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The Long Game, a Semi-Poem

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Silence is a luxury she ceded long ago. Noise jumbles in her brain endlessly; not bothering to drown it out anymore. She almost fell to the smoke once, pinching the cigarette between her fingers—if she’d just given in, just lived in cancerous bliss too—but, instead, she let the smoke soak into her clothes. Nothing more, nothing less. Osman—the Osman—believed her, even took a cigarette from her once, now laying before her with blackened lungs finally exposed to fresh oxygen.

Before, she’d thought it was trust, but no man of his power trusts.

Ego, not trust, could be his demise. Ego is why he’s carved open in her operating room—it’d take a “disappearance” for her to be anywhere else. He’d praised her skill on live television; what God has poor judgment?

What God creates such a Hell through his poor ruling?


“Who the hell do you think you are?” she snaps, diligent fingers never stopping.

“Arron ordered a check-in—”

“I don’t care. I do not care. This is my room.”

“Ma’am, do you not realize the stakes right now?”

“Do you not realize who you’re back-talking?”

The guard steps closer to her, letting the door swing shut. She spins on her heel with a scalpel to his neck. Her subordinates are skillful, below her, but quick in reflexes—quick to take over, at least.

“Interrupt my work again, and your heart will be his transplant.”

He swallows. “Arron—”

“Is Arron holding the life of a God in his hands?”

Without another word, he leaves.


Maria breaks the silence, “We really do have the life of a God in our hands, huh? I can’t believe it.”

Concentration delays everyone’s responses, sprinkling in one-by-one in murmurs of agreements. They look up to her each time, waiting. Their silence is too loud, too open. She looks at his heart. Pleas and cries replay in her memory to the artificial beating. It stares at her, rhythmically pumping, oddly human, begging, craving true silence just as much. Craving release—from everything necessary to where they both stand now. From those whose blood kept it pumping. It loathes its own blood, too. It must.

Year after year, this has been both a fantasy and a nightmare. Inexcusable nor unjustifiable. If only there were a misery to put him out of. Most of them wish it too, somewhere deep down, present in that split second of hesitation from all but Marisa. Poor thing’s never wanted to believe beyond what she’s allowed.

But this scalpel knows what she wants. What they all must, for it to be worth countless dreams.

Closer and closer it inches, until it’s only a single moment’s lack of reserve away.

She takes a deep breath, every nerve alight, “I can’t believe it either.”


Guards burst through the doors, slamming her into the bloodied tile, leaving a trail as she’s dragged out. Too much is happening—the noise may or may not be gone. Bullets ricochet into the pool of blood, even though gunshots don’t register. Osman’s blood won’t be the only in there. She doesn’t dare look up.

It will be silent, eventually.

Finally, she can be sure of that.

© 2022 Jack

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