256 Words

Banished to My Room

Ray Van Horn, Jr.

I did absolutely nothing wrong, yet here I lay, staring at the shadow of my swaying foot, pretend-kicking invisible invaders on the wall. Somebody is going to incur my wrath, even if it is an imaginary scapegoat. At least he, she or it can't fight back; that is about the only comfort I take right now.

There is no television in my room, only a stereo with a handful of tapes to listen to. I am not allowed to play them, though. I have been commanded to lie here in subdued silence. For some reason I can't explain, it has been deemed that I am to be punished and confined to my bedroom. My friends are outside, and I know they are laughing and mocking me. They aren't locked up like a caged rat with nothing to do save for quietly reading the same crappy books over and over again. If it is punishment my overseers want, then they've succeeded. This solitude is more like torment.

What did I do to deserve this? Scream out loud occasionally, use a little profanity that slaps expressions of shock on my benefactors? Big deal! Of course, if they would tend to my needs when I ask for them, I'd be content and as restrained as an altar boy.

Oh, I'm selfish, you say? Spoiled, even? Try it in my shoes, friends, and tell me how you like being eighty-three and treated like a helpless infant!

Copyright ©2000 Ray Van Horn, Jr.. All Rights Reserved.

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October, 2000
Issue #54

256 Words