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His vision began to clear. He remembered everything being black moments ago. But was it moments? Or minutes? Or hours or days? He couldn’t be sure. He looked at his hands, empty. His shirt clean. Then his memories began to clear.

“They shot me.” He said aloud. His voice was there but not. I’d didn’t echo or carry. “They shot me, I remember that.” He remembered it but had no emotion. It was like a fact from the past. His past but not. Just something that happened to some one.

“Where am I?” He stood. He thought he’d be shaky or unsteady but he was not. He looked around the room. It was gray. Floor to ceiling. Not dark, but there was no light fixture to keep it from being dark, but somehow there was light.

“You did a bad thing.” A voice, from no where and everywhere said.

“What? Who is that!? Where are you?” He asked aloud. The voice echoed inside the room but his did not. It sat in the air around him.

“You did a very bad thing.” The voice spoke again. It’s tone was lower now. He sensed he should feel something but could not. “You did a very VERY BAD THING.” The voice seemed to roar those last words. The reverberated against the walls. And now he could feel something. He felt the voice echo in his bones.

He put his hands on his chest and torso, as if he could hold his insides, keep them from shaking. His hands felt wet. He pulled them away and they were bloody now. His shirt was covered in blood. He could feel the sting. It started as a sting.

“YOU HURT THOSE CHILDREN.” The voice shook the room. “INNOCENTS.”

Pain shot through him as his bones and guts vibrate inside him. He felt tears on his face as his eyes blurred and burned. He touched his face with shaky hands to wipe the tears but what he wiped away wasn’t tears but more blood. “I’m bleeding to death!” He screamed. But again his voice seemed to go no where.

“YOU ARE ALREADY DEAD.” The voice tore at him. “AND THAT IS NOT YOUR BLOOD.”

Then the screams started. Children’s screams. They ripped out of his ears, his eyes, his chest. They were coming out of him, tearing him to pieces. The pain he could not feel before received it’s revenge. It ripped its payment from the inside out. He could feel it clawing away at his chest.

“YOU ESCAPED EARTHLY PUNISHMENT. YOU SHALL NOT ESCAPE THE ETERNAL.” The voice boomed.

He fell to the floor. On his hands and knees he tried to squeeze his eyes closed. To not see the bloody gray floor before him. For a brief moment he wanted to beg.

Painful cries of broken hearts began in chorus with children’s screams, a dreadful song of fear and pain and sorrow.

He choked on blood now pouring from his mouth. “God,” he strangled out. “Please—” he began.

“I AM NO GOD.” The voice boomed. “YOU CANNOT REPENT YOUR SINS TO ME AND BE FORGIVEN.”

He gurgled a groan in misery. And then the voice was in his ears a whisper and and yet still so terrible.

“I AWAKEN WHEN INNOCENT VOICES ARE SILENCED WITH VIOLENCE. I RISE WHEN ACTS OF EVIL ARE COMMITTED. WHEN DEBTS MUST BE PAID.” The voice sliced at him like a whip. “I COME FOR THOSE WHO DO BAD THINGS.” The voice said. “AND YOU HAVE DONE A BAD THING.”

He writhed in pain. Wondered when it would stop. Wondered if it would ever stop. At the precipice of blackness, all sound stopped, and he heard nothing for a brief moment but his own struggling breath.

And then the voice spoke again. Quiet this time. “NOW HEAR THE SOUNDS YOU’VE SILENCED. HEAR WHAT YOU’VE TAKEN AWAY FROM THE WORLD. HEAR AND ANGUISH. FOR YOU WILL FOREVER ANGUISH LIKE THOSE WHOSE HEARTS YOU’VE BROKEN.

Then, one of the most beautiful sounds in all the world, the sweetest of sounds. Laughter and happiness, of children, of women, of men. For the innocent souls of those taken too soon suffer no more. In spite of what someone might want.

Uncountable moments or minutes or hours or days later, blackness turned to blur, blur turned to a gray room with light but no light. And a booming a voice from no where and everywhere. “You have done a bad thing.”


There is a conversation that needs to be had. But too many opinions of what needs to be said make peace and compromise impossible. I feign no knowledge or authority on any subject matter. I only know what I feel and believe. At some point I’ll share my options on the subject matter. But for now I’ll keep those lost, those hurt, and those left behind in my thoughts. As always. Thanks for reading.

-c