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"FREEDOM" by Luke Edwards
Written by Luke Edwards (Year 10)

This essay forms part of Luke's GCSE coursework, and has not been altered in any way.

Slowly, I sit up on my bed and glance wearily around.  Four cold, damp slabs of grey.  I'm used to it!  I watch the condensated (sic) sweat ooze down the blank walls of this sweatbox I call home.  The pungent smell of bodily fluids drifts around my nostrils and makes me taste sick in my mouth.  This nightmare is nearly over.

The low buzz of the fluorescent light has already started to beat, ringing deep into my head.  As the moist filled air feels sticky in my mouth, I stumble up and start to peel back the sweat-stained sheets to get their weekly wash.  The wiry metal bed creaks with pain.  It's been here even longer than me.  The bed's rusted metallic exterior bends and cracks every time I sleep.  The bed, like me, is desperate for a way out.

I collect my bag.  Pre-packed the night before.  Eight possessions in total.  The last twenty-two years of my life, summed up in that small, brown drab bag.  Nothing ever achieved, nothing ever accomplished.  I stare at the battered clock in the corner.  Not long now.

I start to dress deliberately in the usual lifeless orange jumpsuit.  My number printed on the back.  The bell rings violently to break the stifling silence, then the methodolic (sic) clunks of locks and keys.  My body tightens and my muscles become stiff.  Even in this humid, hazy place I feel cold and numb.  I have for the past two decades.

Finally the guards come.  I examine their stony faces for any signs.  Nothing.  They lead me across the gantry.  I know the way by now, it's played in my mind over and over, time after time.  Shouts from other inmates flog my ears, dull banging and thuds surround me.  I'm close.

I traipse down the cold hard steps, out of the cell block, through the endless maze of corridors and bars.  I stare out into the unknown outside.  Blocked by chain link fences that cut through me like daggers every time I think of freedom, I can see my lawyer now, through the four inch glass.  The cold cracked handcuffs are released.  I'm free.