The Caged Bird Sings





No, no, no, no, no…!

"No!" I scream before bile raises into my throat, burning, liquid, putrid flames. My head is bent into the basin, tears streaming down my cheeks. I rinse my mouth with water, trying to rid the taste of acid and hot saliva and tears. There's a horrible wrenching pain inside me and I can't escape it.

I run towards the window only to find it barred from the outside, keeping me from flying, from falling, to the death that would await me below on this second story. It would take a while to bleed to death, but it would be worth it if it means escape—the escape I can't find, the escape that forever eludes me, floating into the air and I can't grasp it, no matter how hard I run, no matter how hard I cry.

The pretty mahogany desk to my right serves semi-well as my rammer, and it finds itself broken after several attempts of smashing it into the glass. The glass had shattered, reflective rainbow tears, and it clinks into a shower of stars onto the tile; but the bars outside, which I don't even remember being installed, are still there, mocking me, thick iron teeth.

Desperation seizes me with a passionate fervor and I grip a shard of glass, the edges digging into my palm, leaving rivulets on my skin, red rivers through sand, and my heart is pounding in my head, thumping so terribly loud, louder than thunder, drowning out all noise to the point that's all I hear: my heartbeat, my breathing, my crying, my screaming, my defeat—

That's why I don't hear them coming, why I realize to late that there will be sentries to guard me, and they're prying the shard out of my hands, taking away my chance of freedom, of escape, stealing it from me like they've done with everything else—they've stolen my life and now they're stealing my death!

"Calm down! Someone get—" whomever is talking doesn't finish because my nails are dragging down their face, leaving long, angry marks. The person screams more from shock than pain but it's enough of a distraction to loosen someone's grip but another individual comes out from the hallway and shoves me onto the bed, pinning my wrists back, and two others are holding down my legs. The sound of shackles rings in my ears, clinking menacingly, and I struggle further because I'd rather die, I need to run, I need to fly, I need to die—

"What's going on here?"

The voice is a boom, a terrifying tumultuous noise, unwelcome, and I manage to crane back my neck enough to see him standing in the doorway, taking in the scene with a quiet, smoldering ire. His face is indifferent, almost arrogant, but I can tell when he's angry—I've been hit by him enough times to notice; someone's neck may be broken…

"Master Cato," says the young man I struck in the face, "She was—"

"I don't need it to be explained from anyone but her. Leave us." He tells everyone, and no one dares to question his decision, filtering out the room.

He approaches me with a confidant walk, but he keeps his distance, only looking at me. I raise my head and my eyes meet his, and his seem to flicker with recognition, eyebrows slightly rising.

"You're pregnant."

I nod.

He laughs, long, low, and viciously.

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