⛓️ S1 EP4 // Shanked without redemption - Rock (RN)

There I was, yet again, Falling. Through a familiar feeling, something like a moon spider crawling over my body. Its icy spindling legs extract the warmth from my being, piercing against my husk. Engendering this inexplicably foreboding tingling to emit from my skin. A tingling that maliciously whispers, “accept it…There’s nowhere to run.” A force that continued to tiptoe its way through my flesh, deep into my heart, until – much like the harrowing skies above – it had eclipsed any remnants of the sun. Leaving only darkness: Obsidian skies ravaged with onyx streaks of vigour. The sheer spectacle of which left me paralyzed by its atmospheric pressures. The wind howled voraciously through my being. Squeezing a harrowing whistle from the cracks, a jarring reminder of my every misdeed. Every night defined: by my obsession, my lust, my greed, my malice. These demons: my anchor to this realm, pull me down to the source of this frigid, Soul collapsing feeling. Yes, that very familiar feeling. Akin to a mother’s love, this was an unrelenting, unparalleled, impenetrable feeling. And nothing could separate me from its Cruel hand as it held mine like a vice. A chilling ironclad blades crushing me between their tips, with a stern command over my obedience.

I know where this goes. I know how this ends.

I continued to dive deeper into my introspective peril -- falling further into the darkness while patiently waiting for my back to collapse upon the devastating and damp cobblestones. Waiting fervently to be reminded that no matter how far I run. No matter how high I climb. No matter how deep I claw, I would always return to this infernal hellscape that exists solely to distort my reality into this twisted nightmare. I was going home. And as the heart-chilling fear contorted the last supple inches of my frame into a frigid, coarse, crystalline sheet -- pleading to tear from my corpse as its frosty touch bit into my being with a burning rage eager for desolation – I could hear the first echoes of their ravenous roars, sounding like Irate whispers at this distance. But it wouldn’t last as their harrowed screams grew to famished cheers as the first glimpse of the rose-entangled barbs overtook my sight. A hypnotic setting defined by a dissonant cult harmony. A score composed from their voracious chant and the intricate weaving of the void-tainted vines. How they wove into cold steel thistles extruding from storm-weathered walls resembling the open muzzle of a wolf; fangs bore menacingly upon its prey. I continue to fall deeper into this abyssal prison. The chant grew to a booming howl as I embraced my surroundings, placing me into that familiar docile trance. I accepted my fate as my back collapsed against the wet stone floor and ripped any remnants of air left in my lungs from under me. Ricocheting into a grueling curl, I contorted into a hollow ball as if pandering for their demented fulfilment.

I laid there; in a shallow pool -- not more than a centimeter thick – that jostled at my feet, no, playfully taunted me. The onlookers above chattered their teeth incessantly, anticipating the thrill of their assault. They prepared to aim at the feral beast in their sights. Meanwhile, the rain clouds above continued to cascade over us, gradually filling my enclosure. The rose petals that dangled from the thorns encasing me fall, much like the motion of a feather swaying effortlessly in the wind, executing a delicate dance of kindness as if slowly fluttering into an innocent embrace with the waters: a kiss with solace. And as the gentle ripples reverberated through the solemn waters, a violent crack erupted from the cavernous room as the onslaught of pelting rocks clashed against my hide like an endless decadent meteor shower. The crackling whip of rocks against my skin was accompanied solely by the heinous laughter of the peanut gallery above. The dark harmonics that ensued from their cacophonous harmony anchored me as I fought endlessly against the (now over-flowing) pond to bring myself to my knees. Yet, every attempt was hampered by the consistent pummeling of the stone pellets, more like bullets impaling me, oppressing a crimson river to pour from the terrorized and abstract painting they made of my husk and into the water now suffocating the air from my nostrils. And I continued to brawl with the tide, struggling to poke my head above the water for a crumb of air.

In time I wrestled onto my knees. Well, I’m giving myself a lot of credit. In reality, I had been stripped of any choice at all. Regardless of my efforts, I was nothing more than an animal for their personal gain: to inflate their superiority, to support their dreams, to distract them from their hardships, to entertain them. I was nothing more than a pawn cast out by the masses and only permitted a semblance of compassion when it benefited the collective. I was alone, and that was reality. So truthfully, it wasn’t my efforts that left me wading in this tumultuous pool -- rather it was a new occurrence that altered this mundane ritual of mine. The waters, for whatever reason, had become frenzied as they spun cataclysmically against the enclosure tearing thorns from the walls and hurling them every which way in the wind. The same wind that now stood to protect me from the endless perils of the patrons. My head was still down, shielding my eyes from the pain I secretly yearned for. I was still shackled by my own self-loathing. But as the sovereign typhoon scaled the pristine walls, I was elevated to new heights. And as I sat in the eye of the storm, grieving to regain composure, the maleficent incantations were reduced to a hush. Arousing this impending silence, stirring an almost primitive panic within me. Could it be? After years of this sacrificial ritual, it was just over? My oppressors just casually lost interest? Am I worthless now? Without purpose? My eyes bore open, wildly darting across the waters: searching. They were prying for any trace of a lingering whisper -- scrutinizing for an indication of a spine-curdling embrace of stone. But --

There was nothing. I was nothing. 
Frenzied, I flung my head up, finally aware of the full magnitude of the events happening around me. For the first time, I discerned the sheer grandeur of this obsidian plane. This horrific storm that felt transcendent as the stone bullets that drew the blood-tainted flood I sat in was now suspended in the air by enraged winds that roared with such exertion that everything else; was forced to halt. The waters were now a valiant warrior stained by the turmoil of war -- bathed like Achilles in a vow to victory. Remarkably, leading this charge was a shimmering angel in a gallant dress of rubies and gold. A dress, and a woman, who not only escaped this temporal paradox but controlled it at will. She twirled gracefully around me, shining through the dark with an unparalleled intensity that drowned out the grime and absorbed my attention. I was so captivated that I failed to notice the trembling cracks in the wall as I crawled towards her. For the first time, I looked up.

They were still here. They didn’t matter.

I dug into the sanguine storm to make out her features: her olive skin that dazzled as if the last remnant of the sun, her hair this lush amber that ignited profound embers of hope as It glided through the win. I was wrong. She was the sun. And as I reached for her, the divine painting at work had finally been realized. Because in this finite realm, an immeasurable calamity ensued, as an untamable hurricane obeyed the orbit from the Deity of Sun.

It was under this insurmountable unity the walls of my prison collapsed. And while my waters carried me from her grace, the zealots of the past drowned below.

I couldn’t place it, but I knew her.

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