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Woman-in-mourning-gravestone

The statue sat in the corner of the room, illuminated by the light resting behind it. Its watchful eyes dart across the room at the slightest bit of movement in its long and tedious existence. Its gaze was utterly implacable, yet it was its eyes that would always give someone a cold chill running up their back. What eyes did the statue have? Were they the eyes of bitterness, of envy and filled with malcontent for the people passing by? Or had the eyes belonged to a gloomy figure, as melancholy wrapping around its heart cruelly? For this, not even the statue itself had known.

When you sit in one place for a long period of time, time becomes difficult to tell. It was what keeps the world going. You sit there, and sit there, and sit there. And you wonder how long would a minute feel as you sat there. As you’re living out your life, it seems like time should fly. But was the statue alive at this point? Could be considered dead to the outside world? Some days, it was hard for it to tell if it was asleep or awake with the general lack of stimulation. But it knew that it was trapped in Limbo, a living Hell.

The statue grew frustrated at its own existence, the longer it went on. It sadly thinks to itself over how it could do so much, but be offered with so little choice outside of sitting in the corner of this room. Injustice!- it cried to the deities beyond. Imprisonment!- the life that still burned bright within its hard and unfeeling shell sobbed quietly within its own broken mind.

It did not deserve this fate. It did not deserve this fate.

There was a time when it thought coldly about what it would do. If it were to ever find its Creator standing before it, with its arms and legs still functioning back then of course. It had dreamt up dreams of petty revenge, but the hopelessness and the preordained outcome instead dictated it asking one thing: why. Why its efforts, its greatest struggle, should be only met with futility. Why that, with a long life still ahead of it, was it chosen to give up its life too early when just learning how to crawl. Why that, it wasn’t given a chance to even move of its own free will.

Given a year, or perhaps only a few months as it was hard to tell exactly how long it had been trapped, it finally settled on something in mind. It had wanted to die. It would not be granted this wish, as movement for the statue remained impossible. Suicide was no longer even an option. Even Death itself seemed just slightly out of its reach. It was to remain here for who knew how long? Days? Months? Years - it all seemed to flash on by, with the grieving world to watch and try to understand its predicament. If death was still an inevitable possibility, was there a way for it to come any sooner?

It often thought about the way it was speculated it would die. It was morbid to think about, but left with so little option outside of its ability to think and imagine, it was a regular occurrence; a fascination, perhaps. Would it become totemized to the point where its chest would no longer rise and fall? Or would its throat be too stiff for air to move in an out. Maybe its heart would be enclosed to the point where it would just stop beating against the ribcage. It didn’t know which of the options it preferred.

It was like it was being buried alive, except it can’t even try to claw its way out.

Though hard to believe to even itself, it was not always like this. There was a time where the statue was not immobilized, trapped in this very room with this very light behind it. There was the time when the statue was still being made. There was a time when the statue was still human, its life cut tragically short by the powers that be, but not with any malice or reason. Simply, it was because it could be unlucky enough.

The process of actually becoming a statue was a slow and painful one. It had happened early in its human-life, in its teen-hood. waking up to see what part of it was buried beneath solid earth, as though a gorgon had been staring him down the night before. It watched as with every slightest bit of movement became strained with difficulty in flicking its fingers, then their arms, then its legs - until even that gave way to nothing at all.

Left behind it, were the figures that darted before its very eyes. The men in white - the people looking after him - to them it was clear that there was simply nothing they could do but to offer the care and services they could, however limited it might be with the functionality it had. Its career choices after it had completed its semesters seemed like a blur in the past. Wasteful as they could come, and it sadly lamented over this fact forever.

But what hit the stone man hardest of all was its own family. The parents who try to care for the conscious statue. Its feeling of humiliation of having to see its younger siblings look over the monstrosity, a mockery of human flesh, as it could do nothing to support itself. As their role model soiled itself time after time after time again. They watched it breathe through a tube, eat through a tube, wishing for death but not able to do a damned thing about it. Its existence lead to the feelings of failure - of what could have been so much more - if it had only had a chance to fulfill them. Not to be bound here, indefinitely, as it ever so slowly turned into a crude, twisted shape that an outside observer would think was a corpse - its very own body becoming its holding cell.

Years ago, when it still seemed hopeful, when the atmosphere was less tense and bleak. When all of their problems, so they thought, had hope hidden somewhere underneath the stone and skin. They asked the doctors around, to try and clear the air. To pursue an answer to their predicament, to try and find solace even as hope slowly died. But the answer, it was not of one they were looking for. Reality slowly crept in, after its shadow hung overhead like a vulture ready to pick the marrow from the sinew. The doctors could do nothing but to house the statue, to try and wait out an answer to a question even they thought unsolvable. Its family collectively cried when it was given possibly the last major choice in its life; when it chose to live the rest of its days sitting up, rather than lying down.

And to this day, still it sat in that brightly colored room, shackled inside of its own body for an indeterminate amount of time. It could feel itself lose more and more grip on the reality around it. There was only pain left. Its mind ached for something else to focus on other than the pain. Its bones ached from inside the shell, unable to prevent the uncomfortableness and cramps it would continue to endure for the rest of its life. And to this day, it would keep waiting for sweet liberation; death to come knocking on its door. Its jaws fully closed up months ago, leaving it unable to scream in despair over its horrifying fate no matter how much it had wanted to. Instead, it opted to silently scream inside of its own head, the only place where it had any illusion of freedom left. And to this day, it would continue to scream.

It would not stop screaming until it was free.

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, the “Stone Man Syndrome”, is an extremely rare genetic disease that causes damaged muscle tissue to be “repaired” as bone. Those suffering from this disorder are painfully imprisoned by their own skeleton; becoming a living statue.


Written by FlakyPorcupine.

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