Glasshouse

Jack Anthony

I am being kept prisoner.

I have been trapped here for… I'm not sure how long exactly. The days all tend to blur together.

I don't know if they have others captive too. I wouldn't know because I don't leave The Room. I am alone, and scared but even so I would never wish this fate on other people.

Believe it or not, I've been in a similar situation before. Back in Hỏa Lò they beat us, and starved us, but at least we knew why. They wanted information, and leverage.

But here… who knows what they're after, I can't think of a clear motive. I'm kept in solitude most of the time. Sometimes… they attempt to coax me out of The Room. I've been tempted, God I've been so tempted. But my time here has left me weak. I'm disoriented, day after day, They come into The Room and drug me. Sometimes I kick and yell but they don't waver, and they don't leave until I take them. They're supposed to subdue me I imagine. And they do, I feel sick, like my limbs are lead. I don't think I could run if I even got the chance. And what if it was a trap?

No, I won't let them get me.

The only other possible motive I can think of is that I'm a hostage and that scares me more than anything. I don't have any family, except for Maria and little Anna. And i'll be damned if they try and threaten my girls.

While I'm thinking, how I spend most of my time, I hear voices from outside. Two women.

"There must be something you can do to get him to engage with the others." an unfamiliar voice spoke softly, almost in a pleading tone.

"We can't force him out Mrs Allen" One of Them replies.

The other woman huffs "I know but he has to communicate with others or he's just gonna deteriorate more! I've got the kids, and work and I can't visit as often as I like- Theres got to be something"

There's a beat of silence.

"I'm sorry, its just- sigh - it's just frustrating"

"I understand, we're doing all we can" All They can? For who? Me? To kill me maybe. I've got to speak to this new woman, I can't remember the last time I saw a new face. I can convince her to help me get out of here, back to my family.

The doorknob turns, and before I can comprehend what I'm seeing, my wife is standing before me.

My heart feels like its just stopped, its been an eternity since I've seen her. "Maria?" I rasp.

She is as beautiful as ever. Her big brown eyes seem to stare into mine, almost imploringly. She wants me to understand… something. Something she can't say in front of Them?

"Anna" She swallows before she says this, taking a small breath. Her hair is different.

"What about her? Is she here? Safe?" I move to sit up, but she rushes over to me before I can try, gently pushing me back to recline. "What are you doing here? Are you ok?" My hands shake but they settle as I reach to hold her face.

I hear the faintest chuckle, its a wet kind of sound, not the shrill giggle I was so fond of. "Am I ok? …Yeah, I'm ok Dad. Do you… how about a nice walk? Sound good?"

Her words go in one ear and out the other. But still, I smile for the first time in a while. I look towards the door.


Glasshouse: Military slang for a prison

A short story written for the prompt "unreliable narrator" in my first semester. Not my best work but it's fun to archive it all the same to see how far I've come in the future :)