Inkster of the Week: Charlie Falconer

Thursday 18th May 2023

This story, written for the Year 10 Tales with a Twist assessment, is a great bit of writing from Charlie - enjoy!

One Way Out

The prisoners funnel themselves into the small, cramped pens. The lights flicker above them, and the battered walls nearly collapse without the needed maintenance. The prison guard comes around one by one and locks the aggravated inmates away in confined cells. Over the walls, the convicts can see other prisoners going into the death room… or at least that's what they call it. They say every time someone enters, there is a chance of being sent away on a big, dark bus… and nobody knows where it goes. Some say it travels to Fairyland; others just think they take you away to get slaughtered.

After many dark, miserable hours of nervously waiting, it is finally my turn. I stumble through the metal gates, and the prison guards look at me, spit at me, and push me around like a farmed animal. They heave me into a small room, and after a few seconds, I can faintly hear someone saying something along the lines of, “He’s too small, send him away.”

A door to my right suddenly thrusts open, and I scamper through. After a quick dash down a tight corridor, I come across a large enclosure with many other inmates. On the other side of the room, I peek through the bars and eye down a large truck reversing into a door that exits the room. Oh no. If this is the truck they all talk about… then this could be the final time I see daylight. Right then and there, I lay down in the oozing mud, and without hesitation, I bawl my eyes out. First, they took me from the small village in the countryside where I was born, and then they shoved me into cells and treated me like a criminal.

“Keep coming, keep coming, keep… stop!”

The truck stops right on point, only millimeters away from the prison. Perfect. I open the tailgate so that the pesky inmates can run straight on. Jumping down from the ramp, I stroll back along the corridor, opening doors so that the prisoners can stumble from their cells and up the ramp. One by one, I open up the rooms and push the useless, bony bodies up the ramp and onto the enormous, disgusting truck. Finally, it comes down to the last pen. The door squeals as I pull it open. The faces that were once happy and cheerful are now filled with depression and sorrow, with the odd scream. Another jailer comes around behind the mob and pushes them along the corridor and up the ramp, slamming the door behind them.

At last, all the sheep are on the stock truck and are ready to be sent away to the works.

By Charlie Falconer