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A Sweet Death

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Drip, drip, drip…
The constant, monotonous water droplets were like a pounding of drums. One after the next, never ceasing; endless. It was enough to drive someone mad, but it was the only sound Dante could cling to in this silent prison; that and the screams. They resonated within his ears like a melody of malicious intent. On the cold, damp floor he sat, drifting in and out of consciousness. He was waiting, always waiting, for promised torment that had not come in what felt like a month’s time. Who could tell anymore? The sun did not appear. No, there were no windows. Daylight dared not creep upon this abominable, miserable place where chain links scraped across stone floors and the pitiful begged for their lives.
You could hear their whimpering if you tried, but who bothered any longer? The sound of the tortured was a torture unto itself. Their cries of anguish bleed, carved themselves into Dante’s memory for all time. The boy who sat patiently in his prison cell, still as a statue, had left the confines of his own mind long ago to escape such gruesome surroundings. No longer was he the petrified mouse hiding in the corner, but now he had become rather stoic and emotionless even as they inflicted pain upon his body. He was a delicate husk, emptied of his soul… perhaps. Keys rattled outside the doorway while a congregation whispered just outside. “Ours,” they hissed. “Ours… Our boy.”
The youth’s lips curved upward at that, finally giving some hint at life. Yours, he thought numbly. Never… was the last thought as they lifted him from his prison cell, leaving the heavy wooden door gaping in their wake and a cacophony of footsteps which sounded like echoing gunshots. Each step was more final than the last and soon Dante’s screams would meld in with the others’…



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