He counted those steps that led to the dungeon, to the cells where faces peeped to welcome the off-and-on ‘newcomer’. He felt scared, and he felt his silence lose its existence behind the steel bars. He felt more scared of the darkness that he had yet to feel, but he had been prescient as far as that was concerned. He could feel himself sinking into the depths of the shadows that he himself created. He finally reached there. He was all alone. He knew it was high time he conceded to himself. Now he was supposed to just stare at the blank wall, perhaps want to make patterns, and then to put that thought away. But then, his never-ending thoughts were his ‘sole’ companions for a while now. He gradually realised how peaceful darkness felt, but he was scared of the light now. He could not face it. He did not want to count the days, and he did not want the nightfall in his cell to end. He liked to dance with his own shadows, paint exquisite creatures and fantasies on the vacant four-walls, but he simply forgot why he was here. He was here for a short duration, which he -by experience-knew could be prolonged by a serial killer in disguise. And yet, he was the one behind these bars. One day, after one of his soliloquy sessions, he was reminded of the out-of-a-straight-from-the-heart-novel and most-suited-to-martyrdom phrase ‘suffering in silence’. But then, he wasn’t exactly a martyr.
He became insane inside. He let his imagination run a riot and he let all his wildness run amok in that ‘wilderness’. He gave a sinister grin, and wished he could see himself. He laughed crazily, until it hurt, until the remnants of those broken pieces, that lay strewn in a chaotic fashion, came alive. His laughter and madness constantly reminded him why he was here. But then, he was his own master here. He wished he could see his eyes twinkle, but he realised he could feel himself burn with the glow inside of him. The only thing he feared now was brightness, he was terrified of the world that was different from his own. He could not ‘fit in’ there. He did not belong there. He wanted to go to sleep. He wanted to enjoy the slumber in the lap of blindness, where he could feel only himself, and nothing else. He was becoming used to it, when something made his heartbeat speed up by a few notches. He wanted the warm glow of candlelight, or maybe the soft crackling sounds of the embers, but he was about to get burnt by the sunshine outside. Ouch, it hurt to be outside. 21 days were over, and so were the days of en’light’enment. A strange thought occurred to him: photophobia. So that’s what it ‘really’ is. Maybe it was a psuedonym for solitary confinement. How metaphorical, how pertinent. He laughed his old laugh..


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