Day Release – SHORT STORY

     prison bars creativity

      HE SAT AND he wrote; books, poems and stories short. What nobody knew, is that he wrote more in his mind than ever hit paper or screen.

Phantasmagoric lines, out of this world, yet not alien, each one that never made it to the physical world died, and went to a cemetery made up of unmarked graves in the mind where they sank into the conscious once more. What form they took in the first afterlife was never clear but what had once made them exceptional was no longer. If you break an electric sentence into pieces, although the parts of amazing are there – even if not in the right order they might still make sense – but their depth and beauty is lost, perhaps forever.

Writing was therapy as if every story and character that had escaped from the mind through fingertips, were the brimming synapses, the floating dead memories, that had to be released and let loose from one asylum to another, finding a new life on the backs of magazines, coffee stained notebooks, multicoloured post-its, skin and  screens. They became ink, they became keyboard hits, they became tangible beings that helped him see through the missed.
And still others bang on the walls, awaiting the day of release. Each has done at least 15, many 30 years or more. That’s a long time to be inside having committed no crime, each creation as innocent as the next.

The prison warden was a pure soul, as distilled by the life he’d led as possible, a virtuous sort, true to himself, with good intentions even when others crushed him, that is, when they tried to. And so his heart beats like yours…or theirs, and he writes, giving light and air to the imagination that saved him, one piece at a time, step by step, day by day, until he released as many stories and characters as possible, so that by the time all his hairs turned white, he might have set at least something free.

Of course the greatest lie he ever told himself was that. Every writer knows, they never stop regenerating, unlike the last page, their existence knows no end. It’s our job to let them out.

And the essence of guilt is never far away, like London rats. Do we create? Or are we simply a conduit choosing to expose the rabble of our souls – a soul torrent – showing our inner workings with metaphors, and imagery, so someone out there might look at us like a skeleton watch and understand what makes us tick one word at a time, in print or other..


lion around 2

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19 thoughts on “Day Release – SHORT STORY

  1. This has got to be one of my favorites of yours. The pacing. The imagination. It’s spot on perfect with the metaphors. “And still others bang on the walls, awaiting the day of release. Each has done at least 15, many 30 years or more. That’s a long time to be inside having committed no crime, each creation as innocent as the next.” Really, really, really, awesome piece, Fionn!

    1. Cheers for picking that out my friend.
      I got into the flow of it and the idea just kinda wrote itself, one of them.

  2. Haunting – you’ve expressed the bittersweet torment of being a writer so beautifully.

    1. Thank you magarisa, I’m glad it spoke to you as the saying goes.

  3. I like to think of imprisoned, words the one almost not getting out.. a little bit the same sentiment as in the poem by Alicia Keys “Prisoner of words”

    1. Exactly, there are those creations that never ever make it out. I’ll check the video.

  4. Exquisite language. Each time I read your pieces, Lion, I think, there are a lot of words here that I don’t use, I must put that one away for later or remember to use that one. Nicely done as always.

    1. This was definitely more linguistic than many of my stories so im glad you mentioned that. Its good to switch up sometimes. I get word envy too when I read other peoples works and sometimes get the urge to write something more literary in nature, but I cant say thats my natural style. Thanks for the eyes and comment.

  5. ‘Writing was therapy…’ – so true, especially in the world we live in recently I find. Great description of why writers write.

    1. Thanks Ian, cheers for having a read and a gander.

  6. I really enjoyed that. Very interesting and very well thought out. It was very creepy in terms of us being a conduit and the monsters et al that we often create go where exactly? Vividly imaginative, loved it.

    1. Many thanks Anita, always appreciated.

  7. Bravo. This was really good. Loved the opening line of the last paragraph – your comparison to London rats. And perhaps the best part of the piece was his writing and releasing as many stories and characters as he could so he could free something. That was brilliant!

    1. That means a lot LA, thanks for highlighting those parts.

      1. This really was brilliant. Have a great weekend.

  8. Very clever idea for our writing ‘prompts’. There’s a novel there waiting to be written, where our ‘inmates’ take over the asylum…

    1. Thanks, might be too late for that though, I think they might have already!

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