Nov 9th – Captivating Confines

November 9th – Captivating Confines


The cell was grey. The walls, the floor, even the ceiling: all grey. The light, such as it was, was a grey metal dome, fixed to the ceiling, with an orange bulb shielded by a grey grille. Just in case. In the corner of this cell, as there was in the corner of every cell, was a toilet bowl, in grey aluminium, no lid. A sink, next to it, the same.

A grey metal shelving unit, the same brushed aluminium as the other fittings, was against one wall. On it he had put what he was allowed to put: a couple of books, a photograph, black and white, underclothes. His prison uniform, standard issue, was a darker grey, but still grey. Punishment was the sucking out of colours.

A window, too high to see out of, was on the end wall. The sky, as if in sympathy, or maybe just to mock him, was usually grey. What he could see of it.

He had done something, to be in here. He knew that much. What it was, or why he did it, didn’t really matter any more. The past was as grey as the present. How long ago was it, that he was put here? He had stopped counting, or even trying to count.

But he had held on to something. In his head was where the colours lived, where the colours had always lived. And he painted his days with the colours from inside his head, turning the walls into canvasses. Into giants.

Blues swirled into greens, reds into purples, sunrises and sunsets and the depths of oceans burst from his mind and played themselves onto the empty spaces of the cell walls, aching with beauty. The ceiling became galaxies, auroras, nebulae of exploding stars and dying lights. The confines of his cell were limited only by the colours of the palette of his mind, and today, like every day, he was captivated.

Inspired by writing prompts from here

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