The bleak, concrete walls send chills down my spine. How could something so dull and lifeless cause such a vigorous response within my body? Everywhere I turn is inch after painful inch of unsightly gray, countless cracks accentuating the lifeless color (is this even color?) that decorates my habitat. The foul stench I have become used to; a combination of rotten eggs and meat could accurately describe the unpleasant smell. Breathing was often difficult in this place, as I would often catch myself gasping desperately for what little fresh air the narrow window at the end of the row had to offer. A sliver of light peeks through the slit they call a window. How can something be a window if I cannot see through it? My “bed” is more of a stone board, offering little support and much discomfort. A thin “padding” is attached to this slate; however, I see this pad as more of an extra thick blanket glued to the surface for “human comfort.” The toilet is no more than a metal bowl affixed to the cement flooring. Every time I would use it, the coldness stung me, causing me to writhe in pain. The sink is gray metal as well, and on top of it, only the cold water functions properly. Every square inch of this tiny block was gray and cold, myself included. My body has gradually grown numb to any sensation. My face has no color, or so it looks in the reflection of the metal facilities. I haven’t seen my own face in years. This solitary confinement has defined who I am as a person. I am gray. I am cold. I am alone. I was living the life of someone in hell. This had to be hell. I can only fantasize about what it would feel like to reside within a warm and fiery hell. To me, hell seems like it would be paradise compared to this dungeon forced upon me. I deserve to be here, in this tiny square of inhumanity. My own faults have driven me to this dead “life.” How ironic that in my taking someone’s life, my own was taken from me as well? Now I must sit, day after endless day, pondering the choices I should have made that February evening.
A cold drop of acidic water falls upon my head. I tense in response: the crooked pipes are leaking again. Dripping every so often, I sometimes would awaken to find myself lying in a puddle of contaminated water. Where this poison came from, I haven’t a clue, but it was disgusting nonetheless. I drag the small plastic wastebasket underneath to where the leak originated. Pretty soon, I figure, the basket will be full and I will have to call a guard to take it away. The guard will shackle me to the bed while they do this, thinking that I will try to kill them or something insane like that. This is just the way it is with the guards. They carry their guns, yet it’s as though they still feel powerless to the inmates. It’s ironic that the inmates are those who hold the power in this institution. The guards are merely uniformed mommies and daddies, no more than authoritative watchdogs. I wasn’t scared. I didn’t have to be. They would soon see just who ruled this place.
(Creative intro for a story – writing class assignment)