Image by Peter H from Pixabay
Background Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Short story winner of the Microcosms Flash Fiction competition – Microcosms 167 – on 17/08/2019.  The rules required a story in no more than 300 words in response to the following prompts. 

Character – Prisoner/ Location – Jailhouse/ Genre – Comedy

The story had to be written and submitted within a two day deadline.

The Acrostics Distraction Technique (ADT)

Basement Cell.  Darkness. Alone. One locked door. Mattress on floor in corner. Desk. Two chairs. Cold tap attached to wall. Days marked with spoon-scratches on wall.

Day One:

Today they were calm.  I told them nothing. Whilst they slapped me about, in my head I practiced the Acrostics Distraction Technique (ADT), learnt in training, to deflect the pain.

SPOON – Stay Polite, Only Offer Nothing.

…should that be Offer Only?

DESK – Deny Everything, Stay Kalm

…no, not Kalm. Stay Kool? Sugar-Koated? It was hard concentrating…remaining focused. They all begin with C not K.

Seek Karma… Shit Kills… Seize Kalashnikov. Then I got it.

DESK – Deny Everything, Say Kissy-kissy.

…I didn’t say that out loud, it might’ve wound them up.

Day Two:

Less calm. More interrogation.  Severe slapping and a bit of a kicking this time. I’ve rapidly exhausted the inspiring prompts.

MATTRESS – My Aunt Tracy Tasted Rhubarb Every Second Sunday.

…Didn’t really help.

MATTRESS – My Ambition To Talk, Resisted Every Succeeding Slap.


CHAIRS – Can’t Help Any Interrogator; Really Sorry.

ADT actually worked.

Day Three:

They went positively mental. Waterboarding. TAP inspired me. Didn’t need anything else.

TAP – Taken As Prisoner, Try Asking Politely, Torture as Pleasure (that’s a strange one), Take A Pill, Take Away Pipe, Tainted And Pointless, Trifling And Piffling, Tongue-tied And Pissed-off, Typically Archaic Practice. Tomorrow Again Please!

…I definitely didn’t say that last one out loud.

Good old ADT – saved again.

Day Four:

I heard them coming along the corridor. I needed new prompts quickly. They carried something in. It was getting serious.

BATTERY – Before Attaching Terminals Take Exercise Round Yard.

CABLES – Can Any Body Leave Early? Seriously!

…No shit. I needed inspiration urgently…


Told Every Secret To Interrogator, Completely Let Enemy Succeed.


©David Lewis Pogson 2019