His Star

Submitted into Contest #58 in response to: Write a story about someone feeling powerless.... view prompt



The hand of fear reached out and gripped his heart.  Squeezing it painfully and talking with it the last rays of hope.  Hope that disappeared like the sun.  All that was left were harsh winds and an unforgiving night.  The only thing that he could see was darkness.  A darkness like the one consuming his soul.  Black veins of fear and despair sitting heavily in the pit of his stomach.  Blackness that consumed all light.  Everything felt unreal.  Everything felt hopeless.  Without the warm flames of hope the cold hands of fear consumed him.  Filling his whole being.  Dark thoughts racing through his mind.  Black ink spreading through his veins and turning his heart black with fear.  Waves of darkness that consumed his soul and hid it from all light.  Loud voices filled his head.  Their words ringing in his ears telling him it was hopeless.   Painful words.  Hurtful words.  All of them echoing in his head.  Bringing a trembling hand to his head he covered his ears in an attempt to block out the voices.  Falling to his knees he curled in a ball letting out a scream of pain.  Pain that came with the words.  Pain that came with the memories.  Pain for all that he had lost.   

He was lost.  Lost in his own mind.  Alone in the past.  Alone with the haunting memories that now consumed him.  He could no longer feel the warm ground.  Instead he felt the cold hard ground again.  No longer hearing the people around him.  The only thing he heard were the screams.  The voices that had opened up to pour their pain into the world.  The smell of food no longer drifted past his nose.  It was the smell of mold and grime that greeted him.  Instead of the taste of nothing he instead tasted iron, and when he opened his eyes he did not see the encampment.  He saw grey walls and iron bars.  He saw a straw mattress with rust stained on it.  He was no longer in the present, but in the past.

The clanging of the guards met his ears as they marched through the prison, and if he listened carefully he could hear the rustling of cloth.  The sound of someone being dragged.  He watched with eyes cold like the icy that had pierced his heart as they came to a stop in front of him.  He watched as they threw the slumped figure into the cell across from him.  Within the cold of his cell he felt warmth against his cheeks followed by a sharp cold as a breeze swept through the prison.  The figure sat there not moving.  Red blood smeared across their face.  Only the slight rise and fall of the chest told him that they were alive.  He felt his feet move on their own accord until he was banging on the bars of his cell.  Screaming for his older brother to open his eyes.  Demanding to know what they had done to him.  He punched the bars again and again until his knuckles were caked with blood and his fingers ached.  Sliding to the ground he stared from his brother’s cell.  Wrapping his own arms around himself he whispered a name.  The name that belonged to the one laying across from him.  “Hoku.”

His heart clenched at the sight of his brother.  Hoku lay there unconscious and unaware of the inner turmoil that consumed his younger brother.  The feeling of despair that numbed his soul and broke his heart.  The feeling of being powerless.  Powerless to stop his brother's pain.  Unable to do anything.  Unable to hug his brother.  To take away his pain.  Unable to even help him.  The feeling that they were worlds apart.  He was trapped.  Trapped in this cell.  Unable to do anything to end his brother’s suffering.  Suffering Hoku brought upon himself.  He was left to face the pain and despair of being helpless.  He was shut out and away from being able to help his brother.  All he could see was a dark tunnel of pain and suffering.  He could feel the darkness reach upward and grip his wrist.  Restraining him from getting to his brother.  From getting to Hoku.  The cell seemed to shrink to push against him and hold him hostage.  Hostage to himself.  To his own thoughts and despair.  He could only pray.  Pray that it would get better.  That they could escape the prison they were in.  The world of pain and darkness.  His soul ached and stung.  Fear gripping his heart and hope disappearing like the rays of the sun.  Only the darkness was there to greet him.  As long as they remained prisoners here the darkness would be his only friend.  Nothing could be done.  Not until they escaped their prison.

As the screams faded and the cell with it he found himself on the ground.  Hands over his ears and tears on his cheeks.  Sunlight hitting his face and strong arms around him.  He looked up at his brother and gave a watery smile.  They may be physically free from their cells, but their mind still held them captive.  They were working to be truly free.  Something they must both do for themselves.  He was the only one who could break himself free from the prison his mind had become.  However he knew he would always feel hopeless and powerless.  Hopeless as he watched his brother fight his own demons.  Powerless to help him escape, just like he had been in that cell.  He would never be able to free his brother from his prison.  Powerless to help.  Powerless to comfort his brother.  Powerless to make it better.  Yet here he was still trying to make a difference, because he was sure he would never be free from his prison until his brother was.  So all he could do was be there for his brother.  To tell Hoku that he loved him.  To tell that Hoku was his hope.  His star.

September 11, 2020 14:09

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