In suffocating darkness,
Weary eyes blink slowly at the wall
Facing away from beams of moonlight
That stream through dusty blinds.
Sheets rustle and the bed frame creaks
Something pokes the back of your head
As hot as a brand but cold enough to petrify you.
A gruff voice orders you to keep quiet
But your thoughts are loud with questions
And the looming possibility of death.
Fear chokes your breath.
You can almost smell gunpowder mixing with blood
As the point on your skull moves down
Over the nape of your neck following the curve
Of your spine to the small of your back.
You wait for something, anything to happen
As your heart pounds in your chest
And you taste bile at the base of your throat.
The longer you wait, the more courage you gain
Until you finally throw your head over your shoulder
Only to see
The burning never goes away.