The box

The sounds outside of the box are loud, a constant cheering and deeper rumbling. I itch to move sideways a few steps but there’s no room. The weight on top of my back shifts and settles. I trample in place a few times in anticipation of what’s to come. I toss my head up three times. 

I know what’s going to happen, I’ve been through this before. I trample again. The usually steady beats I hear in my ears are frantic. My feet hurt, but less than before. They’ve done something to them, lessened the pain. Something in my leg doesn’t feel right. They’ve done something to that as well, but it aches even more now. What they did wasn’t pleasant, it never is. I don’t like when they wrap up my upper lip and squeeze it tight. Maybe they think it distracts from the other pains they cause me. I toss my head up three times.

I stamp my good foot, scrape it along the ground. I feel more invigorated than normal, more excited. As if something in me wants to burst. I want to burst. Burst out of this box. The sounds are so loud.

The weight on top of me shifts again and the tension in my mouth changes. I know what this means. The box will soon open. The things I see look different. My vision has changed. I have a strange sensation in my head. I toss it up again, three times. 

The box opens. I sprint forward, glad to be out. I need to move, something inside of me want it. My heart feels like it’s about to explode. I run faster, spurred on by the sharp whipping pain on my buttock. With every breath, my chest hurts more. Still I run. I can’t stop. My feet hurt.

The others are all next to me, running along. I don’t hear the sounds anymore. It’s replaced by rapid beats. The beats are different to what they normally are. Irregular.

I accidentally veer to the side, touching one of the others. It was only a slight push, but enough to make me lose my steps. I trip. I’m not sure how often I tumble. The weight on my back is less, now that I’m lying on the sandy ground. I think I see the human lying a little bit further. I want to stand up but my leg doesn’t work. I can’t get up. Excruciating pain in my leg. I still want to get up and run more. The beats are wild and hectic now. Hands cradle my head, keep it down. I want to lift it, I want to get up.

I only see shadows and blurred colours. My eyes don’t work like they normally do. I’m terrified. A sharp stabbing pain in my neck, followed by a cold sensation under my skin. I stop breathing. I force out another breath. It’s difficult. My eyes close. The beats slow down.

The beats stop.

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