One Picture, One Story
Alex awoke, free from the chair that had held him captive for what seemed like a lifetime. He rubbed his temples in an attempt to soothe the pounding headache and slowly accustomed himself to the new surroundings. He was not in the same room he had been in before, this room was dark, damp and freezing. He could hear the irregular drips of water landing in a puddle somewhere in the darkness and could feel a cold draft on his face. As he gazed about the room he could see small streams of light spilling in through tiny holes in the wall. Nearby, the sound of an approaching train filled his ears. Alex deduced that he must be at ground level and have at least one wall in common with the outside world. Slowly he pulled himself to his feet, fighting off the nausea that followed.
Good morning! Alex fell to the floor, startled by the echoing voice coming from the darkness. I hope you slept well, you seemed so sickly the last time we spoke.
Alex’s eyes darted back and forth straining to find the origin of the voice. He felt a hatred for the voice; a hatred he had never thought could exist. Go to the wall where the light is coming through. I personally cooked you a little something to eat. Alex was puzzled and didn’t immediately make a move for the food. Go ahead, it’s quite tasty! Alex sprinted towards the plate that had been laid on the floor. He was starving and he devoured the sustenance at a pace that surprised even him. Good! I can’t have you passing out on me anymore. I fear in my haste I had forgotten to feed you.
Alex sat on the wet floor, stuffed. He tried to figure out when the last meal he had was, but the short bouts of consciousness made it impossible to figure out how much time had passed. In the distance a train’s horn blew.
Now, back to the business at hand.
Why am I here? Why am I still here? Alex waved his hand wildly as he begged for an answer. I have never written anything political! I don’t…
If it were a political story we wouldn’t be here. Alex looked stumped. It is easy to dispel partisan objections. One simply needs to paint the whole group with a threatening brush and people will shy away. What you did was give something for people of differing ideologies to agree on. That, dear Alex, is why you are here.
I don’t understand. I only wrote about some distant memories of a place that has been changed. I simply asked a rhetorical question. Alex was straining to understand.
Oh if only you knew what you were about to do. People asked themselves that question. They asked themselves what they miss most about their childhood hideout. They started asking why these places had disappeared. They started questioning the prosperity they were enjoying. They started thinking.
Alex say motionless, his mouth stuck half open. He noticed a loudspeaker hidden in a dark corner. Somewhere in the darkness the sound of water dropping filled the silence.