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

6 thoughts on “Cornflower fields

  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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