Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Pit by Rachel Newman


                I couldn’t breathe, and I could barely move. Every breath was fought for, as I wriggled my way to the top of the pile. It was a just a pile, nothing special, nothing to fear. An impediment, a weight on my chest, and hips, and knees. So I slowly swam to the top. It seemed like hours, it could have been days. I kept fading. In and out of the darkness. But it was so hard to tell if I was awake at all; it was dark in the pile. The only lights were the glimmers, the ones that float in the corner of your eyes when there is really no light at all. The moonlight was garishly bright at the edge of the hole; shadows drowned in viscous pools, escaping the moonlight beneath winter dying trees, and dripping into the crudely dug pit.

                For a minute I stared down at my own shadow, huddled at my feet like a small child clutching its mother's legs with fear. I babbled comforting nonsense to the little puddle of darkness. When I decided that it was feeling better, my eyes strayed to my dirty tennis shoes. They were covered in mud and something; something I didn't want to think about. I didn't want to frighten my shadow anymore than it was already.

                I turned around slowly, looking resolutely away from the hole. On the side belonging exclusively to the pit, was nothing but a scrubby field, but I was facing a wall. It was brick, but not the handsome red brick of my school, no not at all. It was that sort of dirty, uneven, scummy brick you can only find at the end of dark alleys and abandoned villages in video games.

                The things my psyche was trying desperately to shove away crowded in on me; rose up in my throat to choke me.. My back was to the pit, but my body turned around with a will of its own. I could feel the tenuous hold I had on my sanity, and every step closer to that place caused the already thin strand to fray a little bit more. I crawled forward on my hands and knees, groped my way towards the edge of the hole, and resolutely closed my eyes. But, they betrayed me too and I looked. I think I was sick then, sick until there was nothing left in me but darkness.

                The moonlight winked off of a pair of black rimmed glasses, cracked and smeared with crimson and earth. The glasses stared up at me, empty and hollow. All Their eyes stared up at me, once blue, or brown, or green. They were all gray, filmed over with that last moment burned into them for all time, the moment they died. I could see where I had pulled myself out, limbs shoved carelessly away from a small opening in the pile of bodies; the mass grave. The thread in my mind stretched, thinner and thinner until my eyes swam in darkness, and blood, and swirling lights. The sound echoed through my brain like a gunshot when the thread snapped...

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