08 March 2012

The Prisoner (short story)

When he/she awoke, he/she was in total darkness. He/she had no idea what time it was or even where he/she was. It was likely sometime the next day, given all that he/she had been through. He/she had been so exhausted. As sleep began to fall from his/her eyes, he/she moved around a bit, and discovered he/she was on a mattress on a cement floor. He/she was still naked, but strangely, his/her sneakers had been put back on his/her feet.

Then he/she felt something around his/her right ankle. Using his/her fingers, he/she discovered a leather shackle, a leather shackle which was padlocked around his ankle, to which was also padlocked a chain, of the variety used for big dogs.

On your hands and knees, you followed the chain to its end, where you found the other end padlocked to square wooden support post. You then turned around and crawled out until the chain was taught, then stretched out your body trying to touch a wall. No luck.

You went in the other direction. Same result. Eventually, you had crawled over almost every square inch of the floor space you could reach, and never been able to reach any wall. Nor had you run across any object on the floor, save for a metal bucket that smelled faintly of urine.

Probably for us to relieve ourself in, we thought. Just what we need right now.

Sightwise, the darkness was eerie, and the silence it contained unsettling, but the room was neither hot nor cold, just a little warm, but comfortable.

Probably a register somewhere for a central unit.

Not that we could reach it even if we knew where it was; we had already tried that with the ceiling and found we was unable, even jumping up with our arms overhead.

Since we knew we were safe doing so, we began to pace the room to clear our head. That may not have been for the best, for as our mind began clear, all the trauma of the previous evening came back to us, and we remembered that it was likely we were still in the compound somewhere, out of touch, out of sight, out of mind.

That at least brought relief in that we were no longer in a void. But the only way of which we knew to silence the fear that our realization brought with it was to go back to sleep. So we walked around until we found our mattress, then we lay down again and went back to sleep.

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