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I didn’t want to be there.  Not in the slightest.  But when the man with the briefcase came to our door, he made it very clear that I had no choice.  I remember desperately running for the stairs.  I remember tripping.  And I remember blacking out.  Next thing that I knew, I was in the room.  My thief’s mind immediately started looking for ways to escape.  Could I break the wall?  No, it’s five feet of pressed wood with iron panes to reinforce it.  Could I get out that vent?  No, it leads right to where the guards stay.  Could I blackmail the guard?  Now we’re talking…

I leaned up against the door and looked the guard in the eyes.  “You know, my family will be waiting for me.”  The guard looked bored.  “You’ve been on your own since your house burned down at age six.”  Ouch.  Little bit of a sore spot.  “Ok, fine, you got me.  What if instead, I told you that my gang of murderers is probably looking for me?”  The guard was still unnerved.  “You don’t have a gang.  You’ve always worked alone.”  Wow, this is not going well.  “Now I just want to talk.  Do you have donuts?  All cops have donuts.”  He finally lost his patience.  “If you don’t shut up right about NOW, I’m going to come in there with my club and no one is going to find you again!”  Whoa, what a temper!  “I’ll make you a deal.  Get me donuts, and I’ll shut up.”  The guard rolled his eyes.  “Fine.  I’ll get you donuts.”  I smiled.  “Good choice.  Let’s shake on it.”  He did, and then left, presumably to the donut shop.  I kept on grinning, long after he left, and then opened my hand and looked at what was inside of it.  The things I had picked from the guard’s pocket.  One piece of blank paper, and a box of matches.  I looked around, shrugged, and did the only thing that came naturally to me.  I lit one.

My cell was no longer brown.  It was red.  The flames burst all around me, but I wasn’t scared.  I felt powerful, in control.  The guards waited until the wall burned before aiming weapons at me, but I was already gone.  I was in the rain, outside the walls, and I ran.  I ran and ran until I couldn’t run anymore.  Eventually I stopped to rest beneath a tree, and started to laugh uncontrollably.  My wish had come true.  I was free.

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