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.

© 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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

      • 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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