Site icon Alexander Hammil

Patrice Without A Light

They took her captive as she was crossing the wide streets and threw her into their society. For three days and nights she remained there, without light, terrified and afraid to move. She was fed, silently, invisibly in the darkness, and watered, once a day, so she did not suffer beyond her fear.

She slept very little.

On the fourth day she heard the sound of movement beside her and seized desperately at it, catching a wrist, an arm, in the darkness, holding the tray of her food.

“Please,” she said. “It’s so very dark…”

“We do not make lights,” said the arm, in a clear and androgynous voice. “The darkness is such a big thing, and light so small.”

“The sun… the moon… the stars…,” she said, confused and exhausted with terror.

“Well, yes, of course,” said the voice, amused. “The big lights, the eternal ones.”

“Where are they? It has been dark for so long…”

It laughed, the arm, and pulled her to her feet. She had been down for so long that her head spun and phantom lights danced before her. “You’re inside, you goofball, have you not found the door yet? Have you just been lying here in the dark for days?” It laughed again at her, and she twisted with embarrassment. Through the darkness they went, she and the arm, and then the darkness was less, and she walked beside a body, and then it was much less and she was blinded.

When her sight came back the woman whose arm she held looked eagerly into her face and then laughed delightedly. “Come, come,” she clapped, and took her hand and squeezed it.

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