Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Ascension Of Freedom...A Short Story


 WWBH Prompt Post

I love this picture, but I love sunsets, so that makes sense. I wish I loved baseball more. Maybe one day when I have the time. We'll see...

The picture and mandatory words offer so many creative opportunities for a weekly writing exercise. If you'd like to try this out yourself, here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up your story at these sites: Nicole, Carrie, Leanne, or Tena.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

This week's (randomly generated) mandatory words:


And so, her you go!

The Ascension Of Freedom

He heard the sound of metal doors opening thousands of times before as it again rang through the wretched halls, halls built by free men for the enslavement of others. He knew at any moment his cell would unlock and freedom would be mere minutes away. Yet, his tortured mind fought the urge to hope. The ultimate goal of prison is the systematic destruction of hope--a true crime against humanity. But for Phil Harris, the 6' by 8' cell failed to claim its victim. Convict 1, jail 0.

Phil picked up his personal belongings. The smug officer behind the window laughed as he slid the box across the counter, as if the loser about to leave could not possibly profit from the box's contents. Phil didn't care what that civil servant thought and he hoped his state pension would be lost by mismanagement of his retirement fund. He hefted the box and left the room.

"You got anyone picking you up?" the guard asked as Phil stood behind the metal gate that separated him from a world he dared not consider for twenty years.


"No one? Not even your parents?"

"Both dead," Phil said as if the words meant nothing. He expected no reaction from the guard and received none.

"I'll call for a cab. It'll take you into the city--wherever you want to go. It's on us." Phil wondered if this was supposed to make him feel better, as if his words were meant to alleviate any fears that the state had set up some elaborate prank as a final farewell to a favorite felon. To Phil, he didn't care where the car went. He'd be forever outside and never coming back.

The car finally arrived and Phil stepped from the grounds of the penitentiary hoping to shed his former life like a snake breaking through its skin leaving behind a ghost of itself.

"Where to, buddy?" said the divorced father of three who once worked as a newspaper printer until that damned internet obliterated the industry.

"Take me into town."

"Sure thing." Phil climbed in and the cab moved forward. The car passed homes and farms as the sun set in the west. Even though it was 90º outside Phil rolled down the window to experience the smells of lawns, and animals, and the farms with its intoxicating aromas from the genus of mays, capsicum, and fabaceae. 

"Hey!" Phil said as the cab drove by a high school baseball game. "Stop! Can you stop here?"


"Yeah, you got it." The drive pulled over and Phil got out. The car drove away as Phil stood outside the arena holding all his possessions in a box. He watched as a ball sailed beyond the fence. At that moment, as Phil watched the ball ascend, he knew that he was free.

Word Count: 478


  1. I enjoyed reading this especially with the hope and optimism that Phil has whether incarcerated or free. I hope he makes a success of his life now.

  2. Scott, this is so lovely. I can feel his freedom... like a cleansing deep breath. There's so much hope for Phil; a second chance at a new life! Seriously, great work here.