Saturday, 10 September 2011
12:26:21 AM (GMT)
He opened the door. A sliver of light reached through the crack, cutting a stripe
through the darkness and revealing a portion of her face. He knelt down, careful not
to get too close to her; she lay at an odd angle with her back against the wall, her
emaciated body contorted and held up by thick iron chains. The chains were tangled
around her body, wrapped around her arms and legs and throat.
She was choking, the chain around her neck too heavy. When he reached out to loosen
it for her, she flinched and he saw her eyes fill with terror.
He sat down beside her. "Come with me", he said. "I can't. I'm chained here," she
said, barely audible. "I can unchain you, if you let me," he replied. But when his
hand touched the chains around her throat, she panicked, flinching back, and the
chain pulled tightly, causing her to writhe and gasp for air. "Please let me help
you", he said. "You don't understand..." she said, tears sparkling in her eyes,
"..these chains are the only thing holding me together." There was a silence. Then:
"It isn't true." She looked up at him, terrified. "How can I trust you?" she
whispered. "These chains keep you from the freedom you deserve. You weren't meant to
be in chains." She shifted, the chains pulling tighter, until her breath was only
short, shallow gasps. "Take them off", she gasped, "let me breathe again." She was
seeing spots from lack of oxygen; darkness clouded her vision and the last thing she
saw was him, reaching out for her.
When she opened her eyes, everything was still. The air filling her lungs felt like
cool water over burns. She looked down at herself; her skin was no longer chafed and
scraped raw from the chains, her ribs no longer showed through her dress. She closed
her eyes and let herself cry. The fear that had always been a part of her no longer
played its echoey background music; all was silent. All was peaceful.
When she opened her eyes, the man was standing before her; she took his hand. As she
walked with him, he told her of all that was planned for her, all that was meant for
her. She smiled, letting herself sick into the realization that she was worth
something, suddenly so treasured. She smiled for the life he had given her.