How Many Zones?Arron Maitland

Karen Eastland

There was no end in sight.

Steven was trying to see the brighter side to the situation, but he just couldn’t. He was all over the Internet. And the news. Yes he got the girl, but the whole world got to see what an awkward guy he was; his oh so many attempts to talk to her, and his continual failure to follow through.

He knew that one day he would pluck up the courage to speak to her, but he didn’t realise how much of a spaz he looked in his attempts. He always hoped for the best, but secretly expected the worst outcome.

***

Arron, or YouTube handle: MaitiesLand, is led down through the long dark corridor. His eyes take in the misery that screams to him from every inch of the concreted walls. Large metal doors seem to be etched into the solid dankness and he begins to feel the sudden terror that his new reality is designed for.

A gruff male voice told him to stop, and a large hand gripped him by the shoulder and twisted him round to face one of those doors.

No one will ever find me, the doors? They’re all the same, his mind screamed, as he was shoved into a small dark room.

The room had a single bed, moulded from the same concrete that made up the walls. Along one side of the room and a clean, silver toned toilet protruding knee high from another wall.

What the fucks that? he thought looking at the toilet. It’s a fucking urinal.

The door creaked as it closed behind him, and a bone chilling voice whispered through a small opening about head height in the door.

‘Have a goodnight sweetheart.’

Those words echoed along the chill edging up Arron’s spine, then all light disappeared and Arron found himself alone in the darkness.

He ran his hand along the wall until he got to the hard cold bed. He laid out the bedding supplied to him and sat. Arron had made so many people happy with his video release of the old bus driver, but he’d also made three peoples lives very unhappy and it is those three lives that became important intersections for the direction of Arron’s life.

MaitiesLand got three nights in the local lockup, ‘To teach you a lesson, young man,’ the judge had said.

He was scared and alone and made the news. He got to feel what John was feeling that day. He got to experience the intrusion into his life, that 71 and 72 had, had to deal with, and ‘MaitiesLand’ got his 15-minutes of fame.