Lullaby // Yashfeen Baloch

I’ve been here for, actually I don’t remember.
Maybe it’s been a week, or a month or months,
I don’t even know if its day or night,
I actually can’t tell.
All the time its dark in here,
but sometimes I see stars and moon,
I don’t know if these are real or I’m just hallucinating.

Maybe I’m hallucinating, because bad girls don’t deserve to see anything besides the dark.         

But darkness is not black for me, not anymore.

I sometimes see birds, fairies, elves, goblins and other creatures, waving at me, sometimes laughing as if enjoying my punishment

“Oh, little children, you mustn’t leave
for if you do leave,

your families for you will grieve”

 You hear that voice, it’s the only music I’ve heard so far, it’s good, it’s better than the sound the blade makes when it cuts my skin, its better than the shrieks and pleads

“Their minds will unravel at the seams
allowing me to haunt their dreams”

Yes his voice, low, hoarse, scary but I’m used to it, in fact. I think I’m here for a very long time.

But then I feel the pain in my body and I’m not used to it, maybe it’s not been that long, when my fingers trace my skin I can feel every cut is still anew, some are healing, they formed a scab, I like scratching them, and when the blood draws I taste it. It tastes good, better than the things he makes me eat.

 “But surely, all of you must know
that it is time for you to go”

It’s been a while, since he hit me,
maybe he’s dead in his room, maybe his body is rotting away
I should run,
I try to look for something, anything that can help me,
I found the keys, why didn’t I try before.
A tear escaped my eyes and rolled down to my cheek,
I’m finally going to escape.
I’m finally going to see the sky,
the sun
and flowers.

I put the key in the keyhole,
its open.

I hope its not another dream.

I put my feet on the ground slightly, I’m afraid it’ll all disappear if I touch the ground,

It doesn’t.

My legs are wobbly,
as I fall on the ground, its solid.
Not an illusion,
I’m sobbing,
I’m crying out of joy.

I’m running,
I’m running far away from him.
I don’t want to look back.
I don’t want to go back.

It’s been years since I escaped,
freedom is beautiful,
I think that was just a nightmare.

I shouldn’t be thinking about that.
I look at the sky instead,
then I hear something,
a distant voice,
someone’s singing a lullaby.
I can’t make out the words,
but it isn’t sweet,
a hoarse voice it is,
suddenly a shiver runs down my spine,
I feel a sting at my cheeks,
a wet line trickles down my nose,
I can’t see the blue of sky anymore.

“I don’t want to wake up please”
Someone’s pleading,
another pang in my shoulder,
the sky’s disappearing,
or maybe it’s just the sun setting,
but it always been day since I escaped,
never, for even once, night approached,

the voice comes again,
clearer this time;

“Oh little children, you weren’t clever
now you shall stay with me forever”

“Alas! I woke you up from your sweet slumber”
I can hear the smirk in his voice.

I realize now,
I never escaped, I’m still captivated,
“please let me sleep”
I know he never listens yet I’m pleading.

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