Featured Fiction: "Branded in Gray"

By Dawn Allen

Feb. 3, 2010
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Thought I'd share a short story by Dawn Allen, whom I just so happen to know and can vouch for. Not sure why I'd ever have to vouch for her, since all you need to do is read her stuff to know she's got talent. This is a short story from A Fly in Amber, an online fiction zine that has a really nice, easy-to-navigate blog-looking layout.

From her story Branded in Gray:



Prison life is full of oxymorons, lose-lose situations. Under the circumstances, Iíve been lucky. I was tried as a juvenile, the result of an early birth date and a sympathetic judge. Definitely factors in my favor. So, Iím serving my time in a juvenile facility.

Even at that, I swear once I leave here, Iíll never have gray in my life again. Iím surrounded by gun-metal gray cinder block walls, white tiled floors that have aged to a nasty shade of mouse gray, storm gray cell doors. Even the food is gray. No kidding, the meatloaf has a corpse gray cast to it, so does the spaghetti. I donít want to know how they manage that. My prison world is reminiscent of my post-incident nightmares. Except in them I see some things in color.

My days are beyond boring. I attend school, work a detail, and read a lot. I was never much of a reader before. Now I find myself reading whatever I can get my hands on. Bob, my counselor, could probably psychoanalyze my reading choices. I never share that information with him. Not that he doesnít know. Nothingís lost in prison. Every move you make is watched and analyzed. It breeds paranoia.


Click here to read the full story.

After you've read Dawn Allen's story, check out some of the other stuff on the right side of the page. If you want to support A Fly in Amber, you can scroll down and click on those Google ads sitting near the bottom of the page. Nope, you don't even have to pay to support this site--one of the benefits of having an online journal.


Ken Brosky

P.S. The featured artwork I used to supplement this post is by Alexandra Mazarakis, and it's called "Start Packing."


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