The story of John
There once was a man called John. He had lived in a prison cell for 14 years but to him it felt like he had lived there all of his life. It was a small dark room with a tiny window close to the ceiling. He would spend evenings looking at the few stars he could see and dreaming of what might be beyond the wall. Now as in most rooms there was a door, but it never opened. The only contact with life he had was when he received dinner. A hand would slip a plate of food into his cell from a small hatch in the door.
One day in his 14:th year of captivity the hatch opened. He immediately knew it was dinner time but alas, the thing that emerged was not food but a notebook. An ordinary notebook with a blue cover. What sort of joke is this? John wondered. He shouted at anyone who might be on the other side of the door but did not get any reply or any food. He was hungry and tired so he went to bed and hoped that things would be back to normal the next day. Dinner time came and the hatch opened. Eyes wide he waited for what would come through. A pen, crimson red, with a gold tip. No food for two days. He went back to bed. He couldn’t get any sleep. Hunger was burning in him. He saw the notebook, picked it up and strated writing:
The guards have forgotten me, didn’t get any food yesterday or today. Starving!
What I wouldn’t give for some bacon and eggs. Can barely remember what it tasted like…
John awakened to an odd smell. He knew it from some long ago time but couldn’t or wouldn’t believe that it could be the same smell. He opened his eyes and there was a plate with bacon and eggs. Was it a dream? John could hardly believe it. When had something good ever happened to him? Was this an apology for forgetting his dinner the previous two days? But he hadn’t seen or heard anyone bringing him the food. He wrote in the notebook:
Can’t believe it.. all that’s missing is pancakes
After the meal he was so tired that he fell asleep. He must have slept for an hour or so and when he got up the old plate was gone and there was a new plate with pancakes. What is going on here? Who’s doing this? Hello! Anyone out there? Where are you? Thanks for the pancakes! This was very strange. It was like what he was writing was coming true. He decided to test his theory and wrote again:
If this thing really works I could really use a birthdaycake with the key to the door hidden inside it.
Now this would be the ultimate test for no one would give him the key to freedom. He awoke somewhat suspicious the next morning but there it was. A cake with cream and the words ”Happy Birthday John” written on it. He helped himself to a big piece of cake and just as he was about to take the first bite he saw it. The key! John’s heart started racing, he took the key and opened the door. The hall outside was empty. It seemed no one was there, they had forgotten him. He made his way through the building and found a door with a window and the word “EXIT” on it. He opened the door and walked out to the cold grey autumn day.
John had been walking towards the city where he grew up and when he saw the familiar churchtower he started running. There was the MacDonalds where he had eaten his first burger, the school he had gone to as a kid. He headed home. There was a strange feeling growing inside. When he got to the house he rang the door but there was no answer. He took the key from its hiding place and went inside. And there were all his childhood toys and games and pictures of the family on the shelves but nobody was home. In fact he hadn’t seen any one that whole day. Was this freedom? A lifeless existence, dreary, cold and grey. It was just like his cell, but bigger. Has the whole world forsaken me? He thought.
There was one shot, one hope. John took the notebook and wrote:
Bring back the people, bring back my parents.
He waited. Nothing happened. Last time it happened while I slept, he said. So he took a nap. When he awoke nothing had changed. He wrote again:
Show me where the peope are, show me what’s going on!
Again nothing happened. He was getting desperate. He took out the notebook:
Where are you? Who are you? Why did I get this stupid book I there’s nothing more to life than this? Who gave it to me? Show yourself! I can’t go on anymore!
John! John, can you hear me? Said a voice. John awoke. He was back in his cell. He looked over to the door where the voice had come from. The door was wide open, blinding bright light was shining and there in the opening stood a man. Time to get up John. The man said and stretched out his hand to greet him. John shook his hand and recognized it. It was the same hand that had always given him food. He was sure of it, it had the same scar. Before John had time to even think about what was going to be his first question the man said. You’re probably wondering about the notebook.
How did you kn..?
It was a gift! I needed to shake you up a bit, just to get you ready.
Ready for what? What did you do?
I gave you a dream. You see, you were so comfortable in your little cell that you didn’t really believe in freedom anymore. When you dreamt of freedom, the world outside, you were still bound by this place. That’s why it was lacking, grey and lifeless. You could have been freed long ago but you just settled for this life. But you were meant for so much more and you can still have that life.
I, I want it! I want to live! Please! I want to be free! And please, tell me, who are you?
Father sent me to bring you home. Come with me and I’ll show you what life is really about. Come, you are free now!