Beautifully Broken

The gray concrete slab beneath my bare shoulder sits silently, mockingly. How long have I been sitting here? There is no day here, no night, not even color to comfort me. Gray, lifeless, only a sourceless glow to keep Time from dark insanity.

I lay here, dazed. My mouth opens as I try to scream. At this point, I don't need words, just sound, anything. Nothing comes out. I never thought I could be this terrified; never imagined that this much fear could exist. I no longer remember what I'm so afraid of, only that I have this fear.
I roll from my right shoulder to my back, hearing my bones pop and feeling the tension, the resistance in my frigid body. Tilting my head back, to try again, this time to form the word 'help'. Still nothing, only the harsh grating of my vocal chords from so long with no use. Now I'm panicking, gasping for dusty breath, my eyes darting wildly, looking for what, I don’t know. It try to crawl to the door, crawling as though it was my first time. If only this was so innocent.

I try and try, for hours it seems, to scream, to yell, yet only air comes out. I'm in tears now, desperate to be heard, be found, be free. I cry and cry, trying to make even the most primitive of noises, all for nothing. My tears change nothing, and my pathetic attempts at noise change even less.

Finally, something in my throat gives way. Glorious sound spills from my mouth, filling me with hope. Of what, I don't know, but it's hope all the same. I smile, but it's a hollow feeling. I’ve tried yelling before, though I can no longer remember it, I am sure all the same. I scream and I yell and I force myself closer to the enormous metal door that I want so desperately to walk through.

I’m nearing the brink of my sanity, I’m sure. So close I can taste it. I realize how desperate I am when I think of being carried out in a body bag, and I smile-Actually smile at the thought of dying. Whoever began this game has won. I’ve been so beautifully broken.

This is the worst kind of torture. Physical torture you gain reprieves from, even if it is only unconsciousness. This is a mind game. I can't escape myself, my fears, my emotions. What monster plays this game, with a teenage girl, no less? I no longer remember myself. My name, my age, thenames of those who loved me; all gone. Now, only faces in the darkness of my mind from time to time.

Once again my voice is gone. I've cried out too much for my damaged vocal chords to be used so violently. I want nothing more than to be free of this place.

I hear a sound. Faintly, I hear it again. It almost sounds like the lock, but that's impossible. Isn't it? A loud clang and the door moves slightly, less than an inch. I think, for a moment, that my mind has finally snapped and I'm imagining this miracle. But then the door opens. A blue, white light spills into my dimly lit prison, painful and wondrous at the same time. Seeing the open door gives me a new burst of energy, one I didn't think I had in me.
I stumble and drag myself to my feet, not surprised when my legs deny the task of carrying my weight. I fall through the doorway and into the arms of someone, though I don't notice or care who. "Thank you,'' I sob. I'm blindly folded into this strangers' arms, hanging on for dear life and crying tears I thought were spent. Finally, I've been rescued.

"There, there", the man comforts in a whisper, "I've got you.”

I feel a coldness, and for the first time notice that I am in a fish market, or something similar, with a modified freezer behind me. We are the only two people here, and as I remember my nakedness, I am thankful.

Then there is pain, searing, burning pain as his nails dig into the soft flesh above my shoulder blades. It increases tenfold as he then rips downward, tearing flesh from my bones as he does so.
All I can think of as I scream in silent terror and agony is that I am a fool. I feel teeth dig into my left shoulder; one more instrument in this monster's symphony.

I hadn't realized how colorful the world was until now, as the edges of my vision plummet into endless darkness. The red-oranges bleed from shrimp as my vision swims, on the verge of unconscious bliss and covered in tears.

My head drops from his chest as my strength gives out. I watch the blood dripping from my own skin, hitting the floor in a perverted imitation of rain. I feel myself begin to relax, fiber by fiber as my life runs out between his fingers. I'm going to die here. In fact, I'm already dying.

I watch my world spin and slowly close my eyes. Shouldn't my life be flashing before me? Why can't I see the faces? Hear their voices? My thoughts are slowing down. Cluttering, stumbling over themselves. Why can't I remember myself, my name...?

I remember now, all of it. Blissful silence.