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Voices from Deep Inside the Refrigerator

by Richard King Perkins, II

No, the light is not lit... in case you were wondering.
It would be too easy to compare this to a Siberian cavern;
it is immeasurably worse. Perhaps the strangled cries you hear
come from a bowl, or maybe a jug, or even a jar.

There are only two ways to die here. That is certain.
Either suffocate in sealed vacuum or have your essence
slowly depleted to the world-at-large. Yes, it is horrible, but then,
we are accustomed to suffering in many forms, are we not?

Someone, a well-intentioned friend, probably, will try to convince you
that what happens inside your refrigerator is an unavoidable part of existence.
“Why be concerned with the inevitable?” they will say.
“Everything is pre-fated to its own particular doom.”

As you sit at the kitchen table, burdened with a fresh, chilled secret,
you notice the refrigerator motor seems to have
a peculiar, extra whine tonight.

Merely coincidence.... or not?

You imagine they are trying to escape, kicking at the bottoms of grooved lids,
faces muffled in thick or thin plastic, hands searching for purchase
along the inner surface of flawless curved glass.
Entranced, you pull open the door; the light does not go on.

A bulb lies shattered, broken by high-pitched screams;
those that could not be contained.
Tonight, you will be dining out.
No, upon deeper inspection, you find you are not hungry at all.

Soon after, your refrigerator lies empty at the curbside,
doors removed to protect the always unsuspecting.
Now nothing further can be mistakenly imprisoned, and Fate,
for this moment, anyway, has been thwarted.

You return sluggishly to your kitchen table.
A damp chill is in the air and you have not eaten.
You slowly begin to recognize that everything around you
is a container of some sort.

The place where you live is a box,
within which are sealed many vessels of keeping.
The darkness here is harshly intense, a secret refusing to be named.

Shallow breaths escape you in shrill, steamy blasts.
Your hand desperately flicks at a switch on the wall.
No light goes on.

Merely coincidence... or not?

Copyright © 2015 by Richard King Perkins, II

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