Murphy Row: I Know Why the Caged Girl Screams

Some people live in the light, desperate to keep the darkness repelled. Some people accept the darkness, and choose to coexist. A select few love the darkness; in it they find a home long eluding them. These few can be found frolicking about the corners of the deepest shadow.

In complete absence of light, darkness permeates reality. Dark becomes a constant, a given of existence. Dark precipitates every action and thus every reaction. However, add a glimmer of light to the deepest dark, and the shadows spring to life. Control the light and the shadows fall where you choose. Exhibit domain over the darkness and the light, and you create reality. After all, controlling the darkness and light is exactly how God himself got started.

The key to a God complex is perspective. A foolish man believes he is the one true god who controls the heavens and the earth. A truly smart man, a God-like man, knows the error of grandiosity. With seven billion people on this earth there are just not enough hours in the day to control every aspect of the world. A world narrowly defined world can be controlled. Attempting to extend one’s celestial reach too far is how man catches God. The one true God is smart enough not to get caught.

He called himself the sculptor, but the name was never spoken.  A sculptor begins with a block of marble and surgically removes bits and pieces of rock until he finds the beauty inside. Sculpting is the art of creation by subtraction. Taking away creates.

Before he begins, a block of marble must know she is a block of marble. Marble does not speak or move. Marble does not squirm to avoid the chisel. Marble stays beautiful and takes new shape. Blocks of marble never address The Sculptor.

She worked feverishly, her bloody, callused fingers wielding her makeshift tool. The tool was made of springs she removed from her cot and twisted together make a crude scraping tool. For hours in between his visits, she would sit cross-legged on the speckled rubber flooring scraping at the concrete in between the cinder blocks of the wall. Over time she perfected her system so she could hide her tool and look inconspicuous in the few seconds between hearing his footsteps and when he reached the viewing slot of the iron door. Today she would not need to hide her tool, she would be gone.

Her heart pounded in her head as adrenaline fueled her emaciated muscles. Her soul begged the wall to give way. Each scrape of her tool echoed by the thousands, maybe even millions in her memory. She was being smart. She had painstakingly removed the concrete mortar in a silhouette around four cinder blocks. She had been careful not to break through to the other side before she was ready to make her break.

It had been nearly five months since she noticed the dime-sized hole behind the leg of her cot. The hole let in the slightest beam of light, a single beam, her only connection to the outside world. The light seared the hope of freedom in her mind’s eye. She clung to the slightest glimmer of hope that one of his visits could be the last.

She had been right to be so cautious. Her scraping tool pierced through the final millimeter of the concrete. The extra light pouring into the room would have given away her plot.  She could not bring herself to imagine how incensed he would become if he found out. She could not risk that; she had to escape now. It had to be today, now that she had broken through to the light. The hole in the wall began to take shape as months of careful work came to fruition.

Her hands began to shake as she could feel the blocks started to wiggle. With one final scratch and a big push, the blocks were free. Light filled the cross-shaped hole where four cinder blocks used to be, and shone like God himself was waiting on the other side. A hole just big enough for her slender shoulders sat in front of her waiting for her rebirth into the world. He would be coming soon for a visit, so she had to move quickly. She got down on her stomach and manically worked her way through the hole.

Her shoulders were through the small opening. She wriggled her hips and legs across the threshold, and pushed herself up on her hands. Out of breath and heart pounding in her ears, a fever of freedom overtook her as she jumped from her knees to her feet. Blood rushed to her head and the blinding light of freedom obscured her vision for a moment. She gathered herself on trembling legs before deciding which direction to run.

She raised her hand above her eyes to help them adjust to the bright light. In the moment while her out of shape pupils struggled to restrict the light reaching her optic nerve, she began to notice. She noticed the air first. It was not moving. The light was next, it did not have the warm glow of midday sunlight; it had hellish fakeness of a fluorescent bulb. Then the floor, her eyes followed the speckled rubber flooring to the legs of a cot pushed against a cinder block wall. She felt all four walls rapidly closing in on her. With the pressure in the room mounting, she spun around four walls a roof and the floor and crashing despair.

She fell to her knees weeping from an emotional pain she could feel in every physical portion of her body. She could feel a part of her soul being crudely cleaved from her self. It was the exact same room as the one from which she had escaped with the exception of the fluorescent lights. The bulbs were the lone source of the light that had so viscously betrayed her hope.

She buried her face in her hands and fell to her knees as sobbing overcame her. She barely heard the soft click. She raised her head to see a dark room with his lights switched off. Her body began to tremble and she noticed, just behind the back leg of the cot, a small hole about the size of dime, letting in a single beam of light. She let out a blood-curdling scream.


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