By Terry Brodie

A window in a prison is supposed to be a luxury. The last vestige of a life left behind. A chance to see the sun shine, to feel the fresh air upon one’s features, even in captivity.

But that view is borne of ignorance and privilege.

Those who’ve been catapulted into the depths of blackness and filth know a view of the outside world is the cruelest and most twisted form of torture devised by the minds of the black-hearted men.

A window is a reminder of everything that has been lost.

It is that cruelest of human emotions: hope.

Hope that one day a body might be free as the birds that glide and swoop overhead, languishing upon the breeze.

Hope that some compassionate soul will wander past and see your grime-streaked face pressed against the window pane and be moved to pity.

The open horizon is a taunt. In the fever-dreams of your tormented imagination, you see a figure appear. He raises an indignant battle cry and comes charging, striking any who’ve committed injustice. You hear the jingle of keys outside the hold into which you’ve been locked and your heart swells.

And then you blink. And the horizon is a barren plane of space, as before. And as it ever will be.