LIFE SENTENCE

The prisoner hung the bird feeder back on it’s hook and looked to the sky. No sign of them yet, but he knew they would come.

The birds were the only visitors he got now. Over the years his friends had stopped coming, either through choice or because they had passed away. He hadn’t seen his family since the verdict was given at the court trial. He could still recall her face as he was led away – the anger and the shame.

Another parole hearing was due next week, every year at the same time. It was time to make sure he wasn’t released again. He slipped the metal bar out from under his sleeve where he had concealed it. Danny, who unofficially ran the prison yard, was sitting surrounded by his usual gang of acolytes.

He strode over and smashed the metal bar across Danny’s face. Immediately he was set upon by four or five bodies. He put up some resistance before he blacked out. The pain would be worth it to make sure he didn’t have to return to the outside world.

There would be enough feed for the birds until he was able to top up their feeder again.


177-10-october-16th-2016
© A Mixed Bag

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). For more details visit HERE.

For more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

31 responses to “LIFE SENTENCE”

  1. A gripping vivid tale and an interesting take on the prompt. An enjoyable read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Graham, much appreciated.

      Like

  2. Being institutionalised is a common problem, isn’t it? I can only imagine how terrifying it must be, the idea of facing the world, fending for yourself – prison provides security of a sort. Or does your character’s guilt stop him from wanting to leave to have a normal life? Great story with plenty to ponder

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I left his crime unspecified to leave those questions open. Should we feel sympathy for him or not? Thanks for reading and kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure and nice to have stuff to mul over

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry, posted in the middle of writing the comment. Was going to say nice to have things to mull over and not to have them all spelled out for us. Nicely done

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Love the way you show the multi-faceted nature of human beings here, Iain. Just because this person committed a crime (& has just committed another!) doesn’t mean he’s all bad, as we see in the way he cares about the birds. A lot is said in few words – great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, I deliberately didn’t think what crime he might have committed to let people decide for themselves what sort of person he could be. Glad it made you think 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the way this piece of writing feels inside my head. It’s like you open the gate and I get to hold the rest of the story. Just beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jac, great compliment. Glad I managed to get you thinking 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s one way of making sure he never gets out. I like the take on it. Good story

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks. I quite enjoy your photo prompts by the way, no complaints from me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. A very interesting take on the prompt! We get to know this character so well through his actions, it’s hard not to care what becomes of him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, glad I have managed to create an interesting character in the limited words 🙂

      Like

  7. I think this speaks to man’s destructive nature when he has nothing to lose. Hope the birds won’t starve tho.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting

      Like

  8. The juxtaposition (and irony) of feeding wild birds, while he is in a “cage” is fascinating. If he feeds the birds, he can’t be all bad, can he?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That would be my take on it too 🙂

      Like

  9. If prison is the only place he feels safe and content, it’s case of punishment becoming reward. Excellent and totally different take on the prompt.

    Visit Keith’s Ramblings

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Keith, an interesting way to look at it, much appreciated.

      Like

  10. Very interesting story, Thank you for following my blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. No matter what he’s done, I couldnt help but feel sorry for him. It’s not very common to find layers in such a short story – nicely crafted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks, a lot of interesting reactions to this story and s lot share your sympathy for him.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I can understand how becoming part of the “outside” world again would be quite terrifying. Especially if you’re in prison a long time. There would a lot of problems to get through, due to your past offended, not to mention it would probably be quite lonely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s too late for him now. He has got a lot more sympathy from comments than I had expected.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I know what you mean. We don’t even know what this guy did? But I guess at least when we write or think, everyone deserves a second chance — until we see an actual person like this and judge them that is lol. Hopefully not.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. A very interesting take! I’m conflicted, not sure whether he deserves sympathy or not…I guess it depends on how horrific and the reasons for committing the crime. But he deserves credit for having a soft corner for the birds! Great write! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks. It’s an interesting debate I think, not sure I know whether he should get sympathy or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Without knowing his crime it’s difficult to know how to feel about him. We do know he’s afraid of being outside on his own. It must be considerable fear to want to stay imprisoned but I’ve read it’s not uncommon. Good writing, Iain. —- Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  15. There is that…some not being able to readjust…
    One would think there could be a better way.
    Thanks for stopping by. I hope to get to the new SPF prompt soon.

    Liked by 1 person

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