The Sound Of No Silence
Spencer fought the urge to burst into tears as Kevin Lynch slid the door closed behind him. He steeled himself before turning around at last, finally looking at the men sitting on the bunk beds, eying him curiously. He tried to smile but knew that the grimace face probably wasn't close to what a smile would usually look like.
“Um... I'm-my name's...” He cleared his voice. “Spencer Reid... And... um... I-I've never been to prison before...”
The man sitting on the right bottom bunk smiled and rose. He wasn't very tall, but rather fat and pale skinned with pale hair to match.
“I'm Perez Garcia, but just call me Garcia, that's what people usually calls me when they don't call me Lover Boy or The Great Deity of Achieving.” He smiled and threw an arm around Spencer who felt more than slightly uncomfortable at the sudden and, to him, overwhelming show of affection. He'd never been good at touching people. Besides when it was during sex. He fought the need to shift out of the touch when Garcia hugged him closer to his bi, soft body. He showed all of his teeth in a grin rivaling Kevin Lynch's in size and pointed to the man resting on the top bunk to the left.
“This is Matthew Black. He's black.” The Afro-American man looked down at him with an indifferent look. “He's the Second of KFC.” Spencer frowned.
“KFC... as in-?”
“Don't say it.” The man on the top bunk had shifted positions and looked very alert and frightening. He jumped down.
“KFC stands for Knights From Compton,” Black said and marched up to Spencer, intimidating him with his presence. “The only place for real gangstas to grow up.” Spencer wondered how a man who only reached his shoulders could be so very intimidating. It had probably something to do with the fact, that Black was about as wide as he was tall – and the build was pure muscle.
“We don't use the other KFC word around here. To do that is practically signing your own execution papers,” Garcia said quietly out of the corner of his mouth. Then he smiled again.
“This, my dear friend,” he said and gestured to the last man comfortably resting his head on his knees on the top bed on the right. “is Michael Conrad. He works at the library too. He's a part of the White Bread-”
“Do you mean White Bred? Because I've read a paper about them in-”
“No brother, he means the White Bread,” the man called Conrad interrupted with a small smirk. “It's a bit of a joke to us.”
“To the rest it's a big joke.” Garcia grinned at him.
“Well, yeah... Except to the fucking Nazis.” Conrad grinned back.
“Oh yeah, and kid,” Garcia said and turned his attention back to Spencer. “I'm a part of the Taco Loco.”
“A highly treasured member.”
“You can go back to sleeping Conrad. That would make all of us very happy.”
“You heard him,” Black mumbled from his bunk. He had climbed back into the top bunk and the way he had turned his back to the ongoing introductions seemed a strong indication that he wished to sleep to Spencer.
“But he's right. I'm quite a treasure around here,” Garcia said somewhat more quietly and winked at Spencer. “I'm good at getting things.”
Spencer looked puzzled. “What do you mean good at getting things?” He hated feeling stupid and luckily didn't do that often. But today just wasn't his day. The entire decade hadn't exactly been the best of times fr him. “Oh wait – you get things,” he exclaimed when plots all the prison movies one of his exes had forced him through caught up with him and made Garcia's statement perfectly sensible.
“Aren't you the bright one!”
“Well, that's actually kinda why I'm here...” Spencer looked away and cursed his bad luck for the hundredth time.
“Being all mysterious there, huh? But that's okay! I'm kind of a mystery myself!”
“How's that?” Spencer asked, eager to keep the conversation on other things than his terrible luck and the pathetic story of how he ended up in state prison.
“He's a hacker,” Conrad contributed and looked briefly like he was going to drop from the bed, he was trying so hard to stare down Garcia. “He was caught red-handed, and he won't tell with what!”
“Don't ruin my story, you useless piece of white-trash!” Garcia swatted after the other man, who quickly drew back and up into safety, throwing Spencer a wink.
“At least I know who my father is,” Conrad mocked and Spencer had the rising feeling that being in prison might not at all be as bad as people had told him.
“Don't listen to him,” Garcia advised and mock glared at Conrad who shook his head.
“What did you hack into?” Spencer asked.
“What didn't I hack into?” Garcia let go of Spencer with a pat on his shoulder and moved to sit on the bunk he had occupied when Spencer arrived. He gestured for Spencer to take place on the only vacant one. “FBI caught me as I was reading about Roswell. That's shit was crazy!” Spencer frowned.
“Roswell?” Garcia nodded. “What about it? The incident in 1947 or-?”
“Don't listen to him man, he tried to convince me that the death of some English princess was a CIA-execution!”
“Shut up Conrad, or I'll have go come up there!”
“Lady Di was killed by the CIA?” Spencer asked with a gasp, his mother had loved the British Princess. Garcia just grinned and laid back on the sorry excuse for a mattress. “You're full of shit.” Spencer stated after a moment of consideration.
“Willing to bet your life? Anyways – you might as well get comfortable, they're about to turn off the light.”
Spencer grew cold with fear. “Turn off the lights?” He could hear the anxiety in his voice. A muffled laugh came from above.
“You're afraid of the dark, Kid?”
“I'm not afraid of the dark! I just feel a strong sense of discomfort at the absence of light.” The last part he whispered to himself.
The cold feel of horror grabbed him and he lay paralyzed from the moment the light disappeared. Now this felt like the nightmare he was warned prison to be. He looked at the dark square of the bunk above him. He could hear Black shift around as he tried to get comfortable. Spencer found it hard. He moved and lay on his side looking at the dark and blurry silhouette that he knew was Garcia.
A distant noise alerted him. He listened closely, holding his breath to keep it from disturbing, but the silence was thick as fog.
Then it sounded again. It wasn't very loud but now he had noticed it it was hard to ignore. Spencer closed his eyes in concentration as he tried to identify the sound.
It sounded like... like someone was in pain.
Another sound joined. The new sound had a striking resemblance to that of a groan. Spencer gasped when understanding flooded through his body. He sat up, pressed his back against the wall and pulled his knees up to his chest. His breath hitched in his throat when he noticed the other sounds. Groans, moans and muffled cries of pain floated through the air.
“Reid, man? Cutie Pie? You alright?” He heard a voice and recognized it as Garcia's.
“That's going to happen to me, isn't it?” He heard a sigh loud enough to drown the inferno of other, more unwelcome sounds.
“Probably.” Spencer felt himself choking on a sob. He bit his lip to keep it in.
“I'm screwed...” It wasn't as much a statement as a desperate cry for help.
“Listen Reid,” Garcia sighed again and Spencer heard him move around in the bed on the other side. “I like you. You're way too young, innocent, and pretty to be in here.”
“But I'm already 21! And I'm not that attractive! I saw some guys who were much more attractive than me!”
He wasn't about to depend on another person to keep him safe, not again.
“It's not attractiveness that matters. You're a bit...”
“What he's trying to say Cry Baby, is that with your big doe eyes and that ridiculous long hair of yours, you're one of the closest thing to a woman some of the guys in here will be able to get with for a very long time. If not for the rest of their lives. And well, some just likes to screw people to show that they've got power.” Conrad joined the conversation and in a few lines he killed all of Spencer's aspiring hopes for his prison stay. One stab at the time.
Maybe he he had to find someone to take care of him. At least until he came up with another way to stay unharmed and relatively safe.
“I'm going to try to help you Reid, I promise,” Garcia tried to reassure him. “Because I do like you – in a non-sexual 'want to carry you round in my pocket and show you off to my friends'-way. I just really don't like to get something pure messed up.” Spencer could hear the pity in his voice. He fought to keep his breath slow and even and was now happy that the dark was so deep. It hid his tears perfectly. “I have a lot of connections and some people owes me favors. I'll ask around and try to find someone who'll... look after you.” Spencer could hear the but before it was spoken out loud. “But you'll have to, you know, do that anyway... That's just the way things are.”
“Thanks Garcia. I-I appreciate it.”
“Can we sleep now?” Black asked irritably.
“Sure... Sorry...” Spencer sat pressed against the wall for a while, trying to stop shivering. The flood of intimate sounds made it hard, as his stomach turned and he wondered if perhaps he had overestimated his abilities when he thought he could find another way to stay unhurt.
Not that he wasn't going to look for a possibility.
5:40 A.M. Warning bell
Spencer jerked awake with a yelp and sat up startled. He looked around confused for a moment before everything came back to him. The concerned look from Garcia and Conrad didn't make him feel any better and he fought to keep down the heat rushing to his cheeks.
5:45 A.M. Rise and dress
Spencer followed suit as his cell mates and peed and washed their faces. He made his bed and stood with the others waiting at the bars when they opened. Then they stepped outside and formed a line ready to walk to
6:00 A.M. Breakfast
Spencer was seated between Black and Conrad. He looked at the greasy porridge in front of him before putting his spoon in it and finally shoveling it into his mouth. It tasted just as abominable as it looked.
6:30 A.M. Return to cell
Spencer looked at his cell mates without showing any feelings as Garcia and Black talked about how easy his job was going to be compared to theirs. Conrad smiled at him and said that they were only going to be the two of them and a guard. He said it was going to be really calm and simple.
6:55 A.M. Warning bell
Spencer's head whipped around as the bell sounded again. He stood at the bars and missed the weird looks exchanged behind his back.
7:00 Work detail lineup
Spencer followed Conrad and a new young guard to the library. It held a lot of old magazines and some teaching books. He lit up and Conrad and the guard told him about the possibilities to study and take tests from the library. The guard gave Spencer an odd look when he asked if they had some books about more advanced types of mathematics.
11:00 A.M. Exercise yard
Spencer sat on a bench and watched people walk around looking for their friends. He concluded that there existed five or six big gangs. Ethnicity looked important though there were different groups mainly consisting of Caucasian men. He noticed a few young me who resembled him in appearance. They all looked frightened as they partly hid themselves in far corners. Spencer wondered if he looked as scared as they did.
11:30 A.M. Lunch
Spencer noticed how the groups tended to sit together. He joined a table with scared young men and hoped he looked stronger and more confident. He doubted that he did.
12:00 A.M. Work detail lineup
Spencer found Conrad and followed him when he realized they were to return to their workplaces right after lunch.
4:30 P.M. Supper
Spencer sat next to Conrad. Across the table a big Mexican man smiled at him, showing off his corner gold tooth. Spencer didn't like the look in the man's eyes and felt a shiver run down his spine when he actually winked at him.
5:00 Return to cell
Spencer gave a weak chuckle when Garcia told about a guard who spilled hot coffee into his own lap in the administrations office. Black said quietly that “a certain somebody”'s rumor had spread extremely fast. Spencer pretended not to notice the concerned looks they shot in his direction. He still had to figure out just how to stay alive through his entire sentence.
6:00 P.M. Recreation room
Spencer sat in a corner reading a book in the library when a group of Mexican men walked up to him. He recognized the man who winked at him at supper and worked hard on ignoring them. When the book was pulled from his hands he looked up.
“Um... C-can I help you?” He cursed inwardly at his stutter. It made him sound young and scared and even though he was, he didn't want it to show.
“Yo niño, do you really read that fast?” A small fat guy asked his face inches from Spencer's. He frowned.
“Yes?” Spencer had years ago discovered that other people didn't read like him, with a finger running down the pages and his eyes scanning the text rather than actually reading. A second Mexican laughed.
“Get out of here!” A third looked angry. He pushed his small fatter friend away.
“Don't screw around with us punk. Nobody reads that fast...”
“Actually our conscious mind can process 16 pieces of information per second but our unconscio...”
“Shut. Up.” The angry Mexican was standing so close that Spencer could smell his breath. It didn't smell like roses.
“Um – sorry. But if there wasn't anything else I'll just go over there...” Spencer rose from his chair to go sit closer to the guard. He didn't expect the push in his back that send him flying into a bookcase.
“Hey, you!” Spencer heard the angry voice but didn't recognize it. He barely registered the throbbing pain where his thigh had met a shelf and the much sharper pain in his face. A rough hand pulled him to his legs with a painful grip on his arm.
“Sorry, hombre. I didn't see you there.” The Mexican men snickered and strolled off as an elderly guard walked up next to Spencer.
“You okay son?” He asked with his eyes fixed on Spencer's face. Spencer moved his hand up and touched his wet lip. He rubbed the red liquid off in his pants and licked his bottom lip.
“Yes, I'm fine.” The guard looked at him strangely. “Really, I'm fine!” Spencer clenched his jaw and walked away.
6:30 P.M. Return to cell
Garcia kept sending worried looks in Spencer direction. He on the other side felt the urge to yell for everybody to get off his back grow bigger by every passing minute. He was at his feet the second a guard announced that those who wanted to take a shower was to get ready at the bars.