The Prisoner

A bright light. A dark road. Memories fade like morning starlight. She found herself in a cold dark room, ankle deep in coarse dust. She. How did she know she even was “she”? The room was so dark she couldn’t see anything, including herself. Nothing gave her any indication of where she was, or how she got there.

She began to walk forward, with great difficulty. Moving was like trudging through dry snow. “Why am I here?” she thought to herself. She started to become frustrated. What did she do to end up like this? The way forward seemed infinite, and in truth she had no way of knowing it was forward at all. Her situation felt hopeless.

She took a rest. Nestling in the immense dust. “No way out” she thought bleakly. She laid back and briefly considered going to sleep, but then she heard a faint noise. She shot up and tried to hear which way it came from.

She followed the noise with renewed purpose and hope. Making her way already seemed easier. The sound started as a faint murmur. And grew in a strange sound almost like laughter. It was another person, she knew, she hoped… but she knew she had to find the source.

After trudging for what seemed like hours she reached a cold smooth wall. The voice was on the other side. She was trapped. Someone had trapped her here and it was likely the owner of the voice on the other side. It still made that faint laughing noise, mocking her. Anger and frustration welled up inside her. She slammed her arms on the wall.

Screaming, demanding her release. The laughing voice sounded briefly confused, but was generally unresponsive. Her hatred grew immense. She considered everything, her memory loss, confusion, her prison, the laughing voice and its owner; her captor. She screamed, the raw gutteral scream of a trapped animal.

Her fury became an inferno. The hateful heat of it carrying her out of her prison. She saw light for the first time since her imprisonment. It stung her eyes but she was too livid to notice. She was in a house… A man across the room from her with tears running down his face. “He should weep,” she thought. “Because now I’m free.”

Blue flames flowed from her in every direction, burning the bouquets that filled the room. The man tried to put out the flames that engulfed him in vain. He rolled and squirmed on the floor until he sagged, becoming a cracking pile of blackened flesh. Revenge was hers.

She looked down and saw her former prison laying on the floor. A small metal container with pale ashes spilling out. “Jane Austin – Loving Wife” was engraved on the front in bold letters. “Jane Austin” that name brought back a flood of tender memories, but much too late.