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Jason stood with his back to the twenty-foot-high perimeter wall of the prison. His hair moved in gentle waves in the warm summer breeze while his eyes remained closed in serene contemplation. An exquisite sense of freedom pulsated through his entire being as he became aware he could at last walk away from that hellish place.
It’s not a prison, one guard had told him, four years ago on his first day of incarceration. A brick tomb for your mind, maybe, but not a prison.
Built a century ago as an asylum for the insane, for a moment in time it gained prison status. This home for the deranged was now known as “the hospital”. Regardless of classification, it stood as a red-brick monument to the darker side of the human psyche. A mansion for those with broken minds to be studied, and a vault to lock away the toxic effluent of British society. A place for the instigators of real-world nightmares to lay their malevolent heads, to rest, and to plan for a day whe…
Death at last, Jason thought, as the rope tightened around his neck. He accepted the pain as a minor inconvenience, an unfortunate discomfort he had to endure while his life came to an end. He hoped his attacker possessed the resolve to finish the job, before a guard had a chance to stop him.
The prison chaplain once said that Emily would be waiting for him in paradise, a belief Jason didn’t share and thought was nothing but tired nonsense. A fairy tale for the bereaved that he wanted to be true but knew wasn’t. The preacher’s hollow words of comfort had no effect on the sickening sting of grief. Jason had concluded that the universe was indifferent to life, and of death, no doubt, cared even less. It wasn’t through a lugubrious veil of depression with which he saw the world; this was an unequivocal acceptance that life was abhorrent with no meaningful purpose, so why put off the inevitable. The eternal void was in the next room, and he had no intention of keeping it waiting.