The Sentence

Standard

tally marks

The prisoner tallied the markings on the wall. Today marked the last the day of his sentence. He’d be a free man after counting twenty years worth of ticks along brick and cement. What was the outside world like he wondered? He had only heard bits and pieces, voices from a radio perhaps. Sometimes, a minty scent would draw him to a distant past, a life outside his incarceration that would appear in fragments but wasn’t his own. During those moments, he would spit to remove a bitter taste that had started to ferment in his mouth. His greatest enemy however was sleep. Dreams of a lifeless young woman with deep blue eyes that held a streak of crimson red drove him from rest.  Thus, the prisoner condemned himself to remain awake and to serve the full length of his punishment.

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