The Tube

Just a few more feet. Then he will be free. He can already smell the sweetness of freedom and light. The way is difficult and becoming ever more so. His fingernails are broken and bleeding, his arms feel like rubber, but he will not give up. He wants to feel the wind in his face just once more and see the stars come out at night. He continues his effort, getting closer inch by agonizing inch. Just as his fingers grasp the edge, he can go no further. His body is immobilized. He can’t even feel his tongue. He shakes his head, banging it against the sides of the tube. He mustn’t give up! Never! Through some miracle, the paralysis weakens the tiniest bit. By the tips of his crooked fingers, he hauls his upper body over the edge. He sees a little girl. The girl stares in utter fear and astonishment. “Hello. What’s your name?” A primal scream from deep within the tube rings loud and clear. The man disappears from whence he came.

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