Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Chamber of the Sun"

It's week five of my essay or short story postings. This week I have yet another offering from If - E - Zine(tm) from Issue #1 originally published in August of 2003. Enjoy.


"Chamber of the Sun"

by Charles Shaver

This work was originally written and dated 9 October, 1994.
© 2003-2006 Charles Shaver


The gate slammed shut behind me with a thunderous clang that was sent echoing throughout the chamber. My hands were filled with pools of sweat that soaked through the sleeves of my jacket. The chamber was cold and dark and dank with moss and dew. I stumbled in the dark to find the little bench in one of the four corners. I laid there on the little bench until I was finally able to sleep.

I awoke some time later, but how much later I do not know. I struggled to sit up. Leaning against the seeping wall, I looked up to have my eyes meet with the first rays of sunlight entering the tiny window high above me. I wanted to see the beauty of the sun, so I stood to cross the chamber floor. As I did, a loud screech pierced the silence and wafted up into the space far above. The tiny rat scurried from under my foot squeaking in agony.

I laid myself against the wall and looked up once again to see the window. I wanted to reach up and touch the sunbeam and have its fingers caress my hand, but my hands and arms were bound. It was that damnable jacket. Why in God's name did I need to have it on, anyway? Why was I being tortured by these people? What had I done?

"Nothing!" I screamed. "Not one damn thing. And yet they still torture and rape my soul and penetrate my body with those instruments of death. I should kill them all! If only I had that freedom."

I could see that the rays of light had descended to rest upon the wall just above my head. I trembled with anticipation and delight at the thought. For the first time in what must have been several weeks I would be graced with the sunlight. This must be an act of God.

"Oh, please," I prayed, "Please bless my being with the warmth of your love from the sun's blast of rays." The light of the sun moved so slowly. Then it came. The slight cringe of metal on metal from the lock on the chamber's gateway.

"No!" I cried out. "Dear God, no!" I tried to jump to have my face splashed with the light, but fell instead into a tiny pond of mud and moss below my feet. Two men picked me up, checked the straps on my straight jacket, and carried me off to the darkness where I would continue to live in the shadows.

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