A year ago, near enough to the day, Belfast Writers’ Group started up again after too long apart. When we got the gang back together, one of the first things we did was work on a crazy series of prompts that, first time around, had me writing about a dead body in a chocolate scullery. Because we’re wildly obscure like that.
Purely by a coincident of timing, we tried the same writing exercise again last week. This time I was to write about rotting turnips in an interview room made of platinum. Below is the madness I came up with.
Being the most expensive palace in the world that no one’s ever heard of, Killasia had its own version of everything – its own swimming pool and helipad, naturally, but also it’s own prison system and jail.
The only thing it didn’t have, until now, was anyone actually trying to break in – it’s difficult to have people after your goods if they’re secret, after all.
Even so, it was fortuitous that the eventuality of a criminal had been thought of and prepared for, because when Mickey Keystone Lennon happened upon the place and decided to try his hand at breaking and entering, the guards had somewhere to put him.
His eyes were wide as he looked around the interview room with its shiny, cold-to-the-touch walls. He wasn’t entirely sure but, if pressed, he would guess they were made out of solid white gold or platinum.
There were no windows in the room – not even one of those fancy two-way walls of glass that allowed people to look in on interviews – just some air vents stopping the space from being completely closed in.
Even the door had a seal around it.
Mickey was too surprised by the placement of his predicament to be worried; at least, at first. After what felt like an age but was probably an hour or two, he began to sweat.
He’d expected to be released soon after his capture, as soon as they figured out he hadn’t got very far into his crime and hadn’t actually managed to nab anything. The place was so big, after all. A palace the size of a country must be subscribed to the Geneva Convention or UN human rights laws or something, right?
By hour four, he was no longer feeling so hopeful. Not only was he not offered a representative, still no one had actually come to question him. That was bad for two reasons: his increasingly urgent need for the toilet, and the turnips he’d hidden in his socks that had been in contact with the heat of his skin so long, the started to rot.
Mickey cursed his decision to raid his neighbour’s allotment, and his stupid urge to follow the hidden path he’d found under a trapdoor he’d found there. Just look where it had landed him – eternally tapped in a platinum-coated interview room with nothing to occupy him but rotten turnips.
Not exactly your usual Thursday.