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Author Topic: Torture by Braille  (Read 1475 times)

Offline Red Right Hand

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Torture by Braille
« on: March 24, 2015, 09:19:15 PM »
A warning.

Seriously. You may not want to read this if you are susceptible to fright or bad dreams or panicky moments that make it hard to breath...

I've had people tell me they would rather not have read this. I never warn about anything else I post. I mean look at this place. Gore is the norm. For some reason this one gets me conversations about evil and how could I, even how dare I and what's wrong with me.

It's one of those things that grip you when you are in the habit of writing. One of those things that makes you feel like a conduit. As if the thing is writing itself.

It grew out of a conversation in a shout box somewhen long ago. And there were several there in the habit of writing and quite good at it. Whatever half-joke, half-flirt we were bantering on about I posted a phrase. The title of this piece; "Torture by Braille." Even over the internet I could hear the collective sucking in of breath. I had to pounce on that phrase like a rabid junk yard dog and warn the others off. It were mine.

I didn't even know what the thing was. I just knew it was mine and I'd make something out of it. Such a lovely turn of phrase, IMHO.

It germinated somewhere within me. Less than a week later and I was writing... Rather it was writing itself. And what it was writing through my fingers creeped me right the fuck out. I didn't like it and could not stop. It is not the longest poem I've written by word or line count, but it is in the top five. And it came all at once and all by itself. And it felt as if I'd had no choice in the telling. For a poem of this length that is a rarity for me. Usually a very short prose piece will be so insistent or a short poem. Never a juggernaut like this and never in one sitting. I was happily done when it finished with me.

It's an old tale done in a modern voice.

As the description says; Unrepentant sadism with no redemptive value. It's not erotic, not to me. My sadism is rather milder than the Marquise's.

If you must... Read on then. But remember I warned you and I take no further responsibility for what your eyes show you next.

Still here...Well OK then.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 11:32:03 PM by Red Right Hand »
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2015, 09:19:35 PM »
Torture by Braille


Dear God, my eyes: they took them
From me like anxious vultures descending
Upon a weakly squirming near-corpse

The first hour that was; no neater introduction
Could ever have been imagined: me strapped
To the table, head held in a vice (squeezing cruelly tight,
perhaps only to make the eyes bulge – an easy target)

I was told in laughing tones that they simply wanted
Not to wear the leather hoods – and it was not permissible
That I should glimpse a face to see who tormented me

That horribly wet sucking noise, and the feel
Of them being pulled from the sockets:
They lay upon my cheeks so wetly I shiver
Still to think of that gelatinous touch, and the glimpse
Of a world spinning madly out of control
As left was held to watch the severing
Of right’s optic nerve – and lastly a long
Lingering view of right’s lids being sewn
Shut with course thread, broad stitching

A snip that pulls so intimately upon my brain,
The nerve snaps back – and left is done


I am herded to my cell by fire:
My warder holds a torch and taps upon either arm
To steer me away from that direction

I stand in my cell an eternity – the stench
Of burnt pork rising from my arms – tremblingly
Afraid to move, to stumble, to brush an arm
Against anything…

I awoke on the floor never knowing I
Had slept upon the cold damp stone which
Was a balm unlooked for (Oh God – nothing ever
looked for again, nor seen) my sockets pooling
So full of tears that the stitching pulled
Against the lids and a mucousy discharge
Dribbled out to lie crusting upon my face

That first morning I was a snake, undulating
Upon my belly, slithering around: rough
Hewn stone scraping reassuringly on my
Nerve endings – all was blank, no furnishings
At all – alone in a stone world that bit and scratched

I made my toilet in a corner: no better,
No worse, than the other three

Clattering of metal dish called to me every so often;
Informing that meal time had arrived – so eagerly
I squirmed forward to the noise of laughing
Warders – I believe they bet upon the chance
That I would spill the dish (I often did)
And take my sup of thin gruel from the
Sharp stone with my raw tongue


Twelve times the clatter of metal on stone,
Twelve meals, twelve days:
Sixteen the number of times I evacuated
Myself into the chosen corner (my body shutting down
Slowly – sloughing less and hording more)

Eye sockets bulging now with a fullness of
Puss pressing against the lids, maddening itch
Deep beyond the space once reserved for so much
Of life: left only with infection eating my brain –
Stealing me away a nibble at a time

Firing randomness of images stored – I have
Lived in a stone lined kaleidoscope of
Memory recalled, twisted then true,
True then twisted – and a swirl of
Meaningless colors running together

Day thirteen and they come for me to partake
Of their hospitality a second time

My legs refuse to work properly – no matter
How they kick at my writhing form –
So I am dragged unceremoniously to my
Interview with insanity


Heaved, dumped, strapped
Cruelly down upon the wooden table
With bands of iron, hinged and bolted:
Affixed for their amusement

Left leg twisted to the inside by
Many grasping hands and the long
Spikes pounded so quickly in above
Ankle and below knee amidst my
Ululating protestations

Today it is my foot they want

I am made to feel the saw blade
With trembling fingers held
Against the toothed blade’s bite

Like a lover’s caress it is
Pulled slowly down my length
To rest against the ankle

It is lifted and held vertically:
“What, oh what,” I plead,
“do you want to know of me?”

No answer, they ask no
Questions – nor speak at all –
And the sawing begins

Tiny strokes at first, so slow:
Till the demonic carpenter
Finds his groove to work upon

Then faster, faster, through
Skin and into bone: wet
Crawling across my skin

Of blood; tearing-ripping
Flesh and screams
Pulled ragged from me both

Bones so small I feel them
Sliced in moments
One, two, three, more

Flesh and sinews unraveling,
Unknit and undone;
Undone walking, fleeing

Vibrations quivering, leg
Trapped by spikes both
Fore and aft – pulling, pulling

Ripping pain of freedom denied:
No fleeing from the teeth –
Jagged chewing crunching slice


Dear God, who screams so loud:
Who confesses all with eager tongue?

“Guilty! So Guilty!  Any, all, YES!
I’ll sign I’ll tell I’ll swear in court!
Tell me, tell me what I’ve done – I did it all and more!
No more! No more!”

His terrible keening noises
Disturb me deeply and
Make my throat so raw

Among the madman’s wails
A calm voice announces –
“My dog shall eat well tonight:
he loves to crunch the tiny bones”


I woke in my little world of stone:
A worm now that inches along –
No eyes, surely not walking on
Splintered stump hastily wrapped
In greasy feeling rough spun cloth

How many tin clatterings pass I can
Not say, more than three certainly –
Yet not so many as passed before

I have lain sullen and unmoving
Much of each day; the fault surely mine
For what will no doubt soon come

How could I have failed myself so?


Dragged off again, this time from need,
Not recalcitrant and cowardly legs:
Skin aglow with fevered heat infection
Pumping sickness fully inflamed

Their hands upon me prickle skin
And voices grating ear fall short
Of sense…

The table again?

How arrived and why?

Rasping file across my forehead brings
Self to front in sharpened focus to hear me

Scraping screams from my cracked
Open throat as the file bites in:
So quickly reaching bone beneath
The thinnest layer of flesh

My head is in the vice again, a file
Ripping at my brow, slick rivulets of blood
Pouring down my temples, my brain
Vibrates with the file’s passage

Back, forth, back, forth

The merest bit enough, too much;
Loosened tongue becomes unhinged,
Flapping wildly to tell of all

All I’ve ever done: a penny stolen
At age three, the hatred I had for
My neighbor’s mongrel that I kicked,
Breaking my sister’s toys in a petty fit

So many tiny things, no monstrous crimes
Have I to declare: but I give them all

Crying out that it was I: I who broke
Mother’s favored dish, I who cheated the
Miller out of two sacks of grain, I who
Had been prideful of his small talents…

All little things and mild, yet the scraping
Of that file against my brow bone
Rattled all of me loose from my
Fever cooked and vibrating self –
So that I tumbled out of my panting mouth

Answering all, the only asking the rasping
Sound of file upon bone:
Pain blotting out discretion

Rushing to tell of anything…

When the file breaks through the bone
There is the most tremendous flash…


My rough hewn stone sanctuary

So hollow, they have taken me –
All gone, dribbling down my forehead;
Perhaps the opening has let
Some puss out of my head and
Relieved a pent up pressure

I feel clear, clean, unfettered

I sleep…
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Offline Kit

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2016, 04:41:01 AM »
Bravo, encore!  :thumbs:
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2016, 12:35:55 AM »
Thank you, Kit. I'm afraid there is no encore for this one. As I said in the intro it was one of those autonomic things. I occasionally get this dark, but not often and more on the prose side.

I'm glad you saw something in it though.
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Offline Smirkin

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2016, 01:02:32 AM »
I was poking around your biblio and couldn't help but read this after seeing the warning. :uhoh:

Amazing! It reads in such a feeble voice and flows so smoothly.  It's captivating!

Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2016, 03:01:35 PM »
TY Darlin' :*

It was a compulsion to get all on the page. I think if I had a slightly braver soul I might have channeled more than I did. I actually wrote this while on the clock at a job... The clarity was a bit intense given the solitude of where i was working at the time.
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Offline cosmicwitch

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2016, 01:21:07 AM »
I recoiled in horror a couple of times as I read this poem, and even tried to stop reading it but I was as compelled to continue with it as you were to keep writing it @Red Right Hand

This is a fantastically oppressive, nightmarish piece. Well done  <3
« Last Edit: August 07, 2016, 01:23:29 AM by cosmicwitch »
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Offline Red Right Hand

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2016, 09:41:47 PM »
TY cosmicwitch  :*

I'm glad to hear you got drawn in and didn't regret it.
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Offline cosmicwitch

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 10:47:03 AM »
No matter how many times I read it this poem it still has a very strong impact on me.

We need more of your darkness, @Red Right Hand
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Offline Corvid

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Re: Torture by Braille
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 12:47:31 PM »
How do I put this... That is horrifying, but you are not horrible to have written it. It is extremely vivid and makes my body want to crawl up into itself.

Being blinded and having one's other senses intensify before further torture is so terrible that I once wrote a story where someone threatened to do it,  but didn't follow through...


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