Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lock Down

The tiny cell was devoid of life, even I was a pale dust bunny curled up in the corner of the grimy white walls. The sirens ran consistently, the installation corridors were empty as the doors remained locked and ridged against the creatures those small rooms held safely in captivity. It had been weeks now and the sirens still tortured us inmates with their songs.

I squirmed against my corner, trying to press myself into the walls to escape from the incessant ringing buzz. My fingertips were crusted over with dried blood from trying to dig my way into the walls and floors, my knees scraped from where my attempts at scaling up to the barred windows had failed and bruises of one source or another covered my shoddily covered body.

Then there was an absence all of a sudden, a stillness in the air I couldn’t place. Oh wait, the noise had stopped. Why? Why did it stop? Why had it started? Oh, yeah, I remember now...

I heard the lock slick back into place in the silence, a single sound breathing terror straight into me. I tried to press myself back into the corner, away from the silence. The noise had driven me insane, turned itself into my only companion and had now abandoned me.

I sat as still as I could with my back pressed up into the corner, waiting for something to come through the door, but nothing happened, nothing moved, all was still.

Eventually, the stillness sunk into me, gentling my nerves. The room seemed smaller now, even more so than before. The rags hanging on me felt like they were crawling across my skin, I had to move if only to keep up with the creeping fabric around me.

Sneaking towards the door, my back to the wall, the heavy steel gave way to my tentative push. There was the slightest whisper of rustling as I passed by each closed door along the hallway but it was the light at the end that drew me most. It felt like the pull of a drug and before I knew what I was doing I was running for it, desperate to reach that light.

I hit the door expecting resistance to my escape, but instead I flew through out of it onto the dusty dirt, the door banging back against the installation like a church bell, echoing across the sky in ripples. The dust clung to my potato sack clothing as I pushed myself up onto my elbows and knees, twisting my head around to squint into the too bright light of a mid-afternoon sun.

The semi-circled patio as skirted with trees waving softly in a teasing breeze carrying the scent of apples, fresh grass and wildflowers. It was so wonderful I burst into tears, such a pleasure to the senses it hurt to experience. So my tears watered the parched earth beneath me as I cried out my joy.

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