Square Hole

This short story is about dealing with isolation while in prison. 


There was a square hole in his cell. It shined just enough light for him to see the black stone walls which imprisoned him. He stood on his toes, but his fingertips barely grazed the metal bars. He leaned against the wall feeling its coolness against his bare shoulder. There was thrashing down below from waves crashing against the cliffside.

He smiled at the familiarity of the sound, his lips crack and bled. With his tongue, he wiped away the blood. It had a metallic taste. He sucked on his teeth feeling the black grime which coated them.

As he lowered himself towards the floor, a breeze blew in and tousled his matted hair. It smelt of salt, petunias, and pine. It was a northern wind. The scent threw his thoughts back to when he was a boy. Before he was the commander of an army of orphans, before his my mother and sister were burned and his father hung and disemboweled.

Behind his home, there was a wide space full of purple flowers and tall grass and at the end was the cliff’s edge. He was a boy, no bigger than five, running through the tall greenness feeling the soft blades gaze his cheeks. Before he could reach the cliff his father scoped him up and once in his father’s arms, he caught a glimpse of the ocean. Wind blew against his face. It smelt of salt, pine, and petunias.  His eyes tightened around the memory. His father placed him back on the ground.

“Come along!” said his father walking back home where his mother was waiting.

His tiny, thick legs scurried over, but a sound gave him pause. It was a voice softer than his father’s rough voice, but deeper than the mother’s soft tone.

“Come back to me,” it said, “I love you.”

His eyes opened. There was a square hole in his cell; it brought death to his cell. Instead of fists and guns, it killed with dreams. But, her voice was his shield.

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