I lay curled up in the fetal position, in a windowless dungeon that lay deep in the bowels of the medieval castle. This was a place unknown to light, a place where loneliness was your only friend. Somewhere outside lay a whole world, where days changed to nights and nights changed to days. But here, time had reneged on its duty in the war against nothingness and had lost all meaning. Here, more than anywhere else, did the meaning of meaninglessness become more apparent.
The clanging of the heavy iron ring on the door of the dungeon told me that they had come for me, again. Barely supported by muscles atrophied from non-use, I stood up, trembling. They cuffed my wrists and shackled my ankles, and thus in chains, I was dragged to the chamber that had come to define my suffering. I knew what would come next.
My first few times had been unlike this - they were more.. hopeful. There would be the steady pounding in my chest as i neared the chamber, apprehension building up. Would today be the day - the day when I would commit the one act that would lead to my eventual escape from this hell? Every one of those visits to the chamber had proven futile.
Because of the *rules*. The stupid g-d-damned rules that all twenty three of us had come up with before we were sent to our own personal hell. Frustrating rules that killed a man even as he obeyed them. Yet, in them, lay redemption. Following the rules was not *an* option, it was the only option if i ever wanted to be free.
And all the same time, to hope against hope that they would follow the rules, and that *he* would not make a mistake..
Of late, i had grown numb to these visits. I no longer even dreaded them. They were the only punctuation marks in my life. As the guards threw me in to the chamber, I expected to see the small red switch on the right hand side of the room in the off -postion, like it always was. I expected to sigh and head to the other wall - the side of the blue switch. I would flip the switch. I would go knock on the door. They would come to get me, shackle me again and throw me back into my cell, where I would lay whimpering in defeat.
But something was different that fateful day. A little lamp glowed above the small red switch. The red switch was on! I could have fainted with joy as i scrambed across, weak kneed. And I did the one thing that I had been waiting to do, the only thing that meant anything for me.
I switched it off.
epilogue: Freedom came eventually, of course. How could it not? The inescapable laws of mathematics were on my side. The very laws that, during the few lucid moments I had in those days, told me that I would be free, and that was a fact.
[This post might *actually* make sense to some of you. The only thing I can say to the others by way of explanation is that it is an answer to a question. The author gratefully acknowledges the one who posed the question and gave the author the idea for the answer. To those who do not know the question, let me know.]