Before our births, void of choice, we became part of the story,
During our lives, with a choice, we can't escape the story,
After death, abandoned choice, the story continues to seep.
- Andrew Mansell

Month: December 2012

Cali’s Gate

Andrew Mansell

The chill of the wrought iron gate handle cuts through my fingers. I struggle to release its wedged latch. Above me, iron spearheads pierce the smoggy haze in search of the full moon. The moon flickers like the turning lamp atop a lighthouse. It flickers less often than expected though, as if faulty. Teardrops, the colour of black night, appear and slither down the spears’ bars. Through the bars, I can barely make out the shadowed outlines of Cali’s grey stone house.  She could have at least left one light on. That’s Cali though; I find her indifference desirable. I have no choice but to push harder. The latch finally releases, keeping the skin off several of my knuckles as a memento. Best leave the gate open.

No form of light, not even moonlight, ever reaches the dank entrance to Cali’s. She says the old prison is built of bluestone but never once have the stones been that colour. I knock on the hulking iron-clad door only to hear a dull sound instantly dissipate as if it just got lost. I wonder if the sound made it through to the other side, to Cali. Cop this door. I bang as if I’m angry till my hands lose feeling but I’m still left with no clue as to where the sound goes. Cali’s gate closes and I sense a being pace to and fro behind me. I hope the being is of a prison officer, here to protect me and not one of the prisoners in search of revenge.  I glance back to see nothing. Surely, it’s just the gate’s beating shadow. I keep banging the door; my knuckles scream. By the time Cali appears, my blood has dried and become just like the other numbers scraped into the impenetrable door.