Ghostly Keys – Short Fiction – January 21, 2016

In the silence rusty locks creak as ghostly keys open the cells. Through the dust mote dance in the light a daily life continues.  The shuffling of the slippered women in drab drill smocks shuffle down the corridor out into a hall. Each day the same routine:  a meal, some work, a walk, a meal, some work, a shower,  a meal and back down to the corridors of cells – each one finally home.  Day in day out.  Except for Sunday, the day of rest.  …

One day for each,  the routine ended.  Sentences were served for the misdeeds against society.  Inevitably, the prisoners, rehabilitated with a cardboard suitcase, the few dollars earned working for the State and two changes of clothing, were escorted out of the gates. Sometimes there was someone there waiting to take them home.  Others just caught a bus that took them into town. And some never fulfilled their sentence, they are buried somewhere. …

No more routines greeted those women then.  No certainties, no satisfactions from their jobs, no friendly faces at the table to whom to talk, no one to go to walk with;  alone, abandoned, some fell into destitution, some killed themselves, some committed another offence but some adapted and made new routines. …

The State closed the prison.

As the years passed the empty corridors seemed to fill up with the echos of what once had been its life. In the silence the rusty locks creak as the ghostly keys open the cells. Through the dust mote dance in the light the daily routine still takes place. The shuffling of slippered feet and the chatter in the hall and the laughter at the breakfast table. …

Photo Challenge # 96: January 19, 2016

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About Bastet

I love to read...I like to write...I've travelled the world and seen the sites. I'm past my prime and feel so young, especially when near the young. I'm writing this blog, to remember, to think and to share...with the hopes that someone else will make a comment that will stimulate new thoughts and pathways. Actually, I'm a gabber, so the logical extension of gabbing is blogging! ;-)
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13 Responses to Ghostly Keys – Short Fiction – January 21, 2016

  1. Pingback: Ghostly Keys – Short Fiction – January 21, 2016 | Bastet and Sekhmet's Library

  2. Tish Farrell says:

    A fine piece of writing. Resonant – that’s the word for it.

  3. CPP says:

    Thanks for sharing your very reflective and provocative piece Georgia 🙂

    I think you have chosen a very apt form for expressing your thoughts – capturing the haunting essence of the image very well; the repetition used – in the opening and closing – it works very well to reinforce the idea of routine – how essentially everything is stripped away – reduced to the barest of necessities – yet somehow – life still continues – for some – perhaps more than it could ever have been – for others – truly less than – but still – within the confines and bars – life beats out its own rhythm and pace.

    Really well done Georgia – there is a “capture” here of something that resonates …. yes …. indeed … there is a resonance that seems to echo – almost a mimic – of the bars – hmmm …. I need to think on this some more – which means – Brava! A seemingly “straightforward” write … but far more to consider 🙂

    Cheers ~ Pat

    • Bastet says:

      Thank you Pat, I’m extremely pleased that you realized that the prison I was describing was not just a physical prison .. I wish I had your talent for comment, it’s always a pleasure to read what you’ve experienced in a reading!

      Have a lovely weekend – Georgia

      • CPP says:

        LOL! thanks for your compliment Georgia!
        “talent for comment”? I think maybe it comes from having spent so much time in creative writing workshops – and having to learn to edit and critique – but in the best of ways – and honestly, I’ve spent so much of my life reading, thinking and writing (oh my!) book reports! (do kids even have to do this anymore??) that it allows for me to perhaps, offer something a little more “personal” … but ultimately Georgia – if one comments from their heart – then, isn’t that the best gift?
        Hope you have a delightful weekend too 🙂

      • Bastet says:

        I was always pretty good at writing stories but only middling with book reports and so-so with summaries for some reason. I don’t know if young people write book reports any more or even essay answers on their tests! It’s a shame if they don’t. Again, it’s a real pleasure reading your comments and I’m sure that many have been in creative writing courses (including myself) and have not picked up you “knack”. I’m having a great weekend and hope you are too.

      • CPP says:

        I could swing book reports no problems … as for what kids actually have to write these days? I have no answers either – but if they aren’t – they are missing out on some pretty valuable skills.

        thanks again for the generous thoughts and words Bastet. 🙂

      • Bastet says:

        It certainly would be a loss, though they might not even notice. Here in Europe there’s a tendency to keep on with the older ways with oral expositions as well a writing work. But recently some politicians are pushing to adopt the American quiz system of testing ..

      • CPP says:

        hmmm …. having no children myself, and not really being in touch with my niece, who is 14, I really have no idea what’s what with the educational system anymore … other than from the odd info that gets passed my way by family.

        I guess it’s really about finding some sort of “alignment” between old and new …. so we wait and see …

  4. You left my imagination filled with pathways to explore! Very good read!

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