Way down deep, tasting the earthy smell of despair, I called for help.
"No," he said.
In the dark, suffocating on the past, I called again. Find somebody to help me.
"No," he said. "You don't know everything."
Swirling in the depths of terror I cry. Muddy tears mingle with lost opportunity and threaten to drown me.
"Every day for one year," he began, "if you've proven you're worthy, I will toss you one brick."
Crumpling down, bathed in the sweat of nightmares, I listen.
His voice booms. "Each brick is a step, one step closer to feeling the sunshine warm your frigid bones, kiss your skin, thaw your heart."
Grinding the remnants of lost childhood castles from my eyes, I set about my task. Each day bringing a new challenge. Some days I add a brick to the mud, digging out old roots of me and creating a new path. On others, he steals those little pebbles, in hate, in punishment, in spite.
Finally, I emerge, squinting in the sun, broken fingernails caked in the dirt that was my old. I long for the breeze to chase away the gooseflesh, the sun to envelop me while the darkness of my soul slithers away. He's not here. He watched me struggle, and laughed as I stumbled. Rain. Washing clean the stains in my eyes. Cold droplets fall around, but all miss me. I'm invisible. Longing to feel the fresh - the real - along my feverish skin. Desperate to be solid. Its a cruel, cruel joke. Startled, I turn up my head. Through slitted eyes, stained and swollen, I see a ring of light. My wall is still standing, with just this one brick. His voice always mocking me. Climb.