Pitch-blackness. In the center, a twinkling dot, growing bigger, or coming closer; flickering wilder now; a flame, yes; a crackling campfire. Glowing ashes rising up, swirling like fire flies, flying higher everywhere into the blackness, becoming countless twinkling stars.
I’m under a starlit sky, sitting Indian-style by a campfire. The silhouettes of endless pine trees surround me.
I hear sounds: crickets, frogs, owls, wind, whispering tree leaves… howling wolves… my heartbeat… pounding. And a familiar voice: “Kempis, in five words, say something about your situation.”
I spin around, turning my head in every direction, scanning the landscape. But my view is besieged by monstrous concrete walls and towers all around me. I swivel back around… on my metal desk stool to face the campfire… that is now my desk lamp. The stars are gone; the sounds are that of jingling, not like bells but more like…keys… and footsteps.
“Say something about your sentence to life without parole, in five words.”
“Yes, five words.”
Jingling keys and footsteps getting louder. A full moon appears, unusually and disturbingly bright, blinding me. But hold up; that ain’t no moon…
It streaks away as suddenly as it intruded. The afterglow fades with the jingling keys and footsteps.
“Your sentence in five words,” the voice persisted.
“Okay, that’s easy,” I said. “This…is…not…my…destiny.”– Ghani (Graterford Think Tank)