Begin Again

Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor

I’m at the beginning, where later I will begin again. 
Every time I die, I will begin again. 
A guard wakes me, brings me in, shows me the statue in the room. 
Walk into the room, power goes out, alarms blare, lights fail, 
the statue turns, two snaps, I turn my back, a third snap, and I begin again. 
Eyes front, walk back, don’t look away, and it can’t attack. 
Door is closed, I stumble, I think, I blink-Snap. Begin again. 
Control my blink, move faster, escape that thing again. 
Press button, door opens, press button, door closes, statue out of sight. 
Stone on floor, grinding, halting, every blink brings it closer. 
Out of sight, present in mind, alarms overhead ring again. 
A room of gears, clockwork, grinding and halting, metallic grinding, 
Experiment, discover, wonder, excitement and escape, creaking? 
Blackness from the floor, a man rises, arm outstretches grasping, 
Touched, elsewhere, dark doors and stone floors, I linger, I rot, begin again. 
Eyes front, door closes, statue grinding, gears aligning, man rising,  
I run, flee, doors close and open, open and close, hallways the same, 
where have I been again? Turn left then right, I know this room, I am here again. 
Man pursues, walks through doors, reaches out, the fear again to begin again, 
Too near again, I flee again, checkpoint doors, feet echo now on metal floors. 
Statue grinding shifting, reappears again, choke on smoke, eyes sting and snap. 
Begin again, get clear again, faster by a minute again, they’re near again, 
But I’m better again, don’t feel the fear again, even when I begin again. 
It’s been some time since I did begin again. Some time since the man from the floor 
made me disappear again, escape the dark room again or threatened to begin again. 
Metal halls and curving walls, a crying sound, then ripping and tearing, and I feel it, 
The fear again, to begin again. I strain my ears to hear again, hear it cry again, 
See the being, tall, thin and alabaster skin, cries again, screams again, rips again, 
Begin again. Eyes, doors, gears, floors, rises, runs, curves, and more. 
Here again, cries again, rips again, observe and it rips, avert instead and slip? 
Away, away, away, evade the statue and the man and the one that rips, 
Look again, run again, avert again, and between it all, begin again. 
More doors and halls, tile floors and white walls, offices and chairs, 
With railings and stairs, an announcement from above, danger again? 
Saviors incoming, with running and gunning, to safety, I implore! 
Muzzle flashes and body crashes. I trusted again, I learned again, now I begin again. 
statue, snap, begin again, man, rot, begin again, crying, rip, begin again. 
Run, grab, go through gears and doors and different floors. Duck and hide and run and die. 
Begin again, begin again, I begin again, they begin again, what sort of place am I in again? 
But I’ve watched the statue, looked away from the crying, trapped the man and avoided dying. 
I’m out and I’m free, the sky is above, I try to flee but right into the cuffs. 
Saviors catch, don’t fire, I am captured but do not expire. Don’t die again, don’t begin again. 
Power restored, superiors informed, survival endorsed, containment enforced. 
Danger secured, I am contained, and so long as protected, never again slain. 
I sit back, and I sigh, names roll before my eyes. Screen returns to the start, options are detailed. 
New game, or load, or exit it all. I click on new, change difficulty to Keter, for with experience I can 
Get through again. The statue, the man, monsters and saviors, I could survive it all if I only once begin again. 

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 4 on Thursday, Dec. 7.

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