Today’s challenge comes from Brian Lageose, who asked me to take a prompt from one of his images. I chose this image as my starting point.
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With clumsy club foot David crept the creaking corridors, circling the spiralling stairs. He walked this route three times a day. Five-fifty-five. Twelve-twenty. And finally, at eight o’clock. Eyes closed or open, he knew the stairs like the back of her hand. Each time carrying the same sad sandwich. He had never meant to hold her here. But here he was; a prisoner in his own home. Unable to leave for fear that she may get out, or that he may get discovered.
Nobody would believe this was an accident. The truth would seem too far fetched. Much better to claim that he was a deranged mastermind complete with perversions and a jaded worldview, ground down by those around him and the pressures of a society that never loved him. The grotesque lies would sweeten the absurd reality making it easier to swallow. He was trapped in this situation by the hastily made foolish mistakes. Unable to back down it was he who was the real prisoner, not her. But no judge would understand him. Juries would deny his right to emotion or invalidate the fact that he had never acted, only reacted.
Each step lower was further descent into becoming the lie that he needed to embody. But the motions had become automatic over the days, weeks, months, years, and decades. Hours spent crafting confessions that he would give from hospital beds when the time came. Setting the tabloid tantalising tone of a sick sad soul whose hard heart hated humanity. He would wait for the last bitter stages, the final hours or minutes.
Turning the key, he knew it might be the last time. Thirty-two thousand nine-hundred and sixty-one visits down these stairs, Never a day missed. But now it had consumed him. He had it in writing along with the keys. If the ending was too violent, or the words could not come out; he could force out his truth by pushing the envelope. Soon, they would both be free.