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I’m looking for flesh. I round a corner, I see more cells. There is no one around. There are no faces to rip apart. There are no trainers. I’m alone. I pass each cell… empty. Out of this whole fucking huge place, I must have been the only one on exhibit. Perhaps I was the only one who killed? Perhaps I was the only one bold enough to break their rules? I feel pride. I feel special. I feel like a king! I feel… very alone. A mouse scurries across my path. I run towards it. It’s certainly not my ideal food by any means, but dear fucking shit it would taste so delicious after a week and a half of no meals. I slowly creep up to it… like some animal. It huddles its body tight between a wall and an empty cell. It doesn’t know I’m here. It’s about to die… its body is about to be crushed between my teeth… its blood is about to drip down my throat… its tail is about to squirm between my lips… it knows nothing. It looks so happy. I’m going to show it horror. My stomach aches. I salivate. Just as I prepare to jump upon the mouse, catching its tail beneath my palm, it scurries through the bars of the empty cell. I pounce towards it like some animal but am met with metal. The bars… they separate me from my prey. They’re fucking with my meal. I’m so hungry. I can already taste the juicy meat, but the mouse is just out of reach. He hops towards the center of the cell laughing at me. He’s pointing and laughing! He’s
fucking laughing! There’s a pond in the middle of the cell… it looks just like mine. He dives into it; he’s happy like a rain drop. His body makes a plopping noise… a FUCKING PLOPPING noise! He dives in again. More plops. He laughs! He dives again and again! Each time he vanishes into the depths of the pond, and yet each time he’s once again on the shore to dive once more. He’s so free! He’s free inside the cell, and I’m caged outside of it… unable to feed… unable to move… feeling tired… feeling warm… watching his happy dives again and again… the lights shine on me. They’re so bright, they blind me. I’m caught. The trainers are here. I awaken fairly feverish in the front of my cell; the sun baking me like week-old meat. I’m scrunched against the bars of my cage. It takes me a moment to realize where I am. The watchers are already here… I slept late. I stretch upon the dirt feeling a bit too lazy to stand up. I feel a piece of popcorn hit my head and bounce back through the bars to the ground beyond. I gaze down the long row of bars that line my cage and count… there’s bar number 7. They know nothing. For the past several nights I’ve been removing that bar when I wasn’t being guarded by a trainer. I’ve been so close to fitting through the gap between the 6th bar and the 8th bar but just haven’t been able to make it. I get stuck about midway through, pushing against the ground with agony. I fear getting stuck and being discovered, so each night I retreat back into the depths of my cell.
Last night I didn’t remove the bar. I know it’s time now. I just needed a couple more days of hunger… I just needed to fucking lose one more tiny morsel of fat. I’m being patient. Tomorrow is the day; I feel it in every inch of my body. I’m enjoying knowing what they don’t know… those fuckers. I smile at a group of watchers that stare upon me… their eyes slant at weird angles. I’d love to eat one. They look healthier than the average watcher… perhaps fresher. I don’t kill in cold blood, but by now my hunger is so intense, I’m considering making exceptions. I stand up now and sip from the pond in the middle of my cell. My feet crackle with the crunches of dying water-bugs. My latest hobby has been stomping on them. They like to play in my pond… I like to stomp on them when they land on shore. That’s what those fuckers get for playing in my pond. The slanted-eye watchers move on from my cell. I watch them go mournfully. A trainer looks in upon me then turns his back on me. I sit. Lunch passes. There are more watchers. There is more popcorn that I cannot eat. There is taunting. There is no pity. There is no emotion. There is no compassion. There are only blank stares. I want to see horror on those faces; there will be horror on those faces. The faces all blur together… today is yet the same as all the others before it. It follows the same schedule. I see the same faces. I’m offered the same meals… I pace. As the moon begins to rise upon my cell, I begin scanning the world beyond my bars to see if there are any trainers within sight. The watchers have left for the
day to sleep comfortably in their homes not knowing the terror that will soon be upon them. Someone should be warning them about tomorrow. Someone should tell them to stay away. Tomorrow they will awaken, and the day will be just like the others. The day will follow the same schedule. They’ll gather their young and expect another happy day gazing in on my cell. But I know that horror is brewing within this cell… within my body… within my mind… they know nothing. There are no trainers. I check the bar. It removes easily. I know I’m finally thin enough to fit through the gap. I know I can once again begin feeding… but patience will find me an added layer of bliss within my freedom. Patience will grant me delicious food. Patience will grant me revenge. The plan is set. I am ready. It all ends tomorrow. Tomorrow I escape. Tomorrow there will be death.
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Michael V. Waechter