Cold cramped cell.
I blink but the blackness stays. I breathe a sigh of relief. Light is bad.
Lying on the floor, my arm cushions my face from the dirt. Sitting up, I wait for the blood to wake up my arm. Pressing my body into the corner against a concrete wall and metal bars. It is as far away from the door as I can get. Not that it stops them. Bad thoughts. Don’t go there.
Standing my hair brushes against the ceiling. Stretching my sore, bruised limbs, my fingertips brush against the cold bars of my prison. If I strain my eyes I can see the dark outline of the bars.
The concrete wall is covered in bloody streaks. My blood. My fingers searching for an escape from them when the light turns out. I press myself against the wall, willing myself to melt inside it.They mock me with their laughter. They catch my ankles in the hook of a cane and yank me back. Crashing to the floor I plead, “please please not again, not me, let me go, please.”
No. Don’t think of the light. It’s bad.
“Don’t make a sound,
let’s go on a trip around
the pretty town tonight
I’ll be safe from the bite.”
Rhymes are good. They help me keep sane. Darkness is good too.
Walking along the cell, I touch each bar. Reaching the door my fingers brush against the familiar bolt and padlo-
My fingers search.
The padlock comes away in my hand.
This can’t be right. It’s a trick. I pull out the bolt, it makes no sound. Moving out of the way for the door to open. Is this a dream?
I should secure the padlock properly. I should do this. That way I am good. My hands shake as I clutch the padlock.
I inch forward gripping the bars on either side. I am neither inside the cell nor outside.
How long has it been open? Too long. They will remember soon. They will come back. I should stay here, safe in the darkness.
Stepping backwards until my spine knocks against the concrete wall. I am good here. I will stay.
Kneeling down, I place the padlock on the ground. I start to crawl, crawl forward. I repeat my rhyme over, and over again. Do not think.
I leave the cell.
Continuing forward, I cannot see anything. I brush against things but I keep moving until I hit my head. I reach out and feel a concrete wall. Standing up, I place one hand on the wall and use the other one to reach out in front of me. I shuffle along.
I find stairs. They’re covered in carpet.
I climb them.
Cold cramped cell.