You reach for the door, but you can’t bring yourself to open it.
You step forward, your hand reaching for the glossy knob.
Your reflection, bloated and distorted, mocks you as you pull your hand away.
Your hand feels like it's burnt, but you know it's not. You cradle your hand, blowing on it, even though you’re doubting it will help.
Thus is your curse.
Everyday you walk towards the teasing knob, only to be burnt.
This is your fate, your destiny, your curse, until the end of forever.
When is the end of forever?
The end of forever is when everything stops. Your puny planet stops turning. Your flame dies out. You are gone as fast as you came.
There is no evidence of your existence. The next species comes along. Rinse, repeat.
You think about these things, about how insignificant you are. This is your curse.
Is the burn real? Is it your imagination?
Are you crazy? Is that why they put you here? Cursed you?
Or was it because you were different?
Too powerful for even the gods to contain?
Too much of a wild card?
Too much yourself?
They cast you out.
They knew you were special.
The prophecy the Fates stated for you stated you would be powerful.
Powerful enough to make a choice to save or destroy the gods.
Let us just say, the gods were not pleased.
They gave you a chance, they said.
They allowed you to train, so you didn’t end the world as they knew it, they said.
You blew it, they said.
They meant that quite literally, didn’t they?
You blew up the heavens, so they cast you out,
Labeled you an abomination.
Sent you here.
Willed you to stir from your thoughts,
Trod across the floor,
Reach for the doorknob
That would burn you.
You did not want to destroy the gods.
Destroying the heavens was an accident.
Now destroying the gods
A bad idea.
You sit against the cold wall, imagining yourself standing over the gods.
They are at your mercy now.
And you crush them
You imprison them
Twice a day food is shoved through a little slot by a hand you cannot see.
Whose hand is it?
Do they know who they are aiding?
Do they know you?
To keep yourself sane, you imagine what the body attached to the hand would look like. Maybe a tall fellow, with blonde hair? Blue eyes?
You never expect to find out.
Of course, every so often you allow yourself the delusion of what you would do if you ever escaped. Your list goes something like this:
i. Get back your power
ii. Show everyone who’s boss
iii. Imprison the gods. Do them wrong like the wrong they've done you
iv. Show no mercy.
You didn’t used to be this way.
At one point you were happy, you were bright, you were smart.
Then they found you out. Tried to shove you in a box. A box that they put every other special person in.
And they punished you when
One day they came for you.
They tried to imprison you but your power, it couldn’t be contained.
You killed, they say.
You were dangerous, they said.
You turned from the golden boy into “what a shame” conversations mumbled in the market between women with no lives.
And so will the gods.
They said it was dangerous.
Maybe it was.
Maybe it was a challenge
To their system
You thanked those who helped you.
You punished those who ratted you out.
Not yet, obviously,
But when you get out of here
They say that's why they put you here.
To pay for your crimes.
Haven’t you paid for your crimes enough?
The guilt that has dragged on your heart?
The nights without food?
The death or imprisonment of everyone you love?
Isn’t that pay enough?
The tears that fall now do not taste like salt.
They taste sweet, because you know you have earned these tears.
These are not tears over a broken toy or a lost friend.
These are tears mourning everything you’ve lost.
Family, friends, your life.
They are all gone now.
Replaced by this room.
Who needs friends when you’ve got the rats?
Who needs family when you’ve got the guards?
Who needs your life when you’ve got the familiar
And cloudy water?
Who needs it?
You stayed one step ahead,
Until they took your boot.
When they take your boot,
It's hard to get ahead,
Will the end of your forever come?
What will it be of?
Disease brought by the rats, or the moldy bread?
Sometimes you can make out your mother’s face.
In the clouds.
In the ripples of the drip bucket.
In the bubbles of the bread.
She whispers to you.
You shouldn’t have done this.
Every time, you turn away from the window.
You splash your hand in the drip bucket.
You crush your bread in your hands.
She reminds you.
Your friends warned you.
They told you that the guards were coming.
You ran, thankful, but you did not miss
Five civilians dead.
Was it you who killed them?
Or was it your decision to run that killed them?
The end of forever
Seems pretty daunting.
Also, it seems
Like a pretty long time to spend
In a gross cell.
But you know,
You will get out of here.
So, did I get it right?
Was that the last year of your life?
Come on, stop ignoring me.
You can tell me, seeing as we’ll probably be spending a lot of time together.
Come on, could you at least tell me your name?
Fine. I see how it is.
That makes me sure of one thing.
You’re just like me.