It was a mantra.
“I love you! Please! I love you, so please…let me out!”
It was a ritual.
The chain around his neck was extended so he could reach the bottom half of the door, letting him bang on it to his heart’s content. He would scream and wail until his voice was raw, his mouth dry from his sobs. His fists would bruise and his knuckles scrapped raw as he would repeat his mantra again and again. Even when his esophagus tore, causing him to spit out blood, he continued.
“I’m sorry! I’ll never escape again! I’ll never disobey you! Just please let me out!”
When his voice finally gave out on him, he would press his head against the door, sobbing until his eyes dried up and his eyelids were rubbed raw.
Yet the clicks never came.
The buzzer would sound, and a small part of the door would slide open. His meal would be shoved through; the dome being the only thing that prevented his much simpler meals from splattering all over the floor.
If he didn’t kick it away first, trying to dive his hand into the opening only for a needle to dig into arm, tranquilizer forcing him unconscious.
Then he would be alone in the darkness.
This ritual continued for days, a week, an eternity? He didn’t know.
All he knew was that it was hell. He would happily take any beating, any rape, anything but this.
Anything but this isolation.
A dim light would only alert him to an upcoming meal, or a dart knocking him out. He would wake up, at first numb from the dreamless sleep, and then screaming from the fact that he was STILL in this suffocating darkness.
The pressure building around him.
He sank deeper and deeper into the blackness.
The black sea that pushed against each inch of his body.
Pushing and crushing.
Forcing him smaller and smaller.
Floating in an inky sea of nothingness.
For the Devil had told him
That he was nothing.
Everything was so small in the abyss and his voice was the only thing he could hear.
At least it was most of the time.
Sometimes, when his voice was reduced to raspy whispers and the alarms declaring feeding times had silenced, he could hear steps.
Small and quiet steps coming towards his bit of Hell.
His eyes would open, only to close at the futility of sight, and he would lean his head against the door, lips chapped and scabbed from his constant chewing. His fingers pressed against the metal and in response, the door would barely vibrate against him.
There would be no other movement, no other sound or vibration. It could be anything. The late night guard, a drone, anything against the door.
Yet he knew it wasn’t. Not with the heat emanating from the steel. That crackling warmth that spread from the tip of fingers and throughout his body. His heart would pulse and clench and he would press his forehead against that hearth.
There would be no response, no answer.
He knew she was there.
“I’m sorry…Ira…I am so sorry…”
The mantra would begin again. His head bowed against the floor, his hands stretched up to press against metal skin, caressing the door longingly as he prayed.
“I love you, Ira…I’m not even mad about my leg. You can take whatever you want from me. Just…please…open the door. Please…Ira…I’m so sorry…”
Behind the door was the Devil, and he was praying to her. He didn’t know about the burning tears down her cheeks, the trembling of her shoulders as she dug her fingers and nails into her silk robe, knees to her chest as she listened. All he needed to know was that she was there.
So the ritual would continue…
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