Iron. She’d decided the slot was made of iron.
In the last few months, she’d settled for varying lengths of time on a wide range of materials.
Silver: ludicrous – of course they wouldn’t grace their convicts’ cells with silver – but it made her feel good to pretend so, for a time. Look at me, she’d say to herself. I’m a fucking princess.
Adamantine: it wasn’t far into her solitude that Rekkeba started to accord mythic meaning to her situation, casting herself as a modern-day Space Rapunzel, and the hardest things around her as the hardest things ever to feature in human imagination.
Plastic: much more plausible if you didn’t look directly at it, and it settled well with her feelings about the all-expenses-spared nature of her captivity. But it was too hard to be plastic, and much too apparently metallic. Even so, the slot was plastic, to her mind, for a time. Until she realised she was starting to believe her food and water were plastic too – it took a force of will to unthink that.
But yesterday, today, and tomorrow it was iron. The box was iron, the flap was iron, the screws that held it to the wall were iron. Probably, behind the latex white paint, the wall was iron too. The tray that came through the flap with her food on was iron, too.
Rekkeba Rhymestone was arrested twenty seven years ago for stealing a strawberry mousse, and two hundred and thirteen years from now when her sentence is spent, she will go back to the same diner and steal another one.
[Pick a word. Any word]: Iron
[Its opposite]: Strawberry Mousse
[Create a story arc from one to the other]: He stared at the iron bars of his prison for over two hundred years, dreaming of a strawberry mousse from one particular cafe. On the day of his release, he went directly there and ate one.
[The story must start and end on these two words]: Iron. The bars of his cage were iron. He stared at them for centuries until, finally released, he went directly to the diner of his dreams for a strawberry mousse.
[Change the pronouns]: Iron. The bars of her cage were iron. She stared at them for centuries until, finally released, she went directly to the diner of her dreams for a strawberry mousse.
[Change the narrative perspective]: Iron. The bars of her cage will be iron. She will stare at them for centuries until, finally released, she will go directly to the diner of her dreams for a strawberry mousse.
From there, to the above.
Wes Viola is a pen name of Wes White. Wes was introduced to some of the magical properties of the written word by an adventure gamebook (JH Brennan’s ‘The Castle of Darkness’) he purchased with his pocket money from Gothic Image in Glastonbury when he was seven or eight years old. He now works for a public library service in London. You can find out more of his writing and other creative endeavours at http://linktr.ee/wesviola