Cornflower fields

Fort Barrancas cell door

The cell is all I know. Brick walls on four sides, and a single window at floor level my only source of light. I’ve lost all track of time, not knowing the passage of days, only counting meals. Does the gruel come twice a day, once? Does it even matter?

It’s difficult to tell if I am alone in this gulag. I hear noises that could be from other cells, but are so inhuman I don’t want to think about what has become of my fellow prisoners.

The guards who patrol the grounds don’t speak to us. I haven’t heard another’s voice since I awoke on the cold, damp floor of my cell.

I once tried to recite all the songs and stories I knew, trying to keep a tenuous hold on my sanity. I stopped speaking aloud when I no longer recognized the sounds as words.

The memories faded, the libretto lost in the echoes, and I gave up, surrendering my mind to the darkness.

My only refuge is sleep. In my dreams, I am unbound. Running joyfully across open fields of cornflowers. Soaking in the sun and fresh air, breathing in the heady sweetness of freedom. I wake sobbing, not wanting to leave that reality.

Is this cell, this ungodly prison, my the actual dream? A recurring nightmare, and that field of blue is my true life? It’s so hard to separate the two. My nightmares have become less harsh. I spend it curled up in a corner, hiding from the cries from outside, trying to empty my mind of chaos so I can return to my place in the sunlight.

One day soon, the nightmares will finally end, and I can stay in the field, weaving wreaths of blue for my hair. Perhaps today will be that day.

Master's Class

Inspired by Christopher Moore’s “Lamb”
That’s all I remember

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6 replies »

  1. an exquisite foray into the nasty world of isolation. This is fanastic and your use of the prompt is contained quite well within it. More great writing.

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