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Prisoner 21

Shackled, stripped naked, they dragged her. She grit

her teeth, bit her lip. Blood poured,

drip drip—scarlet on white. Inside out, a superficial

white hell. She loathed her microscopic cell, despised the prison’s

clinical eyes, probing under her skin. Self conscious,

ugly as sin.


She craved for clothes but they cloaked her in icy dirt. Biting decay

gnawed, rancid rot mauled, insisted she choke—she resisted,

crawled, stood numb, dignity drip dripping. Hauled

onto a steel slab, they tried to

smother her, laced her face with acid, she bawled—screamed at searing

heat crawling her skin, but they scowled—dug in. She lay burning, they

hurled singeing chemicals at her. Skin-deep in agony she rued her crime—pleaded, moaned. A new nauseating ache seized her frame, she heaved,

groaned, wave after wave of paralyzing charge pierced

her membranes. She tried focussing, evoking a time she’d felt free, no

pain. But saw in vain

her charred body smoking, drip dripping its cindery skin.


Later, esteemed experts had full control, brilliant white teeth beamed:

“Trust us, we can set you free—make you feel whole.”


They began shredding her. She passed out. Red pigment flew about,

drops of life hit sterile white walls—drip drip, blood shed. Her skin

slashed, peeled back—they ransacked; erased her organs,

replaced with sinister fakes. Ligaments to break, they blasted her hands,

tied vessels into knots, gouged her glands. They sewed her spleen

to her spine. Sucked

life from tiny air sacs, then meters of intestines—ripped, hacked.

Cartilage and arteries cut, tissue and tendons lifted, laid parallel.

Reshaping her larynx, her voice grafted well—now hugging

her gut. They hummed

as they mutilated. Then moved on. To the next cell.


Time passed; the prisoner came around. She struggled for sight, still

bound. Pus oozed from her eyes. She rolled them wildly, but plastic

white was all she could see. Her mouth opened to scream, but the muffled

wail seeped from her belly instead. Guards rushed in glee, thrusting

giant mirrors they gushed, “No pain, no gain”.

She stared in dread at the thing...her reflection. Drip drip, artificial

tears slipped, ruptured her wounds. She wished she were dead.


But later, time now on her side, her assets frail, the pacified prisoner

was bailed. She stood staring at the perfect

sculpture in the mirror.

And smiled.


She was free.    


For now.  

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