It is crowded, too crowded, where I lay. I am smashed in with those like me in a space that should be about five times larger than it is. I am uncovered, and insects fly and leap from one part of me to another, but I am unable to move. They walk up and down me, and I am helpless. Suddenly, a hand grabs me. It throws me and grabs me again, repeating this “game” several times. The hand thrusts me under a cold, unwelcome stream of water. The steady rush envelops me and the hand scrubs at my skin, ripping at me like I’m unbearably unclean. The ruthless scrubbing ceases after a long while. The hand shoves me onto a stone platform, and I know what is about to happen to me. I have seen what those hands have done to my fellow inmates on this platform. The only words to describe the horrific event? Unnecessary and inexplicable sacrifice. The hands, which I now see belong to an old, wrinkled face, reach for the knife that is waiting near, mocking my misfortune. I shield my emotions, attempting to look brave for those still imprisoned onlookers. The knife comes closer and closer, and I can see my homely, bruised reflection on the blade. Why would they want me? I wonder. Aren’t sacrifices supposed to be void of imperfections? But the hands, and the wrinkled face that has begun to hum to itself, do not seem to care. I feel a piercing pain in my side, and it causes me to scream in agony. The wrinkles do not hear. The knife is dragged along, beneath my skin, removing my natural barrier from the world, and I writhe in anguish. Is there no limit to the torture? I yell to no one in particular. As my skin falls to the stone in pieces and what belongs inside of me is laid, unprotected, for all of the cruel world to delight in, I recognize the tune that my slayer is humming. For a brief second, I wonder why I even care. Is this what it is to die? To let all the important things fade away, while you focus on one memory, a haunting memory that led to your horrible fate? The song is one that I heard a young man sing, a young man who had raised me and loved me, and then ruined me. He had taken me from my home, from my family, tore me away from the sturdy life I had so enjoyed, and sold me into captivity for this psychotic, sacrificing wrinkled face. I am to be her gift to her body. She is about to eat me. And what am I? Just a peeled, sliced up apple.
May 9, 2011