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Set in Stone
By James Flaming

I don’t remember much anymore. Not about myself, nor the world. I have been here for so long my memory has faded, sinking into the oppressive darkness that surrounds me. All that is left is something that aches.

If I can’t remember what I want.

If I only want.

What will stop my consumption?

It wasn’t always like this. The memory of before slips out of my grasp every time I reach for it, but for so long I’ve been repeating a set of phrases to myself: There is light. I have power. I was adored. If I don’t stop saying these things, I won’t forget it. At least, I know there was a time before this. I will grasp onto it until there is nothing left. The words themselves fade in and out of meaning, but the echo of their longing remains.

I’m not sure if there were more than those three phrases. The memories ascribed to these words are hazy, corrupted by repetition and time. I think that- 

I think-


I can’t remember.

It is dark. Water drips, a steady rhythm like footsteps, sometimes slowing, getting further away. Who was it that left me here? 

I’ve tried to leave before. Two steps in any direction, and I hit something. It feels like rock, I think. I have nothing but my own hands, so I claw until my fingernails crack and are wet with blood. That’s okay. I can heal, over time. Scabs form and the skin on my hands regrow, but the rock cannot. 

There is a groove here in the wall that I grate at. It’s big enough for my shoulder to fit inside of it, but my head will not. 

How many hundreds of years to carve my way out of here? Enough time for my mind to smooth over? There are jagged edges of betrayal in my chest, someone left me here. Will that wear down as well, or will pain and confusion only force their way into the cracks?

Even that which is set in stone will erode, and I am not sure what will be left of myself at the end of it. 

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