I was being shuffled down a hall. Everything looked like ten miles of grey. Deserted walls, with only a few lined-up, silver cacti delineated each impact of my every step. The cuffs were too tight and I felt my skin splitting. Not seeing it though, it didn't hurt; and my kindly shepherd -a prison guard- led me safely through the grey valley (not of death). Neither of us smiled, nor said a word and we didn't dare blink.
My prison cell was engineered for the sensory deprivation of a lonesome prisoner like myself. It was bland; blander than all the other cells, for a more specific purpose thoughone which I will leave to the imagination. My bench played as a theatre seat, as my thoughts; my memories of my 'crime' played against the plain, white, halogen lit wall from my bloodied mind. I saw, in pristine, caustic clarity the fear which I had hidden until now. I had feigned courage and was seen as a hero in the eyes of many. No one had seen my true self. I wouldn't let myself weep though, as I knew my body and mind were too weak-willed to do much of anything now.
The kindly shepherd returned day after day, asking for a confession. I had to tell him and he had to listen. This was my opportunity, so I laid everything out and hid nothing. I told him why I was in prison; what they had done to me when they found out what I had said. I told him why I said it and how I said it. The anger that I held back. How I stood in the street -trying to hide my shivers- holding my fists meekly above my humble self. I told him of my philosophy; my beliefs. Every day, The kindly shepherd's eyes grew deeper and affectionately darker. We saw each other's souls and I knew I had done something that he believed would lead him down a path he could not follow.
My 'pseudo-cell mate' had ceased to visit for over a fortnight. I was worried that he had taken my words to heart. That he had done the un-thinkable. Perhaps he had become what I had once been. Maybe he had passed a note to the wrong person, or whispered into the wrong ear. I didn't dwell on such thoughts and I was de-sensitised to most things already. What would be the harm of forgetting one more thing? Certainly it was safer to keep my mind silent, lest it be over-heard by the wrong people.
Three weeks had passed since he had stopped visiting when he finally came back. The door to my cell opened and in stepped the new prisoner. His attire astonishingly matched my dingy attire. His thoughts; his memories played against the plain-white, halogen lit wall. Together, we watched him do what I had done. This time, he was courageous, when I should have been courageous myself. His anger was clear and austere and it rang in the air. His fists were defiant and he fought the oppression ruthlessly until the final take-down. We watched the crowd flail madly at the oppressors. Their teeth gnashing and their voices yelling. He didn't have to tell me that we would be expecting many more prisoners.