Three Hundred Sixty-Five Days

Submitted into Contest #84 in response to: Write a story that spans exactly a year and takes place in a single room.... view prompt


Drama Speculative

She never made a sound.

That’s what the guards will remember.

Day 1

She goes quietly.

Two guards in front, two behind- each holding a chain that keeps her a prisoner.

She doesn’t try to escape.

A white door, in this white, white prison slides open.

She could escape. It’s almost laughable of how easy it would be. Her powers are begging to be let out and make the chains dance to her will. But she, Anna Jean Parvell or Prisoner 203521 as she is now known, will stick to the plan.

The guards attach her chains to the floor and walls.

And right now, the plan is she lets herself be a prisoner. Not forever. Just twelve months. Three hundred and sixty-five days.

The guards leave. The door closes.

Her countdown begins.

Day 32

Cameras follow her every move. Her arms are no longer chained but her ankles are; though the chains are long enough that she can walk. Get her exercise she supposes. So that’s what she does.

Thirty steps from wall to wall. Repeated over and over. When she feels tired, she lays down on the thin mattress. But otherwise she does nothing. Doesn’t speak aloud. Doesn’t sing or hum.

Just walks and sleeps and eats when they feed her.

She hopes her guards are bored out of their skulls.

Day 59

A spot on the wall opens. A tray is slid through. Her nourishment for the day. Tasteless goop that wasn’t even fit for pigs and a plastic cup of water. They could at least use a reusable cup.

Save the earth and all that.

But they probably didn’t think like that. Who cares about a throw-away cup when the battle has been won- those horrible leaders dead, the cursed all locked away?

But the joke was on them.

This was all part of the plan.

Day 110

Will it work?

She stares at the same white wall that has been her companion for months. It has to work. It will work. The professor is never wrong. He always has a plan.

Please. Let this work.

Day 143

They think she will break.

Her feet are locked down into one place. Her arms are chained to her sides, her hands encapsulated in metal gloves to prevent her from using her powers on them.

A man sits in a chair in front of her while she stands. He asks questions. Questions about her past and her powers.

She doesn’t say a word.

He changes tactics.

Is she comfortable? Does she need an extra blanket? A pillow? Just answer the questions, and you can have those. Besides what does it matter? There is no need to keep these things secrets. It’s all over.

But it isn’t over.

If it was, he wouldn’t be here.

So Prisoner 203521 smirks.

And stares straight ahead, hope returning.

Day 161

And that hopes sustains her as the room begins to close in on her. The white walls and white floor and white ceiling with their florescent lights push in on her closer and closer, squeezing her into a ball; making her feel as if she will break before it eases and the room expands back out.

She would think that it’s one of their tricks, another attempt at getting her to reveal the secrets she carries. But as she forces herself to get up and walk, the room is still the same thirty paces.

Day Something

Time has lost its meaning.

It’s amazing that, somehow, until now, in this thirty steps by thirty steps room, she’s held onto her sense of time. That it is passing and that she’s not just repeating the same day over and over.

But now, she doesn’t know how long she has left in this purgatory. But she holds on. Because there is a plan and she will stick to the plan. She will be ready for the moment when she goes from prisoner to liberator.

Until then she will walk and sleep and eat the goop and drink the water.

Because when that moment comes, she will be ready.

Day Who Knows?

The goop isn’t its normal tastelessness.


She sleeps.

And in her sleep, she dreams.

She is standing on the beach near her home. The water is lapping at her feet. She breathes in the salty air. A man joins her. Professor. He takes a drink of something. She smiles at him.

“Tomorrow’s the day.” He says.

Anna Jean nods. If anybody but the Professor had proposed the plan, she would have called them crazy. But this is the Professor.

“Tell me the plan.” He says.

She raises an eyebrow. They’ve been over this a million times.

He chuckles. “Humor me.”

Anna Jean opens her mouth to speak but her words catch. She pushes a hand against her chest as it begins to burn. Like a wildfire, it spreads. Chest to shoulders, down into her arms and to the tips of her fingers. Chest to stomach to thighs and down her calves and into her ankles, down to the tips of her toes.

She burns. Burns like a thousand suns.

The professor’s face melts away into a black abyss.

Her eyes open.

Anna Jean is gone. Prisoner 203521 is awake.


She sleeps.

Day Still Don’t Know

The chains are tighter. The room whiter. The lights harsher.

Prisoner 203521 sits in the middle of the room and rocks. Back and forth. Back and forth. Sometimes smooth, sometimes jerky.

Not a word or a sound passes through her lips.

Not that it matters.

Nothing matters anymore.

At least Prisoner 203521 doesn’t think so.

But maybe she’s wrong.

She hopes she’s wrong.

Day 292

He said the date.

Her questioner. The same one as before said the date.

And she’s close. So close. Her fingers tighten around her crossed legs.

He sits across from her. “We can help you.” He says. All kind and gentle like he’s her savior. Come to rescue her, protect her. Help her see the error of her ways.

She stares just over his shoulder. She doesn’t need a savior. She’s quite capable of rescuing herself.

He sighs. “You know you can trust me.”

Trust him? She nearly snorts. That’s what every snake says before it bites you.

Day 347

It’s night.

She knows because the lights in her room have gone from noon-day sun to the gentleness of the moon.

She’s under the thin blanket, her eyes closed though she’s nowhere close to sleep. Echoing through the hallway of space and into her mind she hears it. “Be ready.”

Anna Jean smiles.

Day 365

The questioner is once again back but she pays him no mind.

Her head is bowed, eyes closed, as she waits for the signal. Three hundred and sixty five days have led to this moment and it takes all her will not to unleash the power that is already sparking at her finger tips curled into her palm.


Her eyes flash open. Her head lifts and Anna Jean smiles.

Purple and red sparks dance across the chains that hold her prisoner. She stands and yanks the chains. The mounts fly free of the wall. Her questioner is shouting for guards as he pushes himself against the wall.

Anna Jean stalks forward like the wolf she is. She leans in close. The man flinches and she smiles.

The door of her prison opens. She turns and flicks the chains. They wrap around guards tossing them to the side like they are nothing more than rag dolls.

The scene repeats itself over and over as Anna Jean walks through the hallways of her once prison. Guards try to stop her. She stops them. They’re injured. But not dead. And not her prisoners. Not yet. If they come for her again, it will be a different story.

She flicks her hand. The doors of the prison burst open.

Anna Jean steps outside and breathes in her first breath of freedom. She’s free and she’s not the only one. All over the world the supposed cursed are breaking free. The fuse is being lit.

She takes a moment for that to sink in. The sound of whirring blades fills the air. Dust kicks up around her as a helicopter lands in the parking lot.

“Ready?” The Professor smiles at her from the pilot’s seat and gives her a little salute.

Anna Jean smiles and drops the chains before climbing in beside him. “Ready.” She says, her voice rough.

The helicopter lifts off the ground.

Three hundred and sixty-five days of silence and endless steps and tasteless goop. And now the moment was here.

It was time to set the world on fire.

March 12, 2021 02:13

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Srestha Mondal
06:15 Mar 19, 2021

A thrilling read! Can be a good start to a novel :)


Lyn Carstone
18:18 Mar 19, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)


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