The darkness was thick, palpable.
Tacky and stuffing; the stuff of suffocation.
All the earth was under this blanket, this dark. And it was heavy.
A pressing thing that made everyone want to sleep and sleep and sleep…
He had to get over the wall.
He had to get across the border, before She found him.
Fingers breaking, nails shattered—nothing but sticky splinters—and still his hands groped the stones in the wall, looking for a hold.
Looking for something—something!—anything to help him up and over and on his way to
A solid support.
A genuine outcropping. Thin like him. Angled like him. Almost hopeless.
With a sob and the strength only the dying know of, he lifted himself from the shadow sodden earth, and fumbled for another hold.
Mossy, slimy, nasty stones; all of them.
Slicky, sticky impossibilities, never giving a hope of transcending the dark, of reaching the top and rolling over to a blind and better side.
There was no hope in the feel, in the voice of the stones.
But he was a desperate man.
He was a dying man, who wouldn’t live through the night.
Gaunt and feeble, he was a corpse without a coffin, guaranteed doom before dawn.
“Jus… Just wanna die in the grass,” he panicked, reaching, reaching for another stone to-
And he lifted up another little ways.
Yes, dying in a coffin of grass, with the air of freedom as his final nail.
How romantic he’d painted the other side of the wall. How lovely and righteous it seemed to the dying man, the very nearly almost dead man who’d never seen it.
That is what the desperate man wanted.
Because to fall and end up with Her… With Her in the dark…
He grunted at the thought; a pitiful grunt of a man who has cried so often he can’t cry anymore, and instead just grunts.
Like a beast.
Like the beasts.
Like the very beasts he heard now, calling out in the darkness from whence he’d run.
He heard them.
The sounds of sirens, of the barking dogs, of the shouts of men. They were close, and he was still climbing; still had a mountain to go. But he wanted out,
he so desperately wanted out
so he reached for another stone.
Then, he slipped.
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