Solitary Confinement


I don’t know how long I’ve been lying on the floor.  Wasn’t it only a moment ago that an ice pick sliced through my skull?  My muscles are stiff and my cheek is slick with sweat where it meets with the floor.  I can’t move.  There is nowhere to go, no chance for escape.  Any attempt worsens a pain that can only become more unbearable. The pills meant to make it stop lay scattered, just out of reach.  The pain knows this, so I close my eyes and wait.

The ants start to crawl under my skin.  Their tiny legs are armed with lightening rods and stab relentlessly wherever blood flows.  The worst part is its only just begun.  The ice pick jabs from inside my head; its sharp point rips at my mind with persistent fervor.  The pounding of my pulse brings new waves of blinding agony.

He said I could call . . .

My body recoils in a violent fit.  One hand grabs onto my head, while the other tries to quell the ants that refuse to stand still.  My knees snap to my chest as a vicious cramp seizes every muscle. I wait for the blackness to come.  A dark void where I am lost and cannot feel. Hallucinations of haunting images flicker and phantasms of pain darken my view. I want to scream, but a clenched throat chokes my voice.

Help . . . I need help.

My limbs won’t loosen and my thoughts shatter. I lock myself away in a sunless tunnel.  It’s the only way to hide and protect what’s mine. There’s a chance I’ll never find my way back, but where else can I go?  I long to hear footsteps that will find me and save me from this hell.

But they will not come.  He left weeks ago, tired of what I could not fix.

My fingers cling to knotted strands of hair.  Another wave strikes, bringing with it a thousand baseball bats that beat the life right out of me. Shadows that don’t exist move in the corner of my eye.  Whispers that aren’t really spoken sound in my ear.

Where is he?  Why isn’t he coming?

There are no footsteps.  The blackness offers no release.

Something warm drips down my chin.  Red falls to the floor in tiny drips.  Not even my lips are immune to the havoc that reigns – my teeth cut right through.  He always knew what to do.  When I couldn’t take care of myself, he was always there.  But, not now.  I can’t remember why.  It’s lost to the pounding that won’t stop.

Didn’t he say to call him whenever I needed?

I need him.  I need help.

But that was before . . . he left.  A sledgehammer slams into my temple.  A white flash wipes out my vision.  The only sense I have left cries from the torture.  Please let me go. The hardwood floor, so unforgiving, pushes into my joints and offers no comfort.  Yet, I cannot leave.   Is this my punishment?  If he were here, I would apologize.  And beg for forgiveness.

Help . . .

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c.b. 2012