Today’s Daily Create had us pick three cards, each with a word, and write a story based on the words. This is a great writing prompt, largely because it is random enough to stimulate one’s thinking into unexpected areas. Here is my story.
Race to the Mansion for a Bowl of Sugar
another episode of The Prisoner
One day Number 6 woke to the sounds of whistles and cheers. No, he wasn’t under arrest (again). It was Race Day in The Village!
Casually, Number 6 walked to the Park where he noticed several Residents in sporting attire lined up at a start line. Nonchalantly, he asked Number 72 where they were racing to. 72 said, “Oh, it’s a marathon! They are racing from here to there and back again. It will be quite wonderful. And such splendid weather!”
Not getting the answer he was looking for, Number 6 wandered until he found the Tally Ho news stand, bought a copy, and saw the headline: RACE TO TWO’S MANSION. The story stated that the goal of the race was to run to Number 2’s Residence, enter, find a bowl of sugar, and return to the start. Points were awarded for running time, bowl-searching time, the number of sugar cubes gathered in the bowl, and the number of sugar cubes still in the bowl at the finish.
Always plotting an escape, Number 6 instantly donned sporting gear, and stood in line with the other contestants. Being in top physical condition, he easily made it to Number 2’s mansion first. In the kitchen were just as many bowls as there were contestants, each identical but for the number painted on the side. Quickly, he found the bowl labeled “6”, reached into the bag of sugar cubes, and filled the bowl. Since he hadn’t had breakfast, he popped several sugar cubes into his mouth to replenish his energy.
On the path back to the finish, Number 6 almost immediately started meandering, spinning, gazing at nothing, and otherwise acting erratic. It was as if some drug had entered his system, probably from the sugar cubes, and he was hallucinating. Next thing he knew, he was waking up in the hospital with the trophy for the race. The trophy featured a large sugar cube!
The doctor, standing nearby, noticed that Number 6 was awake, and told him, “Ah, welcome back Number 6! Thank you for all the information you shared when you were wandering around out of your mind. It will be quite useful to Number 2, and of course even more useful when he reports to Number 1.”
Number 6 immediately began to panic, but only showed a bit of sweat on his forehead. “What could I possibly have said that would be of interest? All I could think of and see were marmalade skies, newspaper taxis, and cellophane flowers. I must have been hallucinating, so whatever I said was not based in reality.”
“Ah” said the doctor, “we each make our own reality here in The Village. And your reality is special to us. Our computers will extract the truth from your hallucinations, and soon we will know whose side you are on!”
Number 6 fell back asleep, confident that his reality would never be probed by this doctor. He knew the computer was programmed badly and would likely self-destruct when his hallucinations were input. And, he had won the race!
In writing this, I tried to keep in mind the times (1960s) and the themes of The Prisoner. Number 6 is often drugged. The other authorities are always trying to get information from Number 6. He is likely to participate in Village functions, but has his ultimate escape motive in mind always. The sugar cube, of course, was used in that decade as a dispenser of LSD, so we also have reference (in his hallucinations) to The Beatle’s song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”
Overall, I had fun writing this little story. I did proofread, and made a few grammar edits. Most interestingly, I found that I had subconsciously used the number “2” to identify Number 6 in several occurrences. Is this a sign? In the next episode will Number 6 be promoted to Number 2? Will he be seeking answers from himself, digging deep into his own psyche? Stay tuned to this channel, the only one that matters.
Be seeing you.