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Darkness. Pitch black darkness. Not even a scrap of light in the dark room. Itís so dark that itís hard to know if your eyes are open or not.

Itís so dark itís hard to know if youíre still alive or not.

How long have you been here? Sitting all alone in the dark? A day? Two? A month? Three years? You have no idea. All you know is that itís dark, and itís nothing else.

Slowly you close your eyes and rest your head against the wall. At least you know thatís there. You canít see it, but you know itís there. You can feel it behind your back as you try to move in your cramped position, your hands firmly held behind you with something cold and thick and what youíd like to believe are handcuffs but you really donít know that as you canít see them, can you? Your legs are tied too, you can tell because you canít move them and you feel the bonds pressing against your skin through the material of your trousers but againÖ you canít see them.

Whatís happening to you? Why are you here? You donít even bother to close your eyes to think about it, itís so dark you canít even tell if your eyes are open or closed. You stare out into the black, thinking. What happened? You donít remember. WaitÖ

Sunlight. Warmth. Noises from the cars on the road. People walking, talking, laughing. ThenÖstruggling. That was when the darkness came. That was when you lost track of everythingÖ in the form of a sharp blow to your head that took you into the eternal darkness.

You try to remember more, but you canít. All you know is that damn darkness that surrounds you, enveloping you in its cloak. You think that this is what death feels like, donít you? Peaceful, quiet, and of course, dark. Just black, man.

But you arenít dead. Youíre alive, breathing, tied up and leaning against a wall thatís made of bricks, you can tell by tracing the outlines of the shapes behind you with your fingers behind your back.

Donít you wish you were just dead anyway? It would be much easier. First of all, you wouldnít be thinking so much. You wouldnít know that you were alive and helpless and unable to do anything except sit there and wait for some unseen hand to take your breath awayÖ literally.

Your arms are aching from being in one position for too long, and your body is racked with the chill that rises from the floor and into your bones. Idly you hit your head against the wall, wincing as pain spasms through your skull. Smiling as you realize, again, that no, youíre not dead.

Not yet.

You maneuver your body a little way in front, grinning now. No one can see you grinning, but you know that you probably look like youíve gone insane. Probably because you have gone insane. Snapped, crackedÖ youíve sure lost it, havenít you? The laugh that breaks the silence around you is something new, but it wonít be there for long. Your laugh wonít be there for long, and neither will you.


You slam your head backwards against the wall. Ouch. That hurt. It really did. But then, why are you laughing? Didnít it hurt enough?


Again. This time, you could have almost sworn you felt something crack. Shaking your head, you feel the throbbing pain that radiates from the back of your skull and grin. It wonít be hurting for long. Nope. You know it wonít.




A flash of light shoots across your vision. Itís so bright that you close your sensitive eyes against it, until you realize that the light is inside your eyes, itís flashing at you from beneath your eyelids. Itís making your eyes sting and burn and your head is hurting and feels like itís going to explode and at the same time you can feel the numbness you wanted for so long but now suddenly youíre not sure you want it because even as you open your eyes, even as you stare at the sudden shaft of light thatís creeping down the steps you didnít know were there, you realize whatís happening, and now thereís nothing you can do about, nothing, nothing you can do about the cold, black metal circle thatís in your face now and as you close your eyes for the last time, you laugh.

You laugh as you feel the bullet pass through you, you laugh, your laughter dying away as you fall to the floor, lying on your side. Replaced by another. Much crueler, much louder, the laugh rings around you, but you couldnít care less, because you just donít know.

Because youíre dead. Because you cracked before they could come for you. Because you cracked and gave into the darkness, because you closed your eyes and went to sleepÖ forever.



© Marziya Mohammedali, 2001-2013