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By Doug Rinaldi All Rights Reserved ©

Drama / Horror


I've forever known that escaping this place would solve a lifetime of despair.  Here, standing on the ledge of the third floor window to this Gothic edifice I've called home for more years than I can remember, I bathe in the fading warmth of the setting sun.  Its magical rays highlight the scornful lines of sadness carved in my face from an existence of suffering, yet I hear its siren's call beckoning me to be as one with it.  I can hear the eternity in its majesty . . . feel the comfort in that eternity.

As I gaze down upon the magnificent facade of stonework and artistry, I'm well aware that no one outside of its hallowed halls and impenetrable walls will ever know of the evil and pain held within them.  If I'm truly the first to break free from this seemingly inescapable fortress of corruption, no one will ever hear my tale—learn of my horrid reality.  Even if someone were privy to my story, I fully believe that they'd find it absurd, and, in a twisted sense of irony, recommend I be put right back inside.

I brace my arms between the windowpanes, pushing on the cold structure with my hands as if trying to widen the expanse of my escape route.  I look up just as twilight begins to engulf the enduring hints of light.  Shadows twist and dance across the polished architecture, creating visual murmurs calling me to join them, spurring me on to commit to my plan.

Below, I can sense as others stare out their barred windows, noses to the cold glass, wishing that they, too, could somehow break free.  Yet their fate isn't their own—perhaps never was.  They have succumbed to the inevitable, unable—or unwilling—to challenge the providence of their keepers.

The time has come.  The vestiges of sunlight vanish beyond the horizon as the dark's icy tendrils claim the night sky.  I look behind me one last time at the clandestine horror that's taken everything from me, that's wrung almost every drop of will I have left—almost.  My toes curl over the edge and the cool air soothes my mind.  The time is now.

Creeping towards freedom, I lean forward, letting the shadows envelope me.  Air rushes by my face in my free fall and I smile.  From my back, wings unfurl, catching fate's windy current and lifting me high above this terrible place.

Sun, I am coming home.

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