The Prison Of Repetition

Submitted into Contest #98 in response to: Write a story involving a character who cannot return home.... view prompt



TW: suicide

When the thought of ending it first came, I was shocked beyond belief. I never expected to get such depressing thoughts. Then I pondered about it and then I shunned it all together. Yes, of course, suicide is an option to break away from the rat race.


I could imagine why I would get such thoughts. I had to wake up reluctantly every day, I had to brush my teeth, then I had to eat, then I had go to office. And in office, someone else would take credit for my work, while I slave throughout the day. The tie that I wore, hung like an upside down, corporate noose. Then I would return home for the night. This goes on for five days a week. And the same cycle keeps repeating, and repeating, and repeating, and...

You get it right?


I absolutely hated that repetitive cycle. But then I realized that I still had the will to live. I still wanted to enjoy things. I still found pleasure in things that gave me pleasure.


The food that I craved, the movies I liked to watch, the occasional visit to the house where the women stayed, and all that. But I had to work too hard during the week to enjoy those moments. And I have been told often that pleasure is valuable only after experiencing pain, but the pain I had to endure throughout the week of the rat race, didn’t make it worthwhile. Slaving for all those hours during the week didn’t entice me for the paltry time I got in the weekend. I was stuck in a repetitive cycle that could only be broken by death or retirement. It almost felt like I was in a prison of repetition.


That’s when I had the thought of ending it. But I instead decided to get away for a while. I wanted a change of surroundings to think clearly about my future. I decided to pack a few things and just started walking. I walked in the direction where I saw desolation increase. I walked in the direction where the number of man-made objects reduced as I went ahead.


Eventually, I reached the seashore. It was desolate, barely anyone was around. But I wanted to get away from man-made objects. And the ocean was riddled with plastic. I collected the plastics and built myself a boat. It took me almost a week to assemble it. But that’s when I remembered, I wanted to get away from everything mass-produced and man-made. So I threw the plastic boat aside.


Cutting down the bamboos and finally getting some buoyancy on the raft, was some pain that actually paid dividends. So I set out in the ocean, on the bamboo raft I had built.


I drifted for days. Food wasn’t a problem. I acquired the taste of raw fish gradually. But drinking water was difficult to find in the sea. The saltwater was too risky, so I kept recycling the water. Don’t ask me how I did it. You’ll be taking the piss on me.


Eventually, there comes a time when there isn’t enough of your piss to drink. That’s when my body began to weaken and I stopped trying. Well at least, I had tried. I didn’t jump off the building at the first thought.


When I woke up again, my body had completely healed. I felt full of energy and had a newfound zeal for life. I was on some kind of an island. This was everything I had imagined as paradise. I could finally embrace nature in its primal form. The island had everything: lush greenery, waterfalls, wildlife, and whatnot. I couldn’t decide If I was dead or alive, but I stopped worrying about that.


I cut down a few branches and built a temporary shade for myself. I decided that I would wake up the next day, and continue to build a house. Then I would decide how to escape the rat race(I had decided that I was alive, and some divine intervention had sent me here).


When I woke up again, the branches of the tree that I had broken were back on the tree, firmly attached. I rubbed my eyes, and for a few moments, I couldn’t believe what had happened overnight. But then I decided to stop worrying and started working throughout the whole day to build a shoddy-looking house. It was gone the next day, all the wood and vines I had used, returned to the trees I had cut them off from.


I built a water canal, a set of bow and arrows, an irrigation system, plowed seventy acres of land, and a lot of other things. But when I woke up the next day, they were always gone.


I built an entire city in a day, and it vanished the next day. Finally, I lost hope. I had tried everything. At least I had lived a few good months away from the rat race of the city. At least I got to live.

I scaled up the cliff nearby and took the leap. After I fell through more than 200 feet, my body hit the rock surface at the cliff's bottom. I felt my brain splatter out of my head, and my bones break, and the pain stopped in an instant.


Did I wake up the next morning? Of course, how else can I be predictable?


I then tried jumping into the sea from the other side of the same cliff. I drowned. But again, I woke up in the same place the very next day.


I did nothing the whole day. I did not eat anything, I did not drink anything, I did not sleep. I tried my best to stay awake, as I sat on the grass. The sun reluctantly descended. And the moon came up like it didn’t want to be there. After I painfully stayed awake throughout the entire night, I saw that the sun refused to come up and the moon refused to descend. So I spoke to the moon,


What’s that, you disobey the laws of nature?”


And the sun reluctantly rose.


Did something change all of a sudden? No, it didn’t.


I began to feel sleepy as the sun rose, despite all my efforts to resist, I fell asleep again.


I woke up the next day, everything was exactly as it was.

June 18, 2021 11:56

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