Through the vertical slats of my self-made prison, I stared into the deep dark of the night.
Of course, in a city as large as this, with all of the surrounding lights and freeway traffic, it’s never really real night. Most times, you can’t even see the stars. The nights back home were true nights; the only beacons to guide you moonlight and fireflies.
Nevertheless, I sat entranced at the edge of my bed, my only focus the near dark before me.
I felt it call to me.
Something within its depths, unknown yet familiar, beckoned to me. I could hear its voice whispering through the trees in the courtyard, though there was no breeze. It scrabbled over the rock gardens, a slithering nothing that filled my whole world with longing. When I closed my eyes, the call increased in strength, promising my darkest fantasies come true, offering anything my imagination could conjure if I would only cross the threshold into the void.
I wanted to.
I reached between the bars of my cage to touch the dark. I kept my eyes closed, allowing the gloom full access to my innermost sanctum. The pull was almost unbearable. And though its purpose was clear, I wanted nothing more than to give in and have the essence of my being devoured alive.
Sweet release. Sweet oblivion. Sweet mercy. A solution to all of my ills purchased from a dark lover whose only compensation would be my eternal soul.
At the time, it sounded like a reasonable, feasible negotiation, and I nearly succumbed.
The soft whir of the fan shattered the silent yearning of the voice as power returned to my world. The window screen vibrated, sucked to and fro by an unheard groan of defeat.
I shook my head and shivered, saved, once again, from myself.