198 – Stillness

It was quiet, a bit too much perhaps. There was no wind here, so all those background noises we usually give for granted even in the loneliest places were conspicuously absent.

He took a step, probing the ground. At least he thought it was ground, the complete and perfectly uniform whiteness around him made it impossible to discern a horizon. But he WAS standing on something, so he assumed there was ground under his feet.

He was neither cold nor hot, in fact he could barely feel anything at all. Even the soles of his bare feet felt nothing but the pressure of whatever he was walking on.

He had tried to decide which direction he should walk to, but quickly realized trying to fix a course with no visual cues was futile and just decided to keep walking in what felt like a straight line.

This wasn’t at all what he had expected. He was used to the rigors of prison, no jail was tough enough for him. When the arbitrator read his sentence he was sure they would place him in solitary on some high security complex. But this? He wasn’t ready for it.

There were no guards, no walls, no doors… there was nothing at all. Only the vast white expanse that seemed to have no boundaries. How could he fight when there was nothing and no one to fight? How could he keep himself busy when there was nowhere to go and nothing to do?

He tried to hit the floor but his fists found nothing. He tried to scream but only found the sound of his own voice, not even an echo reached his ears. He tried to run but his body just didn’t get tired.

With nothing to distract him, he began to find himself becoming painfully aware of his own thoughts. Forced to face the questions he had never given himself time to ask. What had become of his victims? And their families? Who missed them? What were their final thoughts?

So this is what they had meant when they told him he would be sent to “a place where you can reflect on your actions”. It was not a prison. It was hell.

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