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Vignette: Tommy Bonebrake '21

The stale air was encroaching on his nerves. He had never felt more claustrophobic, or the desire to see something new than this moment. Worn down from seeing the massive, yet one of many, burning gas spheres repeatedly rise over the dull brown of the earth.


It had been so long since he had thought of anything of substance. Constant isolation makes you forget. Forget the surroundings past that door. Forget the forest’s greens, the rose’s reds, and the sea’s blues. Forget the people who once were dubbed your ‘family’.


But now it was happening. He was thinking of a green meadow. He had not seen green for as long as he could remember. Even the blades of grass he found tucked away in a box to help him remember were now brown.


He was drained, just like the melanin from his skin. He looked out the sad excuse for a window. The harsh bright orb had one again disappeared, leaving darkness. He took this time to see his faint reflection. No mirror existed in this steal encompassed box. Nor did he even remember what a mirror was.


He stood there staring into his own eyes, unable to make out even the faintest of colors. He began to imagine how that meadow would have felt under his feet, wherever it might be. Using his imagination was something he hadn’t been able to do for as long as he could remember. However, something was changing. Something within him was awoken. Slowly stirring to wake up, like a worn man, reluctant to get ready for work. The flame of curiosity was burning brighter as he started to clearly picture this landscape.


Then the thought was ripped from his mind like a weed from a vegetable garden. The piercing hot light of the sun flooding back into view, through the minuscule window, and into his eyes. He backed away, wincing and averting his eyes from the powerful beam of sunlight. He retreated to the back corner of his steel crate, yet still not far from the window.


He slowly raised his head and looked at the dust slowly falling in the light beam. Then it happened. After all the years it finally dawned on him just as this new day had. He slowly rose to his feet and made it across the room to the door. He had finally decided to leave this enclosure and embark on his journey. It was time for him to remember what was on the other side of that door.

He lifted the heavy handle letting loose a loud, screaming noise. The lights flickered and ceased to illuminate the room. He yanked the door open and his body was ripped from the room. The vacuum of space pulled him in suspending his body surrounded by the glimmering stars. Though he’d be dead within a matter of seconds it was the first time he felt alive. -Tommy Bonebrake '21

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