Hanging Gardens

Eric S. V. B.
3 min readDec 29, 2020

The price to pay are lives, but suffering is often sudden and brisk and I wanted to focus more on equality and the balance of two completely ruined lives against nine so high. So I gathered around the joyous, young, happy, adventurous heads with autonomous bodies that had once tormented the most important thing to me, and one by one, made them disappear.

There really was nowhere to run to and with a sad smile, or a distant look, or just a general feeling of going through motions, nobody ever thought me responsible. I had hidden them well and I was only focused one thing and one thing only: revenge and justice, whichever one served me best, and made me feel best.

“What are you going to do with us?”

“Please, please!”

“Help! Help!”

And more and more screams went on and I stared at the heartless monsters I had captured from a darkened part of the room. They screamed and cried and begged as they sat there, tied in hands and feet, with the final knot, the quickest one, still loose around their necks.

“Would you prefer, instead, to hear a story?” I asked and there was immediate silence as they noticed me and I approached them, step by step. “It is the story of a young girl, just a little baby who grew up into a beautiful young woman. And as they tend to do, she was nice and sweet, but also a little insecure. And you probably know how this story ends: she ends up being tormented by those around her, and she cries, and cries, and no one ever helps her.”

All of the sobbing monsters, five men and four women, stared at me as I exited the shadows to greet them.

“And then one day, I… I mean, his father finds her hanged and dead. What a waste of a life! How selfish of her, of course! But what else to do? I dunno, it was all very strange. But I guess we can figure something out, all of us, what do you think?”

They immediately understood and as they screamed and screamed, I laughed and laughed to drown out their pleads. We were in a faraway, abandoned building that few knew about and even fewer knew where it was located, but I played along, as I tended to do when I was feeling particularly giddy.

“Help us! Help us, please! Help me!” I screamed like a teenage girl and jumped around screaming and putting hands in my hair and going back and forth from wall to wall. “Where is everybody?”

“Please, sir! Please, we are so sorry… so sorry…” one of the girls said, crying like I never seen before. She was a mess and all the others were shaking, heaving, gasping, and sobbing.

“Of course, you’re sorry. That’s why you are here!” I said and laughed again and laughed and laughed until they got the idea and they all shut up. “Now, you are going to say sorry over and over again until your mouth dries up, and I will listen to it and we’ll take it from there, I guess.”

“Sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry… sorry…” they all said for a long, long time. I just watched them slowly realize the predicament we were all in, so I just motioned them to continue on and on and they did, they talked and talked for what felt like hours saying the same word over and over again.

And when one of them finally seemed to have had enough, I pulled very tightly, and he hanged just like my daughter had.

They all screamed and cried and shook and tried to free themselves and I shook my head.

“Now, you know how easy it is to die around these parts. Life is very fragile and can be taken at any moment,” I said as I pushed and pulled the corpse so it moved back and forth like a swing. They whimpered and sobbed and looked at me with horror in their eyes. “So now you know how to stay alive, I presume? No need to worry. As long as your limitations and needs don’t betray you, it will be pretty easy to satisfy me. Go on, please. I wanna hear some more. The more uninterrupted lamentations I hear for what you did, the less of you I will be hanging.”



Eric S. V. B.

I like to write for some reason so I’m doing it here. I’ll try write something every day, and hopefully, get better at it.