“Jasmine, you say?” The man moved about as he spoke to me. Our conversation originally started out about the feces all around us but has now moved on to women.
“Yes, jasmine. It is all I smell. My face is covered in blood and sweat. The stench of this dungeon is putrid. Yet, all I smell is her skin on mine.”
I can hear the man struggle to get comfortable. His fetters are chiming about like the bracelets Delilah likes to wear.
“They’ll be coming for you soon to work. One of the guards told me they are going to work you harder than the other grinders.”
“Let them.” I reach up to remove the rags around my head. The itch is unbearable.
“They did a job on you. It seems like they could have done more to a big man like you than cut your hair and take out your eyes though. No offense, it just doesn’t seem that bad. There was a man here a few days before you arrived and they had cut out his tongue. Poor man couldn’t eat or talk. He just died.”
I rub my head. The stubble is growing through the caked up blood.
“Even without my eyes, I can see old man. I can see Delilah’s body. It has a glow about it. Her dark hair used to get intertwined with my own as we slept. Her breath was like honey on my lips and poison to my soul. I love her and I hate her. It took me losing my eyes to really see her. It took me losing my eyes and my braids to truly see God.”
Above me I hear the footsteps of the soldiers. There are at least nine coming to get me now. The one is the front is the key holder. I can hear the keys clanging as they bump against his leg.
“Old man, give me your hand.”
His shackled hand is soon in mine and I lift it to my face. I rest it on my cheek and press hard. The guards are getting closer and the keys are getting louder. I know I will not meet this man again.
“Do you feel this, old man? Close your eyes. What you see is darkness yet what you feel are the bristles of hope.”
He pulls away and moves his body away from mine as the guards come in to the dungeon. His heavy breathing is evidence of his fear. I take a deep breath, refusing to be rattled by these guards. They mock me and push me onward up the stairs to the temple. They cannot hear me but I talk to God along the way.
“God, this is Samson. Make me strong and let me die.”
The sweet aroma of jasmine wrapped itself around me as I entered the temple to give my life back to God.
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