Solitude by Michael J. Dusseault

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By Michael J. Dusseault

I've stared at these walls for a countless number of days. I lost track very quickly since there are no windows here. Some of the other cells have windows; I know because I have been in those, too. My section of the jailhouse holds only my own cell, so I don't even get to speak to anyone. Unless you would call my interaction with the guards conversation. I would not. "Stand up against the wall" and "Shut your goddamn mouth" do not qualify as dialogue to me.
My longest conversation with a person other than myself was when I asked one of the guards for pen and paper. "What for?" he asked.
"There is nobody else here and you guys don't talk to me," I said to him. "I need to occupy myself with something or I'll lose it. You know if you do this, I'd probably be less likely to try something."
"What do you think you're gonna try?"
"I realize now that I could not win a fight with you. But at some point I will not think clearly. I'll be willing to try anything to escape this silence. Eventually you'd take me down, but I could probably take at least one of you with me. Madness does strange things to a man."
My dinner came accompanied with a quill, ink, paper, and the most brutal beating I have ever received. Worse even than the night they caught me. They said that I should think about that before I tried something. Oh, well. At least I got my pen and paper.
I need to stop for a while now; I can only write so much when three of my fingers are broken.

I write these memoirs for my own benefit, my own sanity, because as my imminent death draws nigh, I feel the lunacy approach with it. The ghosts of people I've known talk to me in the darkness of my prison; their voices come to me like the breeze that I will only feel once more, when they take me to the gallows. I find it more and more difficult to silence them and I can only hope this journal helps. I have no regrets, mind you. In my life I have only done what I had to do. What was necessary. That may sound selfish of me, but there is one thing you should know as you read this.
I don't care.
There is another reason I am writing this. I think there are too many stories about heroes. They are all the same. Noble. Brave. Kind. Just. Who says that these heroes have these virtues? Historians? More like playwrights, if you ask me.
I understand the fact that history should be recorded; I agree. But it needs to be accurate history. It is always changed to make the heroes perfect and the battles glorious. Battles are very far from glorious, and warriors are far from perfect. Some warriors are further from perfect than others, but even the best of us have our demons. Don't we?
Four hundred years ago, Seran the Conqueror swept over this part of the continent. He and his armies came from across the sea and butchered the peaceful, primitive races that dwelled here, driving them to the north and west never to be seen again. He then called his realm Danover and it still exists to the North. His rule is held in the highest regard.

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