Monday, September 19, 2011


Laura Hillenbrand

   The day passed. Three times, a single wad of rice, a little bigger than
a golf ball, sailed through the door window and broke against the floor.
Once or twice, a swallow of tea in a cup was left on the sill, and Louie
sucked it down. Night came.
   Another day came and went, then another. The heat was smother-
ing. Lice hopped over the captives' skin. Mosquitoes preyed on them in 
swarms so thick that when Louie snapped his fingers into a fist, then
opened his hand, his entire palm was crimson. His diarrhea worsened,
becoming bloody. Each day, Louie cried out for a doctor. One day,a 
doctor came. He leaned into the cell, looked at Louie, chuckled, and 
walked away.
   Curled up on the gravelly floor, both men felt as if their bones were
wearing through their skin. Louie begged for a blanket to sit on, but 
was ignored. He passed the time trying to strengthen his legs, pulling
himself upright and standing for a minute or two while holding the 
wall, then sinking down. He missed the raft.

No comments: