Standing there in the moonlight, not knowing which direction is south, which direction is north, I dropped to my knees and for the first time in the four days that I’d been lost in the wilderness, I wept. I sobbed like a widow mourning the loss of his wife. I cried for the life I had and the life I seemed to have lost. All around me, darkness encased me. Like a prized baseball signed by the greatest, I was trapped inside of a synthetic glass case, except my entrapment was incumbent upon the wilderness and the monsters being kept hidden by what felt like everlasting darkness. I wondered about the time and where I was. Although I tried not to, my mind wandered to how I got stuck here in the first place, and in an attempt to clear out my thoughts, I shook my head vigorously until my brain was occupied by something else. Not long after, the subtle sound of a branch breaking in half was all that was heard, yet I felt it in my bones. Imagining all the different possibilities of what the sound could be, I immediately picked myself up off of the mud-soaked floor and tried to pay close attention to my dreary surroundings. After having looked in each direction thoroughly, I happened to notice a slick, black python make its way over to my tarnished sneakers. It slithered slowly over them and glared at me fiercely as if to size up his prey. Squeezing my eyes shut, I said a silent prayer to whoever was listening above and bid the snake away to find something else to torture. After making sure to cross my fingers tightly and promising that I’d be a perfect angel from that point on, I opened my eyes expecting an unfettered foot. It appeared that no one was listening because when I opened my eyes, the python was still resting comfortably, wrapped around my leg as if it were a tree branch. Panic and fear ran rampant through me, my blood boiling, and my body trembling. I hadn’t come into contact with anything more harmful than a huntsman spider in the last four days, and even then, I thought I would die. It was perched up on the looming tree branches waiting for a moving target to pounce on. I was sure I’d be the weakest link, but as I walked by it stricken with fear, a hummingbird landed a few feet away from the spider, and within seconds, I became a witness to the first murder I’d ever seen; animals, that is. I looked to the sky attempting to absorb the natural energy in order to relax my muscles, but all I felt was a raindrop. One tiny raindrop that could surely be the catalyst to a storm. I’ve seen it many times before. I continued to stare, continued to wait for a million little raindrops that would blur my vision, but not my life. As if to remind me of my presently imprisoned state, I felt my skin tighten. I felt the circulation in my legs suddenly slow down and I was then assured that there was nothing that would, or could, relieve me of my dilemma. Other than dying, of course. Like a mad scientist having stumbled upon the secret to ending society entirely, I realized that I could die. Suddenly, a brazen kind of courage took over me, and I felt the unavoidable fear slowly exit my being. I watched as it walked right out of my soul and into the mouth of the python, who happened to be staring deeply into my eyes, silently telling me that this jungle was his kingdom. I was an intruder, and for that, I must pay. Little did he know, I’d been paying the price for my intrusions my whole life, forcing me to question my existence entirely. As he had begun to squeeze, and squeeze…and squeeze, I could see my captors tongue flickering in and out of his scaly, black mouth ready to relish his rare human delicacy. I inhaled the woodsy-scented air while I listened to the tune of taunting hisses by this predator, when out of nowhere, an unwarranted flash of my mother’s faced appeared, causing me to come to the realization that I had also been a predator of sorts in the past. I’ve seen my mother cry more than smile, I’ve suffered brutal beatings at the hand of my father, and was subjected to words of hatred rather than love from my younger sister. I’ve had seventeen years on this earth and the only thing I had to show for it was that my family hated me. I reached down to grab this vile snake off of my leg as I had surely reached my breaking point, but his wrath was greater than anything I could ever dream to be. He opened his mouth widely showing off his personal set of deadly weapons, then his sliced tongue waved and flared in hot anger. Frightened by his actions, I backed away reflexively while my eyes bulged out of my head as I watched him spitefully dig his venomous whites deeply into my skin. I could feel the poisonous fluids draining themselves inside of me. My breathing became labored and I felt my organs begin to shatter slowly and carefully, until finally, it seemed like everything broke apart. I lied there on the floor paralyzed by this thing, this…demon. I was bigger, yet I allowed it to ostracize me. I had more power, yet he captivated my essence. He was stealing my life from me, and there was nothing I could to do stop it. He wanted more, so I gave him more.
Before I found myself in the depths of this hell, I tried to burn my house down while my family blissfully rendezvoused with the Sandman. After I’d been kicked out, I was forced to wander from park bench to backseats, and dumpsters to bar alleys while their lives moved along perfectly. Since the poison ivy had finally extracted itself from the perfect garden of lilies and lilacs, daisies, and roses, they could finally be the perfect family my mother always envisioned herself to have. I walked around with the pain and rejection that now lived inside of my soul and made a home of it. Once I stopped feeling bad for myself, my sadness was replaced with anger, and with anger comes vengeance. I had to remind them that the world isn’t pretty, I had to show them that their nightmare was not over yet; they still lived on Elm Street. As I doused the back porch in gasoline, a strange calmness had come over me. At last, I was relieving myself of this burden, this ache that strapped itself to my back and would never go. I wanted them to burn. After making sure the house was undeniably flammable, I zealously lit the match of mortality and ran for my life. I watched from afar and through the windows as they slept blissfully, immune to the dangers of the dark night, the dangers of me. Then, upon realizing that they were amidst hell fire, I sullenly watched them trickle out one by one, screaming, crying, and clutching onto each other for dear life. My mission was incomplete. I needed them to feel my pain, and burn in my wrath, my hatred from having been banned. Yet now, I was feeling my own pain. My body lied helplessly on the wet, muddy ground as I felt fangs insert themselves into various parts of my body. With what little consciousness I had left, I attempted to widen my swollen eyes to get a final glance at the moon. The moon had been my confidante, my friend, and my love. It had been there with me through every excursion and escape. It followed me wherever I went and in a way, it guaranteed my safety. I needed the moon to know that I wasn’t mad for not protecting me tonight. Though my eyes weren’t able to make the visual connection, the last subtle beats of my heart were for the moon, my moon. My confidante and my friend, the moon whom I love. My body became numb, body parts turning into lifeless entities. And I became nothing. I turned into camouflage, a future home for the bugs and critters. My body would be devoured within days to come, but for now, I lied lifeless in the arms of my moon as vile venom coursed the blood in my veins.