Thursday, December 28, 2017

12/28/17

Prisoner
By Dave Ludford


This Cube is my prison cell.

This is where you placed me all those years ago. Punishment, you said, for displaying the barest hint of a human emotion, one that has been virtually bred out of our species: love. I loved someone and that is why I ended up here. Not you; I could never love someone so cruel and devoid of all feeling, someone who wields great power but uses it to suppress, subjugate and control. You, who I once considered to be a friend.

I don’t understand where the emotion came from; a throwback to previous generations perhaps? To when humans came together in loving union, cared for each other, showed respect and empathy? I had never felt it before, not even fleetingly, until that moment with Freya. I will never forget her. My memories are something, at least, that you can never erase.

It was a dark day for all humanity when you and your kind swept into power, killing all who opposed you. I remember that within just a very short period of time the first reproduction labs were under construction; vast, soulless institutions where you could carry out your experiments to create your warped vision of the ‘perfect human’ on an industrial scale. Our generation simply had our capacity to love chemically removed; subsequent generations were created with it completely erased. But you haven’t been entirely successful, have you? Not as clever as you thought. You succeeded in extending the human lifespan but removed the one thing that made us what we were. What use is there in being able to live for centuries if we cannot love? I, and no doubt many others like me, would rather perish, and become dust and atoms swirling around the vast, cold universe. Anything but this. It is not the ‘gift’ that you claimed it to be. You have removed love but increased the capacity to hate. And why? To what end? Legions of slavish automatons carry out your every command, continue your work, building a world of hopelessness, misery and despair.

I’m pacing this tiny box in my agitation and anger, like a caged animal, thinking about all the other prisoners there must surely be in the same predicament as myself. Others who may have somehow managed to defy your chemical interference. Is Freya one of them? Is she imprisoned in a Cube somewhere near to me? Or did you have her executed? Sometimes I feel her presence, so perhaps she is dead and it is her spirit that is with me. Or maybe it’s just memories of her that make me feel this way. I’ll never know, will I? Because you will never tell me. You are even denying me the chance to grieve.

Here is my promise to you: love is a powerful emotion, it can never be completely eradicated, can never be totally destroyed. I will concentrate, contact others like me through the power of my thoughts; all of my fellow prisoners, wherever they may be. Because love will find a way, it always has and always will.

That which you have sought to destroy will bring about your own destruction. Then we will start to rebuild.


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Dave Ludford is a writer from Nuneaton, England, whose works of poetry and short fiction have appeared at a variety of venues in the US, UK and India. His horror collection 'A Place of Skulls and Other Tales' is available now from Parallel Universe Publications or via Amazon.


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