Midday sun

A lone footballer in Havana, Cuba 2000 © Tanya Clarke

A lone footballer in Havana, Cuba 2000 © Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 50

The man closed his eyes when the door opened.

The sun bathed his eyelids, filling his head with a warm bright light. It had been five years since his capture. A cell his trap night and day glimpsing the outside world from a small high window. The books he requested served as a step for him to stand on and reach the air. The bars that braced the square hole were thick and rusting. There was no way he could move them. And he’d tried many, many times.

They took him when he was getting into his car. It was a normal day, a little rainy, nothing troubling.

Oh, what he would’ve given to watch the rain pour over his hands.

They took him because he was his son. They took him and locked him away. They gave him food twice a day. Food that was always cold and stale served on a tray threaded through the hatch in the door. Food and a cup of water.

He remembers the first time he had enough books to stand on and look out the window. He watched a young boy bounce a football on his knee flick it around his body and kick it behind him. Just him in a concrete carpark surrounded by high walls and a metal gate. He wondered who he was. The man waved. The boy waved back. And then he disappeared.

The man fell to his knees and moved his hands over the ground pushing and rubbing the coarse grit up his arms. He was free now. They had got what they’d been looking for.

Feeling brave? Want to share your own version? ‘Let it go’ in the comments below.