The despair always came. At night it crept into Her cell like a malevolent demon coming to claim Her soul. The cold bars of Her cell offered little comfort and less protection against the monster She learned to call 'Despair'. The dead light of the dawn could only banish the demon to the realm of the night, but could never destroy it. And there it would wait for her, like a vulture waiting to spring on a dead thing. She knew that now, but it only weakened Her already weak spirit. And perhaps if Her spirit had been strong in the first place, She wouldn't have been in the cell at all.

Once, a long time ago, She had heard that if enough tears were shed for someone about to pass out of this life, then there was a chance of salvation for that person. To anyone else, such words could afford him or her some comfort. This wasn't so in Her case. As far as Her mind could stretch backwards, no one had ever shed a tear for Her, including Her own self. Even the despair, at its most anguishing moments, could not wrench a single, sparkling tear from Her eyes. Only the dull, gnawing ache existed, along with the knowledge that death was the only step left for Her.

Each night, when She closed Her eyes for sleep, the image of a sea of faces assailed Her from within the darkness. There were many expressions there; hate, anger, scorn, and indifference were the most common. But not one of those faces showed sorrow. None of the eyes rained tears to moisten parched hopes and douse despair. All of them had just stood there and watched, had watched Her being taken to Her final dwelling before death. Little did they know their images were forever burnt into Her mind. Little did they know that for years they had been her only company.

She never really knew how long She had lived enclosed by bars and stone walls. Time was a luxury of people on the outside; to Her it was just a burden. She could have asked about the time, but it never occurred to Her. She didn't even have a mirror to see the ravages of time on her own face, and the rest of her was so pale and shrunken that it was no indication either. Besides, what did time matter to a person who had nothing but death and despair in his or her schedule?

But even an eternity of waiting can come to an end. The two men sent to escort Her to the last place were both silent and solemn, their faces impassive. Numbness washed over Her, leaving Her with an unnatural calm. She felt no relief at the idea of her death, but at least the despair was no longer with Her. It wouldn't be able to touch Her any longer. She walked wordlessly between the two men down a long, dark corridor, a tunnel with not a glimmer of light at the end.

"It is time," a deep voice said from the end of the hallway. She nodded dumbly as Her words fled from a doomed vessel.

"Have you any last requests?"

"No, for I only want the impossible," She said with a voice cracked from a long time without use, thinking of those tears that would go unshed. She wanted to laugh at the question, but instead Her tone was dark and bitter.

"Very well." The words were short and tinged with discomfort. No more words were spoken as the final preparations for the execution were made. In the last few moments before death, She looked up to the sky, hoping to see the impossible. She died a nameless, friendless soul, but a single, glistening tear fell from Her dead eyes to mark Her passage from this world.