Okovan (Shackled)

A Collaborative Effort with Evander

*Evander is the youngest writer I have ever collaborated with in my adult years. She turned 15 last month. Please, let that marinate a bit.*

Image for post
Image for post
Courtesy of Estruda/DeviantArt.

It is holding our past lives in an uneven palm, praying over worn shoes and unkempt clothing. We are sucked into a galaxy that does not breathe.

Deteriorating before sadistic minds and casually thought out war-games that cease upon command, there is no way out.

“Who Will Save Your Soul?”

Shackled in speech. Cat’s got your tongue. Spit a word out and it will be shoved back into the depths of the lagoon, sentenced to life.

Footsteps echoing off wet cobblestones. Bouncing ahead of a small figure, between overbearing, congested buildings.

Dark, bleak, gray.
The church bell clanging in the distance. Not so far off as it seems.
Loud, rhythmic.

Running won’t let him escape his problems. They are always one step behind him. Concealed in shadows. Inarticulately chasing.



The bells clanging louder. Resonating, shaking the thin walls of the buildings. The walls. His body. His entire being. He can’t breathe. There is no air. Partitions closing in on him.

Suffocating in silence.
Vast wooden doors, roughly hewn. Iron bars barricading a small window attempting to offer hope to the passersby. They are closer. Constantly gaining.
Open! Faster!

Too heavy. Too hard. Too much.

Don’t give up.

A crack…
Enough to slip in?


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Image for post
Courtesy of YouTube.

They’re so close. What was that? Burning, on his back. The shape of a hand? Not entirely bad. Tingling.

Turn around

Is there freedom in censorship?
Living mute.

Purified from filth in the thoughts of others. Alone with our own hate.
Alone with our own visions of perfection. Alone in our own thoughts.
Unadulterated. Their problems. Our problems. No longer held together by hardship.


Stained glass filtering light. Giving colours, forms. Meaning. Purpose. Molding it into something it could not have become on its own.
A masterpiece.

But, it is never perfect. It is never beautiful. Not through every set of eyes.

We are stained glass. Judging. Filtering out things we do not wish to believe as truth. Admiring only work of art, our own. Our own hues produced by our own piece of glass. Looking with distaste at the masterpieces around us. Wanting to be the only star allowed to shine. We are not.

If ignorance is freedom, surely freedom is found in censorship.

No words to adequately describe the sheer awe instilled by the wonders laying before him. Towering ceilings, intricately decorated arches, row upon row of carved benches standing on either side of a wide aisle leading to a brilliant centerpiece. Above the pulpit was an enormous array of fragmented colours. Carefully placed together. Telling a story. Representing something important, regardless of how fantastic it seemed. Each shard of glass filtered the grim light cast in from the outside and gave it a new appearance. Filling the room with joy.

Fears and problems pounding on the door behind in vain.

Now that we have wasted words on such things that matter not to Powers bigger than our bellies, the time is now. At hand, we are prepared for the coming of ages; no faults, no pleading, no sense of biting lips. Speech is freer than it has ever been yet no one is heard.

The bell still tolls.
It clangs for the broken souls yearning to live again,
Yearning to love again,
Yearning to at least be heard.

Author’s Note: Over the next few months, I will be selecting some of Medium’s youngest and finest writers to collaborate with each week. They need to be heard. They support us. We must support them. Evander was second. Greg C. Bolanos, please get ready.

Written by

I’m more than breath & bones, I’m nectar in waiting — Owner ACG •Editor PSILY •Writing for the cosmos. •https://acorneredgurl.com

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