THE HORNS OF A PRISONER’S DILEMMA — PART II
Love & Reason: A Dialogue

October 2016By John M. Gist

John M. Gist is the Chair of the Humanities Department at Western New Mexico University. His prose and poetry have appeared in national and international literary and scholarly journals, such as The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, The Galway Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Superstition Review, Gravel, Pithead Chapel, Academic Questions, and numerous others. He is co-author of the book Angst and Evolution: The Struggle for Human Potential.

Ed. Note: The first installment of this two-part series appeared in our September issue.

Andrew Rand, dressed in a neon orange jumpsuit, sits on a metal bench in the center of an eight-foot-by-eight-foot holding cell. The walls of the cell are constructed from ten-gauge wire woven into two-inch-by-one-inch rectangle mesh. The cell sits in the center of a concrete room measuring twenty feet by twenty feet. A small window is situated on the west wall. Sunlight slants through the bars of the window and checkers the concrete floor.

A door, invisible to the naked eye, opens in the center of the wall opposite the window. A dwarf, with a green fedora cocked on his head, enters the room. It is Piccolino, the detective who convinced Rand to confess to a felony — a crime for which Piccolino had arrested Rand and his lover, Seiko Singer. The dwarf flips a switch on the wall and two tubes of fluorescent light flicker above the holding cell. He shuts the door and approaches the prisoner.

Piccolino: Good to see you.

Rand (staring at the floor): I got nothing to say.

Piccolino: How long’s it been?


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