Between The Bars #1 & #2

Discussion in 'Journals and Stories' started by Anonymous, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
    He doesn’t hear the sounds of oncoming hungry eyes. The metallic ringing noises of tent stakes being driven into the Kentuckian soil drown out the distant footsteps. He doesn’t hear the twigs snapping, or the guttural groans as faint as the whistling trees. He doesn’t detect the putrid scent of rotting flesh, masked by the twang of morning autumn breeze and roast rabbit.
    In fact, for quite a while he doesn’t detect the encroaching threat. It’s been a month since he last felt this secure, a burgeoning reminder of the dangers of the outside world has gone long forgotten and overdue.
    “C’ mon,” the big man groans in frustration, crouching beside an olive piece of tent canvas in the center of the clearing. He pulls the sleeves of his Kentucky State Penitentiary jumpsuit to his elbows, wiping a layer of sweat from his forehead, a set of busted handcuffs dangling from his wrists.
    “Come on, Scott … Damned two year old could do this,”
    He slammed the stake with the hammer, causing it to take flight and land several feet away near the roasting rabbit.
    “God damn it!” he exclaims for the fifth time in the last hour, tossing the hammer to his left in a fit of frustration. He rises from his feet, moving to the set of tall weeds. He kneels down, pulling them apart in the search for the now missing stake. The sun started to hang low behind the distant spruce trees, and the scent of a freshly cooked rabbit made his stomach rumble.
    “There you are,” he murmured to himself, spotting a distant glimmer of metal. He picked it up, only to feel a set of murky hands wrap around his arm and the rotten breath of a set of red eyes on his flesh. He yelled in shock, sending all of his weight towards the decomposing corpse, the pair collapsed to the ground and rolled down the surface of a small hill, landing in the muddy bank of a river.
    “Sh-shit,” Scott whimpered, wiping the blood from his head. He turned his attention to the carcass reaching for his leg, recoiling back away. He scrambled for the muddy hillside, grasping onto chunks of soil in a fruitless effort to raise himself back to his tent and weapons.
    “No!” he screamed in terror as two sets of hands wrapped firmly around his ankle and boot, pulling on him. He hurled down back into the bank, his head connecting with a set of rocks. A perpetual dread filled him as it lurched down and sunk its teeth deep into the nape of his neck.

    “Scott? Rise and shine, son. We’ve got some work to do out in the yard, c’ mon. I don’t want to have Speed up my ass again,” A dark-skinned older, weather-beaten man in navy blue dungarees prodded him with the end of his broom repeatedly.
    He sprung awake with a gasp, scooting to the back of his bed with wide, fearful eyes. He examined the confines of his cell, focusing on Samuel, his cellmate for the past three years.
    “Fuck,” he hisses, running his hands across his face in exhaustion.
    “Oh, you’re having them again, huh? Ain’t used to the sight of rottin’ corpses roaming abouts … you’ve gotta get some more yard time in, boy. Gonna hit you hard when they decide ‘n throw you out on the next run. That’s where I’m lucky, don’t send nobody over sixty out, bet all of y’all ain’t wishin’ you were youngsters now, huh?” Samuel droned on, gesturing with his wrinkled hand.
    “You ever shut up?” Scott asked, rising up from his bed with a stretch and exhale.
    “Not for a minute, youngster. Are you ready? That’s a rhetorical question, don’t bother saying anything other than yes.”
    He sighed and nodded, waving his arm loosely towards the exit.
    “Yo, I ain’t looked at the work schedule in the past week. What’d we get put on? … y’ know, besides tending to the yard.”
    “The crops? Didn’t they put Rey on that?”
    “Hung himself last night’ over in D-Wing.”
    “Yeah, Bobby was tellin’ me at breakfast. The youngster had enough of it, went and killed himself. Speed and him found ‘em, put him down. Last I heard they burnt ‘em out in the field.”
    “Yeah, I liked ‘em. He was a good enough kid, I know they were holdin’ him over in minimum security before all’o this. He got really lucky that them guards didn’t ‘round him up and shoot him like the others.”

    The pair pushed through a set of heavy double doors into a makeshift cafeteria. Around twenty people were gathered around at different tables, each of them dressed in prison jumpsuits of varying colors. Immediately, a lanky man dressed in a khaki-colored uniform with sunken eyes and rat-like features waved over to them from the table, calling for them in a nasally voice.
    “Sammy! Scotty! Get over here! You’re late again, man. Again! That’s four times this week. Four! You’ve gotta throw your weight in same as everyone else.”
    “Yeah, yeah. I’m sorry, cut me some slack.”
    “Ain’t no slack to cut! You hear about what happened to Rey? We don’t even got enough volunteers to clear out Cellblock B, now. Fuck. I’m sick of this shit, Scott! You and half of the other people in this place do the same shit, a community of goddamn lazy asses!”

    From behind, a ham-sized hand wraps around the smaller man’s shoulder. Bobby was always a larger man in the prison, towering over most of the men despite being on the portly side. His gut hung over his belt and he lacked any hair on his square head with layers of grease and sweat unhealthily pouring from his crinkled forehead.
    “C’ mon, Speed. It’s Scotty, he’s always up to help us out. Look at ‘em, he’s our bud. Ain’t you, Scotty?”
    “Youngster will do it,”
    Samuel spoke up from behind, resting his hand on his friend's shoulder.
    Exhaling, Scott nods in agreement.
    “Yeah, I’ll go with. It just gonna be us three?”
    The creases of Speed’s mouth shot up into a wide smile, yellowed teeth slipping through the small cracks between his dry lips.
    “No, no, no, no. We’re bringing Dryden and Jimbo, too.”
    Bobby’s voice rose up from behind, followed by a burst of bellowing laughter.
    “That kid’s built like a damn noodle, Speed! You really reckon he’s gonna be able to hold his own?”
    Speed shrugged his shoulders haphazardly, rubbing at his red nose with a grin.
    “We’ll find out. Go and get yourself set, Scotty. We’re gonna go and get that done in the next fifteen, I’mma go see what Maddy’s got cooking before. You want a hit?”
    “Don’t want none of that garbage, Speed.”

    The rattish man cracked up laughing, patting Scott on the shoulder as if the two were old high school friends. He walked him to the door of the cafeteria, leaving the others at the table. Once at the door, Speed places both arms on his shoulders, looking at him in the eye.
    “Bobby’s stickin’ up for you, I respect him. I’m gonna listen to him this time, but I’m warning you, big man. Don’t you dare be late again, you got me?”
    “Yeah, I got you.”
    “Good, I want you ready for this. We’ve got something good here, people trust us and we got the rule of the court. I don’t want any of this slippin’ out. I know you know that.”
    “I’m with you, Speed, I am. I’ll take up what you want me to do, just say the word.”
    “I’ll talk to you ‘bout that when we finish this. Go get ready, big man.”
    #1 Anonymous, Jul 13, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2019
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