Closing his eyes, he allows the cool water to run over him, around him, into him.
Closing his eyes, he drowns.
Finally, after all this exhausting time he's lived, he's finally free from all the grasping hands, all the need that was burdened on his shoulders. He can be at peace, he can close his eyes forever and forget, maybe move on into a different universe, where life ain't quite so hard.
But then, the song ends and the boy's eyes open once more to the cold, dark room where he now lives and where no one lives with him. He's all alone, particularly now, in those eight seconds between tracks. He's counted them many times – the agonizing moments he sits in perfect silence, trying his hardest not to think about what he's done. And what he's lost.
The next song starts and he lets the voices cascade into him once more, the foreign words invading his own, filling him with a forgotten purpose.
He can live now. For the next four minutes, he'll be okay.
The boy dreads the day he'll have to go out. And sooner or later, he knows that day will come. His food will run out, or his money. He's done with tap water for weeks for now, so that ain't a problem, but he doesn't have much choice when it comes to meals. He'll have to leave the house and he's terrified. Because then, he won't be able to take the songs with him, these words that give him so much more than food.
He tries not to think about that day because he feels defeated when he does, he gulps and feels the oxygen rush out of his lungs. He knows he won't survive. Not without the words. He is a child of few saviors and he stands to lose them as well. The day will come when he will walk out into the numb world that is reality and he will look at the strangers outside, like thieves. And he won't be able to stand, he'll just fall over and cry because the only people who understood him are locked up in this room and he is utterly and undeniably alone.
They have all left him. All but these voices and now, he must go out without. Soon. He hasn't looked into the fridge for three days, making due with the crumbs and scraps left forgotten on the counter. He's aware that when he opens the door, he will have to make a choice. Go out or stay in. Drown or starve. But in either case, die.
He must. The boy stands up now, quickly, before the song ends. Because once the voice stops, he'll lose courage and he'll be abandoned on this bed forever.
The boy opens the door. And he makes his choice.
They look at the boy in rags and they're reminded of a crab, scuttling across the floor of the sea. The boy walks strange, his eyes fixed on the ground below him like he's forgotten how. He doesn't look up at any of them, but they all see him. They try to make out the thin noise he's making something that resembles words. But they can't understand, so they just walk on. And slowly, the boy makes his way to the store, clutching the money in his thin hand.
And as he goes, he sings, he sings the words he's written on his arms. And the voices, they sing with him.
This is a freewrite based on the prompt 'music'. Check out @mariannewest's blog and support the freewriting community if you can!
Thank you for reading,