Word Count: 1057
Writing: 47 minutes
Editing: 27 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 14 minutes
It's always so quiet after the screaming is done. Each time I wish it was me, each time I wish that I could have my turn at screaming. My turn at dying. They seem to be fond of me though. The way a cat is fond of a mouse in it's last moments of life. I try to remember my first night here, but with each passing minute I forget a little more what I was. Who I was. Most days trying feels more and more like a waste of time and energy, I'm not even sure if there was anything before this.
The scratches on the wall remind me though, they keep me sane. All seventy-five thousand three hundred fourteen of them. There are no days here, wherever here is. So I mark a new one every time I open my eyes. Each time as I gouge deeply into the flesh of the wall I hope it's the last. Yet new tick marks keep appearing, dismal time kept by nothing more than a toy.
I have a dream sometimes. I go to a wonderful place, full of color. There are others like me, men, women, people. At least I'm pretty sure that's what they're called, what I'm called. It's been so long though—I think. I see a woman sometimes, she's wrinkled with silken gray hair. She reaches down to me and I stare into the deep brown of her eyes. There's a life in those enchanted orbs that makes me yearn for what it is I've lost, the memories that slip through the cracks of my mind. She smiles at me and says something in a language I can't understand, but it's nice, I can feel it in her tone. I reach for her, longing to touch her, she's warm. My hand is almost there, slightly brushing her face and lips with my fingertips. That's the good part of the dream. The happy part. Then she turns, to one of them. Teeth razor sharp, eyes yellow and sick. I try to pull away, but it's too late. It has me in its grasp and it wants to play.
My hand disappears into the mouth, past the sharp teeth and onto the wart-riddled, slimy tongue. The deep crunch from where it's strong teeth easily shatter the bone and tear the skin like weak cloth stays with me even when my eyes are opened. That's the bad part of the dream. The true part.
I don't know what the monsters are nor how many different species live in the cages that line the walls of the giant rooms. I've always called them goblins, it's the only name I remember, can't tell you why. The noise here is enough to drive one mad, but I've grown to accept it. The wails even harmonize in pain if you listen close enough. So many living beings, living so close to each other in such captivity only to fulfill the sick pleasures of the torturous captors is astounding. They seem like children to me. The goblins I mean. Taking out there toys, playing with them, pushing them to the limit and discarding the ones that can't take it. The ones that break. The ones that scream.
Maybe that's why they leave me, I never scream. Not that I don't want to, I do, more than anything. With screaming comes freedom. The toys scream and then they are gone forever, no more torture, no more playtime. Peace. But I can't fake it. I've wanted to for so long, for so many tick marks on the wall I've thought that the next time I'll scream, I'll free myself. But I can't, not unless it's true.
I examine the scars on my body, the tick marks they make on me, and I wonder if I'm the oldest. The most durable. I don't know how that could be possible, I was never anything special. Or, if I was I don't remember it. But how could I have been, would a special someone end up in a place like this? A room that smelled of excrement and death, full of caged creatures, captives of evil revolting giants. I try not to look at the pile, but my eyes wander sometimes.
It makes freedom a little scarier is all. Makes it feel a little less free. Even though I know they've gone to a better place, the discarded toys still make me sad sometimes. Staring at them, piled high in various forms of dismemberment. An arm here, a head there. The worst is when I accidentally catch the eye of a broken toy. The vague shine that comes from the room with the light when the door opens ever so occasionally, glinting off the drying pupil of a being that once lived a life, not in a cage. Not as a toy. It makes me feel like I'm sinking, but into what who knows.
The door is opening now, the room gets quiet, it's the only time the cages fall silent. Every creature sure that if they make so much as a peep it will be their turn. I hope they pick me though. Each time the footsteps echo in the room I hope it's me. Hope I can scream.
I hear the familiar sound of the gears grinding. My cage moves down. Here we go again. A sickening excitement warms my belly, perhaps today is the day. I make sure to keep my eyes only on the goblin's when he pulls me out. Deadlocked with the yellow and black, the eyes that so inquisitively stare through me. Noise starts up again in the room from every cage once the others know they're safe. They've survived another play time with the monsters.
Pain. I feel it stabbing sharply through my guts but don't bother to look at what game they are playing with me today. It doesn't matter at the moment because I know. I realize for another time in my life here, that as much as I want it. As much as the screams should be flowing from my body like the warm red liquid I can hear splattering to the floor. It would appear that there will be another night of silence, and another tick mark on my wall the next time I open my eyes.