The Prisoner


1. Kai

Kai sat huddled against the damp, jagged rock wall of the cell and clutched the rough

blanket tighter around himself. The wall was like ice and mildew tickled his nose, a pleasant

scent compared to the odor of human filth that filled the rest of the prison. Grime and grit found

themselves welcomed here, but not by the prisoners. Some were here because they were

murderers or traitors to the crown.

Not this boy.

He was no murderer, would never betray his country, though he ended up here all the


Despite the deplorable conditions, he thought the universe was blessing him — if cruelly.

For once, food was guaranteed twice a day, and he didn ’ t need to worry about shelter from

howling winds or sheets of pelting rain.

True, some of the guards were arrogantly rude, but there were a few who pitied the boy.

They snuck him an extra blanket or piece of bread to help with the frailness they all saw. He was

sharp and small, his face hollow and gaunt. No one knew exactly what Kai had done to be

imprisoned, but one did not question the king.

Rather than dwell on his current circumstances, Kai turned his attention to the window

and the world beyond his cell. The window only showed a bleak world of gray. Kai shut his eyes

and pictured the open sea with rolling waves and bouncing ships. He remembered the way the

sun had glistened on the rippling water and the soft whisper of the wind caressing the fine sand.

He had only seen the coast a few times, though he found that each time, it was an escape.

Looking out at the endless water and distant horizon had given him hope, hope that one day he

would have everything he wanted, that he could be anything and make a life for himself. It gave

him hope that even the most significant of people were mere dots on life ’ s scale compared to the

vast sea.

A flash of light beyond the scene of his mind brought Kai back to the dim cell. The

rolling crash of thunder that filled his ears assured him that there was life outside these walls.

Besides that of a cough or boots scraping the stone floors, the prison was silent, almost as if you

were the only thing breathing the putrid air from which dirt hung. At night, sometimes the boy

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