The shout of the tormented

The dull hum of the ceiling fan served as a soundtrack.

As reality closed in.

It gave notice to the fallacies which he seamlessly hid behind his feigned stare of savoir-faire.

His confidence was legendary, but truth be told it was all a carefully coifed myth.

He was among the tormented – those who shed tears behind dry eyes and hollow smiles.

He reasoned that the tears that refused to heed his calls to quench the desert of his soul wouldn’t come – not from disaffection or lack of trying, but because the ravages of his struggle had caused his tear ducts to atrophy.

He stared at the old pictures of his family populating the walls of his office and he gnawed at the insides of his mouth, conflicted.

Perhaps it was the fragility of his state of mind…

As he stood in the middle of the room – his gaze was drawn to a picture of his ancestors.


A family heirloom gifted to him by his Great Grandmother, it was a portrait of her Grandparents framed in cherry wood from the plantation that once owned his people and edged with gold from the fortune that they amassed and bequeathed to their children.


Their visage would always comfort him, but today was different.

But what he always thought was their regal countenances staring back at him, encouraging him on.

Seemed to give way to something else – disdain, disappointment, loathing and the picture was faded…

His vision started to blur, knees began to buckle and he grabbed the arm of a chair to steady himself.

And then…

The tears came with a vengeance, equal parts overwhelming and blinding.

Through his tears he was able to make out a blurred stack of papers in the corner and he stumbled towards them.

Gathering them in his hand, he flung them into the wall, shattering the still of the room.

And he screamed mournfully, scowling at the ancestors – part of him expecting an answer and the other part believing that he was crazy.

“What is this that I have?”

What do you want?

“What is it all for?”

If I am your son, answer me!”

And with that… He collapsed onto the floor in a heap, which was soaked with his tears…


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