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[Other Original] [SWC] caged


⟡ dig down, dig down ⟡
  • 12,527
    My eyes fly open as I wake from a dead sleep with a single, piercing thought.

    I can't get out!

    I slam myself into the unyielding door, fumbling desperately with the motionless handle. My voice cracks with the power of my screams as I crumple to the floor, shoving my face against the gap just to gasp at the slightest hint of fresh air. The floor is caked in mud and filth, the musty scent of stagnant rain nearly overpowering the gentle perfume of green life that I beg for. If only someone would let me, just this once, let me out, let me out, just for a moment-

    Someone tsks, and I whip around. My mother lounges on the old brown couch, tattered by years of my own fidgeting. "Settle," she says, eyes glued as ever to the flickering television. Barely a glance for me, only an instruction. I whine, low in my throat, pressing my forehead into the barrier and sinking to the floor again. My harsh breaths bouncing off the tile mask the gentle draft of freshness and I stare sightlessly ahead as I try to regain control over my own desperation.

    How can I settle? How can I, when all I am allowed is this dim, never-changing room? This is not life!

    Out there- that is life. A whirlwind of sights, sounds, smells- new experiences, every moment, all around me, brought straight to me by the playful breeze! Blue skies, green grass, so many plants, creatures great and small! The freedom to roam, the joy of it! The entire world at my feet!

    Just beyond this fucking door.

    Let me out!

    Rattling the doorknob is fruitless as always, and I cry. I cry, and howl, and yell, and scream. I don't hear my father over the racket of my own creation, and he scoops me up into his arms. "Quiet down," he says, though I writhe and hiss. Put me down! Let me free!, I want to shout.

    But my voice does not obey, and neither does he. He never does.

    Instead, he deposits me into my mother's lap, so that he may swiftly open the door and see himself out of my prison. My mother's arms wrap tight around me and she strokes my face. "Settle," she says, as always, over the murmur of her TV programme. I grind my teeth- no matter how much I claw, kick, or bite, she will not let me go.

    So, reluctantly, with the weighty knowledge that this is the best path toward freedom, I settle to the sound of her heartbeat and the flat mumble of the television.

    "Good job, baby," she whispers, in time, kissing me on the nose and releasing her hold. I shake out my limbs and scamper away, back toward the door. The fresh gust of air beckons me forward, carrying with it the scent of wildflowers and grass. My mouth waters; I am dizzy with anticipation.

    When my father returns, I will be ready.

    This time, I will escape.​

    notes on this:
    - titles are hard, i didnt name this one till i had to make a thread. just like last year lmao
    - written last-minute for GT 2021's swc
    - - theme: frustration
    - - place: third
    - - score: 75/90

    - judges' comments:

    - i also thought i was hitting despair a little hard oops
    - yes this is a dramatization of my horrible cats who scream and smack the back door bc they want to go outside and eat grass and throw up on my carpet
    - thank you for reading
    - i will link to others' entries as they appear in ffw

    Princess by Eleanor
    A Good Year To Rawr by Venia Silente
    Twelve Years by Juno [winner!]
    Contentment by Hyzenthlay [winner!]
    The Job by 5qwerty
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