Lucie Berjoan


He sits in a room.

A dark room with a dirt floor. He sits in the corner letting the dark seep in through his eyes. He smells the dark, hears it, tastes it. It's sinking in through every pore on his body, with every breath he takes. It immobilizes him, pressing him down against the floor, pushing him back against the wall. The dark covers him, suffocates him. A thought flickers across his mind, sparking memories of light and the outside world. He closes his eyes, squeezes them shut. He searches down inside of him for the strength to stand up. The strength to open his eyes, to take another breath. He can't find it. He lost it. He concentrates on the memory, tries to focus in on the color. Nothing. He sighs and opens his eyes. Just as dark. He breathes deeply, filling his lungs with the cold, dark oxygen. He is filled with the darkness, every crevice of his body brimming with the dark. Beyond those walls there are voices. Voices that call to him, beckon him to leave his cold, lonely world and join them under the sun. They taunt his weakness, beg him to come play with them. He imagines a world beyond the one he knows, and sinks deeper into darkness. The chains of the darkness, so similar to those of slavery, are cold against his skin. He struggles to fight falling servant to the darkness. The voices call to him once more. The chains around his ankles quiver. Thoughts of the past fill his mind. Thoughts of the present and future are close to follow. Fear of living in darkness drives the man to sit up. His mind racing, heart beating, hands shaking he pulls himself to his feet. Hope for the future drives the man to lift his foot. He stops. The chains painfully dig into his flesh as he takes a step forward. Tears fill his eyes. The voices get louder. His ears are ringing. He slowly, for the first time, walks on his own towards the voices. He puts his hand on the doorknob as a final shiver of darkness shakes his body. He throws open the door, and is blinded by the light.


Copyright 2002-2006 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2006 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.