Murmur

The mass of desperate people crashed into the wooden doors of the prison as a single body. The moon-lit wood splintered and gave way with a thunderous crack under our force, heralding our escape. With that crash and a massive jolt of motion our bodies stumbled through. We ran through the second metal gate, forty strong, with bullets at our backs, our faces, our sides. But bodies are just flesh and the bullets tore through us.
All we knew was to get out. Nothing else mattered. Not even our lives.
We burst through the walls for the first time in ten dark, scream steeped years. Despite my proximity to death, I had to smile. It was working. To our right and left, I saw the huge, never ending fields of wheat and corn, being bathed in soft, silver starlight, turning the corn silver and the stalks black. My last thought before I ran for the softly swaying cornfield was for Ryan, but he grabbed my wrist before I could even look back for him. He had brought me with him, broke me from the solitude of my cell. I at least owed him a thought, if not my life.
We dove into the tall corn, immersing ourselves in the rustling silver waters of the tall stalks. Dried leaves crunched under our fast paced thip-thipping footfalls. Gunshots followed us like hunting dogs, baying and howling as we scampered in and out of our corn fox holes. Around us, I could see the woman with the dark face, her dearly protected embroidered handkerchief around her neck. She always swore that she would give it to her children when she left and now she had a chance. We all had a chance now.
It was then that the drums started booming. God, the drums. Old women of the prison would tell tales of them, how when you hear them, there is no hope. I understood the stories then. The drums beat in a haunting, booming rhythm, making you think that Hell itself was at your heels. Men and women screamed a haunting death rattle that echoed ghastly through the fields, trying to reach out to the deaf world. I knew better. I didn’t stop running. I couldn’t stop. Stopping meant death.
I don’t know how much time went by as I ran. I only knew that behind me were the drums, beside me was Ryan, and in front of me, freedom. People fell into the tall stalks around us, their blood black in the cold moonlight, their shoulders still heaving. So many of those beside me were falling that I lost count. I saw the dark faced woman dragging herself between the thick stalks. She reached out to me, the handkerchief in her hands, beseeching me to take it. I plucked it from her hands, still running, but looked back at her. She lay on her stomach in pools of shining black, face pinched in pain, shoulders shuddering, bathed in cool moonlight. I could only hope that I would not end up like her as I kept running towards the faintly flickering lights in the distance.





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CelestaCuffrig said...
Feb. 12, 2012 at 4:22 pm
Brilliant. It leaves room for the imagination but doesn't come up lacking. I love the style! Keep writing :)
 
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