Ah o.o I thought you said you'd rather not o.o Sorry D: I shall post it now~
She kept him prisoner for quite a while now, but his prison was a big one, with room to move and even change the scenery. Every morning when she woke up she made herself a cup of tea, rolled a cigarette and when the first puffs of smoke left her nostrils she opened the gates to see if he was still there. Of course he was. Where else would he be? How much he hated it, how much he wanted to be somewhere else, he couldn't escape her. It was his lifelong prison, his once self-chosen place to be. At least, she liked to think of it that way. You had to play the role that fate had in store for you in life, you would never be able to play another part. That was what she believed, and up till now life had proven her right. His role was to be a captive, hers was that of a reluctant warder. Reluctant, yes, a big part of her hated it to held him captive, although another part enjoyed it even so fierce. There was just no other way. He was there. He was where she had left him the night before, in the library, where the others could see he was doing well. Yes, there were others in her prison too, but they were not held captive and could come and go as they pleased. She wasn't afraid he would ask for help or even tell them what was going on. She knew him too well, she knew he wasn't very fond of people and way too proud to let the others know what was happening to him. He wasn't very talkative this morning, moping perhaps, so she left him and took a shower. By the time she came back nothing had changed. She hated it when he wouldn't talk to her and the silence between them would stretch out like chewing gum. Sometimes it lasted for days, and after such a time his first words always aroused a feeling of relief and great joy. She had roamed the lands when she had first met him, trying to escape the void that always tried to lure her in its non-existent arms. She had roamed the plains, forests, ponds and mountains, the lands that she and he and the others had created. She had helped him then by exposing a spy in his ranks, and she had captured him with her body afterwards to make sure he could never escape, at least not as long she didn't want him to. At first he hadn't complained. Their days and nights had been filled with endless wonder, with love and lovemaking ,with music and books and enjoying each other's company. She had even told him about the Void, her fear of being captured by it and losing her identity. He was a woman's man. She knew he had one in another realm, but that didn't bother her too much. That realm didn't interfere very often, and when it did his return was always worthwhile. But the others weren't that easy to sidestep. They told him he neglected his duties, that he wasn't the man he used to be. He was a besotted fool and no fun to be with anymore. All his time would go to her. And he listened and heard. The two of them argued and made up for days on end, but nothing was solved. It made her furious that the words of the others meant more to him than she did. Were they not just jealous of his attention for her? Were they not just thinking of the past, in which she played no part? She wanted to shout to them that the world had moved on, that stagnation meant decline and most of all, that he was as guilty as she was, but she did nothing and kept silent. She guessed that was the moment she first thought of really taking him prisoner. She rejected the thought every time it popped up, but one morning she found herself with the keys in her hand and him at the other side of the gates. She felt nothing but repulsion for herself and fled, but the next day she came back and pressed her face against the black iron. And every time she stood there or entered in the hope to catch a glimpse of him, he would come and talk to her. The world had moved on though, sure enough. There was no lovemaking anymore, but there was music, there were books, lots of books, and there was always his company. She often wondered what had happened and why she hadn't been paying more attention. Was the big change the result of him being a prisoner, or had she taken him captive because of the change? She didn't know, and she noticed that her brain did no longer work as it used to do. There was only the prison and him in it. Her wits, her mind that had been as sharp as a surgeon’s lancet, were reduced to a muddy mass of despair. What if he escaped? What if the others helped him? What if he retreated completely into that other realm, in which he already spent more time than ever before? She knew her prison and keys had no power there. When he didn't talk to her and kept silent for days, she knew he was there. And she knew she couldn't stay away from the gates, although he had long since abandoned the plains, ponds, forests and mountains, which all felt very empty without him. He sat mostly in the library, where he entertained himself with reading, writing and retrieving information. Sometimes she entered the library herself, but he had seldom eyes for her there. She would stand at the gates and look at the others, wondering what they thought of her. Most of them didn't bear a grudge and would come and talk to her, small talk, which wasn't able to amuse her or lift her spirits, but for which she was grateful nonetheless. The few others that did hold a grudge however didn't let her forget. It would have been mercy, she mused with her cheek against the iron bars. She tried to remember how her life had been before their acquaintance, but she couldn't. If she by chance for five blessed minutes didn't think of him, someone she had never talked to before would come to her and say: "So you are the infamous one." And if she then raised her eyebrows, the other one would continue: "I know your name. You have a bad reputation." Or someone would come to her and ask: "Did you find tranquility?" She would of course tell the truth as she always did, and answer : "No", whereupon the other one would point a finger at her and say: "It is your fault he doesn't come outside anymore to be with us. You had a responsibility. You just can't do that kind of things." That kind of encounters left her numb and unspeakable sad. What she had done shouldn't be punishable. What he had done neither. They had punished each other enough as it was, they didn't need the others to do it for them. Unless she gave this all up for him. Set him free at last, to do as he pleased. Befriend his friends again, disappear into his other realm, never talk to her again, leave her to the void, all very real possibilities. And then she remembered that he in better days had called this other realm Possibility, and felt a shiver go through her body. She couldn't let go of the idea. There was no need for them to be both unhappy, she alone would be more than enough. One didn't get many chances in life to do something really unselfish; maybe this would give her peace of mind. So she opened the gates and waited till there were no others around. Then she told him with razor-sharp voice that she didn't want him around any longer. That he should leave, to Possibility or the plains, ponds, forests and mountains and find himself a nice young girl. He was smarter than she was, though. At that time she couldn't even begin to understand why he did what he did, but he refused to go. He said he didn't want to leave, that he would always be her friend and actually was quite happy with his life. Her joy was short-lived though, as nothing did change. It seemed he didn't even grant her this one moment of altruism. But honesty forced her to admit she was overjoyed that she had escaped the void: although she could always feel its breathing in her neck, it had never once been able to touch her ... yet. He spent more and more time in Possibility. When they talked, it was about books, about the library, about others they both knew and who were responsible for their situation, but never about their feelings, their hopes and how to deal with the circumstances. Sometimes she felt like a puppy, grateful for every touch or morsel of food. It shouldn't have been like this, she was the warder after all, but at the same time she was the one captured. And then, one morning, she arrived at the gates to find him already there, dangling a pair of keys before her face. She felt involuntary in her pocket, and with a sigh of relief closed her fist around hers. "Where did you get those?” she asked. His face had become something out of a nightmare, cruel, calculated and knowing. "I've had them all along", he smirked. "But they are not the same as yours, although they look like them. And now ... " With a swift movement of his wrist he turned the key in the lock at his side of the gate. "What are you doing?" she shouted. "Why do you lock yourself in?" He shook his head, still with that terrible smile on his face. "You don't get it at all. You see, my dear, I wasn't the one captured. You were." He felt in his pocket and took something out, a little black box with a ribbon on it. “But before I go, I have something for you.”
He reached through the iron bars and put it in her hand. Then he turned round and walked away without so much as a glance. She knew he had been right and watched him leave with a suppressed moan of agony. Then she looked at the little black box in her hand and slowly removed the ribbon.
The box was empty, or so it seemed at first. But she felt a familiar unease and when she turned around she saw the void already eating the well-known surroundings and closing in on her. It had finally reached her. With a sigh she closed her laptop. How small a device it was, and how big a prison. © Magistra