Cover Photo By David Miranda
Cover Photo By David Miranda.

Oxygen Drive-Through

Do you see the end?

By Marguerite Marie Ferrer, and Lori Dumaligan | Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Orange blossom antiseptic strikes my nostrils first. 

My muscles contract in a clamor of tremors. 

White light enters my cornea as invisible walls surround

twelve millimeters of thick safety glass and corrugated steel.


I remember rhythmic—the policeman managing morning traffic;

and trancelike—a light beam racing three hundred thousand miles per hour 

as our city stood still while a viral frequency releases vibrations:

footsteps, cars, and decibels tapping to a secret stream. 


In this device enclosure is an endless echo. 

I circle the museums of my mind, languishing languidly, 

while today’s food tray sits by a grey suitcase and rolls of drawings—

the last remnants of a beginning I almost buried.


A blinking screen reads that this is my final checkpoint till I see

the sunrise again and yet, the taste of misplaced hope sours my lips.


I succumb once more to the haunting of this prosaic capsule.

How I re-entered the loop; there must be system error in play,

for I fear for the machine piercing my skin and holding me still. 

Helplessly, I count the days until this trial ends.


My blood is drawn and my forehead glints with grinning uncertainty.

At my final test in exchange for my bucket list, I reach for

open fields without a guard to shield with—where the world turns 

as it used to. So, I take my chances and walk out the door.


Then, a lost bullet strikes, and I’m knocked unconscious by a false positive.

Chemical elements battle alongside my body as the engine never stops—

enveloped through my veins, my head spins as I realize that

I can never survive this excruciating test again.


I am detached from the pod sheltering me, little did I know how many 

more it will take. A bitter pill to swallow—what awaits is a sentence for life.

Tags: IntoStory