It was a sign of the times when a person could be jailed for writing fiction on charges of sedition and inciting a public riot. There had been no marches, no protests, no riots, and no damage that anyone had seen, but the Left had insisted that his words were dangerous, and here he was. He was allowed no visitors, was kept in solitary, and was not allowed any type of writing material such as paper or even a stylus. He’d grinned to think that anyone might believe this would stop him from imagining the stories that had sustained him for so long, but the loss of personal freedom was a bit difficult to deal with. The Left had essentially locked him up and threatened to toss away the key, something they might have railed against only a few years ago when it was done to anyone else. Or rather, anyone else that wasn’t white. He didn’t bemoan his captivity, nor did he whine about being mistreated, but he definitely took note of his circumstances.
His incarceration had lasted for days on end now, though he had no other way of telling the time save for his meals, which came fairly regularly. He wasn’t allowed phone calls, which was interesting, and as far as he knew the outside world could have up and disappeared. But the worlds inside his head were still very much there and thriving, since one thing the Left could never seem to understand was that killing ideas was impossible. They survived everything, from minor attempts to stop them from happening to nuclear war. Ideas were always there, they were just waiting for someone to pick them up and run with them once again. He had plenty of ideas to keep his mind busy, and just enough room to keep his physical health up.
It wasn’t too much of a surprise one day when the slot in his door opened and a guard’s voice could be heard. But he didn’t expect freedom, that would be too easy.
“Cuff up,” the guard said. He didn’t hesitate, but he didn’t hurry either since he wasn’t about to make it look as though he would do anything to get out of here. Making his way over to the door he turned his back and thrust his hands through the opening. The handcuffs were applied none too gently, pinching his wrists slightly as he accepted it without a remark. Stepping forward when he was told to do he waited as the door was unlocked and opened, the wiry-looking guard that had admitted him standing there with a sour look on his face.
“Let’s go, the warden wants to see you.”
“Did I breathe too loud?”
“Do you want to keep breathing?”
“Sure, it’s been fun so far.”
The guard almost snarled at him, “Keep cracking wise and you won’t be able to think straight by the time we’re done.”
“It couldn’t be worse than the light drills and forced showers you’ve been giving me,” he said with a grin.
“You don’t know when to shut up, do you?”
That almost elicited a laugh as they traversed the depressing hallway that led out of solitary confinement, but he wasn’t about push his luck that much. “I do, but it’s been a while since I had such a pleasant conversation. Your voice is just cathartic, what can I say?”
It turned out that there were plenty of places without cameras within the corridors leading to the warden’s office.
(to be continued)