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The Show

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For the spectators around the ring, watching my every move, it's a show. For me, it is hell. It is a drawn-out demise and a fiery end. I wish I could make them go home, stop following my tortured, dragging steps with their greedy gazes and let me die in peace. While I slept fitfully on my bed of coals, they broke down the bars of my cage and put up a glass replacement, laughing when I woke and fell for their deceit. I am an animal bred for entertainment. My purpose is to die a slow and public death at the careless hands of the easily amused masses.

Not one of them spares a drop of concern for my life; not one stops to consider that I feel just as they do...that the screams ripping from my core are not superficial but filled with true anguish. I'm beginning to imagine that they are the ones lacking feeling or souls, not me. If I were soulless, could I sense this pain? Because the burning reaches beneath my skin and bones to a place I knew not of before it began to sear. It's a chasm slowly filling with fire like whiskey, but dry and dull as drought-riddled desert. The pain reaches its flaming fingers through flesh into raw and hypothetical nerve. It leaves me longing for the ache of being utterly empty again, as I was before all of this began.

Even corpses have cool, dark silence. The raucous crowd surrounding my suffering place makes it impossible to hear the calm behind their cries, though I strain my ears. They let harsh light stream between their bodies straight into my eyes, even through the lids. The heat exacerbates it all, and I am constantly on edge, panic on top of the pain. Even the cold confines of a casket would be preferable to my hell. And I still have yet to die. That may be the cruelest of all tortures - the knowledge that it does not end. There is no relief. There will never be the sweet embrace of nothingness for me. I will never fall off the knife blade into the abyss. I am condemned to tread it with feet sliced to ribbons for as long as the spectators command. For they control my hell with their presence, with their cheers. As long as the seats are filled, the show must go on.





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