Tim slowly descended past his breaking point. The cuckoo clock, so old his grandmother did not remember a time without it, ticked off each passing second, with every click reverberating like a gunshot. He stared at the ceiling, knowing that eventually they would have to return. He had heard nothing from the hall outside of his door in over a day. The lights had come on automatically at 6AM like they did each day, but had flickered throughout the morning. He knew, or at least he had convinced himself, that soon they would go off and he would end the day in total darkness.
Tim rose from his cot and began pacing the short side of the room. It was only 12 steps and he knew them well. Tim had only been allowed to bring one book and one remembrance item with him. He had been told anything more was outside the allowances for each person on board. The clock he thought would remind him of family only served as a trigger for happier memories. Tim brought the longest book he could find, "The Count of Monte Cristo," It had seemed like a great idea at the time. He now realized just how much he hated the story. In fourteen months, he had not gotten past the 30th page. Each time he tried, his hands began to shake and he could not keep reading.
The lights flickered for the last time late in the evening. No food had not arrived in over 30 hours. As the hunger and darkness began to gnaw on his stocmach, he grudgingly began to acknowledge the cold. It had started soon after the lights flickered out the last time. The heaters were no longer running. Power must be out all over the ship. Tim imagined everyone frantically working on a solution.
From the hall a sound somewhat between a sob and a chuckle escapes into the darkness. The realization has dawned on Tim that he has just been granted an amazing gift. His life sentence, handed down on earth to be served in the mines of Saturn, was significantly shortened. Soon the sob faded away as the welcoming, cold darkness allowed only the ticking of the clock to mark the cell's rebirth as a tomb.