Silence is Survival

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Her breath rasped and grated in the
frightening, cold stillness of the sterile room.
She could hear the thundering stampede of her heart
and she could feel it slam against her ribs painfully –
almost as though it were a prisoner,
and her bones; made of iron.
She brought a sweating, icy hand to her
trembling lips to smother the telling noises –
silence would save her: it would be the only thing to.

Tucking herself further under the bed, she pulled her
bared knees to her heaving chest, trying to make herself
as inconspicuous as possible.
The chill of the snow-white tiles sunk into her
already frozen flesh.
Her teeth chattered loudly in the quiet and
she clenched her jaw tight –
the hand covering her gasping breath
spreading to cup her chin, forcing her teeth to grind.
She clenched her tearing eyes shut as the mantra
“don’t make a sound, don’t scream, don’t breathe,
don’t don’t don’t don’t” ran through her head.
Silence means survival, her mind screamed loudly,
silence means survival, Jean.
“Why, Miss Sullivan,” the voice – smooth as
steel and just as coldly sharp – swept over her
like the whispering caress of death and seduction
and suddenly, immediately, she knew she was gone.

As her eyes opened, the voice continued on,
clear as an angels’ tears.
“Oh, Miss Sullivan, don’t be frightened,” he crooned
as thought she were a scared child,
his devils’ eyes gleaming hellfire red and perfect, too
white teeth beaming in the dark.
“It only hurts at first, sweetheart,” he comforted sweetly,
his pristine lab coat dripping soft blood droplets before her –
it echoed in her ears like all too fragile glass shattering on pavement.
“You will only scream for a little while, dearest…”
Silence meant survival, Jean, survival.
It took only a fraction of a heartbeat for her
Screams to rent the air.

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