Prisoner. Flash Fiction.

bleh. Feeling fairly crappy today, been having some stomach cramps on and off through the day. Picked up my prescription of Moviprep though, super looking forward to that, I mean how else am I going to get my fix for salty, slightly thickend water with a lemony flavour that does nothing but highlight how awful it really is?

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Denise stumbled as she was shoved into the room, she hit the far wall and pushed herself up, before she could turn the door behind her slammed shut. Denise looked around the room, it was smaller than she expected, about five feet by five feet, the walls were white as were the floors and ceiling, there were no marks on the walls, they were completely smooth. One of the walls flickered to life and a face filled the screen, the man looked like a kindly grandfather, his face was full of laughter lines and his eyes sparkled with a yet to be shared secret. “You have been found guilty and have been sentenced to execution. Your crimes have been deemed heinous enough that you will not get an appeal. This is where you will spend your final moments.” a part of the wall changed, becoming clear behind the glass panel was a flickering candle. “This candle will burn out in exactly ten minutes, at that point the room will flood with gas. It is odourless, it will not be painful, you’ll simply fall asleep and never wake up. The candle is a courtesy, if you do not want to wait or feel that you are ready, press the glass panel, this will extinguish the candle. I hope you enjoy your remaining moments here on earth and wish you the very best as you journey into your afterlife.” the wall turned white again, the glass panel and the candle stayed. Denise couldn’t believe what she had just heard, that couldn’t be right.
“Hello? Anyone? There’s been a mistake!” they couldn’t do this to her! They were going to execute her? For what? She hadn’t even been doing anything. She’d been walking home from work, trying to figure out why the bitch Janet in accounting was still trying to process Denise’s pay when some masked men grabbed her. She banged on the wall, her fist sunk into it slightly, there was no sound. She kicked the wall in frustration and then turned slowly. She had to figure a way out of here, there was a mistake somewhere along the line, she just had to stay alive until they figured it out. They said it was gas right? She grabbed her top and pulled it up over her mouth and nose. She caught sight of the flickering flame of the candle, then lowered her top again. They said she had ten minutes, well, probably less now. She had to be able to alert someone, the system couldn’t be automated, there had to be oversight somewhere. She moved to the door, or at least where she thought the door had been and took off her shoe, then used that to bang on the wall. She started screaming, words at first, cries for help that faded off into mindless noise.

Panting, Denise sat on the ground, she didn’t look at the candle, she could see that the flame on it was low, she didn’t want to know how low it was. How could they do this to her? She’d never broken a law in her life, she’d never even hit someone. She’d heard rumours that they were taking people off the streets but why her? She was a nobody, she didn’t know anyone famous or political. Her breathing was heavy and slow, she was starting to feel sleepy. A spike of panic shot through her but she couldn’t fight against it. Behind the glass the candle sputtered out then the glass panel became white again. Denise closed her eyes one last time before sleep took her.

Three minutes later the floor beneath her rolled back and Denise’s body fell into the pit below it, landing with a muffled thud. The floor slid back and the room was empty again, white, pristine and ready for it’s next prisoner.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 26 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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