Everyone has their own image of hell. All of us at some point in our lives, have laid in bed at night and wondered at the atrocities and torment that must go on if such a place exists.
After beauty and sunlight, came the torrid fires of hell, scorching my eyelids away like tissue paper. No matter what words I choose to put down in these next few paragraphs; none of them is powerful enough to truly give you a sense of how visceral and destructive to my mind these so-called memories and images were.
To begin, it was little things: the fruit beside the bed, rotted and moving with maggots.
My injured left leg, was stretched until it was long and broken enough to twist around the bottom left wheel, on the special caterpillar bed they had me chained to. When I was wheeled into the subway, the wheel would churn my ankle round and round until eventually the stinking carrion would fall off the rubber like pieces of minced meat: the pain: indescribable
Once I’d managed to free myself from the bed, I’d see my severed leg over the far side of the subway. It would mean I’d have to drag myself through a shallow river of dead blood and rotting limbs in various states of decay. The smell was inexpressible. After what would seem like hours spent in this dark, putrid agony, I’d reach my leg and try to attach it only to realise it was someone else’s. This went on for so many years that all the limbs had turned into bits of raw bone. A femur here a tibia there and then; car headlights would confuse me until I woke, to find the tall Aborigine, stood at the foot of my bed once again. Wearing a chain of skull and cross-bones around his neck. Holding an eight foot wooden staff with the skull of some dead rabbit staked upon the top.
I’d lean over to the right side of the bed, trying to brush the maggot filled grapes aside. It reminded me of a box of marbles: wobbling around as we used to sit on the bus, waiting to go round to Tasha’s house. I’d push them aside and grab the buzzer, attempting to get the nurses attention to get rid of this scary man who had large tombstone teeth, and chanted mumbo jumbo at me whilst shaking his staff over my bed: clear smoking acid would burn through the sheets scorching my body, but then I’d feel my mother’s arm grab me from beneath the mattress, and I’d remember she was stuck inside the bed. I’d scream for someone to help get my mother out of the bed.
My eyes opened. I turned my head to my right. My beautiful mother sat beside me, gently brushing the damp hair from my eyes. “Mish, it’s just the drugs they’ve got you on. You’re fine.”