The Caged OneBy Joel John
December 17, 2018
Me: The air was calmly aloof. Satisfying. My biceps flexed along with its
comrades. My hands drew back into an arc with the weight of the bowling
ball. The swing was imperfect, that, I knew. My weak masculine figurine
pushed its strength to throw the ball. The yellow decoration lights and
graphic arts around the place seemed to stare at me for my weakness.
‘Despicable weakling.’ I swear I heard them chatter.
I didn’t care though. I let myself out with that throw.
Like a comet shooting across the skies of the earth before it bids its “hi” as it
passes the nearby planet, the heavy ball curved along the path and rolled lazily
towards the end. It was so slow it looked like it would stop in the middle of the
lane so embarrassingly. Of course, it eventually did reach its destination but
only after what seemed like ages.
Another foul play. Probably the eighth one in a row. Eight fouls … damn it. I
couldn’t get this done right even once.
I’ve dwelled deep into the arts and mysticism of literature world that I grew
feeble in terms of physique and strength but mightier in the knowledge from
the vast diversely written books. People did often tease or mock me regarding
The game got over soon. My excitement never ceased to amaze me. To begin
with, it never was there.
My mind was sad. I was sad. Everyone around me as benchmarks, I started
comparing myself with them and not long before it drove me to a stasis emotion.
Expressionless. Feeble thought. Almost dead-like. I was a living zombie you could
say. I had everything I needed, yet I felt incomplete.
The bowling session dispersed peacefully with excited winner and losers of
friendly agony. I bid them goodbyes and head down to the 5th floor of the mall.
This time of the night was when I felt alive sometimes. This was also a time
when most people rarely seemed to find themselves in. The night had
replaced the day. The sun was followed by the moon. It’s almost 10’o’clock
in the night. The ambiance is quite different from what you would experience
on a Sunday afternoon in the mall.
I calmly roamed about the floors to the burger shop to get a small quick snack
before they close down. They usually close late for the crowd that may be
waiting for the second show at the theatre above.
The growling hunger was calmed with a few chemical induced food.
I look at my watch. 10:37 PM. It was time to leave for my solitary Confinement.
I descended two floors, and while heading toward the next I sense some kind of
unease. Something out of the ordinary, a feeling of being watched. It was unmistakable.
Something or someone was watching me. My curious me on the inside urged to look for
What was that? The feeling of suspense seems to elevate at this point. A curious entity is
introduced but it remained unknown. Indistinguishable. Unrecognised.
Finding nothing on empty mall floor but for some stray souls moving back into their cages,
I kept walking.
Reaching the ground floor now, I walk towards the exit in the same, calm pace. The feeling
surged over me from the ground and through my legs and out through my head’s centre of
gravity like an expelled bullet from an invisible gun. It was a feeling. A quick one. So I couldn’t
be sure. Nonetheless, it took over my conscience and now I’m closer to finding out the truth.
But at what risk? Losing my whole self to the unknown?
My body stood there frozen like a bag of meat right out of the freezer. Should’ve I panicked?
Probably. But I was as calm as the sea on a tired little day.
The moment of truth was within my grasp. But what is this? I remember something.
I may have had an idea what it was that I’ve been experiencing lately. More than 79% of the
mall’s lights have been turned off but that wasn’t it. This darkness was different. Difficult.
Empowering and agonizing
Paranoia is often described as an illness that befalls one fearing for the silly perils that
surround them which may not be even real. You fear them like an epidemic that may
disrupt the very core of the humanity or you do not even care about it because you
have never faced such ill-fated disease, but be wary for it strikes without a warning.
Here, if I were paranoid, it would’ve served as one of those forewarnings that would’ve
made me run to a lively presence but no, instead I stay there engulfed in this feeling that
seemed new, but now I remembered that we had the displeasure of meeting previously.
‘So…you are back.’ I complained.
He speaks not a word.
”Why do you still linger oh unworthy one?” I ask again.
The words seem to speak out loud. I seem to be speaking out loud to the empty entrance
that’s only a few feet from me but it only to have felt so. Perhaps, you, the reader, thought so.
Why, oh, why? I kept asking but no reply.
Then a single piece of thought was birthed into me again. Yes, again. It came before into me
long back. The last time I met this being.
Now I remember. The caressing touch of the brittle creature from months ago. The darkness
which consumed me now felt the same as before. It has happened before, I remember. Yes.
I remember everything. The same vile creature.
A tinge of excitement rushed inside my dead, calm mind. I am, now, anew, reborn again. It
was but my other self who crawls into me during such times of loneliness. A dark being of
a colossal strength of mind but unlike my Romantic literate, he is darker than the blackest
night. Strong enough to defeat me with just a stare or with a thought strong enough to kill
my feeble, fragile mind out of existence. Such are the woes that happen to me unbeknownst
to all or at least it was so until now.
Hear me, lads. Here, me, engrossed in my attentive field. Here, myself being taken over by the
The demons mustn’t take us before we take them. Before we tame. Before we use them. The
world of surrender is only for the weak.
But now it is too late for me. My darker self-has taken over me. Now I am born anew. A new
being but a very old one ages same as my physical self. It lived inside me and still does in all of
us. I was too weak to cage him inside. Now I am him and he is me. The tables have turned. The
souls now exchanged…
Him: He was right. The weak shall not prevail. Weak must die. The world’s ours for the taking. No
one’s to defy us. Such weak creatures – mindless, sick. Dare they call us sick! Destroy them,
we must. Kill them. But first… I must gather the dark being who already exists and show up
on the news channels once in a while.
Picture Courtesy: mrlinen.deviantart