The awakening light of dawn flickered like a candle through the bars
of my cell. I sighed, a mixture of tiredness, cold and fear. Last
night had been long and I had not slept. That was not unusual these
days. Through the night, like the many before, I had been stumbling
through my thoughts and feelings. Back and fore, like a rocking chair,
trying desperately to make sense of my situation.
A sudden sound, thunderous to my ears, jolted me out of my thoughts.
It was the Guard on his morning rounds. " So how are we today Prisoner
122?" his voice came through the cell door, dripping with sarcasm.
I looked up from my place on that hard damp mattress and tried to
focus. His small pig - like eyes were nearly all I could make out from
the deep woods like gloom of the cell. I knew I should not waste the
little energy that I had, but there was no denying, I had come to hate
this individual intensely.
"I will call again at dusk" he grunted, sliding back the heavy flap. I
was once again alone with my thoughts. Clutching the thin coarse
prison blanket to my body, hoping that it and the daylight hours would
bring me some warmth.
I had lost count of how long I been confined in solitary to this cell.
Days, weeks, months. It did not seem to matter anymore or make any
The cell was about 2 metres by 2 metres. It was furnished with only
the mattress and a metal bucket for my waste slops. The walls were of
grey stone, scratched with the initials of the previous inmates.
Strangely, when I read these marks, it seemed that there was a
whispering down the years of their existence in this awful place. The
bars on the windows stopped most of the daylight so it came through in
slats. For most of the time there was a silence, an eerie, churchyard
at night time like silence.
I closed my eyes. The memories came cascading down the years like a
on a fast flowing river. Thoughts of my childhood gave off the warmth
of the firelight of a log fire on a cold winters night.
A girl appeared before my closed eyes. She was a fresh faced eighteen
year old, naïve and inexperienced, easily led by others. Me. I had
just left school with a clutch of good grades under my wing. Working
hard had paid off and I gained a place at university to study Law and
Psychology. Like most students I took a gap year keen to have a taste
of life before settling down and working hard
Everything was falling into place. I left my small hometown to go to
live in the city. Like a moth drawn to a light, I must admit I was
attracted to the big, bright, glowing lights of such an exciting place
with so much to offer. Despite the opportunities, moving to a diverse
and sometimes lonesome city was hard at first but I persevered and
eventually found a job as a waitress in an Italian restaurant...