Date: 31st March, 2016
Today turned out to be the most terrifying day of my life. I had been imprisoned in this dark, damp place, with barely any light or ventilation, because I had served my purpose for them. We had only minimal nutrients for the past four weeks. I was not alone, however. It had taken a while, but I made a few friends once I was thrown into the dungeon. Some of them had a rough personality, while others were prejudiced. But, they all make great companions. Too many days in prison without food had made us thin as sheets. We sometimes joked that if someone forcefully unlocked the prison, we would float out with the wind; that’s how thin we became. Yet, we endured. We had passed the time by sharing our dreams and hopes with each other. All of us yearned to see the sunlight and feel the breeze against our bodies.
The day started out routinely enough. Those of us who were awake watched the sunlight burst through a minuscule crack, indicating another dawn. As the day trudged on, I experienced a sense of foreboding, one which turned out to be undeniably true.
We heard them coming before we saw them. There was a clicking sound, as the prison doors unlocked. My premonition now grew into fear, and later into terror, as the jailers entered. They wordlessly proceeded to yank away my closest friend, Seth, who was mashed, and had by then collapsed from lack of energy.
The wrinkles on his body tightened, as his shouts of protests fell upon deaf ears. I stayed there, watching helplessly, paralysed by terror. They forcefully took Seth out of the prison, and towards a contraption which could only be described as a guillotine-like machine, that made a whirring sound. They had left the prison doors ajar, confident that none of us would attempt to escape. They were right in that regard. We were completely weak. All we could do was watch what happened to Seth. It was horrifying: with their guillotine machine, they tortured him and cut him up into many pieces. Those pieces were then collected at the bottom of the machine. The sight was sickening, but I could not avert my eyes.
Alas, my ordeal had barely begun. The jailers returned for more. This time, they took two more of my friends, Rus, and Pap. They offered no resistance. I wanted to shout at them, ask them why they didn’t to fight back, but my frail body could barely hold itself. I continued to witness the slaughter taking place before my very eyes, as they shredded more and more of my beloved friends.
After fifteen minutes, the whirring sound came to a halt, and the torturers spoke.
“What happened? Why did it stop working?” said one.
“The sheets of paper have completely filled the shredder. I’ll dispose them in the recycle box and return in ten. You take a coffee break,” said the other.
It is now that I must bid farewell and embrace my fate. I feel satisfied with the life that I have led, and I am glad that they’ll be sending me for recycling – I shall be reborn into this world with a new goal. And who knows, I may end up being the sheet of paper you are reading from right now…!
– Srishyam Raghavan