Let’s not play the blame game
Kevin was a mess, left in a dark and lonely cell where hours felt like years, and there was no one around to talk to except the weird prisoner across the hall who kept making boat noises, and talking to the wall. “Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?” He thought rubbing his slightly concussed forehead. He was dazed, a witness he was so confused had one of the officers that cuffed him heard Harold’s plea for death, and not heard the part when Kevin said no? The big no the actual definer off whether or not he would go to jail on murder conspiracy. Or maybe was it a stranger?
Kevin gaged at the aroma’s that came from this side of the station. He had always avoided the holding cell wing because of the nasty criminals who snickered and growled at him as he walked by, and the orders from their sweaty, junky lifestyles. But now he understood the anger from some of those inmates. Of course most were guilty, but the odd time they would make a mistake and send an innocent person to jail. Now he understood the snickers and faces he got from most of these cellmates.
Cast among the wall behind him there was a shadow, no, more like multiple shadows. The rusty pipe leaking down the hall echoed as it dripped seeming like an old prison movie. Kevin never really noticed the conditions until now. The horrid conditions these people had to suffer through, the conditions he now had to suffer through. But maybe he deserved it all along he was thinking why me, when he should have been thinking why Harold. “If I was a good police officer, maybe I could have called for dispatch. Maybe I could have saved Harold from jumping, maybe even from killing that boy. If I had just seen how baggy Harold’s eyes were, or how shaky he was from all the caffeine, or how many times he stayed late at the office. If only I could have seen the agony in Harold’s run ragged eyes, and stopped all the late and sleepless nights.” Kevin had put himself in a trance there was no way Harold would have stopped if only Kevin felt the torture Harold did he would know that.
Harold was just so attached to Amelia that he couldn’t see anything else, just the straight path of this little girl. Kevin picked at the wall of the cell to pass the time, it was lonely, cold, cruel, but above all else it was so boring. A tiny room filled with what, a bed and a toilet? No, it was a tin sheet like the one they use for corps. The thing was equipped with a mattress so thin you could still feel the cold table beneath you. The sheet was barely long enough to reach his toes and Kevin was not a short man. The so called toilet, was cast iron filled with scum, and smelled worse than an outhouse or a sewer. The sad mirror on the wall was bolted down, and made of tin the only reflection that came from looking at it was a foggy silver version of the truth.
All but a clink of metal and a noise that sounded like a hard fall and the lights were out, it was pitch black, not even a window with a small stream of light, and there were no night lights in prison. All that Kevin could think as he shimmied into the hard, grey bed was that he was gonna be here forever.
It was a night of tossing and turning, but finally it was over. The lights suddenly came on and it was breakfast time. The guards opened all the cell doors, one by one. Kevin was ready to make his escape but they skipped him. His cell didn’t open Kevin cursed his name as the cellmates gathered into the cafeteria, “Steve!” Now the west wing was completely empty, except for one. Kevin griped the bars of his cell squishing his face up against the door like a kid against a window on Christmas eve. Kevin needed to know what strings had to be pulled to keep him from breakfast, he knew Steve was behind this it was quite obvious, but how? An hour passed by before the cellmates orderly piled back into their cells. But before the west wing door shut leaving every cellmate behind, Kevin saw a familiar shadow lurking up the halls. Steve’s smirk grew across his cheeks as he approached Kevin his hands shook from low blood sugar. It was clear that Kevin wasn’t prison material, missing even one meal was enough to make him faint. But he hid his cowardice as Steve came up the hall, and to a complete halt when he hit Kevin’s cell. Kevin could barely stand but he noticed the tray which was slid under his door. “What is this?” “Breakfast.” Kevin looked at the slop, it was three different bowls on a tray that looked like it was used in the garbage, and not washed. With stains of what looked like relish and mayonnaise, it was crusted around the sides with crumbs and baked on substances. On it was one bowl with somewhat dried up oatmeal, another with mystery soup, it was orange but had something floating in it. Just bobbing under the surface, but still visible to the human eye. The last bowl was filled with some sort of meat, it was obviously not chicken. The thing looked like a deep fried rat. It was in a fetal position, and still had its skinny, long tail. Kevin looked up at Steve and in a sarcastic tone he replied to the meal.
“Yum, looks divine did you make it yourself? I bet you did, didn’t you?” He cracked a smile, and Steve rolled his eyes.
“Too bad you missed the bacon and eggs, it’s the one day a month that the prisoners here get a fancy breakfast.” Kevin sneered
“I know, I was working here long before you, and I’ll be working here long after when I report you for keeping me in here for no good reason, and serving me an inedible meal. It’s called favouritism.”
“No,” Steve backed his case. “It’s called my mother gave me those recipes, and it’s a rule here that new cellmates have not earned trust, and therefore they will eat in there cells until they’ve established a trust wall between every single guard.”
Kevin chuckled, despite his hunger “since when is that a rule?”
“Since forever, check the bylaws you tool,” With that Steve turned on his heel, and left. Kevin looked down at the soup and yelled, “your mom’s food looks like a prison toilet, pre-flush.” He had to have the last laugh, but the door slammed before the words could even come out. Kevin turned to the wall and picked at the cement again thinking intently. He needed a good plan if he wanted to escape, Steve was never gonna let him out, so he needed to find a way out on his own. The mold peeled off the wall as the thought stirred and brewed in his mind, and he had it.
This was a brilliant idea, and it was gonna work now was the time to wait. No matter what they had to let him out at some point, whether it was for a shower or an injury, it was mandatory that every cellmate, no matter how new had to be let out at one point or another, and he was right exactly on time.
The guards barged in, it was shower time Kevin cracked his neck, and smirked as he awaited his cell door. One by one they opened and then his, he didn’t see Steve when he was taken by the arms and placed on the wall. That must of meant that he was on break, a perfect time to enact the plan.
None of the other guards would be watching him like Steve would. Every cellmate was lined up in an orderly fashion, a guard was on either end of the line, and there were two in the middle. The line was slowly shuffling down the hall Kevin hadn’t liked the west wing, even when he was part of the force, but every officer in training had the location of every fire hydrant drilled into their heads, just in case there was one. Sure enough down the hall and around the corner, just before the washroom was the west wing fire hydrant, and Kevin knew that beside every fire hydrant in the department, there was a fire alarm.
The noise was a shock that put everyone in a frenzy. Kevin even jumped when he pulled the alarm. The guards pulled everyone back into order, and led them out the door, but while all the chaos was still brewing, Kevin managed to sneak into the nearby washroom not five steps away from the riot of guards and cellmates, all jumbled up like an old black and white prison movie.
When he arrived in the bathroom Kevin stuck his ear to the door, listening for movement. Once the coast was clear, he popped his head out into the dead silent halls, and looking over his shoulder every two seconds, Kevin sprinted to the back doors. He knew the fire route for the west wing was out the side doors, so he would be out of sight when he made his way to the woods behind the department.
When he got to the woods, he made sure he was far enough away before he stopped to catch his breath. The sound of fire trucks in the distance motivated him to move farther. The broad daylight shone cracks through the dancing trees. The wind whipped the leaves around forcing them to give up and fall, swaying as they came down. As beautiful as this was, every time a rabbit scurried across the ground or a branch snapped, Kevin jumped, every time he saw a shadow, he ducked. He was so paranoid and right to be, he used to abide by every rule in the book, and now he was breaking them one by one. He felt dirty in a way, he was wanted now and that thought strained his mind. He was terrified that someone was going to catch him, and that fueled his adrenalyn to keep running.