Yesterday was special. Yesterday was unforgettable. Yesterday was special and unforgettable, yet the dreadful aftertaste remains. To where can I seek refuge other than aboard my own ship? Alas, it was broken.
Woe to me, oh woe, and the birds no longer sing.”
―Rammstein, Ohne Dich
It was nine in the morning and the alarm was blaring like a newborn species of idiot. Snooze. His head was severely aching and his ears hurt. A short message written on a yellow sticky note caught his glimpse.
TOEFL Test―Tue 11.00 a.m.
His eyebrows frowned. It hurt badly, the headache. He closed his eyes, as if it might alleviate the pain, but the pain didn’t recede so he got up and sat on his bed, trying to figure out what was happening. Confusion set in when he saw there were blood stains on his bed. His head still ached. He was very slow in getting himself together.
Where did these stains come from?
He checked his arms first, but there were no wounds. He checked his legs, but there were no wounds. He rechecked and then he saw a single drop of blood clot on his bedside. He was on the point of near collapse when suddenly the alarm blared again. Almost with no beckoning, something electrified his mind. He was unconscious, apparently. What the neighbors didn’t know was that it was intentionally done. He chose to electrocute himself, he chose to drown, he chose to die.
The path to Paradise begins in Hell.”
―Dante Alighieri, Inferno
There was no one in Hell. There was only the Grand Inquisitor with his many loyal servants.
Facing this highly-personalized version of Hell, he was struck with terror. It was frightening, indeed, but somehow it imposed respect because of its sheer resplendence. Even the Joker didn’t dare to play his music out loud here.
“You were found guilty, and, because of the nature of your crime, I sentence you to a slow and agonizing death by a lifetime of exile, here. Your name shall be for nothing, your rights will be abdicated, and your many hours to come will not be worthwhile,” said the Judge. The Judge closed his book and turned himself into the Executioner as he walked solemnly down the staircase. One by one, the people attending the trial mysteriously disappeared, until―exactly when the Executioner stepped on the last stair―there were none left but the Just Knight.
No, please, no! Pardon, mercy, please! Please!
The Executioner stopped. “What is it, convict?” he asked with a harsh and aggressive tone.
Woe to those who live but choose not to be alive.
Suddenly, a new set of fresh pains hurled themselves at him. His vision blurred, his sensory perception numbed. His body trembled, his skin burned; his teeth clenched as the pains slowly made their way towards his brain.
The pains were tormenting. Tip-toeing on the brink of mental exhaustion, he tried to lift his blood-stained head. The crows squawked and flew in circle, just above his head. His shoulder was still shuddering when a pebble―thrown by a boy―hit him in his temple. A fresh stream of blood flowed through his cheekbone and straight into his lips. He mumbled indistinctly. His pale and tired voice was drowned by the crowd’s accusations; he knew he was a criminal. He cried, but it seemed like it hardly mattered at that point.
Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
The tear was mingling with the blood when he saw the Hand reaching out to him. He would be home, soon.
Can the ship sail with its rudders broken? Can the flower blossom with no water?
In His will, our peace.