THE BLOODY CHAMBER
I reminisce about the place once considered a sanctuary for those who had been refused and abandoned simply for how and who they loved. It was a chamber, in which love and acceptance would travel in the form of a wave – a pulse – that would be echoed and amplified by the souls of those who found solace within its sacred walls. In this haven, scars of the past were marks of strength and beauty, the hurt of the present was a recurring wake up call, indicating that one was still alive, and worries of the future were a sign of a likelihood that a future was possible. The chamber was a safe space.. was.
The beast disturbed our privacy. He stormed our sanctuary disguised as one of our own, no one could have possibly known. How could they? He looked just like us – hurt and seeking resilience. The only difference, however, his hurt would soon take the form of 202 bullets. One after another, the fragments of his fury were hailing upon the unsuspecting souls present on the dancefloor that night. What was once a lively haven had turned into a hell where the illusion of death was the only thing keeping people alive, for some, that came naturally as they had spent most of their lives being as good as dead to the people around them, the cloak of fatality had, unfortunately, already become all too familiar. Death was in the air, on the ground, slathered across the walls, sprayed on the ceiling, on the bodies and minds of the victims and survivors – death had become a state of being. 49 beautiful lives taken by the rampage that froze time within the walls of the bloody chamber and 1 by the system that failed them. The beast had been conquered, he’d been struck to the heart, his body now laying lifeless among those he killed – literally and figuratively – but even in the supposed comfort of the beast’s death, no one could bring themselves to rise from the dead again.
Only once the first responders entered the building asking if there had been any survivors did the pulse of those who were presumably dead, return – the pulse that signified the dawn of a new life. A life that most couldn’t dare to lead, a life that had been tainted with the blood of fallen brothers and sisters, infused with that of the beast, but, a life that they had to live so as not to let the beast and his lingering wrath claim any more victims. The beast might have avoided the chair or justice and the windowless, airless, lightless chamber that would have been prepared for him, but his memory would be dealt a fate far worse than that – residing in a bloody chamber within the minds of those that survived his wrath. Caged up and reduced to absolute nothingness, doomed to an eternity of torment caused by the continuous echoing of the pulse in each and every one of the surviving victims as well as the rest of the world that chose to stand alongside them. And stand they did..