by Lewis

Drip. Such a simple sound and a simple action. But it is repeated over and over. The room cries endlessly. There is nowhere for him to avoid the drops. At times he feels like he is in a box at the bottom of the sea. Surely eventually it will burst and then wash him away. But it doesn’t.

Time left long ago. Night was locked up in a security office, day was buried in the back yard. He no longer checks his empty wrist for his watch. Habit had been dragged out screaming with Time. The dim bulb overhead was constant. Timeless. Endless. On.

When he can focus long enough he wonders why he is still here. Why the water hasn’t risen. Or just seeped through. Why he hasn’t just been killed. Sometimes he remembers being taken underground but with so much water coming in, he chooses to reject this. It doesn’t make sense. He prefers to think he is under the sea.

He doesn’t know when food comes or how. But when he wakes from his sleep, it is there. He doesn’t dream. He’s glad. Dreams offer him, something that isn’t this. He fights the idea there is anything else. How can there be when there isTime. When habit died, Hope followed soon after.

There is no water offered other than that of his physical home. The inch high carpet he wades in. The tears endlessly falling. He wonders why it is not salty. He does not thirst.

There is no window. Why bother when there isn’t even a door. A door would let the ocean it. Or something else, which scared him just as much. Just square stone wall. Sound is dull, unoriginal, repetitive. Drip, drop. Nothing else. A splash maybe if he moves quick enough. He doesn’t speak. No other sound. Once he shouted but it stole so quickly into the walls he was scared his voice would never come back.

And then.

Click. A soft sound.

He didn’t hear it he thinks. But he did.

The gentle noise shakes through his skull echoing a hundred times. Click. And then he sees it. A thin crack in the wall. He can barely see it but it’s there. No. It’s nothing.

He can’t see it.


Time passes.

Then he realises that time has passed. The thought shocks him. How much time? He checks his wrist but there is nothing there. He looks at the wall. Is there a crack?

He tries a foot tentively in the water. He doesn’t like to leave his ledge. The water is expectedly cold. A gentle swirl of water ripples across the room. Like a thought once begun, impossible to stop. He places his other foot in the wet. Slowly he wades to the wall.

He runs his hand across it. Nothing. It is nothing. He pauses. Closes his eyes. Feels the water brushing his ankles, feels the drip of salt less tears drumming against his body. The same things he always feels. And then. Air. Fresh. Different. He places his hand on the wall again. His eyes still closed. It is there. Running down the wall. A thin crack of air.

“No” he says before he can worry about the words. His voice echoes. His fingers scrabble at the crack. Something shimmers in the water. a thin strio of metal. It must have been from his bed. Something flickers in his heart. It hurts. He hates it. He cannot believe it. But it is hope. He bends down and picks up the metal.