(I tried my hand at a real short story. Tell me what you think.)
And You Can't Even Scream
Jon held his pained and throbbing head in his hands and stared at the
floor. The cold concrete seemed to be laughing at him and his lifelong
prison sentence for murder. Forty years had already passed by. He was
seventy-two years old.
There were no mirrors in the cell; in fact, he hadn't seen his
reflection in the forty years he was in prison. However, he knew he was
aging because he could see his shoulder-length gray hair and could feel the
wrinkles on his face. If he had a mirror, he'd be able to see his
cheekbones jutting out and a pair of steel-gray eyes staring back at him.
He was a hideous man on the outside, yes, but far worse on the inside. To
him, the Bible meant nothing. Whenever he did open the Bible by his bed,
he would read a few lines and then slam it shut in hysterical laughter.
Jon's lack of respect for anything led him to cursing the prison guards,
throwing food around his cell, and his placement in solitary confinement.
Lately, Jon had been feeling horrible. He would wake up to find he
had a splitting headache that would go away after a few hours. Dizzy
spells caught him in mid-pace. He would begin blacking out unexpectedly.
The symptoms were only getting worse with each passing day. However, Jon
refused to mention any of this to the prison guards for they would only
scoff. They wouldn't care; they'd be happy for him.
That day the headache was especially bad. His forehead throbbed
painfully with every heartbeat. If he even did so much as stand up, he
would nearly fall over with dizziness. Thinking it was just another
migraine; he clutched his face, leaned forward, and stared at the floor.
There was nothing he could do except wait until it ended. He gritted his
teeth and moaned in agony. An invisible leaden hammer was beating his
head. Even sitting down now, his eyes were slowly being clouded with
Jon howled and threw himself against the stony gray walls of his cell. The
pain was unbearable. He could feel himself slipping into unconsciousness.
With every bit of strength left in him, he fought to keep himself awake.
His yelling had only increased the throbbing. He didn't know whether his
head was being crushed or whether it was a giant helium balloon. A faint
taste of blood was now in his mouth. He brought his hand up to his face,
which was unusually wet. When he pulled his hand away he found that it was
covered in blood. His nose was bleeding. Jon was trying hard but could no
longer stay awake. Giving up, he let his eyes cloud in darkness and his
All pain left Jon. A dark tunnel with a pinpoint of white light at
the other end lay in front of him. How did I get here? Jon thought. I
must be having one of those near-death-experiences, he concluded. Knowing
no other options he started for the other end. A strange flying sensation
came over him and he raced ahead. Jon didn't know why, but he knew he had
to get to the other end. Somehow he knew someone was waiting for him. The
light was growing brighter and swelling as he drew nearer. He accelerated
towards it. He had to get to the other side.
The light was blinding. He found that he had no hands to shield his
face. It was as if he'd become one with his surroundings. The tunnel had
not stopped, yet it wasn't going anywhere. All that was around him was
pure, clean, shining light. Jon had no idea where on earth he was. Was he
even on earth? Thoughts swirled in his mind until a thunderous voice
Jon spun around, startled. Where had the voice come from? Panicked,
he looked behind him. Everywhere was still shining light.
"You will not see Me. Stop searching."
Trembling, Jon turned forward. In a weak voice much unlike his own,
he called out into the light, "Who are you? What do you want?"
"I am the One you never knew. You never wanted to know Me. I am who
I am." The voice answered.
"And what is that supposed to mean?" Jon whimpered angrily. "I never
knew a lot of people! Who the hell are you?"
"Do you know why I am a mystery to you, Jon?" the voice asked calmly.
Puzzled, Jon hesitated. Finally, he replied, "No. Tell me."
"You never took Me seriously when you read the stories of my
greatness. You led an impure life. In doing this, you betrayed Me. I
loved you as I loved your neighbor. Why, then, didn't you love Me?"
Terror stricken, Jon searched for what to say. He grunted a few
nonsense words. Words escaped him once he realized to whom he was talking.
At last he begged, "My God, I beg for your forgiveness. Please, let me
join You in Heaven. I promise-"
"It is too late, Jon."
Jon's hopes of happiness and Heaven shrank into nothing. He knew
where he was going.
"Your life on earth and the disrespect you showed was unacceptable.
You will not be joining me in my kingdom.
The voice was gone. Immediately the light melted away into darkness.
Jon screamed. He was falling, falling, falling.
Suddenly he found himself in what looked a lot like his own jail
cell, except it was completely void of furniture. All it was was a small,
four-walled room with a stark light bulb on the ceiling. Jon looked around
for a moment. He knew something was missing. After a slow second, he
realized what was missing. There was no door.
Jon wanted to scream again. He opened his mouth, but no sound
escaped. He couldn't scream. There was something blocking up his throat.
The urge to scream was overwhelming. Oh, was it ever. He needed to scream
in the worst way. Yet he could not vocalize any sounds at all.
A cold, trembling hand reached for the wall. The tips of his gray
fingers touched the wall for a second, and when he realized that he and the
wall were both solid, he pulled his hand back. So he wasn't a ghost. He
couldn't float through the walls. Defeated, Jon looked up. For a second,
all he could see was the light bulb. But something else caught his eye- a
wooden trapdoor with no lock.
Nearly collapsing with glee, Jon brought his hands to his head. He
blinked his eyes to make certain he wasn't seeing things. No, it was there
all right. Thinking he was finally blessed with a way out, he leapt into
the air at to trapdoor. He extended an arm and stretched out his fingers.
He swatted at the door, but instead only swatted the air. Defeated again,
Jon fell back to the floor. He was one inch too short.
Jon stared up at the trapdoor on the ceiling. So this was what hell
was like. You're all alone, there's no way out, and you can't even scream.
It's not like anybody would hear you anyway.