Monday, 21 January 2013

Poison Prince

JournalWord: He is poison.


His first memory is war and starvation.

His next memory is of darkness and crying bodies.

He can hear the sobbing of other children beside him, quivering and howling in the pitch dark. He feels the walls behind him, pressing his hands against the rough stones of the cave. 
The howls and cries are so loud and don't stop for nights and days; time he can't decipher anymore.

 His tears of fear have dried from listening to the other children, and he can't find the heart to care about them. After fending for himself all his life on the merciless streets, scraping for days on rotten fruit and dried crumbs, this is an opportunity he must pull through with. 

They are feeding us, he reasons, and that is enough for him to ignore the cries and darkness. Just knowing that there is food to eat, albeit cold because he is squished far back by the walls, he can continue to bear with this hellish hole.

Slowly, his patience and perseverance prove worth when retching sounds start to intermingle with the screams and sobbing. The ground has become soft underneath him and he pushes away the thought of why. The bodies huddled and squished around him are losing their heat, so he pushes them away from him, without a care that they don't make a noise of protest.

The noises are silencing, and the sobbing cries are dwindling to whimpers that snuff out in due time. His food steadily becomes warmer by the time it gets to him until, finally, it comes served piping hot, straight from the oven to his waiting hands. 

He hasn't moved from his place from the back of the cave, eating whatever is given to him without a sound escaping his lips, even when the stomach pains ached for him to scream. The pain has long since passed, along with the cries, without any indication of it being present in the first place.  

He still eats, and the other children die beside him, spoons and bowls clattering around them, but he still eats until his spoon scrapes the bottom of his bowl.

When the first light peeks through the opening at the other end of the cave, a bellow hollers for any survivors to come get their meal. On shaky legs, he makes his first attempt to walk, ignoring the smell he has almost become accustomed to and the mounds of rustic clothes he has to walk over. 

He is met with surprised congratulations at the door and light, and when someone breaks through the crowd to rustle his long, dirty hair, their hand burns black. He passes by the scream and writhing body, walking through the silent path and heading for the table, towards the steaming pot. He sits on the bench, alone, and helps himself to the porridge, having not been fed in nearly two days. 

He has become the poison that he is fed.



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