I pound my bloodied and torn fists against the sides of the box that I find myself trapped in, but it is a useless effort – there is no way out.  Scratching, clawing, even chewing at a tiny splinter I may have created in my mad scramblings does me no good. Bloodied and raw, I fill with a pressure that threatens to burst from my filthy being, further contaminating my raw and polluted soul.

There is no way out – there is no escape from the physically crushing, mind bending weight of this prison. I beg to be saved from this anguish in which I languor; but there is no salvation, not for me, not for one so undeserving, so uncherished, so unloved.  There is only the false glimmer of light my inner demon allows me to glimpse so that I may be tortured further.

Bloodied, scrapped, tattered and torn, a thing not palatable to any other, I slide to my scuffed and rent knees to become a pile of bleeding flesh that has been ravaged by the walls that surround me. I bend forward clutching at the only thing I have left, myself, and allow the wailing to erupt from my stricken lungs, my raw throat; I bellow the moan I’ve been containing for so long.

My demon laughs; he finds my horror of an existence a great delight. I am a toy to be played with to pass the eternal time in which he shall dwell within me.  I can not escape him, though I try – all the more to his amusement. He watches me struggle so futilely; he basks in the tightening of breath that can no longer escape my burning chest; he hears my moans of agony and licks the salty tears that streak my filth ridden face.  He is my tormentor, he is my key, he is my only chance for salvation – though he shall never grant it.

The walls of the box are by now so raw with splinters from my scrapings that no matter where I lay my broken body for comfort, I find none. There is only jagged surface to be found here, a prison so impenetrable no one but I shall ever glimpse it, nor shall I ever be released from it. I have no false hope, only a fool would hope for mercy from such a beast.  Though a fool I am, I am not that fool…

Laying weeping in a pool of my own tears, blood and shattered dreams, I can find no blame other than my own. My demon chuckles as he reminds me the box is of my own design, made impregnable by my own failings.

Yet still, I rub my ragged and blood caked palm along the wall hoping to find the smallest fissure, an mere indentation, any sign at all that can offer me even the falsest of hopes that someday I will break free – but there is none.  There never has been.

In this box I feel my deepest desires turned to dust; my most cherished dreams denied; my fate sealed.  In this box I find my demon observing my anguish, relishing its unending torture and its most exquisite pains.  Here I am me – I am this quivering thing that lies upon the floor begging for a mercy of freedom that will never come; just a small measure of what others are granted, but no – not me. I shall never have the experience of those things, for I am destined to scrape and scratch and gnaw away at this unyielding box that is both miniscule yet cavernous at the same time.

Why will it not swallow me and end this pathetic shadow I have become of my former self, I do not know … so that my demon may have a thing with which to entertain itself? Consume me I beg of it, but it will not – what use am I to the box if it has no grief to feed from; no pain to color its darkened walls with; no feather left to pluck with which to brush itself clean.

My demon wants me locked in this box of misery and pain, perhaps only because it seeks the same thing I do – a companion of equal measure. It lives a lone existence as well, though I believe it was meant to, whereas I am meant for more, I am meant to be freed from this punji ridden hell of eternal despair.

But that is yet another false hope; another path to mental depravity that I shall have to avoid for as long as I can. Just one more shattered possibility in a world filled with tightly sealed boxes. Yet without these boxes, would I not be an empty shell? Another harsh reality to be born on the back of so many other realities I wish were not mine. But the lie told children that wishes will come true is just that, a lie; and the box containing my soul is shoved just a bit farther out of reach, the desperate moaning a bit more frantic, the laughter of my demon that much stronger – with a promise that one day I will succumb to its crippling madness.


About Nina D'Arcangela

Nina D’Arcangela is a quirky horror writer who likes to spin soul rending snippets of despair. She reads anything from splatter matter to dark matter. She's an UrbEx adventurer who suffers from unquenchable wanderlust. She loves to photograph abandoned places, bits of decay and old grave yards. Nina is a co-owner of Sirens Call Publications, a co-founder of the horror writer's group 'Pen of the Damned', founder and administrator of the Ladies of Horror Picture-prompt Monthly Writing Challenge, and if that isn't enough, put a check mark in the box next to owner and resident nut-job of Dark Angel Photography. View all posts by Nina D'Arcangela

2 responses to “Splintering

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