• I stared out at the clouded sky, trying to catch a glimpse at the glowing orb that

    was the moon. All I could spot in the inky darkness was a very faint glow, much like the

    shine of a lone firefly, proclaiming its faint existence to the world.

    I pulled on an itchy woolen sweater as the night deepened, chilling the stale, damp

    air of my cell. I reluctantly let go of the rusted metal bars, rubbed my growling stomach,

    and curled myself into a tight ball in the center of the room. The silence, almost deathly a

    moment before, was broken by the terrifying scuttling sound of unseen creatures. I

    wished with every cold, hungry fiber of my being to be what they were.

    Rats. The only creatures, apart from annoying flies and biting mosquitoes, that

    knew how to get in and out of my prison. I stood up as quietly as possible, hoping against

    hope that they wouldnt find me tonight. Thin as a wraith though I may have been, those

    creatures, if they found me, would dine royally upon my flesh.

    At least, I thought to myself, If I die, something in this cell will get a meal.

    I awoke to a gray morning and a chill that bit down to the bone. My limbs

    were as stiff as iron bars, my skin so numb that when I touched my hand to my

    shriveled belly, warmed by the sweater, it felt like a strangers. I had spent the night not in

    the middle of the room like I had originally intended, but instead in a half crouch on a

    narrow ledge I had never noticed before that ran alone the left wall. It wasnt the height

    that protected me from the hungry little beasts, but the fact that the flimsy ledge was to

    only spot in the tiny cell that was even barely lit by the dim light of the cloud-shrouded

    moon. I could see the scuttling shadows of the rats from this point, and would kick and

    step on them if they came close.

    Desperately, I rubbed my body down in an attempt to get my circulation going. I

    whispered out a cry of pain as the ice in my veins began to melt, and I started to regain

    feeling in my be-numbed extremities. Instead of feeling warmth return, I experienced the

    pain of (seemingly) thousands of shards of frozen blood start traveling through my body,

    shredding my insides. If there had been a bucket of ice in this accursed place, I would

    have leaped inelegantly into it in an attempt to re-freeze my poor tortured body. But then,

    that would have done nothing less that kill me, I was sure of that.

    Perhaps that wouldnt be so bad. I thought. Alas, there was no such salvation.

    So instead, I started jogging slowly around the small room. A strange thought

    occurred to me as I cried hot tears down my icy cheeks, causing me more tingling

    pain than it did relief.

    I suppose it must smell quite offensively in here.

    Having no place to properly excrete waste I had been forced to use a corner of the

    room. Even the night creatures avoided that corner now. I, however, seemed to have lost

    my once acute sense of smell.

    My body slowly warmed itself, and, exhausted, I collapsed against a wall. After a

    moment of blessed rest, I climbed up the wall to check the position of the sun. I couldnt

    quite tell, but it appeared to be mid morning. All I could see was a soft, angelic halo of

    light slowly climbing the steely sky. I could not, as was usual, see the ground. It was

    always shrouded in mist or perhaps clouds. I did not know how high up I was.

    Apparently, I had jogged around my cell in a hazy half sleep for over an hour.

    This became more believable when my trembling legs collapsed underneath me, and I

    landed rather hardly on the chill gray stone of the floor. Instead of getting up, I fell over

    weakly, gazing at the rusted steel door across from me.

    The tiny window that had always been open at the very bottom of the door had

    been barricaded up with wood planking during the night. I gazed down at my near

    skeletal figure with a sigh. That had been the slot where they pushed to food through.

    I suppose they intend me to starve. Oh well, perhaps I will learn to like the taste of raw


    My eyesight grew as hazy as the sky outside as I absently counted the squares of the cobblestone floor, and eventually I fell asleep to the lullaby sung to me by my dying stomach.

    Perhaps I wont wake up,

    I mused.

    I guess that wont be so bad.