ARCHIE'S JOURNAL
by Michele

In the Hole

A part of me wishes I had pen and paper, with which to record my
thoughts, for any activity at all might help the time to pass.

But then, it is just as well, for I would sooner hold no reminders of
this time.

If ever this time does pass...

And of such, I have no firm knowledge, for its passage (or my
perception thereof) is altered here. Each day is a week, and each
night is endless perdition. I cannot navigate time based upon meals
either, for those have long ceased, and I eagerly greet even the
leavings of bread and spoilt fruit that are, at my captors'
whims, occasionally cast down upon me.

And which are often accompanied by the most horrid insults and
threats I have heard since Simpson last haunted my waking hours, and
my nightmares. I do not know if the guards realise that I understand
nearly every word they are saying...

If only the nightmares I now know were the worst I were to suffer,
for even they are a welcome escape from the reality imposed upon me
by cursed consciousness. I cannot remember when I ceased to feel my
legs, and when the first hot-cold sensations of prickling segued to
compleat numbness. In some ways it is better than the aching I
endured the first day or two that I was imprisoned here, but in some
ways not, for I fear if I remain here for much longer I may never
regain their use.

O what a pathetic shadow of a man I would be then! Plagued by fits,
and not worthy to serve; taken at the first by the enemy because of
my infirmity; and now, at the last, cast into the bowels of the earth
and left for dead -- or worse, to survive a helpless invalid,
forgotten by family, and by shipmates.

And that is the worst of it: Knowing I am a forgotten man. Though
my body is imprisoned, scarcely able to move, my thoughts remain
active -- thoughts of my ship, and of those still living their lives,
as I once did. I weep and there is no-one to comfort me. No-one to
have a care for my solitary existence, and no-one with whom to speak
of my nightmares, to dispel them, and to dispel the darkness in which
I live.

Never have I felt so utterly and hopelessly alone.

I long now only for either of two things: One, the luxury of my
cell, where I could stretch my useless limbs, and where perhaps my
inside would not ache so, for lack of food, and for want of relieving
myself like a man.. or even like a human being. Better still would
be a second alternative, which would be death, and an end to my
suffering, and my worthless, forgotten, solitary existence.

But neither shall be mine. For my entire world -- and my life -- is
nothing more than the confines of this dark, cold hole in the earth.

I must teach myself to numb my soul, as my legs are numb. For if I
allow myself to feel, I will surely not survive this.