Prison Life

My captors treat me kindly, this much I’ll say for them. They say they were acting on instructions, and I believe them. Before I hand each new innovation to them, I have to wrap it and bind it with a special seal, which my wardens seem unable to open. They have tried, and they lost two of their number in doing so.

I don’t know who receives my babies. The prison guards are under oath not to reveal the name of their employers, and since they prize their lives, they wish not to play with them.

Over the years, I have given my masters a lot. Anti-gravity shells, invisibility devices, jetpacks, frictionless vehicles. I remember once flying above the prison, trying to make my escape, and then crashing into a forceshield and falling almost a hundred feet. I should be glad I equipped the jetpack with an emergency air cushion.

One day, instead of the instructions I usually received, I got a note with just three words on it: ‘Write to me.’ The note was wrapped around a flower.

I wrote out a long letter about my life and my incarceration and how I missed my family and and bicycling on open roads and how I craved for home-cooked meals.

The Sunday after that, I was taken to a chamber I had never before seen. There was a table arranged with a gigantic meal that smelled better than anything I had ever encountered. There were two chairs at the table, and on one of those sat a woman with most of her face covered in a veil.

I sat in the other chair, and one of my guards acted as waiter. Both the woman and I were silent throughout the meal. I was relishing each bite so I could remember it later, and she spent most of the meal looking in my direction.

After the meal was over, I smiled at her. She got up, and before leaving, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “I shall see you again next year.”