An experiment I did using a poem (an admittedly poorly written poem) and turning it into an idea for a short story. As much as I would just prefer to have the story, I've included the poem as well, for your reading 'pleasure'. I wish fictionpress didn't muck up my spacing so badly. Ah, well. Thankyou.

Alone and flipping pages

Just staring at the wall

It's kind of hard to feel it,

To feel anything at all

Awake, I should be dreaming

Just laying in my bed

These thoughts of empty longing

They float above my head

The truth is getting closer

I can see it every day

The one who aren't looking

Are the ones that drift away

Someday they'll feel our sorrow,

Long after our retreat

They'll gaze into the distance

and realize their own defeat

Without the love we gave them,

The kindness that we spoke,

Their cities will have crumbled

And their people have no hope.

Forgive and care and cherish,

The lessons that we teach

This world could be much better

If it's loving that you preach

It's really funny. Or, well..funny in an ironic way. I don't find much of anything funny anymore. I don't feel much of anything. Understandably so. I lay in my little cell, I flip the pages of these dog-eared, yellowed books and I count the cracks in the walls. There isn't much light. There isn't much anything. Just those fake UVs from the overhead and the filtered air with the moldy scent of pine and mint. "Fresh air", they call it. And maybe it is. I couldn't honestly remember.

I've been awake for three days now. Three. My heart is pounding, just like one of those little rabbits I had when I was younger, all soft fur and big ears and beady little eyes. Skittish things. A fox came for them, broke into their pen. Just like the men came for us. Broken little bunnies. Broken little me.

I think they've started to notice the changes now that we're all gone. All their little cities falling apart. The guards with their fearful eyes, dreamy, worried, thinking of home and the children they've left with fragile little wives cooking a nice roast for dinner. A real roast, not the processed, soy based things that we get. Or maybe it is, the way the economy has crumbled. Now that we're gone..everything's crumbled. Everyone's a ghost in their hollowed shells. Going through the motions of society. Wake, shower, dress, breakfast, briefcase, stumble past the sick and bleeding and raped spewed across the city grounds. Go to work. Go home. Cry empty tears to sleep.

We're all locked away in these 'centres'. We're ill. We're contagious, dangerous and violent. But they all know now, they all realize what they've done. They've removed us, and they've removed the love and kindness and creativity. The beauty. The peace. We were dangerous with our words of peace. We were sick. We had hope. It was catching. And now..there is nothing left. And once a week, for rehabilitation, we're sat in front of a window and forced to look out onto the city, forced to watch news channel after news channel.

This is what we've done. This is what we've done.

They can break us, they can beat us, they can tear us to shreds. But not one of us retaliates. And that scares them the most. We're resisting, and they don't know what to do. They'll just hit us with their electric shocks, send those pills cascading into our thinned little stomachs, weak and acidic. But no matter what they do, how they gag us, it's always in our eyes. Our skittish little eyes. Love could save us all.

Love will save us all.