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Short Stories

The Prison

I knew something was fishy about this facility as soon as I entered it. No clocks, no calendars, no nothing. Nothing confirmed my suspicions more of this joint than the day Prisoner 4A6F686E736F6E3432 was caught with a count of days he was locked up for on the wall of his cell shortly after he first arrived to the prison. During inspections near the time right after I got to the prison, we were all lined up facing away from our own cells as the sentry robots search every inch of our cells tearing down posters, moving beds out, searching air vents and anything else you thought would be a smart place to smuggle something they checked it. The robots go cell to cell usually finding nothing except comb blades and other homemade contraband but poor 4A got caught with something we didn’t know was contraband. We all stood relaxed out of our cells knowing that we didn’t have any contraband or items hidden in are cells as they went from 1 cell to the next. They soon got to 4A’s cell as he stood with a sly smirk on face that quickly vanished when the sentry in his cell made a loud buzz and let out a bright red light. The other sentries stopped their searches and rushed in to take 4A away. We didn’t see him at all for the next couple days and when he got back he was as pale as a ghost and didn’t make a peep. He just meandered around like some sort of zombie, just not the same guy at all.

After that happened I knew I had to keep track of time I had spent in the prison. Luckily the same search that ended in 4A getting caught with a way to keep track of time was the way I was going to keep track of time. The sentries searched the cells the same time, same day every week. So instead of keeping track of the amount of days I would just have to keep track of weeks. As time went on and weeks turned into months and months turned into years. I realized what I was fearing all along. No one left, not a single person. The same people that were in this prison when I got here are still here. You probably asking “If you were keeping track of time since your arrival to the current time why didn’t you just ask people their time of serving time?”. Well, man we can’t speak. Speak to ourselves? No. Speak to other people? No. Speak to the sentries? No. You never know how much you’d miss people to talk to until everyone to talk to is gone. People go insane due to less things. These evil bastards even banned books, yard time and everything else that would be considered a moment of relaxation.

Every single day in and out we were required to build the newest phone, the newest laptop and any other device the ‘law-abiding’ citizen could dream up. Even though I counted years changing rapidly I still held the belief that one day we would be set free from this tortuous camp. But I guess the idea of free labor all together was too appealing idea for any politician to take on the enormity of wrong-doing in the system. The prisoners I was with also came to the same conclusion I did, lost hope and started trying to do bizarre things to get out of work. One guy 5061726B65723333 lost it and tried breaking his hand by smashing it into his cell wall. He took his shirt and put it in his mouth not to make a sound but he yelped a little too loud a few punches in and alerted the sentry. What followed is what I can only describe as a brief snap and 50 was dragged out of his cell never to be seen again.

Some people in the prison even went so far to try to hang themselves with their belts. The sentries seemed to have a system to know our vital signs at a constant rate, probably with these chips they implanted in our necks. So when Prisoner 4361727465723633 tried to hang himself it wasn’t a surprise when a sentry came out to check on him pretty quickly. He squirmed on the end of the rope as the sentry watched. The sentry could’ve cut him down but instead it just watched as 43 breathed his final breath. We were worth the same dead as we were alive: nothing. Belts were outlawed after the death of 43 and during the next inspections they took all of them and replaced our jeans and long sleeve shirts(as they were seen to be too long) with pairs of gym shorts and short sleeve shirts.

After all of these events the mood shifted from a dull, boring environment to being a cold, dark environment that lacked any hope whatsoever. New guys came into the prison all the time with a feeling of optimism and hope which was quickly devoured as the looked into the eyes of us old fellows of the jail. Working day in and day out with minimal food and minimal sleep (barely enough to keep us alive and well enough to work). People got sick all the time but at the sight or sound of their first sneeze they were never seen again.

Many times people tried to revolt against these lifeless machines by throwing rocks and other electronic components at them to try to disable them. It never worked, they were all taken away. People tried to run, many of the people even made it out of the main compound but just to be followed by the sound a belt spinning up and a brief moment of gunfire. Every single time something like this happened we mourned and spent the entire day sulking in the memory of our lost prison-mate.

The losses of people started being more and more everyday until at a point I’m sure we were losing more people than people being admitted to this insane asylum. These losses went on for awhile until one day I guess they decided it was too much. We got a new chip installed. Out of nowhere people were pulled out of their rooms and the assembly line disappeared for a few hours then once they got back they were smiling from ear to ear. These new people (I wouldn’t exactly call them human) even starting humming a tune together in sync during the work hours. It took me awhile to recognize the tune after not hearing music in awhile. But I realized they were humming Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now”. People without these new chips were even nodding and shaking their heads to this new tune.

During all of this I remained hopeful, optimistic really. Before I got put in the jail I got the experience of being computer programmer for awhile taking on different jobs and hobbies to keep my skill up. One day I got pulled over for going to fast, which was peculiar now that I think about it because we all drove self driving cars, and the EAP (Electronically Assisted Police) approached my car, told me I was going to fast and told me to get out of the car. The situation went quickly from slightly weird to bizarre as I was put in the back of the autonomous police cruiser.

With my experience, as a programmer/electronic enthusiast as soon as I realized they didn’t check the work stations as hard as they checked the cell rooms I began to devise a plan with the spare parts I found from people left in from the people down the line from me. I began building every single day until I have what sits in front of me now; a glorified typewriter with access to wifi. I don’t have much time, the cell inspections are about to begin. If you read this send help, tell people of these cruelties.

 

Yours truly,

Prisoner 436C61726B3231