The room was perfect white. Not spacious or sparse, simply white, the detritus scattered around it’s interior sterile and blank in design but stiflingly busy in practice. Ingenious décor for a jail cell, the sole occupant thought to himself. The whiteness would deny rage, if he’d been willing to express any, and the clutter of needless ornaments and furniture made it a living place, rather than simply a waiting one. A coffee table, a bed, functionally useless tables and cabinets, lamps, a radio, a TV, even chintzy flourishes like statues of pastoral maids and shepherd boys culled from time warped junk shops only to be re-made in immaculate white. Like everything else. There were more modern pieces too, abstract shapes, some seeming to melt across table edges while others emerged from pure walls. All fragile, all breakable but sat on the floor in the midst of it all as effective in holding him as iron bars would have been.
Wreck it all. Throw, punch, kick and smash it all apart and the carefully constructed perfection would be gone. There was no restraint to hold him back from doing so, but nothing else would change beyond the immediate force of the act. The wardens certainly wouldn’t care, isolated as he was they’d never even see. There’d be no freedom born out of the destruction, no relief or release. He’d just be stuck in the same cell, only with all around him sullied by his own brute invasion. The junk and scuffed marks that remained would all be his, guilty against the cold judgement of the room. The inevitability of the result sapped the value of the action.
Not that there wasn’t anger. Oh there was a torrent of that. It flowed all the way back to the outside world, tracing his journey to this final imprisonment and lingering even now underfoot in case anyone should be ignorant as to how he’d arrived at his dead end. It had diminished now, the rage. Still forceful enough to notice but no longer as explosive as it had been when first it had shattered out of the funereal urn that he’d locked it away in way back when, but certainly strong enough never to return to that fractured holding place. Another sign of his captor’s imaginative sense of judgement. A cell to fit the crime and an eternity to wait for the captive to break to it. Or a lifetime at least.
That was why he sat there now, unmoving in the arctic solitude of his new confinement. He had a lifetime now to watch that anger, that rage that followed and filled him. There was only it, him and the perfect whiteness after all. A trio set in state, waiting to see what they would become if they merged into one, the walls and objects no less observant than he himself for all their inert physicality and the anger no less aware despite it’s blind and intangible nature.
So he sat. Waiting for the ‘if‘ to change.
No Cure for Shell Shock, my collection of short stories, is available for free on Amazon Kindle until the 24th of March – grab your copy here. Reviews and shares much appreciated!