I have been a prisoner for my whole life. I wake up in one cell and must walk to another cell in a given time or else I’m punished. Once I get there I must complete utterly mindless pointless tasks or else, again, I’m told I will be punished. I go through the motions completing these tasks for seven or eight hours a day (it varies) before I can return to the first cell. There are screens in this cell that spurt mindless drivel. It keeps me docile, distracted, my mind lazy, until it’s time to sleep again.
Things stayed the same for decades. The people who ran the prison gave me pills, saying I was “depressed” and they made me stop feeling bad. They stopped me feeling anything for that matter: and from then on I simply existed.
Eventually I got a bit sick. The doctors told me it was fatal; would slowly paralyze me and then, in about ten years’ time, I would finally die.
Over the next few weeks I lost more and more mobility. Soon I couldn’t get up and down the stairs by myself. Then I became entirely chair bound. The nice prison wardens let me do my meaningless jobs from the first cell to keep me “going” for a while longer.
But then my mind began to go: slowly at first, bits and pieces disappearing interjected with sustained clarity. But slowly my mind began to crumble.
In my forgetfulness I often forgot to take my medicine. One of these occasions happened to co-incite with my last sustained period of clarity. For the first time in almost half a century I was entirely awake and realised the horrible truth.
I could have left my prison any time I wanted.
But they had kept me complacent.
I felt my mind began to fade for the last time and, had my vocal chords still worked, I would have screamed into the encroaching void.