The New Urge
Climb the wooden wall. Climb it again, but faster. Find the nest of wasps crooked in its eave. Find the house of flies built on its ridge.
Go back to your compound that glows at night. Your gaunt master will be waiting for you. He will point you at a prisoner with his burn-calloused hands and tell you this is the beast that is full of thorns. He will tell you to find the thorns in him. The prisoner will be sweating, and caught in a shadow. He’ll look at you with eyes like searchlight, swinging reflexively. You’ll roll out of the way, and slip your blade from your pocket. The hair will come off his body, and then the smaller appendages, and then you will in due diligence turn to the hidden recesses of the lungs and stomach. You’ll scrape him against clouded angles until his pins fall out. Until he spills his pins on the bleached and sugared floor of the engagement cell. Your brothers will stand in silence while you do your work. They will watch with curtains drawn behind their eyes. Their faces will be like plastic. It will not be a betrayal. When your hands have made the journey, you will feel sharpness in your mouth, and swallow it.