The door of my prison suddenly opened. A smile was already plastered on my face. I knew who was going in.

It was Laura.

She was also from the Scala Town. She became my friend here in prison. She was a slave of the palace and was the one assigned to deliver food to me everyday. She was the one who made me sane for the last two years here in prison.

My stay here was the worst thing that anyone could ever imagine. I was surrounded by four thick grey stone walls, there was nothing else to do but stare at them. A small barred opening with thick metal on the ceiling that let fresher air in and it was a relief, helping to alleviate the stench of festering sewage.

It was no brighter inside the cell than the gathering gloom of dusk. The bed was a plank of iron, an old mattress, a small pillow and only one thin blanket. It was suffocatingly quiet. Anything to pass time, slowly going mad, it has no life or meanings from the cell’s blank stare.

The cell was actually designed to resist fire. It was Laura who told me about that. I couldn’t believe that there was such a fire resistant cell. It was like it was built just for the likes of me. One who has the gift of fire.

The food was also the worst. A stale bread and a broth everyday. Sometimes it was even spoiled. If I’m lucky, I’m going to get water too. Good thing that Mama and Papa would sometimes deliver food to Laura for me. Twice or thrice a month only. They were not allowed to do it everyday.

I did survive. Thinking that one day someone would help me escape from this pithole kept me living. I tried to escape once, but my fire was not strong enough to melt the solid door. It was resistant to my attacks and it had a solid concrete frame and always locked.

“Good morning, Ayesha,” Laura greeted me with a smile when she got near me. She was holding a tray with a bottle of water and a small basket on it.

“Good morning, Laura,” I greeted back.

“Here’s your breakfast,” she said, putting the tray on the small wooden table. I already have one with one wooden chair too.

“What was it?” I asked, peeking on the tray from her back.

“Your Mama brought you some food. It was inside the basket.”

My eyes widened. My Mama!

“She was here, again?” I looked at him with a hopeful expression.

“She was outside the castle. You already knew that she’s not allowed here in the dungeon. And you’re not allowed to have visitors too. I’m sorry.” She looked at me with a sad expression and I couldn’t help but feel sad too.

I sighed and sat on the chair. “It was fine. I understand. How was she? Did you talk to her?”

“Yes. She was fine. She said that she missed you a lot. Your Papa too. He missed you a lot too.” She smiled at me and took the tray with her. “I can’t stay longer. They need me to run some errands. I will be seeing you tomorrow,” she said before he left my prison.

I sighed and smiled bitterly again. Same as usual. I’m going to eat alone again.

I checked what was inside the basket. There was bread, fruits and a bottle of milk inside. These would last maybe for a week for me. At Least I would be having a decent meal for a week. But the milk would surely be spoiled tomorrow so I better consumed it first before it spoiled.

I only eat one piece of bread and drink some milk leaving an amount for me to drink for lunch and dinner.

I looked at one of the corners of the stone wall and saw the tiny scribbles that I wrote for the last two years using a stone. I’ve been counting the days of my stay here. And I couldn’t wait to get out.

I went to my bed and decided to take a nap. That was one of the things that I always do here. Sleeping.

I lay on my bed and fell into slumber.

I blinked a couple of times and looked where I was. I was again in the forest. The forest where I accidentally set on fire.

My forehead creased when I suddenly heard someone calling my name.

“Ayesha.”