278 - Prisoner


You awaken, shivering on a cold concrete slab in a plain, cubical room of smooth concrete than can only be described as a cell. A ray of red sunlight from a small window- no bigger than a square foot –provides the room its only source of illumination and tells you that you’ve awoken into late afternoon. The day and the place remain a mystery.

You sit up and throw your legs over the edge of the slab to your right. Your bottom grating against the (mostly) smooth concrete of the slab brings to your attention that you are completely naked, head to toe. A quick, disbelieving self-examination yields an exception to that – a plain white zip-tie on your left wrist fed through a bright yellow metal disc. The disc is engraved simply with the number ‘3’.

Number three. That must be you. You’re number three now.

A plain steel door painted a solid, earthen orange sits opposite the small window. You walk to the door and begin shouting “Hello?” with mild trepidation. Your calls bounce off the walls of your cell and back into your ears but, judging from the complete lack of response, into the ears of no one else.

A full, suffocating silence envelopes you.

There is no one else; if there is, they do not wish to make themselves known.

You turn your attention to the small window opposite the room. It sits about seven feet above the floor of the cell: a challenge, to be sure, but freedom is an especially potent motivator.

You effortlessly lift yourself to the miniscule porthole. A verdant forest stretches before you as far as you can see. No mountain, no building, no river or village breaks the solid curtain of green that fills the course to the horizon.

You’re here now. Nothing to do but sit and wait.

Number three.