I run. My feet hit the pavement with a dull thud and I can feel the heels of my feet throb with the impact. The air is cold but my body is buzzing with warm energy. My heart slams against my rib cage; making my chest swell. The night is dead silent, except for the shallow gasps that escape my mouth. Keeping my arms tucked in toward my body, I stretch my legs out even more. Pushing myself to go faster, I quicken my pace. I cannot afford to slow down or it will get me. I try to concentrate on running but a single thought creeps into my mind, “I can never stop running.” Sweat trickles down my face and into my parched mouth. I have to stop. Need to stop. My pace slows and I see a shadow behind me. It is getting closer. My feet move faster, in such a way that when I look down I see a blur. I think I am winning, but I am not. Behind me I hear screams of terror. They echo and it rings through my ears. Shrieking and wailing are all around me, and they will not leave me alone. Whispers float and taunt me and I can almost feel them. They are like fog, slightly suffocating me. I try to run faster but I feel the wind and what it carries. A cry of defeat escapes my mouth. Tears cloud my eyes and run helplessly down my face. My hair comes loose and it falls around me. Running wildly, I trip and fall, but I do not get up. It has already consumed me, dragging me back into the pit of despair. It claws me back so I can suffer with it. I should have never ran in the first place. Did I really think I was going to make it? I am being pulled back to my personal hell that I tried so hard to escape, so many times. I become overwhelmed by the screams of the lost souls. They grab me, taking me down with them. Chains are around my ankles and are connected with the others. There is fire all around me, so hot that I can barely breathe. High-pitched shrieks and cries crowd my soul; my body, dragging me even lower. Smoke consumes me and almost claims me. I am on the brink of death but something will not let me die. Someone is torturing me. My ears hurt from the blood that flows out of them. The voices will not leave me alone. They have become my partners, my companions. My eyes burn and I want to shut them. To shut everything out but something will not let me. I try to get out, to say I am sorry. I try to live. But something will not let me. I am being sucked even lower, with the other helpless souls. They touch me and hold me and scream with me, because after all, misery loves company; especially when you are in hell.
December 9, 2011