Neil McKinnion – Prisoner
By Neil McKinnion
It’s scary to wake up not knowing where you are, who you are, if this is your home, where are your family or what to do. Have you ever been in my situation? Be thankful you haven’t.
I’m in a metal room with lots of light. How they can have light in a room without torches or lights, I don’t know. The room is about four meters wide and six meters long. There is a giant door next to me. I have restraints on my arms and legs. I try to escape them as they make me feel like a test subject for scientists. I manage to slip away quite easily. I take one look at the leather restraints and notice they would – should – have been incredibly difficult to slip them off.
“Nick”, says an echoing voice.
I yelp and get up. I look around seeing nothing other than the dull room around me. The voice seems to have come from nowhere. There are no speakers, or holes for them to speak through. The voice comes again.
“Nick, you have been sent here because you are a criminal. You committed a crime and you must pay for it. You have been sent to a prison without memory of your past for thirty days. When you are released you will be given your memory. Is that clear?”
I don’t know how to respond. It takes a full sixty seconds to comprehend everything. I’m a criminal? What did I do? I have to stay here for thirty days? I won’t remember anything for that time?
“Yes”, I can think of nothing else to say.
Then there was a horrific sound, booming across the small, cold, metal room. The door opens, revealing a large room made of stone. It is twice the size of a football field, possibly even larger. It is curved at the top, blocking out the sight of the sun and sky. I look around the room, taking a few steps out of the smaller room as I did so. There is another person there, just sitting at a table not even bothering to tell me where I am, or even take a glance at me. I ignore him, just as he is ignoring me.
The room is circular with the door crafted in the wall. I take a few steps back from the smaller room to get a good view. Suddenly the doors started closing. I run as fast as I can to get back into the room, to get back to where I came from. It’s no use. I am at least ten metres away when the doors start closing. When they close I bang my fist on the door and scream bloody murder.
“Once it closes, it stays closed, until the new guy comes at least!” said one of the people at the table.
I didn’t know what to say. New guys? Where am I?!
“What do you mean” I didn’t ask it as a question. I want – need – answers.
“Every three days they have a fight” then he chuckles wryly.” Bet they didn’t tell you that in the box”
“When are you going to get out?” I ask. “I’m not getting out,” his smile fades.” I did something really bad that they aren’t forgiving me for any time soon.” “What did you do?” I ask.
“How should I know?” he replies, beginning to be annoyed. “Hate to kick a man when he’s down, but…”, he begins and starts laughing maniacally. After a while he stops laughing and finishes his sentence.” Hope you have experience with a knife.”
I look dumbfounded at him when half the giant room disappears into the ground.
Behind the doors there is one more person. He looks vicious and bloodthirsty with a crazed look in his eyes. There is a grinding sound coming from the ceiling. I look up and see a…a table. As it lowers I see that there are weapons in it. Knives, swords, flails, maces and so much I couldn’t name.
I turn around to see if the other man understands what’s happening but he’s somehow disappeared.
“Hey!” I yelled across the room at the other man. ”What’s going on?”
He just looks greedily at the table. He walks up to it, grabbing a few throwing knives and stepped back to the other side of the room. “Your turn”, he says calmly.
I walk up to the table and instinctively take a sword.
I ran towards him and thrusted my sword at his head.
He ducked, pulls me towards him and attempt’s to cut at my stomach. As he’s trying to gut me I swing my sword at his neck, cutting open the vital veins in his neck. He fell onto the ground clutching his bloody and still bleeding throat until finally, he stopped moving.
It takes me a while to realize what I had done. I took a life. I murdered a man that may or may not have had a family waiting for him to come home.
Five minutes later the walls closed and the floor opened up to collect the body and the strange man reappeared out of nowhere. “What the hell was that?!” I yell at him. “That?” he replies with mock innocence. ”That was your first fight. Don’t worry, that was a drone. They always use drones for the newbie’s. Come on. You need a good nights sleep.”
“Where?”, I ask, still rattled from the fight.
He simply gestures toward the ground. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to wake up. I don’t want to be here.
“No” I say. “You have to sleep,” he replies. “Who are you?” I ask. He hesitates, but tells me, probably assuming I won’t live long enough to tell anyone. “Jericho” he says. “Nick” I say.
“Well, listen Nick, each week there is a big fight. Fights tomorrow.”
Neil McKinnion, 5th Class, Kilroe N.S, Ower, Headford, Co. Galway