|the darkest night, the brightest morning
Author: no.peace.los.angeles PM
with eyes closed, nightmares come to lifeRated: Fiction T - English - Horror/Angst - Words: 801 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 05-01-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2667784
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
the darkest night, the brightest morning
with eyes closed, nightmares come to life
behind her eyes, flashing images from movie
stills - blood, she screams, electric chair,
hands bundled up like pot roasts, tied
tight tenderness. her whole body like
fire; combustible, engineered for disaster.
her eyes fly open.
she pretends not to see the straps around
her chest, pressing and turning her into
a man (no chest, no breasts, they will take
them from her, the nylon cutting her flesh).
she pretends not to taste her bile, the bitter
acid burning through her throat, or smell
the thick metal cuffing her ankles, and
it is all she can do to avoid listening,
hearing the unbearable silence of being.
she wonders if she still has hair,
or if they took that from her as well.
it feels as though she's been here
for long days, years, centuries,
so much is the pain, but it has only
been hours, slowly ticking into what
could be a day. for her, it feels like
the last remaining minutes of life.
usually stronger than this, she is,
but this is not the same. she is not
in control. she has no guns or knives,
no backup at her side. just her and
the chair and her useless hands and feet
and her heart, beating slow and careful
beneath the yards of suffocation, holding
on to what little precious hope she has.
she hates herself for crying, for giving
them what they want of her, for breaking
down and allowing herself the luxury
of emotion, but it hurts and she is alone.
so painfully alone. they will never find
her in time, she is convinced, and all
she can do is sit and wait for death.
still, the tiniest part of her wants to believe
this is not the end, that there is a light
at the end of this long tunnel, and that it is
not leading her to permanent silence,
that it is a relief and a rescue, someone
who could sense her surrender but who
will not allow her to go that easy.
she would rather close her eyes again
and watch her nightmares play out
than think about impending death anymore.
and then, she is vaguely aware of being
free. her body loose. hands throbbing,
but she is able to move. she is afraid
to open her eyes, knowing it will
most likely be a fantasy, a cruel mirage
created in her mind, and she does not
know if she holds the strength
she needs to find out for sure.
a voice. concerned? more wishes?
she squeezes her eyes shut tighter,
to keep herself from the temptation
of opening and realizing her despair.
the voice repeats. her name. her name.
what is her name?
she has become unaware of reality,
only knowing that to which she now
finds herself subjected. only death.
and then, just as she is losing
the last strand of sanity, she finds
herself thinking, what's the worst
that could possibly happen?
and she opens her eyes.
and she finds she is indeed rescued,
her arms and legs and chest and hands
all unbound and free, and she can move,
and there is no chair anymore, just
in her shock, in her pure relief. but still,
she wonders to herself . . . how?
as she contemplates her fate, her mind
churning situations around like whirlwind
clothes spinning in a dryer, the door opens,
and she senses a presence. a man. a friend.
this time, her tears are not because she
has given up, because she has no hope,
but rather because she has been given
hope, a new chance to live her life.
he is at her side, sitting near her on the bed,
and he brushes his hand along her bruised
cheek, and he whispers to her.
you're safe now.
all she can do is nod and allow for him
to gather her in his embrace, to hold her
and soothe her, be the pillar of strength
she has long taught herself to be. and
though she has given herself to him,
let herself be weak, she knows herself
it is not true weakness, that this is
necessary for the both of them.
she feels warm and safe in his arms,
and wishes she could stay there
forever, her head cradled on his chest,
his heartbeat a calming reminder
of his enduring presence.
she is eternally grateful and though
she knows words cannot truly express
the depth of her gratitude, she knows
she must try, and finds herself speaking,
the words coming out dry and cracked,
but with enough emotion that he knows,
there is no doubt in his mind, that she
means it when she whispers to him . . .