They would close and lock the door, echoing a loud ‘click’ through the room. But the sound would be brutally interrupted by your wheezing, proof you were still catching your breath, unable to grasp what had just happened.

If you were lucky, they had brought you in during daytime. That way, once you had calmed down, you would be able to take in your surroundings, even if the only light came from the square, barred opening near the ceiling.

If you were unlucky, it would be in the dead of night. Then, you would first stumble around your new, alien abode on your bare feet, until they’d hit a sticky, damp spot. You would step back, fervently hoping it was the direction you had come from, and sit down, hugging your knees.

In the morning, you would discover a light switch near the steel door, and you’d count yourself lucky that you were in too much of a state the night before to start groping for it; the walls were dangerously rough, and to the left of the switch the concrete had crumbled, wires all out in the open.

The following night, you would forget to flip the switch in time. You had spent your day restlessly sitting on the cleanest spot on the floor, the linoleum torn or stained in other places, trying to gaze through the walls and picture the world outside. And when you realised that darkness had descended, you rushed to switch on the light, only to find out the bulb hanging from the high ceiling needed at least half an hour to warm up. You could never be sure, though; your perception of time was vastly off. You would spend these minutes shivering, imagining invisible walls closing up on you, monsters and beasts in every corner, things you thought were part of your childhood, when you still feared they were conspiring against you in your closet.

The concrete walls were bare, apart from random pleas others had written in rusty smears. A couple of days into your imprisonment, you would hear the same pleas from others, drifting towards you from that opening near the ceiling. Adrenalin would surge through your veins, forcing you to bang the door in rage until your fists covered it in blood.

In vain, you would search the walls for cracks, for hidden shutters, certain that you were able to outwit their criminal masterminds, but you were rewarded only with a pungent stench that hovered near the corners.

Realisation would dawn on you as you crumbled against a wall. You were locked away in a cube-like building, a mass of impassable greyness, surrounded by a vast and box-bordered garden, its only opening closed off by a high and tightly woven fence.

You would stand no chance. No chance at all.

Your eyes burned as a result of your pathetic sobbing as you would fix them on the wall opposite you, unblinking, and realisation made way for submission.

They had won.

© 2009. Revised 2014. This is a purely fictitious work.

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