Libby by Wendy K

Word Count 355

Pain: a prickle of sensation that clouded the mind and slowly enveloped the body. Like fear, you could learn to overcome it, welcome it, and enjoy the sweet searing sensation like the effects of a wonderful drug. When you feared, however, your thoughts were still free to wander. But when you were overtaken by pain, your mind fell down a bottomless shaft. There, you were trapped, helpless, until the pain eased and you fell less quickly or perhaps landed on a ledge. Both fear and pain could wither your soul until there was nothing left but an empty husk.

Those who didn’t know pain pretended they did. Those who did know pain pretended they didn’t. For the true effects of pain were so frightening that those who did know it would cower away because they feared the pain would come again; eating away at the very core of their tender hearts.

Scott realized now he hadn’t truly known pain before. He had experienced just a teaspoon when, as a child, he’d been spanked, skinned his knee or got into a fight with the school bully. Just a pinch or a prickle, and he’d always had help recovering from those mild experiences. But there was no help for him here.

Hell seemed an unlikely concept. There could never exist a place so terrible or foreboding. Hell was the bottomless tunnel of pain that rotted your heart, a tiny cage in which the bars were lined with thorns and barbs. A place where misery and starvation stalked your every footstep, and any hope of escape slipped through your fingers like grains of sand. Now he knew. Now he believed. He believed in hell because now he was in it. He was drowning in it.

The feel of blood, warm and slippery, as it dripped down his back was a tangible counterpoint to the sound of singing whips, his own harsh cries, and a thudding heartbeat that pounded in his skull like waves of roaring thunder. If only this was a dream.

Unfortunately, it was real. It was happening. This really was hell…. and its name was Libby.  


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