Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)
TITLE: In Exile From The Beast
By B Brenton
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Plop, plop, plop. The resonating sound of his only remaining source of nourishment echoed off the walls of the deep cavern. Groping jutted rocks he had never seen with his two eyes, to where the dripping got louder, he curled his kneeling body over and gnawed frantically at his right knuckle, scraped beyond repair and opening up a new avenue of sustenance.
He¡¯d desperately crawled over every inch of his foul hiding spot the last two days ¨C ignoring the panging, the longing, the blunt knife in the middle of his intestines by savagely molesting any part of himself he could easily get into his mouth. Devouring fingernails, skin, scabs and now with half his hand in his mouth occasionally ripping off bits of loose flesh he missed in the raid of his own body yesterday.
He counted this as the better option to surfacing from his exile and taking his chances on the world above. No, there was nothing for him there. Only a gripping fear of instant death for not bearing the mark. That mark. His mark. Even greater was the fear that being imposed to make the choice, he wouldn¡¯t have the willpower to NOT make it easy on himself. To not get the mark. The choice he was sure he¡¯d made for life in the spirit seemed to be lessoning in resonation by the day.
No. He continually reassured himself. He had to hold on. Just another day, another few days and it would be all right. Jesus had a plan right? Jesus had a plan.
As he scrambled over to where the dripping was, he felt something that was not rock (for once) wet and soaking beneath him. He¡¯d long forgotten about these. Scavenged from a boarded up post office prelude to that week when he had been searching for a little hope. Loving greetings from family and friends in exotic locations. A dream compared to what humanity has had to endure for the last few years. When all hope was lost¡ there was still¡
Picking up the wet cardboard within his blackened fingers, recently cleaned off by his own saliva he felt it almost weightless in his hand. Breathing in a smell of stale cardboard.
A glimmer of something that was different from despair jumped inside of him. Hollowed sunken eyes overviewed three water soaked cards meshed together and he pretended he could almost make out the words: words of hope¡ from his savior. Happier times from people that were on the brink of the end of existence, if they were even still alive.
And for a moment he knew that it was truth in its entire entirety. One more day, was promised. And with each day a fulfillment of a greater plan. He ached to be a part of.
He was through with praying that the rocks would fall on him, the ground would swallow him or the water would poison him. This was his gift. His proof, that there were small miracles in such a time of pain and suffering.
Blinded by a sickening hunger, he just didn¡¯t care anymore, frantically shoving bits of cardboard into his mouth, which melted upon contact as though it was manna.
Just one more day, he thought, later taking the shape of a ball, the sound of the constant dripping more like a melody than ever and more filled than he could have imagined he could be. One more day. For Jesus.
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