The prisoner – short story

I woke up this morning. It was dark. So I yelled. Not loud, but inside. Inside I yelled. “I’m in the dark here!!”
I heard someone knocking on my door.
“So that’s it,” I thought, “I’m in the dark, and going crazy!! Help!”
Knocking again.
“Who’s knocking?” I asked. Not out loud, on the inside. I think only on the inside. But then I heard this voice, answering.
“I came to shed light in your darkness, if you would please let me in.”
I laughed. What a crazy thing to say! I’m in the ward here, the Official Ward R8N. So maybe this is not me going crazy, but the warder. He is knocking on my door, asking to let him in. I’m laughing again. Like crazy.
“Will you please let me in?”
Ah well, if I’m going crazy, I might as well act as if I can indeed open the door. I can tell you, being in the dark, not an easy task. But I manage. Surprise! I can indeed open my door…
A kind of ghost comes in. Or a priest. I’m not sure.
“So you’re in the dark, yes?”
I do not answer. I’m really going nuts. I did NOT say that out loud. Or did I? I decide not to complain, because the priest (or is it a ghost?) brought a little candle. Warm and sheds light in my cell.
“So how are the warders doing nowadays?”
I look at the priest and wish I could say something, but I really don’t know what to say. I have this crazy idea that the warders change according to my moods. Sometimes they are really nice, complimenting me all the time. On rainy days they can be a real pain in the ass, criticizing me as if I was the world’s worst person. I’m not sure whether the warders follow my moods or the other way around, though…
“They are at your service, are they not?”
That’s it, I quit thinking. I did not say this out loud, but the guy is reading my mind. Creepy.
“If you want to know whether the warders follow your moods or the other way around, try changing your mood on purpose. You’ll know.”
I really want to have a nice debate on this one with the strange visitor, so I finally decide I might just say something. I turn inwards, looking for a nice, strong sentence, but when I look up, all that is left of him is the candle. The light. The cell door is open.

Now since that strange visitor came, as I’m going crazy anyway, I decided I might as well give it a shot, his idea. So I changed my mood. And everytime I changed it, the warders changed accordingly.
And then I did this really awfully crazy thing. I decided to search inside me for a mood that does not call for warders. I found something like – kind of peace… not criticizing, not complimenting, just being. That is probably when I went completely crazy, because that day, when I managed to be like peacefull… well, you won’t believe me, but… see… there were not warders… the whole Official Ward around… just me…
So I went for a walk. Discovered places I’d never been before. Ah well, for a prisoner kind of an adventure. When that thought crossed my mind, I remembered that I had forgotten why I was in the Official Ward in the first place. So I decided to look for the director’s office, and ask him.
I had to be patient, because there are a lot of rooms and doors in that Official Ward. And kind of things the warders left, that remind me of kind and unkind persons. But finally I managed to find the director’s room. I knocked. And somewhere on the inside I heard a voice saying “Com’in”. That must be the precise moment that I really lost my mind.
You see, when I say I heard that voice on the inside, I mean on the inside. Not the inside of that room. No. The voice was on the inside of me.
As I had get used to voices speaking inside and weird stuff ever since the visit of the strange priest, I decided to just ignore the voice, or rather: to ignore it was speaking from inside. So I opened the door.
The director was looking through the window, with his chair turned away, so I couldn’t see him right away. But I had this strange feeling I knew that person.
The chair turned. And I did know the person indeed. It was me, sitting there. Speaking from the inside of me. Now I might be totally out of my mind, but still this was too much. So I ran, back to my cell, and closed it’s door. Tightly.

The warders have been coming and going, ever since. I kind of learn to stear them. But today I’m going back to the director’s room. I want to talk to him. Her. Me… I don’t know… Whatever…

“Hi. You’re back.”
“Yes, well, last time… I wanted to ask you: why are you keeping me here? Why are you posting these warders around the place? How does this thing work? What did I do wrong?”
“You have a lot of question.”
“Yes, well… Indeed… sorry for that, but I want to understand… And how come you look so like me?”
“I do not just look like you.”
“Who else could I be than you?”
“Well, you could be you…”
“I’m not…”
I tried to grasp that. And than this craziest thought ever came across my mind. If I was the director, I could also decide to close down this facility, and walk out. I could set myself free. I was not quite sure this was possible. I felt like, let’s say… scared…
So I went back to my cell and dreamed about it. Over and over again. That I was the director and that I decided to close down the ward, send all the warders home and walk out of here a free woman.

I did. Yesterday.
I’m still a little scared, I’m not used to being free. I feel fragile. Vulnerable. I might get used to it. I do enjoy.
Oh, and I saw that strange visitor again. He was not carrying a candle this time.
“You came out of the dark? Congratulations!” And he smiled, and vanished.
I did say goodbye to the director. It almost felt like I wast grateful for keeping me inside for so long, teaching me how to get out. He smiled. No – she… she smiled… She’s the best and worst warder ever in the world, that’s for sure. Hence she is the director. Was.

I just decided not to be her prisoner any longer…

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