Memoirs of a Ghost
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The first sense to return to me was the feeling of crust and dirt sealing my eyelids firmly shut.

My face contorted in an effort to pry them open. When I finally managed to break the mucus seal, cold, sharp air hit my vulnerable eyes. Feeling slowly returned to my extremities as I blinked away the borderline painful feeling.

My wits finally about me, I realized I was before a large group. Their muted murmurs rushed past my ears, quickly overwhelming me. I lifted my lead-laden arms to cover them, even for just a small moment of silence.

Thick rope halts my movement. My hands and feet are bound behind me, I can feel the small cuts that the rough surface of the rope inflict on my wrists and ankles. The tiny fibers of it are able to find the minuscule wounds and dig their thin straw even deeper in. The pain halts my effort, and I am forced to continue to kneel helplessly before the crowd and listen to the chatter slowly die. Several pairs of footsteps approach my position.

The first and closest voice is one of the foreigners. He begins to speak, presumably addressing the crowd. I can feel him move and gesticulate wildly as he paces around me, growing increasingly agitated. I have always found their manner of speaking strange, but the way this mans’ voice pitches up and gradually becomes louder and more frantic sends the chill of dread down into my bones.

The foreigner finishes his frantic speech with a phrase both familiar and dreaded.

"Viva Dios
y vivan nuestras amables majestades los Reyes."

Another, lighter set of footsteps approaches me, and I can sense an individual kneel before me. Their hot breath kisses my face and I am able to recognize them solely from the way their breathing picks up before they speak. My dearest and closest friend, almost akin to a brother.

Almost.

“Please, Yuiza, I need you to listen to me. I’m—I’m truly sorry for all of this, but I swear to you it will be over soon if you just listen.”

His voice would appear carefully calm to anyone who couldn’t understand him. Almost as if he was simply reading my death rites.

I spit at his feet.

“Mabó, you traitorous son of a whore,” I whisper, “I will have none of your platitudes.”

He grunts in frustration.

“You wouldn’t understand, I am doing what is necessary to keep us alive! These times will end as soon as we can just-”

I interrupt him.

“You fools who believe the promises of these scum, are the ones who put us all in our graves.”

There is a prolonged silence. The crowd begins to vocalize their discontent, so Mabó stands before sighing heavily and communicating something to the foreigner.

He leans down once more to leave me with his final piece of advice.

“You've done this to yourself, you know.”

I can tell he doesn’t even believe his own callous words.

I have no more time to ponder this statement as a hand roughly yanks me back by my hair and pins me down so I face the sky. Another hand comes to roughly caress my cheek. I squirm as it makes a sudden detour to my eye. I struggle and grunt as yet another, more foul-smelling hand comes to forcefully pry it open.

I cannot see. I have never been able to see. Perhaps this is why, when the cold, sharp metal made contact, I screamed. I scream until my throat is raw and tears streak down the sides of my cheeks. I scream until a filthy rag is shoved down my throat as the knife continues its torturous journey deeper into my socket.

Pain is the lashes the foreigners will inflict upon you for the slightest misbehavior. Pain is feeling your back ripped open and whipped raw until the meat and blood drips down your hips and you cannot breathe from the sheer agony of it all. Pain is feeling them shove their dirty fingers into the wound to tear and rip at your remaining skin.

This was not pain. This was beyond pain.

I am cold, yet I'm unbelievably, horrifically hot. Sensation disappears from my every limb as my body is forced to focus on the foreigners’ ministrations. He slices into my sensitive flesh with the force of a man possessed; the process is by no means clean. The man with his hand buried in my scalp digs his nails in to tighten his grip.

I barely notice until he forces me forwards into a sitting position.

The force of the push forces the knife further into me, and I can feel it scrape against something, before I lose my bearings.

When my senses return to me, I am hunched over with my hands still held behind me, wheezing shakily. My forehead touches the dirt below me as a variety of bodily fluids form a warm, disgusting puddle below. I sob, which only adds to the racking pain.

The most peculiar thing, however, was the empty throbbing of my eye socket. The pain was excruciating indeed, but the emptiness, the air reaching places it was not supposed to, the feel of dust and dirt entering the wound as I ground my forehead into the earth in a desperate attempt for any kind of relief;

It was undeniably worse.

I barely registered when the foreigner began to speak again, except to ponder how his voice was so far away, yet his hands were still in a vice grip against the back of my neck.

It was not until another man spoke up to translate the end of the speech in his unstable voice that I realize.

"Long live God
and long live our gracious majesties the King and Queen."

Mabó releases my neck, frantically wiping his bloodstained hands on my back.

I feel something hot drip down my neck, and I find I still have the strength to shudder in disgust when I realize he weeps.

He whispers to me. His voice is weak, and it quivers and breaks as he sobs and pleads.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, god I’m sorry, please Yuiza I-”

I was allowed one mercy on this day.

I didn’t live long enough to hear the end of Mabó’s pitiful attempts to soothe his own conscience.

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