by Kadijah Runge

It was cold and dark. The darkness seemed to suffocate me. I felt sick from the smell of rotting flesh. The barred window on the opposite side of the room was my only source of air; and light, but even that wasn't sufficient.

I looked over to the window, tried to stretch my neck to see out it, but no such luck. I had been in here too long and my bones ached from stiffness. That window was my only connection to the outside world; to society. Not that society really wanted much of a connection with me with me anyway; but that connection was there none-the-less.

The dapples of sunlight that broke through the window created a grid-like pattern on the base of the cell. The rats that have kept me company for the past two years scurried along the shadow lines, not wanting to be subjected to the harsh sunlight.

I sighed. All I wanted was to be outside, that's all I've wanted since they brought me in here. Freedom; the ability to see my family. However, like society, my family wanted little, perhaps nothing, to do with me. Even if we were allowed visitors, they wouldn't come. And this was fair enough; I betrayed them and I betrayed myself.

I never really did have a connection with those around me. I was a person who would much rather be alone than to be out at the markets. It wasn't like I initially never wanted to be an avid participator in society, but from an early age I was frowned upon by many, and from then on I decided it was better to stay alone. They pointed at me and luaghed at me when I was little; which eventually escalated to stones being thrown at me when I would walk down the streets. They thought I looked funny, that I walked and talked weirdly; that I in no way belonged.

I was denied a normal childhood for being different to those around me; because they couldn't accept me. But isn't that always how it goes? People's inability to accept differences; the they had of the unusual, would ruin lives.

All I can say, really, is that I got them back for the years of torture they put me through; every second I returned to them. On some level I felt remorse. Being alone, locked away, was so different to being alone but free, and it gave me a lot of time to think. I should perhaps not have done what I did and I could have potentially handled things in another way; better. But it was too late now. What's done was done and no amount of remorse or guilt would change that; or would ever bring them back.

I looked towards the window again, however instead of attempting to stretch my neck to see the towns people on the ground, looked up to the sky. I searched in the clouds for answers, for redemption, but no such thing was found. There was so much beauty in the sky it made me wonder how people ever got to be so ugly and cruel; myself included. Why could we not soak up the beauty of the world around us? Let it soak through every orifice in our bodies and creaty beauty in our hearts and souls.

I shook my head and sighed again. One could wish, could the not? I cringed as I remembered what today was; why I was looking for redemption. Two years was up; I was no longer being held. My wait was over.

A loud bang at the door caused me to jump slightly. A guard opened the heavy metal door, unlocked my shackles from the wall and dragged me by my bound hands. As I stepped out of my cell, the sunlight hurt my eyes and I winced.

\"The sun will be gone soon,\" The guard said as he led me down the hallway. I looked out to the left and saw them; the gallows. I bowed my head and began praying for the lives I took; and for myself.

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