James Holden: Jack

I am sat in complete darkness . It’s not the longest I have been trapped in here. A while ago they must have kept me in total darkness for what felt like at least a fortnight and I started hallucinating. Colours started to dance across my vision – rich vibrant shades of red and yellow and blue. And then I saw a point of light in the distance and a girl started to walk towards me until she was right up in my face. She had big round rosy cheeks and bright orange hair pulled into bunches. “Out of all of us, the waiting is saddest for you,” she whispered into my ear.

I know I imagined it, as there is not space in here for anyone to be in here with me, even if I did suck in my wide, rounded belly. I can touch the sides with my hands, and I don’t have to lean far before my head hits the extremity of the space I have to live in.

Sometimes when I am trapped in here I can hear noises – bangs and crashes, voices and screaming. Occasionally I hear the sound of musical instrument – a drum or a xylophone.

I couldn’t tell you exactly how long it has been since I have been let out – I reckon it’s three days but it’s hard to tell. I lose track of time very easily, the only reference points I have to the passing of the days are the aging I can see on the faces that greet me when I am let out.

The last time I was let out it did not feel like it was for a long period of time before I was roughly shoved back inside by a pair of hands, shut into the darkness once more.

But I hear the voices again outside, and I wonder if I am to be released. I feel the box I am in shudder and shake – I must be being lifted up – and then the motion stops. Suddenly the lid springs open and up I jump up, my clown face bringing a smile to the toddler in front of me.


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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