Surrounded by four white walls, there is nothing else to do but stare at them. To look at the paint that has started to chip off as time passes, or gouges left by other prisoners - anything to pass time, slowly going mad, theorizing absurd meanings from the wall's blank stare.
Your stomach grumbles, echoing round and round the chamber walls until it fades into nothing. In an effort to stop the pain, you grasp your stomach only to find the familiar feeling of your bones, crushed under your tight skin. You’ve been in the cage for as long as you can remember. He’d visited you for as long as you can remember. Three times a day. Never to talk, never to help. All he ever did was inject you with that serum, and it was about time he showed up. “Maya baby… ” You see your father approaching you, his hands are bloodied and his teeth, yellow and rotten. His clothes are torn all over and his hair is an absolute mess. “Maya baby…” he says it again and you scream. You scream at the top of your lungs.
You scream at the top of your lungs. You tell your father to stay away but when he doesn’t, you throw things at him. You throw your broken slipper and your ceramic comb, that you’ve been using to cut the prison bars, little by little. You throw everything that comes in your hand towards him. “But your father is dead,” the jailer reminds you again. She grabs the back of your neck and drags you all the way down to the basement. To where everyone is busy with work. She pushes you and you hit the ground. You slightly touch your scalp, just to see your fingers covered in blood. Again.
“Maya is doing the entire sweeping today. Don’t forget to collect the dirt from the third floor, the electric point hasn’t been swept in quite a while now." You write the words 'the electric point' on the ground with your bare hands and rub it quickly after. The electric point is what will help you leave this place.
There in front of you is the path leading to your freedom. “Aye,” the creepy peon begins. His left eye is swollen and his upper lip has a cut. “Aye, look who’s here.” He starts moving towards you, dragging his right leg while doing so. Your mind starts doing the quick calculations again. He has the key to the final escape door. No matter what, you can’t just hit him and run away. He comes near you and is just a few centimeters away. His breath smells of garlic and is quite stale. You wonder when was the last time he took a bath. He lifts his hand up and it is at that very moment when you poke your forefinger and your middle-finger into his eyes, a safety act your mother taught you when you were little. You punch him, again and again, in his big fat stomach and he constantly spits saliva at you. Disgusting. You feel his pocket for the key and without any hindrance take it out. He curses something and starts to call out for help when you peel away a little piece of your shirt and tie it over his mouth, leaving him to die.
Next you apply a gel. The Gooseberry jailer had told you that the gel to reduce the effects of electric shock was in her office. Hadn’t she? Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. You apply the gel on your fingers and up your elbows, to lessen the effects of the electric shock. You insert two of your fingers into the electric board and fall down onto the ground, praying upon your destiny next.
Plan #1- successful.
You awake under a sheet, certain they took you for dead. You throw off the covers and notice that the power is still out. Not in the morgue, of course or else the bodies would rot away. You breathe heavily and start to think of what to do next. The key- you feel your pocket for the key but it isn’t where you remember putting it. It isn’t in your right pocket. You hear footsteps approaching from outside the room. What if…What if they’ve found out about your attempt at running away? You feel your pocket for the key again- and to your surprise, there it is. So, at times your mind plays tricks too.
The morgue’s door opens and in comes the jailer, one of the staff members of the Healthcare and the wounded peon- so, he didn’t die. Your mouth is tightly clamped shut as the jailer points a flashlight on and about various dead bodies. She uncovers the cloth in which the dead bodies have been wrapped, hoping to find a Maya underneath but Maya is nowhere to be found. Your hand hits the stand placed beside you and all the heads turn. They come with hurried footsteps towards you, to claim their reward for finding you. But destiny helps you again. And despite the fierce search, they are unable to find you. “Dang it.” The jailer pounds a fist at the stand placed just beside you. You’ve been holding your breath for quite a while now. “She has escaped. She has escaped, you fools. You couldn’t get hold of a criminal? Shame on you! Just leave,” she barks and all the others do as she bids and leave the morgue like obedient puppies. Soon after, the jailer leaves too.
It feels so good to be able to breathe freely again. You get up and make sure that no one is in sight. You feel your pocket for the key again and this time it is just where you put it. Relieved, you smile. You peek out of the morgue’s door making sure there is no one on your left and on your right. You leave your slippers in the morgue lest they prove to be of some help for the jailer in finding you. You start running towards the main door with tippy-toes. You keep on looking behind you in case somebody is following you. Your fingers are red from holding the key very tightly. Just few more steps. Just few more steps. You chant in order to keep your feet and your mind going. You see the tall wooden gate, the pathway to your freedom, standing ajar. But when you look again, it is tightly shut. Nevermind. Nevermind. You keep chanting, the key in your hand causing an itch now. Just few more steps. Just few more steps.
You pull out the key and are just about to insert it into the lock when somebody pulls the back of your neck, slaps you and pushes you onto the ground. The key that you had gained access to after going through so much pain, is snatched withing seconds too.
Somebody lifts your chin up and suddenly, you are looking into coal black eyes. “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." it’s the jailer. And that is the very last thing you see and hear before darkness pulls over.