CURVE BALL

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Chapter Three

The fluorescent lights in the hallway of the 19th District jail gave off a yellowish glow. Sullivan walked down the corridor and couldn’t help noticing the smell that no amount of disinfectant could hide--- a combination of stale air, human sweat, and unflushed waste. Eyes of despair and anger peeked out from the slots in the doors as he passed.

“Hey, officer I wants to call my lawyer,” someone said.

“Yo officer, the son-of –a bitch really wants to call his momma or his bitch,” another prisoner called out and started to laugh. “While you at it, I could use a bitch too. Man what I’d do with a bad-ass bitch.”

“Shut the fuck up, you wouldn’t do noth’n, shithead,” another inmate said.

Sullivan ignored the noise. He got to cell fourteen. The door slid open. Rakow sat on the floor next to the toilet. His knees were pulled up and his torso was bent forward. He didn’t move.

“Jack Rakow?” Sullivan asked. His voice was edged with surprise. The figure on the floor of the cell was not the lengthy legged young man whose image was plastered on long ago baseball cards.

“Mr. Rakow?”

Jack looked up.

“I’m Officer Sullivan--- just want to say I was a fan. You were quite a pitcher.”

Jack kept his mouth shut.

Sullivan cleared his throat. “My dad talked about you all the time. Well, just thought I’d tell you.”

Jack looked down.

“I know it’s not much but you could use the bunk. Has to be better than the floor. You gotta be freezing.”

Still no reply.

“Take care of yourself. You were one hell of a pitcher,” Sullivan said. He motioned with his hand to the wall camera.

The door clanged shut.

“Thanks kid.”

Sullivan turned around before the door locked. He opened the slot. Jack hadn’t moved. “No problem, see yah.”

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