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23:59:59

DIYA SABAREESH

The gelid air seeped in through the barely-there window,
Travelling down my spine to my toes; rooting me in place.
“Nevermore!” I heard my heart plead;
“Please, nevermore” it cried again.

Gazing through the hole in the wall,
I felt nothing but the cold hitting on my back.
The bloody trail thickening and the flesh strewn along,
“Revolting isn’t it?” asked my brain.
“No! Please God, no.” my heart begged through its tears.

The shrill clanging of the bell hitting my head,
Pushed me away from the wall and back on to my tiny bed.
The wailing was what I could not control-
Not of me, but of my mind.
Beseeching me to listen; but to what?

Tugging on my shirt, I looked at the tiny clock by the bed-
23:26, it read.
Was it time yet?
Was it time for me to go?
As for that, the answer eluded my mind, just like the answers to everything else did.

Staring down at my feet, placing it one after the other,
I walked to the door;
Waiting to hear the familiar toll of the bell beckoning us.
“Doomed” was what the others spoke of us,
As in their eyes we didn’t exist.

The door threw open to reveal the guards,
Waiting to take me up; leading me towards the stairs.
“Follow the blood and the screams,” their malicious eyes and lips seemed to whisper
“Nevermore,” I promised myself. Nevermore would I dare to even breathe.

The horror awaited me,
Luring me with each spot of blood seen;
Each piece of bone stuck in the crevices;
Breaking me and mending me, over and over—
“Let me go,” my soulless voice whimpered.

The chains removed from my wrists,
I was pushed forward—
The laughter behind me; at me,
Growing louder and louder with each passing moment.
The repulsiveness inviting me in to take a taste.

They broke bones. They tore skin.
They drank blood. They ate flesh.
They reveled in our sadness and hunger.

Why? Oh, why? Why couldn’t we break open?
Lucid dreams just behind my horizon;
The light at the end of my tunnel unachievable;
I waited.
Waited for the whips to break and mark me.

My time nearing, I looked at those in the front
Where were their loved ones? Where were their homes?
Their blurry eyes pleading for a hand, looked around unfocused.
Couldn’t anyone see it? Couldn’t anyone see us?
Where we that invisible? Weren’t we too born in any of your wombs?

The heads cut off, the fingers severed;
The nails pulled out, the bodies rotten.
The room stunk and reeked—
Not of the blood and bones
But of the evil. The abuse. The cruelty.

23:55:43, the clock read now,
I, picked and escorted.
The seconds ticking by, each marking another scar.
The black swirling sea crashing against the shore,
My body and the whips and canes lovers.

The unfamiliar cruel eyes scouring my body
Bruised skin pressed down even more,
Hands and feet cuffed, pinching my skin,
Drawing out blood everywhere their skeletal fingers touched
The prickled and scaly tongue running on me;
My breathing snuffed out of me.

“Nevermore!” my heart shouted;
“Nevermore will you hope. Will you have faith. Will you love.”
You die. And they die with you
To be touched by your coffin and not by the earth.
Silently crying, I endured and so did the others.

The cuts on my skin hugging me,
The blood trickling down my legs
The blackness crowding in. Consuming me;
The tears rolled down as my eyes shut.
My body, my mind, my voice, nevermore mine.

24:00:00, the clock beeped.
My unheard cries—
The prologue to the next in line
And the epilogue to mine.


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