I sat curled in the corner of the chilled room, analysing my prison cell. The walls that were once painted a fresh white are now a dull brown, filled with horrifying memories; where psychotic men drew closer and closer to their death. Staring up from the corner of my cell, a light begins to flicker in the corridor as moths flutter around it, searching for the only hope and light within the prison.
A muscular figure stands in the corridor, his broad shoulders pressed back and chest puffed out. He begins to stroll through the passageway, eyeing each and every man with his deadly tiger-like eyes. His white uniform outlines his wrinkly pale skin, as he walks past my cell tapping the heels of his boots against the cement floor. I clench my fists every time he pierces those lethal eyes into my sorrow soul. Each man would tremble in the darkness of their cell knowing that this malevolent man would lead them to their death when the time would arise in the near future. Every hour of every day, on exact timing, the shadows of the malicious guard would pass by the rusty bars of each cell in the zoo of madness. Every twelve hours of each day, the ear splitting sound of the old clock tower bell would ring, driving us all closer to madness, wanting to add to the speckles of blood splattered across the cement walls and floors of our cells.
Observing when darkness falls in the real world, a little crack in the wall displays life outside, freedom. The one time I dared to look through this crack, I could do nothing but sob. From that day on I have never looked through the crack, to recall the many joyous memories with my family, I know that I have lost the privilege of being a free man.
I arise from the corner of my cell, letting the tingly feeling of blood circulate through my legs. I walk towards a wall, stroking a line with my long, filthy and crumbling fingernail to mark my seventeenth year, third month and fourteenth day in this prison. The daylight seeps through the crack in the wall to inform me of the time of day. Hundreds of guards pass through the corridor sliding our meals through the grey bars. The meals always remain the same for breakfast and dinner; a thick brown paste spread over the tin plate and a plastic cup of water. I gulp down this atrocious, yet satisfying meal each day and enjoy every sip of water to quench my thirst.
As the guards finish handing the meals, one stays behind, the same guard who passes through the corridor each day. He clicks his heels towards my cell and stares through me like a transparent piece of glass. He fumbles with his keys to search for one that will fit my lock. My heart pounds, pumping blood faster than I knew it could. Have I done something wrong? Is he going to beat me? Is he going to kill me? Millions of thoughts rush through my mind giving me a migraine.
I stumble as I walk through the corridor, trying to keep up with the guard’s pace as he drags me by my ear. All the other men stare at me in astonishment, their orange jumpsuits glowing brighter than ever. I am pulled into a courtyard area where my wife, children and other men and women stand. My eyes fill with tears that trickle down my cheeks. I attempt to run towards my family, but the guard’s firm grip against my arms is too tight. I am pulled onto a stage like structure and I am forced to kneel in front of the guard. A knife is pressed against the back of my neck, and then I am gone. I knew I would never live to have the privilege of being a free man again.