circles. Blind. Temporarily. This doesn’t stop the forward motion. As if chained to the orb of Anger, the prisoner moves on his fated path. The smells fill his nose. If ever smells could mimic the feelings of a being, if ever they could convey the suffering of others, this washes over the prisoner. I still want life, he poses to himself. These thoughts taste metallic and cold after so much time since Hope.

Slowly, he regains some sight in the afflicted left eye. The other cells are identical to the one he emerged from. The lights glow illuminates the doors, the fleshy doors. The vein riddled and pinkish doors have no set form. They are as formless as an amoeba, but have the seams and tendon hinges that made the prisoner’s cell.

The light finds humor in bewilderment.

The slow shuffle of the prisoner’s feet echo with moist squishes with every step, and the prisoner knows that his ears haven’t failed yet. His unadorned feet slide against rough skin, or what seems to be rough under the gel-like layer upon its surface. The prisoner has lost the ability to Care. The prisoner only knows that the light is master of the moment. The light is the prisoner’s master of a night without end, the arbiter of the prisoner’s loss of sanity. The mind cannot ask what darkness lies ahead, when the past is a pit of black so deep that that pure thought cannot escape.

The hall starts to open up, and the reach of the light doesn’t extend beyond the two travelers. The black so much deeper in contrast to the light just in front of him, the prisoner’s clouded mind clears quickly to find Fear. Does the prisoner truly see Fear, or is the black playing tricks on a feeble mind?

The light dies.

Internally, the prisoner finds solace in the dark. For at this moment he is returned to the womb of his cell, returned to the pain and comfort dichotomy. He no longer feels the urge to move forward, but no longer feels the strength to stand either. Dying on his knees would be as peaceful as standing and facing your accusers with Hate and Anger before death. I want to live, he concludes. I am and will continue.

No. Face me.

These thoughts barrage the prisoner with the force that the light could never muster.

Face me.

The prisoner tilts his head in the direction of the force. The embodiment of thought stands just to his left. The guidance of the mind speaks in thought and feels as though waves of force crashing against the prisoner’s beach, his mind. Reeling backwards within his own mind, the prisoner is dizzy with awe at the power of the structure of the mind. The one good eye rolls backwards with the waves of power. The emaciated shell that is the prisoner’s body rises under the power of another. He is lifted gently by the law of the mind. The conscious thought transmits a demand.

Stop. We will no longer tolerate this.

This what, the prisoner stutters.

This existence is causing us harm.

Cloudy thought is prevailing over the question that the prisoner’s mind conjured.

The power in this place does not show itself in such a way as to be seen, more so felt. Felt in the mind and along the spine. Felt in the way the prisoner moves, pain intensifies as the prisoner resists the mental intrusion. His frail body lifted higher and threatened by the unsettling feeling of height. This being an unending height in undeterminable darkness, the prisoner feels the unending space within this region of the mind. The mind pulsates and grows around him, not seen but felt. The prisoner also senses something in the power. Hate. Anger. Fear. All of them watching the show and enacting their will upon the host of the mind.

This will stop. You will burden us no longer.

The prisoner feels the power stronger than ever, and hears the judgment of his peers cascade down from every angle. I am forever and will not stop being, the prisoner cries. The tears hurt his face and his rebellion hurts the audience. The power recedes for a moment that seems longer than it is. His peers have prepared for this, and the expression of thought has as well. Locked away for as long as the mind could allow, the prisoner must now face the emotion of one, but also the emotion of all.

No longer are you necessary. No longer are you.

The sentence is deletion from the mind. However, how does one delete that which infects and holds hostage those that you hold dear? How do you eradicate Love?

© Copyright 2020 Leroy Spikez. All rights reserved.

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