Inspired by the song Puma by Tomorrow by Together which in turned talked about a real life event
Content Warning: mention of blood, gunshot
The cellar was cold. The concrete absorbed any heat I was trying to salvage and I shivered, bundling up at one corner of the room where it was the farthest from the prickling coldness that entered from the opening between the thick metal bars. Had it been at noon, the sunlight would help to keep me warm and I relished in it. But now the light giver has returned to her slumber, darkness came creeping in and brought back the chills that were gone for a moment. I watched the lamps flickered to life, their light hitting the bars and casting long, black shadows inside my cell as if they were spikes that were ready to impale me at any second. The street was empty, saved for a few plastic bags weaving their way into the dark sky. From a distance, I could see the urban jungle glittering with hundreds of lights. Occasionally, the honkings of the cars reached my ears, reminding me that there were people out there outside of my place. I stared longingly at that simple but beautiful spectacle. It must have been so fun and so warm and so wide where I could run anywhere I wanted without those looming concrete walls that caged me in.
Alas, it was nothing but a paradise out of my reach, a fleeting dream, a wish that would never be fulfilled. I heaved out a sigh and crossed my arms, plopping my head on top of them and planning to spend the rest of the night by sleeping but what I saw stopped my attempt. Light trickled through the gap that was usually firmly closed, the gap that cut my access to the world. The door in the darkness was opened. Giddiness gradually rose on my chest and my heart thumped loudly in my ears, trying not to get my hopes up. Crawling on all four, I approached the door slowly then carefully, very carefully nudged it with my hand, checking to see if the miracle was truly happening and it’s not a mere imagination on my part. The door creaked open slightly. And that was enough to convince me that it wasn’t a scenario that had been constantly playing inside my head. Freedom was finally in my grasp. With one strong push, the door was opened and I stepped out of that suffocating cell into the foreign world. I blinked a couple of times to adjust myself to the brightness that came from the blinding lights and once I was sure the dark spots had vanished from my vision, I was in awe with what laid before me.
The night sky I never had a chance to see from my cell twinkled with stars way more than I could imagine like fine, silver sand had been dumped to the sky just like that. The crescent moon hung from its spot, casting a warm glow to the earth below. Once in a while, gray clouds would brush over them, concealing their beauty. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
Quietly looking around for any patrols, I walked hesitantly and slowly away from my cage. Second trickled and no signs of life were detected. When I deemed everything was clear, I took off running.
The ground was hard and it was rocky unlike the smoothness of my room, clearly nothing like how I had imagined it to be but it was a trivial thing compared to the sheer amount of excitement that filled me. I couldn't suppress a grin from forming on my face and I dashed as fast as my feet could carry me. Where was I going? I didn't even know. But one thing I did know was they would take me to wherever I wanted to be.
It was exhilarating, a feeling that had been lost to me for a long time. My heart beat hard on my chest, pumping those blood that kept me going. The breeze whipped around my face, bringing a sense of coldness that I never knew I would eventually welcome. Everything seemed to pass like blur, the roaring of the blood in my ears outweighed the panic screams that followed me wherever I went. Even when my feet started to ache and my speed slowed down considerably, I never stopped running, never stopped moving even for a second. The stings served as a reminder that this was reality. The reality I could only hope for was finally in my reach.
But of course, my freedom was never meant to last in the first place.
"Stop her!" Something lodged itself to the side of my neck and the effect was instant. The ground started to sway underneath my feet and I struggled to open my eyes where everything I saw had become hazy. Everything looked like a blob of light with black stains walking passed me once in a while. I shook my head to clear out the sudden drowsiness and continued to dash, my feet pounding against the harsh road to bring me further from the Keepers. Just when I thought I was successful, another one pricked my back, and a new wave of drowsiness flared through my body. I groaned and stumbled around, crashing into a nearby bin and spilling the content everywhere. Yet despite that, I steeled myself and scrambled back to my feet, eager to get away for good. The only thing I could do now was to run and chase after the freedom hanging just at the tip of my tongue. Then, I heard it. Bang, bang, bang My blood for the first time spread little by little, the blood that coursed through my veins, the blood that gave me this life of mine. The blood that made me run in the first place. My face kissed the cold asphalt followed by the rest of my body and pain pulsed through my back. I could no longer run and once again, my freedom has been robbed away from me. But for some reason, I was happy.
Another bang rang in the air and everything turned dark.
The moment I open my eyes, a grassy plain meets my sight that stretches far ahead into the horizon. Blades of green grass twirl and dance in the air with the breeze acting as their conductors. Seeing those vastness, I can't resist the urge to just spring forward and dash away.
The ground felt soft and warm underneath my feet and the short grass tickled my bare feet as the familiar jostle I've grown fond of ground me back to earth. Dust flutters in the air as I zip along the lane.
The clouds serenely sail by the bright blue sky, gently passing on toward any place the wind wishes them to reach. The hazy gray tendrils harmoniously merge with the white fluff, creating an almost blueish blend. It is a very beautiful day, that kind of day that won't feel complete if you don't spend it outside and let yourself enjoy the seemingly endless blueness above where everything is free and nothing, nothing can chain it down. And for once, I am the sky. —
“A puma that escaped from a Daejeon zoo Tuesday evening was shot dead after a four-hour hunt, according to 119 emergency workers. The animal escaped from its cage in the O World Zoo at 5:10 p.m. A zookeeper later said he failed to lock the cage after a morning check. The eight-year-old female, weighing 60 kilograms, was shot twice with a tranquilizer gun but kept going before it was eventually killed by live ammunition after it was seen approaching areas dense with people.”