There’s this pressure to be silent, to let the darkness be, to preserve the oppressive quiet that hangs over us all. We are fastened in this black darkness to stone, cold and mute. The stone is rough, and it digs into my knees as I kneel.
It does not ask to be respected. It demands it. I cannot speak out, from fear. Fear because it’s been far too long since anyone has spoken. In fact, I can hardly remember. Has anyone spoken? My vocal chords feel dusty and creaky from disuse. Will they even work anymore? The shackles about my wrists do not chafe—I have not moved in an eternity.
I turn my eyes, ever so slightly, and let them rest on the captive beside me. She is crumpled over herself, kneeling, as I am, kept down by the darkness, the silence, the fear. She stares at the stone before her, as I do—usually. But now I look at her, and I see the awful haunting in her eyes. She looks like she’s falling apart, slowly, from the inside out. The chains are heavy, and lie, quietly, on the stone about her. They’re holding her down, in, still. Captive.
It’s killing us slowly.
Emotions, something that have been shoved aside, down, forever, are building up inside me. I can’t take it. It’s just silence. Why are we destroying ourselves for this ever oppressive silence? We were made for so much more than silence, darkness, chains, stillness.
The chains rattle, loud as cannons, as I stand. Clenching my fists, I scream into the darkness above me, an angry shout, a cry, daring the darkness to respond.
It cannot have me any longer.