Alice sat in the golden square of streetlight that fell through the tiny window. The window was high, too high to see through, though Sam had said they wouldn’t miss the view – the council flats, the carpark with its rank of wheelie bins, its tumbling litter, its flock of crows with their bright, oil slick wings.
Their building was old grey stone, austere pediments the only decoration. It used to be a workhouse – that’s what the estate agent had said – for beggars, the sick and poor who would otherwise starve outside its cold, forbidding walls.
To Alice, the flat’s veneer of plaster and steel, LED lights and LCD screens was just a mask, a sterile attempt to hide the building’s true, brutish nature. Sam had called the flat a sanctuary. Alice called it a prison.
The box of light shrank around her.
Written for What Pegman Saw, a weekly prompt using Google street view images. This week the image is from Giles Street in Edinburgh. From here, if you turn the corner onto Henderson Street, you see the front of this grey stone building, the inspiration for this story. See here to join in and to read the other stories.