The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

Darkness
I look around
and all I see is darkness

the flour is cold
dark stone

wet

slick grit

How did I come to wind up in this place
I do not know

this pit of darkness

this cell

I try to strain my eyes but there is so
little light

I’m naked freezing

I try to get up
my body is feeble

I can hear the echo of my breath

I walk
carefully

stepping on the stone

My eyes strain to adjust
in the sheer darkness

Where am I?

I take another step
forward

and another

my hands out
on both sides

it seems so empty

here

I continue forward
step

step

the cold smooth stones beneath
my bare feet

I hear
something wriggling

seething

step

and then
my foot

sensitive

touches the edge of a
smooth stone
and then there is nothing

I get down on my hands
and knees

and feel

it’s a ledge

I strain my eyes
I move my hands

yes
it’s a ledge

I move slowly
around

circular

it is a well

I strain my eyes
there is a rock
a small pebble

I toss it in and hear

it dribbles down
down
down

bouncing off the stone
walls

down the cold dark
well

and then I hear

a splash
of water

it has landed at the bottom
of this deep dark
well

and I am up
here

I move away from this
well

this bottomed pit
filled with water

liquid

I move away
back

back

and my back hits the wall

I sit down
and cry

where am I?

how did I get here?

inside this dark cavernous
pit

I lie down
and hear that sound
again

that wreathing
scratching
sound

I stretch out my hand
and feel a bucket

yes
there is a bucket of water
and food too

I drink the water

deep deep sleep

I wake up

the bucket is gone

the food is there
I grab for it

grasping
meat
flesh
pungent smelling

I put it to my lips
I’m so hungry

and then I see
I’m tied to the ground
to a wooden frame

with some sort
of cloth or cord

it’s so dark in here
I can’t
see

anything

and then I hear this
sound

a different sound
not that rasping
sound

but a hiss

a whizzing
something like
wind

and then I see
a faint image

overhead

for I am tied down
back against the stone
the wooden frame

above me
yes

there is something

swinging

swinging

back and forth

back and forth

I don’t know what it is
but it’s a story or two

above me

swinging

back

and forth

I strain my eyes
to see

what is this thing

and then I catch
a glimpse

a glimmer

of steel

yes

it’s an axe!

an axe blade
swinging

swinging like
a pendulum

and it’s
getting larger

ever-so slightly but
certainly
larger

and the hissing
sound

as it flies through
the air

is getting louder
it’s subtle

but i can tell

the blade!

it’s descending!

and I’m right
beneath its swing

I try to move but I can’t
I think aloud to myself
I cry out

what is this sickness

where am I

whose done this to me

I try to move but
my arms my legs
they are tied together
by this cord this cloth
this monstrous notting

this gossimer threading

this spider web
trapping
me keeping me in

and then I see
yes it’s rats

there are rats everywhere
and they are so big!

and they are coming
coming for me
they’re approaching

I see their eyes
and they see mine

and then they go
and they

go

right for the food
yes its that putrid
smelling meat they’re
after

that flesh
they want it
they devour it

I try to swat them away

I try but its difficult
with this cording around
my torso and legs

and that pendulum
that pendulum of death
slowly but surely

its descending upon me

it wants me

my tormentors they must
be able to see
they drugged me
they tied me up
they took away the bucket

yes they must be watching
now lowering
descending this blade

upon my chest

to tear my hear to pieces
to cut me in half

Cursed Tormentors!

What did I ever do to you

Who are you!

and the blade
the blade is getting closer

and the rats
I’m keeping them at bay
or trying to at least

but they are feasting
feasting on the flesh

that putrid-smelling meat
next to me

and the blade is close
now so close

five feet from my face
the blade is so large
it will cut me in half
surely

I must escape

but how

how can I these
men these tormentors
and torturers
these evil men
have tied me up so

there is no way to move
I can barely breathe

think

I have to think
how can I think in a time
like
this

with that blade so close

with those rats!

those monstrous rats

and hear I am back to
the floor
to this wooden frame
with the splinters
piercing my back

my body burning
and yet
so cold

so cold here in the darkness

and

stone

the blade is now right in front of me
within arms reach
quick quick!

think!

that’s it the rats
those vile rodents
I know what to do and I take the meat
and I strew it on me
on the cords on the rope tying me
up that one long strand
yes

come rats come get
all you can

and its working the rats
are swarming over me

they’re so big
and black and hairy
and their teeth gnawing
at the cord

never before have I felt
such elation

yes

come saviors
devour these foul nottings
and cords

shred them to pieces!

and quickly!

the blade is coming

and the pendulum that axe
is so close I can feel it
I can feel the air

inches
only inches

and the cord snaps
and I quickly
role to my side

out of harm’s way

and up against the wall
and there is a sharp PAIN

and I look back
and see the wall is burning
hot red

metal pokers
pieces of iron jutting out
all around me

hot metal red encircling
these walls burning
searing

my flesh

I must get away I must move
in

I must escape these
walls of hot death

the blade is swinging
the rats are feeding
still

I can do this I can
get past the blade

I wait time it just
right

and I go through
the arc

yes!

I’m on the other side
in the middle of this
pit this cell
this black hole

and it is getting so hot
like a furnace

and I go towards
the well

the cooling water
of the well
would feel so so sooo

good right now

that water all the way
down

down

down

I’m at the edge

what do I do now

and the pit is so hot
and I start to see
those pokers

those iron spikes
are coming for me

the walls are closing
in trapping me
in

the blade has been raised

my tormentors
they have changed

the pokers
these sharp hot iron rods

are coming for me
encircling trapping

I creep up to the edge
of the well I linger
there

thinking of the waters
below

it’s so hot it’s
so hot

I put my foot on the edge

AND