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Voices Inside My Head This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Empty echoes
came from voiceless mutes
and shook the cave
I call my home,
reverberating in ancient, stone domes
until they reached my ears.
Wordless noises deafened my ears;
softened drums accustomed to dim silence in the gray dark
from the many hermit years I've spent here-
my life's preference of recluse.
Sharpened eyes scan in the lightless abyss
and focus on damp, cold-as-death walls,
searching for a sightless sound that startled my peaceful, hazy sense.
Beads of sweat dripped from my hairline
before freezing in the chilly parlor of my abode.
My skin grew clammy as it felt panicked screams
flitter and vibrate between the raised hairs of my head and limbs;
the empty echoes spoke.
These strangers called my name,
a name they learned from the whispers of my traitorous, gaping grotto,
and carried me on the wind of their invisible words
to rebirth my ears, and cast away my darkened eyes.



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