6 Mar

Slowly, I roll my head to the right. I hear nothing, so I readjust my arm. A quick roll to the right —a sharp twist back to the left —and my shoulder pops audibly. I use the momentum and bend my neck violently so my ear almost touches my right shoulder.
There it is, that sound of sweet release. It calms me so, this noise. It’s unassuming, unashamed, reliable. I can count on its presence, its soft-spoken quiet.
Sometimes they look at me when I stretch. They get that horrible half grin and those no-good eyes, until I pop and crackle like rice krispies. Then their smiles melt into sneers and their eyes are hidden by their creasing brows. They’re disgusted by my little cracks.
I once heard that you crack due to brittle bones. I also heard that the noise is simply a release of gases trapped inside your body, between your joints. I wonder if, if I die here, if any of the little gases will return and thank me for setting them free.
I crack my toes and see how it bothers my captor. The first few times, I did it to alleviate the pain. After a while, I felt the familiar pressure again and I
well, I mangled my toes to let loose that noise. I heard the guard give out a harsh breath, a menacing mixture of groan and exhalation. I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I timed it out perfectly with plenty of space between each pop so I could get him when he least expected it. The syncopation really got his goat —I shoved my hand down my throat to keep from laughing when he turned around in exasperation. The look on his face!

I twist my wrists at night. All night long. It helps me fall asleep. It kills him. I see him twist and turn and tug at his hair. It’s positively hysterical. What’s more is that the lack of sleep is starting to get to him. He fears me, I know it. His muscles tense when I look him right in the eyes and pop, crack, pop. He pretends to be okay, but my eyes are far more acute than one might think. I can see each bead of sweat on his scalp, and yes, I notice the tremors he gets when I dance around the cell.

Oh, if only you could have seen his reaction today! He yelped when he saw me, I swear it! What I did is this. I pretended to sleep while I watched him come. I hardly moved a muscle as his cohort packed his things. I waited a full hour into his shift while I lulled him into a false sense of security. It was brilliant, don’t you see? Then I moved slower than Poe in his hunt for the eye as I, humble I, crept ever closer to where he sat. He just sat there, dozing, unsuspecting! The fool. From my side of the bars, I looked down over his curly brown hair to see his eyelids, firmly shut. A tiny dribble of spit hung from his cute little lips, that pig. I bent myself down right next to him (my knees popped, what joy!) and just
breathed. I breathed on his neck. Haha!
I breathed on his neck for a good five minutes before I escalated. I opened my mouth wide and breathed as loud and warm on his exposed bare neck as I possibly could. Oh, how he jumped! I laughed myself to tears when he called for backup. They all looked at him as if he were insane. They also looked at me with their half grins and chuckled, muttering to each other about how some loony chick had the hots for Ben. Well.

My patience paid off. The sirens are blazing, oh! Let them sound. Pop. They’ll never find me now; I’m too far and I was too clever. Last time, I was clumsy. I left trails, I let them find me. The body led them right to me. But this time, ha! I’m invisible now. Crack. It almost makes me sad that they’ll never know just how clever I was. They’ll never know how deftly I stole the keys to my cell as I breathed, breathed, breathed on his neck. They’ll never discover what happened to him after I used his own sock to strangle him in his sleep. They’ll never know how I set all the gases in his perfect body free, as I popped and cracked every one! Pop! Crack! HAHA! The mallet wasn’t liberating enough for him, so I threw him off a cliff. What a wonderful noise. Pop. And now, to free myself, finally, finally!
Cra — aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!


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