Short Story – Prison Break

 imagesConfessions of a killer

I suppose I deserved to be here, but there are better reasons for my current living situation then the one I was convicted of.    My name is Cerius Brown and I have the pleasure of six by eight feet of state provided living accommodations.  The only requirement is that I am not allowed to leave, ever again.  I am not exactly restricted from interacting with the others in my cell block, I have access to a number of fellow inmates, but I am not allowed outside the confines of the prison, not even to the exercise yard.  But I digress because I am skipping ahead, I feel like I need to explain what brought me to the maximum security wing of St. Ive’s Island State Penitentiary.

I killed a man, but in my defense it was in self defense.  I just had a very poor lawyer who didn’t defend me as well as he should have.  Then there was the cause of death, they (they being the man, the police, the proverbial they that cause things to happen) claimed I buried him alive.  Which is true, but its not as bad as it sounds.  I didn’t actually burry him in the traditional sense.  Ever since I was a young boy I discovered I had an ability, something that most do not believe that I have, even when I demonstrate it.  I did in fact demonstrate the ability in front of my jury of peers, who thought it was a conjuring trick, an illusion.  That’s why I am here at St. Ive’s Island.  My jailors though believe me, they had too, and that’s why I am no longer aloud where the earth is soft.

You can believe me if you choose, if you don’t I will understand your skepticism, it is difficult to believe even if you have seen me do it.  I can cause the earth to shift according to my very will.  That is what happened to the man who’s death landed me here.  He had killed my wife and child in front of me and was coming to finish the job, my mind panicked and the next thing I knew he was deep in the ground, buried.  The prosecutor argued that I was clearly seeking revenge for the deaths of my family, it was cold and calculated.  There was no other way the man could have ended up buried ten foot bellow the surface of my backyard.

Even after demonstrating my ability to bury items instantly in the earth the jury was unconvinced of my “talents” and found me guilty on one charge of first degree murder.  The judge took leniency and sentenced me to life in prison without the chance for parole.  That was how I came to St. Ive’s Isle.  How I ended up with the heavy restrictions on me is another story.

After serving two years of my sentence in general population I had grown into one of the more respected prisoners at the facility.  I never got into fights, I obeyed all the rules and I kept to myself mostly.  I had established a few friends within the system and was concentrating on attempts to appeal the ruling against me.  My lawyer and I were confident that given the right judge and jury we could get the sentence reduced to possibly manslaughter.  I had after all only taken a single life and it was in the act of self defense after watching my family slain by my victim.  That was until I had an unfortunate run in with Victor “two chin” Skolozski in the yard.

It was like any other day at St. Ive’s Isle, the sun rose, the guards let us out of our cages and we were enjoying a wonderful fall day off the shore of New England.  I happen to know if not for the restrictive nature of my living accommodations this could very well have been considered an excellent vacation spot for the up and coming socialites in New York, but someone had decided at the turn of the last century to build a large maximum security prison instead of vacation homes.  Vicotr and the rest of the Russian mafia were playing a game of ball at one of the corner courts while my gang “the Outsiders” was relaxing in the grassy mid section of the yard.  Around us rising over 100 foot into the sky and nearly five foot thick at each wall was the prison.  Each block was contained within ins own wall.  General population was in the east and west walls, restricted (where I am now) was in the southern wall and the administration, medical and library functions, along with the gate were all housed within the northern wall.  Each block could hold 400 prisoners with as little as four guards on duty during lockdown.  During the day the towers were each filled with two snipers and a commander to quickly put down any tenants who wished to check themselves out.

But once again I digress, the story is not of the prison, but rather the events of that day.  Victor and his main crone Vlad were hustling a few of the Latino’s for protection money.  Not really money, since none of us had money, but it was the same gambit that thugs always tried to play on those who were vulnerable.  I think the going rate at the time not to be someone’s butt bitch was two packs a week.  Well the Latinos didn’t have this weeks payment.  And Vlad, who stood nearly 7 foot tall and weighed in around 4 bills was threatening to ensure their protection policy was exempted in person.  Normally I wouldn’t have taken an interest in the politics of the yard, no one bothered myself and the rest of the outsiders, but Something about me that day wanted to help these two men.

Let me quick explain that the Outsiders was only a gang in the sense that a group of people need to gather together for protection in the slam, to try and go it without friends is suicide.  The outsiders was comprised of people who didn’t fit into the predominate three gangs at St. Ive’s Isle.  St. Ives Isle had the Russian mob, the Italian mob, and the Blacks, if you didn’t fit into any of those categories you were cast aside.  That’s where the Outsiders came in, we were just that, those outside the other three gangs.  The Russians had themselves, the Italians had themselves, and the Blacks (despite different affiliations outside of St. Ive’s Isle) had themselves.  They stuck together and enforced their will on those without a group.  That is why the outsiders formed.  We were non violent, looking to just serve our time and retain our anal virginity.  Nothing else matters in the house.

Now the Latino’s were out of place, we had a few in the outsiders but not enough to qualify as their own gang, and these two newbies had just arrived from the shore a week back.  They had not yet formed the type of ground work needed to survive the isle.  Well needless to say I, once again I don’t know what was wrong with me that day, approached Vlad and Victor offering to pay the new guys protection while they got acclimated to the isle.  This touched something off in both Russians and before I knew it I was involved in my first prison fight.

There I was standing one on one with two of the most vicious men on the Isle.  O.K. so one on one is not accurate, but you will just need to get my drift that I was in a world of hurt, and for some reason the guards and my people were not coming to back me up.  Maybe they were looking toward me to set the example, finally consolidate the Outsiders as a force to be reckoned with, I just do not know.  Sensing trouble I backed myself onto the grass and dirt center of the yard.  I did not wish to bleed out on the cold hard pavement if one of the Russians stuck me.  I think I  must have done that subconsciously knowing that the fight could have been a hundred to one and I could come out unscathed so long as I had dirt under my feet.

What happened next has sealed my fate ever since, there was the flash of something wooden in both Victor and Vlad’s hands.  Looked like maybe a tongue depressor sharpened to a point, the Russians controlled the medical facility jobs and had access to some crude supplies to make shivs.  Vlad struck first, trying to stick me in the throat with massive movements in the arm, meanwhile I became aware of Victor trying to sneak around the back of me to get me where I couldn’t see him.  I was cornered and no-one was going to come to my rescue.  Dodging a few more swipes from the giant I could feel my time coming to an end quickly, I had to do something.  I had to do something I promised I wouldn’t do ever again.

Twisting my feet in the earth I felt the ground form up around my legs locking me into the earth, making me immovable.  I could feel the power of the earth surge through me and I needed to release it.  Not releasing the energy the earth gave me would have been suicide in its own form, but I knew what I had to do.  I the blink of an eye both men were swallowed by the ground at my command.  Buried deep within the earth some twenty foot down were the bodies of the two Russians, slowly suffocating.

Now I could have tried to just bury them to their necks, but that would have been grounds for retribution.  I did the only thing that was acceptable in prison to save my own life.  I killed to men, ruthless killers mind you, but they were men non the less.   The warden moved from general to restricted, where I have my own eight by six foot cell, Ironically it is the same size space as my employers used to give me when I worked in corporate America.  But that day marked the last time I felt the sun shine upon my skin, not for fear that I would bury someone else in the yard, but because it meant I could escape if I wanted to.  Something the Warden had not known before, or if he did he had chosen not to believe.    But the worst thing that happened that day was the two deaths solidified the prosecutors case against me, I was in control of my powers and had intentionally terminated more lives in prison.  I was never getting out.

I am still allowed some contact with the other inmates, I have library privileges and work in the chapel on Sundays.  I have heard tell the Russian’s are trying to plan my death still, but my seclusion in the restricted wing helps delay the inevitable day of my death at some thick headed Russian, most likely named Urgey.

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