He looked at the slice of bread in his hand. It had one bite in it, and it tasted nasty now. When you have bread every morning for a long time, it becomes almost revolting. The water, which would last him all day, was unopened. Against the white walls, it looked like a picture on a piece of paper.
The room was entirely white, and was a perfect square except for the toilet and sink (which were also white) that were in a small, half-moon- shaped alcove on the far wall. Drearily he wondered how many times he'd used the toilet and sink. But what did it matter? He would never get out.
He thought he had been put in here for a reason. Probably a bad one, because he'd been in here so long. Countless mornings had gone by, and with them went his memories, for he could not remember anything from before he had gotten here. There was something, though; something that remained clear when everything else turned blurry, and that was a shovel, a big rusty shovel.
* * *
The doorknob was hard to turn, and it made a clicking noise as the lock broke. He walked out of the white room, and he found himself outside. It was a beautiful day outside and for a moment he forgot that he had ever been parted from this world. There were grassy hills spotlighted with bright, warm sunshine, and it seemed so lush and thriving that he wondered if all of this was real. Little red benches stood stranded next to a big tree, sheltered from the sun. There were a dozen geese near a pond, and there was a man in a brilliant green coat and a big, wonderful smile. He sat on one of those little red benches feeding the geese scraps of bread. Huge lumpy clouds were strewn across the sky, as if they were drawn in a cartoon. There were no roads here, no cars, and no noise. No wind. His shoes made the only sound in this utopia, that and his shovel rustling the grass.
He sat down and looked at his hands. They were scarred and blistered. Probably from carrying that damned shovel everywhere. He chuckled, and looked at the shovel that was lying in front of him in the sunlit and sun warmed grass. He slid his hand across the smooth wood and found it wet and slippery. He didn't care that it shouldn't have been wet on a hot, dry, day like this, but it didn't matter. All that mattered was that he was free. Free until morning, when he would wake up and find the bread and water.
He felt the grass. It was so real, and hot in his hands. Pulling a handful out from the ground, he closed his eyes and smelled the wonderful, unique smell that somehow he had never noticed before. He was a child again, and he laughed and giggled. He threw the grass up around him so it fell back on him like confetti. Yes, this was a happy time.
In what seemed like a millisecond, the clouds turned gray and rain poured down. He was not a child anymore, and all of a sudden his temper swelled. He felt a bomb inside of him that would explode if he didn't defuse it first. He was standing in front of the man sitting on the little red bench feeding the geese. The man looked up and said hello and offered some bread, but there was no sound. He heard nothing.
That man was the enemy, the target, the killer, the rapist, the terrorist, the criminal, the beast, the animal, the enemy, the enemy, the enemy, and he needed to be removed. There was no need for enemies. So he hit the man in the head a few times with the shovel, and that was over with. For a minute or two he watched and admired his handiwork. Then, he walked through the park, whistling tunelessly. The rain had stopped. His shovel was slippery again.
He awoke and enjoyed the bread and water.