The venom wasn’t fatal. Breath would be drawn after the countless strikes at a fragile ego, but whatever course had been originally settled upon shifted suddenly and irrevocably. Nothing fit afterward, as if the world was composed of incongruous shapes that bore no relation to each other and floated in unfixed points throughout each day creating a sense of constant unfamiliarity.
Time passed regardless, breaths often saddled with the additional labor of sighs laced with exhaustion and frustration. To navigate in this world was to be pulled from the comforts of a hometown and dropped into into an unknown geography filled with obtuse motives and ceaseless duty, smiles defying purpose, guards posted at every turn to enforce incarceration. It became a colorless existence, not the world itself which still seemed to radiate constant, unforgiving brilliance that stabbed while suggesting times before, but the internal spectrum, desaturated and left a lean gray ensuring every emotion bled pale; apparitions hinting at feeling.
The poison had effectively robbed joy from laughter, replacing each distinct comedy with edgeless banality drawing equally characterless, reflexive chuckles as insincere as they sounded. Tears similarly would well, but never spill. The heart had lost its capacity to beat and claim its center, and blood thrust through veins on the steady rhythm of a soulless song caught in an unending loop.
This was a permanent sentence handed down because earnestness lost to savvy, honesty suffered attack with derision and crafty fingers moved to dethrone a mogul of an artificial kingdom, seen as a tyrant when intention spoke of assistance. Yet hanging was forfeit for a prolonged torture, robbing a disciplined monarch of the ability to transform, to take to air and paint with motion and color. Regression burned wings, melting promised talent and cell walls locked even as guillotines fell on the necks of conspirators, silencing the hiss of their resentment. Yet the order cast cripples, a hush falling over the restless ferocity of constant creation leaving behind bleary eyes fixed, unblinking on the designs of accomplished peers.
Blessed with skin thick enough to crack fangs, and equally gifted with greater thirst for the waters lying at the arduous journey’s close, their orchestrations trace familiar strains and over time their melodies remind and awaken the quiet convict. Asleep with vulnerable eyes, a drop of pigment stains the sea of monochrome and a fresh storm threatens to crumble shackles made strong not by the judgments passed by others, but by the solemn deposed.