Hand holding a pen, writing on paper on a wooden table, notebook and cup on the background.

When my friend Nate was brought into prison two years ago, he wrote me about freedom: something precious that we possess but seldom notice. This year, when the pandemic struck Europe, everyone suddenly saw their plans cancelled and their choices restricted. So I remembered Nate’s words. Like him, I got first angry, then depressed, until I finally accepted it. Lastly, a newly-discovered internal silence started giving way to stories hidden in the back of my mind. I let them flow through my fingertips and realised: the only place anyone can be truly free is the imagination.

Note: I wrote this piece to enter Fish Publishing’s Lockdown Prize, where writers were asked to submit pocket prose of up to 100 words on the theme: “Coronavirus – the writer’s response to the strange times of 2020”.


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