Photo credit: Dale Rogerson

“I’ve escaped. I’m outside of Sanctuary.” Dane Asher’s numb fingers caressed the brittle petals of the frozen roses. They were covered with a layer of snow, and were so beautiful, like the landscape graced by a winter that was slowly killing him.

“I don’t know why I’m free, but now I’m free only to die.” He looked to the frosted forest and the sunset at the horizon beyond. “Better dying free than living like a slave.”

“Doctor, he’s crashing!” Inside a medical conversation cell at the State’s indoctrination center, the heart of prisoner number 6 stopped. And yet he smiled.

I wrote this for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt to write a poem or story no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

I wrote a much longer story about Dane’s life as a dissident in a totalitarian society, but I thought I’d try to capture the essence of his life here. In much of human history, death was the only escape from a dystopian totalitarian regime. May it not always be the case.

Oh, bonus points if you can tell me why prisoner number 6 is significant.

Find out more about this challenge HERE, and read other stories based on the prompt at InLinkz.

Oh, my most recent published SciFi short story, “Saving the Apostle” is featured in the Tuscany Bay Books Planetary Anthology Saturn.

19 thoughts on “Free

  1. Is it from the TV series Prisoner? I never really watched it, but wasn’t that his number? Good story James, the last 18 months have given a lot for dystopian writers to think about, this fits in with some of those conversations. Good to see you taking part 🙂


  2. Nice to read one of your stories again, James. I was thinking about you only last week, wondering how you were getting on.
    Your story makes a persuasive case for freedom, but I confess, I’m always sceptical. How free are any of in reality?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.