Freedom Lies Nowhere

Sister Laura backed down the hallway. The still, warm air was heavy with the smells of dust and flaking paint. A drift of pink fur spilled out of a crooked hole in the baby-blue painted plaster wall to her left. In front of her, the stereo set blocked the only way out she could see, its dial pulsing dimly with a sick green. The green of radiation in B-movies, the green of glowing, eyeless, toothy fish at the bottom of the ocean, the green of fungus on a dead dog at the bottom of a well. She backed into the door at the end of the hall; hard – she bruised her ankle and yelped, a barking sound muffled by the thick air.

The needle screeched across the spinning black disc and the album jumped off the turntable and spun smartly in the air, neatly landing on the spindle.

“The time you ran was too insane,” Jim Morrison’s disembodied voice moaned, and the record skipped. “The days are bright and filled with pain.”

The needle hopped in the groove like a teardrop in a hot skillet.

“Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain.”

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