Depths of the Mind Part III

February 6, 2013
Endless, ancient, cruel. Burning cobblestones release unbearable heat, weakening my legs. Grand stone buildings struggle in their everlasting battle with time; empty streets scorch my memories as lost voices echo down the stone paths. The city, void of life, forces the pain to resurface. Exiled, never to return, yet here I stand, witness to the tragedy before me. One after another, my people fell to the relentless beasts. My warnings fell on deaf ears, and now only I remain.

I walk the streets, lamenting every step; my bare chest absorbs the sun’s unforgiving rays as my tunic whips in protest to the relentless wind. Before me, the Great Coliseum towers over the earth, clawing its way to the gods. I hesitate on the steps, remembering the tragedy I faced here; mismatched eyes scan my surroundings, hoping for a glimpse of life. Each stair causes the pain to resurface as repressed memories wrestle their way to my consciousness. Columns and pillars encircle me as my footsteps echo off the white marble wall. Doors lurk at the end of the hall, calling me to an unknown fate. I force the doors open with all the strength in my starved being.

The stench crashes over me, forcing my eyes to blur before I chanced a glimpse of the horror. Half blind, I stumble forward into the darkness, tripping over a rotting corpse. My eyes regrettably clear, compelling me to witness the results of the massacre I foresaw. Hundreds of bodies decay in this room alone, some dead from mortal wounds and others from starvation. Faces I knew, people I lived, now the victims of those monsters. I search the scattered piles, praying to the gods for one survivor.

Her once smooth skin now rots away from her delicate frame, a crimson flower of old, dried blood blooming on her dress. My sweet love, murdered. Sorrow engulfs me as I hold her corpse close. My grief blinds me from the dimming light until darkness runs rampant with the stench. I glance at the door, frantically running towards the outside world. The beasts barricade the exit, forcing me back into the dank tomb that once served as a banquet hall. The doors shut, cutting off all hope of survival. Thick darkness, revolting stench, deadening silence. I was exiled, forbidden to return, dead or alive. How ironic fate can be, as I now lie with the very people who scorned me, greeting death with a smile.

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