It was cold in the cell. Cold, dark and  dank, with the kind of damp that gets right into your bones. There was no way of telling how long he’d been there. It had been a very long time since he had seen another human face. They had left him, shackled to the wall, with a hunk of bread and a jug of water set just beyond his reach. The rats had taken the bread. The water had seeped between the cracks in the stone flags of the floor when he had tried to reach the jug.

He could think of better places…

“… another ten years? ”

“Yep. Sorry and all that,” said the Inspector.

“But, why?”

“It’s the law… ” The Inspector shrugged. “You failed the test.”

“How was I supposed to know?”

“It’s all in the small print. Didn’t the warden read that to you?”

“Probably… I wasn’t really listening… ”

“That happens a lot, you know. I supposed he turned up right on the dot? Sometimes he can be a bit too eager… too efficient. ”

“I was sort of otherwise occupied. In shock. Bureaucrat?”

“Traffic warden…”

“Ah. That explains it. So what now?”

“I check back on you once every decade.”

“And if I learn my lesson, you let me out?”

“That’s how it works. Mind you, I’d be tempted to stay myself. They’re redeveloping the place. Turning it into luxury appartments. That could be fun…”

“Meanwhile, I’m stuck in solitary…”

“I really am sorry. Rules is rules. You only get inspected once a decade. Tick a few boxes and we let you out… go where you please for as long as you like. We can’t have you haunting the place half trained. All you have to do is work on the old ectoplasm. The odd partial materialisation… rattle your chains a bit, perhaps move a few things or bang the door…  Maybe a groan or two…”


“There you go! You’ll soon get the hang of it…”

For Esther’s Challenge.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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13 Responses to Solitary…

  1. Pingback: Solitary… – The Militant Negro™

  2. Sisyphus47 says:

    Hilarious! 🙂


  3. Ha ha ha. I never knew ghost job requirements were so demanding. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jenanita01 says:

    Nice one, Sue…


  5. Tom Gould says:

    That picture is so atmospheric.


  6. Pingback: I Challenge You To… | estherchiltonblog

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