Two Men in the Blackness

For so long there was no sound but silence in this place of cold, dirty blackness.

“I used to be something. My name was Nickolai. I worked, I had a family, a wife and two children. I worked hard. I enjoyed my family. I wasn’t there enough, but we had some good times you know?” It took him a while to express these words from his parched mouth, he licked his lips and inside his mouth to gain more moisture for his words. It made him feel human again to speak, no matter how much it hurt his dry throat.

… a long time passed before the other man spoke aloud.

“I used to have a family once, too. Marie was so kind and so beautiful with her warm golden brown curls that bounced when she laughed. We had kids, too. They were young when I last saw them. My name is Craigaria.” His words were spoken in a whisper.

Both men became lost in their own thoughts of their own memories… even without words, the silence wasn’t so strong any longer.

“I have not thought of the happy times in so long. Long have I been lost in the thought of getting out of here and how will I get back, but I can’t just accept that those times may be just a memory now.”

They were both quiet.

Time passed.

Softy, Nickolai’s voice cracked in the most quiet whisper, “So, I guess, this is where we are going to die.”

Craigaria thought “don’t want to die here. I don’t want to die yet. I don’t know why I’m here. I don’t know what I did. Why would they put me here? It’s not like I’m a criminal… but even say I was, I am still a human, why am I laid to waste like this??” He wanted to put these words into the air, but the pain of these thoughts took his breath away so that words expressed into the blackness was impossible, instead he just gasped for the air that felt vacuumed from his lungs.

The two men, alone in the blackness, shared the same expression of pain. They were eternally separated from anything that was ever good in their lives before.

 

Neither ever spoke again.

One day, Nickolai noticed that Craigaria’s breathing was no more.

He did not know it possible, but his heart broke completely in that moment with such pain and such loss so as to completely consume his entire everything. He cried such tears of pain and loss at the experience of seeing another man’s life be so completely robbed. He never was given another chance. No one deserved that. No one deserved Craigaria’s fate. His pain wracked through his body, sucking the life out of him and leaving him without will.

He took in one more breath, a calm settled into him, a clarity, sense of acceptance settled in, he looked in the direction of Craigaria, realized that such was his fate as well and let go.

He closed his eyes and all his will to live left him and he breathed no more.

No one ever disturbed the bodies. No one even remembered that they were there. No one remembers their crime or their punishment. Their family’s never knew their fate.

 

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