The Prison on the Dark Side

It’s always dark on the dark side.

Image from Pixabay (CC0)

“Get up!” Benjamin was rudely shaken from his slumber. His feet were still cold, but he had just managed to loose consciousness for a few seconds when the guards got to him again.

He started crying.

“Stop crying. We’re going. You know the deal. We have to move you to the other base.”

Benjamin quickly got out of what was supposed to be his bed. A tiny layer of hay and a blanket that had seen better days. He knew better than to ask if he could bring his blanket. When he’d have this blanket and the blanket that was waiting for him at the other prison together, he’d probably be able to sleep a bit.

His wrists were shackled and he was walked out of his cell, the hallway passing other prisoners. The lucky ones, that didn’t need to relocate every day, twice a day. They were still asleep, as it was still dark. A few moments before dusk, a dusk Benjamin would not get to see ever again.

He heard the guards talk among themselves. In the beginning they had mocked him, called him the prisoner of the night. But now even they were getting fed up with him. With moving him around every day. But Benjamin didn’t really care about them, he only thought about the nice fluffy beds they must have. And the sun. What good was it to be on the moon without even being able to see the sun, or the earth? It must be a spectacular view from here. The prison didn’t have that many windows, but just a quick glance of the earth, the blue oceans, it would make up for a lot.

“Ready?” A woman’s voice made Benjamin look up. Lisa, one of the social workers to see to it that he was treated well. The only perk of being ten.

She took him by his shoulder and led him into the vehicle that was to bring him to the prison on the other side of the moon. It would only take them ten minutes, which was almost enough to warm up again. He snuggled close to the woman, feeling her warmth and her arm around him.

Lisa shook her head and hugged the boy, putting her cloak around him. She didn’t know what he had done to deserve this. And she didn’t even want to know. She shuddered when thinking about the kind of system that had sentenced a ten-year-old boy to prison on the dark side of the moon.

Which was why she’d become a social worker in the first place. She didn’t have much imagination, and was mainly good at comforting people . Even if his files had been made available to her, she wouldn’t even begin to understand how someone could have tried hacking into the sun, let alone how a young boy could have almost managed to wipe out human civilization.

The vehicle moved quickly, just a few minutes left before they reached the prison on the other side of the moon.

Lisa tried talking to the boy. Building rapport. Getting him to open up to her. “Are you okay, Benjamin? Is there anything you need? Are they treating you right?”

But Benjamin didn’t hear anything she said. The warmth was important to keep him alive. And that was all he’d have to do. Sit out his time in the darkness. And one day, he would get out, and take revenge. He had made one silly mistake, but the next time he would be more careful. They had been lucky, finding out what he was doing. But that didn’t mean they knew how to prevent him from trying again. And in the meantime, it was better not to attach himself to anyone. Emotions would only be able to get in his way.

Short story written for Martin Tiller’s #twentyfourhourshortstory contest on Steemit.

Originally published at on September 25, 2018.

Writer, teacher & freelance philosopher, PhD. Author of "Why philosophers are crazy” (Damon, 2018). Dutch.

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