Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta prison. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta prison. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 30 de julio de 2016

Paradise is not safe

   The sandstorm was slowly subsiding. For a couple of hours, every grain of sand in the desert had been lifted and sent several kilometers further from where it had been for months. Storms were not uncommon as the desert had them very often, especially in the summer month when the weather there got even worse.  It was a dangerous and unforgiving place, but it could also be beautiful and peaceful.

 There was a small oasis, containing a rather large pond, which had resisted to the wind and the forces of nature. To any traveller, it surely seemed like an illusion because it wasn’t very common to see all that water in the middle of the desert. A flock of orange birds arrived just as the sand settled, sitting on the palm trees and, from time to time, flying low over the pond to get their feathers wet in order to clean them.

 It was a small paradise. Some hours later, another creature came close to the oasis. It was a human and it was wearing a full mask over the face but, whoever it was, also had uncovered arms and tight pants that were smeared with mud and sand dust. The human was riding a camel, which was barely walking. As resistant as they were, it was clear this one had gone through a lot and really needed to get rest. Just a few meters away from reaching the pond, the came collapsed and the human hit the ground hard.

 For a long time, maybe a couple of hours, the person stayed there, with the face on the sand and the legs crossed in a very weird angle. The camel had stopped breathing the moment it collapsed. Whoever that person was, there was no ride that could take him or her back to civilization. Now, the desert had become even larger with the death of the camel. But nature and the orange birds ignored this. To them, it was all the same.

 When the human woke up, it ran to the water, fast, as if something was very wrong. It moved a lot in the water. Apparently, removing the mask was much harder that envisioned. After a few minutes of struggle, a shorthaired woman came out of the water and sat on the edge of the pond. She had to cut through the mask with her nails and she had hurt herself a bit by doing so as the material had become difficult to breath in because of the sand.

 She looked around, watching the orange birds and her dead ride, as well as some small twister far in the distance. The storm had not entirely died out. But that wasn’t really the problem. The real problem was being in the middle of nowhere with no way to survive. She looked at her reflection on the water and saw the small cuts she had given herself with her fingernails. She also realized how tired she looked and how her arms were burned by the very hot desert sun.

 Unwilling to stay put, she decided to dig with her own hands a grave for the camel. It was not only out of respect, but also because she didn’t want certain animals to come there looking for a meal. Burying her camel was hard, as it had been a gift from a person that had saved her some days ago and now that gift had left her stranded in the middle of nowhere. She actually had no idea who that person was because, as she was, the person also had a covered face. But the woman felt it had been another female prisoner back in that place.

 All kinds of memories were rushing back to her head and dug the grave: she had been a long time on a prison right there in the desert. It was run by legionnaires, men that were dedicated to the preservation of those colonies, places where they had no place to be in but there they were. Besides, she knew they hated woman because female prisoners always had worse punishments if they did something wrong. For stealing a loaf of bread for example, a woman would be flogged in the yard twenty times. A man would only get one punch in the stomach and that was it.

 But one night, something had happened. Apparently the prison had been attacked by desert dwellers and it the chaos, the woman that had given her the camel had appeared and liberated her from her chains. She helped her getting some clothes too and the mask in order to survive the harsh conditions of the desert.

 The shorthaired woman dragged the camel centimeter by centimeter, being a very heavy creature. She knew it was a waste to bury it and not eat it but she had no knife or a way to make fire. She couldn’t keep the creature’s milk and grease anywhere so there was no point in letting the camel there for the scavengers to eat. It took her several hours to get the animal in the hole she had done and some more time putting sand all over it. Finally, she rested on top of the mound she had created, shocked by the fact that she was hopeless.

 She really tried to remember her name, something that was so essential and obvious but she had no idea what it was. She had no idea either of how she had arrived to that prison. It was possible that the woman had been a thief or some sort of criminal but she really had no recollection of anything before the prison. The only image she had very clear on her mind was the one of the whole compound burning as the night became darker and she rode of on the camel. For a moment, she had wanted to go back and pick up the person that had saved her but, whoever it was, had disappeared in a matter of seconds. She wanted to thank that person, do it with her voice because she hadn’t spoken a word. But it was too late.

 Looking at the water again, she decided to take off her clothes and have another swim, this time to really clean herself up and feel like a human being again. Not that she remembered how to feel like one, but maybe she could have a revelation while in the middle of the pond. She left the tight and brown clothes near the camel mound to dry and then walked the few steps that separated her from the water. As her feet got wet again, she felt better than in any other moment in the past few months. When her whole body was in, she felt new.

 The woman sunk her head in the water and stayed there for a few seconds, realizing how great it felt to have the sun on her skin and her body all wet at the same time. She felt like a person, very different from what she had felt like in prison. She tried not to think about that, not to remember the atrocities she had lived through but it was impossible. It was the only life that she knew: the mistreatment, the dark cells, the lack of food and water, the laughs of the guards and the feeling that she was never going to see anything else than that awful place.

 A howl was heard on the wind. All thought of the prison vanished. She stood still in the water, waiting to confirm if what she had heard was real or if she had imagined it. No, there it was again. She got out of the water fast and realized it would take a while to get dry. Besides, she had no ride so she couldn’t go far. Another howl made her desperate, looking all over the place for an answer that didn’t seem to be coming fast enough. What should she do?

 The howling creature was a man, the leader of the guards in the prison. He rode a stallion, as well as the two other men that came with him. He arrived at the oasis at very high speed, which scared the orange birds from the palm trees. The three men descended from their horses and let them have a drink of water as they had a drink from the bottle they had on their waist. They also had a gun each on their belts and one of them used it to shoot a bird that had not flown. The little body dropped into the water, almost silently.

 The three men walked around the oasis and took random shots at the ground and the water. Then, their leader howled again, as they came full circle around the pond and reached their horses again. They left in a huff, the orange birds arriving shortly after.


 It was then when the woman stood up from the sand, having been breathing through a small whole which the men had ignored. They were obviously looking for escaped prisoners, which meant she wasn’t far enough from them. She unearthed her clothes from the ground, put them on and started walking. Maybe she had no chance but she couldn’t stare there forever. Paradise was not safe.

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

Orange

   The soap was provided to us at the entrance of the showers. No one could keep their soap bar in case they wanted to put something inside like a razor blade or something of the sort. There had been too many murders inside the prison and the administration had decided to make crime a thing of the past for the inmates. Yet, there were still all kings of drugs going around. They were used as money or money was used to pay for them. Anyhow, everything was about drugs, it was the only way most men had to live through their sentences.

 It was a minimum-security prison. No fancy cells or big electric doors that opened and closed behind and in front of you. That was too fancy for that place. It was a big prison but the kind where you can go out and enjoy the sun if you feel to, you can exercise in the yard under the watching eye of several guards or even take care of a garden the crazy ones almost owned. Everything was organized, in a way.

 Me? I had been there for a couple of months. My sentence was five years long, no parole. I could maybe scrap a year of the sentence if I decided to be a good boy but it was very hard to be one inside that place. Even a minimum-security prison can be hell and I never dared to think how much worse other similar places could be, with tighter security. I just focused on my life and things I had to do to stay alive and well. The rest was a thing of the outside, where I wasn’t.

 Shower time was always at the same time. One of the oldest inmates had told me that, years ago, guys were able to come and please from the bathrooms as they pleased. But so many got stabbed or raped there, the administration decided they would force everyone to be clean and ready by 8 o’clock. A general alarm was heard every day at that time in order to wake us up. Then, each dormitory would form a single line and all lines would go to the showers.

 The room was huge. On my first day, one of the other guys joked about it being like the place where Nazis had killed Jews in the World War II. I thought the joke was in very poor taste but I rapidly noticed he had many tattoos and most of them had something to do with Nazi symbolism. I had seen it before in History class. So I knew I had to stay away from those guys, being a foreigner and all.

 There were at least sixty showers. One group would go first and then another. Each group only had about five minutes to wash everything properly with the small soap bars we were handed at the entrance. When we were done, we had to leave the bars on the floor for the next group. If there was no next group, the same thing. A waste, I always thought.

 Of course, everyone in the showers was naked. They would make us remove our clothes in a room just before the showers one. Each guy would put his things in a small squared locker. On the way out, we just had to find our number and get dressed fast in order for the second group to go in, if we weren’t in the second group ourselves. It was the routine and, I have to confess, I got used to it fast. In there, you get used to everything. Life is not really yours anymore so you just do what you have to do.

 I’m always asked if it was a problem to be gay inside a prison. And yes, it was. Once someone shouted it in the mess all, many guys looked at me instantly. Who I was wasn’t really a secret or what I had done. Not that I was famous before that or anything but lets say I made myself famous because of all the shit I did. I couldn’t go to my bunk without at least four guys looking at me in a not too flattering way.

 Which way was the best one to avoid all of their attention? I have no idea. Because I didn’t really repel all of them, I couldn’t. I’m a small guy, not very strong. I had to do thing to survive and I am proud of it. Some people are ashamed of their actions in jail but not me. I’m proud to have gotten out of there alive and well and I think that’s a huge accomplishment. So yeah, I let some of them, the powerful ones, have their way with me. It was the only way the others could leave me alone. The idea was to be seen as someone else’s property.

 Besides that, I did something even bolder, which gained me the respect of most of the men inside the prison. Maybe I wasn’t strong or big but I’ve always had a good brain and I knew I had to use it in order to make things easier for me there. In the first few months, I heard horrible rumors about some guy in the Nazi group that wanted to rape me somewhere no one could hear me scream. I heard it so many times I decided to go big and do my move first.

 His name was Duncan. He was a very tall guy and the few guys I hung out with told me he was a rather new guard. Apparently, he had been a soldier; veteran of all the recent fucked up wars that their country had started. So with only that in my hand, I decided to talk to him a little bit every single day. I heard him when he had something funny to say and he was kind to me, letting me in always first in the mess hall line and the shower line.

 Just some time after that, I was already letting him fuck me in broom closet no one really frequented as I was the one in charge of cleaning the floors in that area. It may see like a crazy thing I did and it was but it saved my life. He did that and I’m forever thankful.

 Being a guard, people knew they didn’t want to mess with him. So, by definition, they kept their hands away from me. I was protected and I really enjoyed it. It was then when I really made some friends in jail and started exercising more and, as crazy as it sounds, I was having a great time. I even slept nicely at night, with all the snoring and the body odors around me. I didn’t care anymore because I knew I was protected by someone everyone feared and it felt great. Sadly, it didn’t last very long as Duncan had decided he was a good person and he didn’t wanted prison to turn him bad.

 Somehow, I was broken hearted. Not only because I was afraid for my safety, but also because I was beginning to care for him. We didn’t just had sex, we also talked and had these small moments together I really appreciated because they… he made me fell like I was worth something in a place where you’re supposed to be repenting and feeling like a piece of garbage.

 The day he left, I cried while mopping the floors. On our last session together he didn’t say a word and neither did I. There wasn’t something I could say that would magically make things great between us, or that would change what was happening. We had to move on and we had to do it fast because we weren’t able to do anything about it. So he left, I cried for a while and that was the end of it.

 However, I forgot my Nazi problem. They knew very well Duncan had left and every single one of them decided to threaten me everyday. They wanted me scared out of my mind until the day their boss, the one with the tattoos, would order them to drag me somewhere dark and probably fuck me with something awful. I thought of it a hundred times and it did make me shiver and had no idea what to do.

 The truth is I had forgotten to know myself. They day one of them came to me, I fought. I broke his nose and crushed his foot. Another one threatened me with a razor he had gotten in and I was able to disarm him and tell a guard he had a forbidden item. He was send to solitary in a second. I had learned how to defend myself. So it was me who went to the tattoo guy and told him to go fuck himself.

 That action made me even more respected among some of the other inmates. The minorities if you will. I didn’t really identify with them but they soon became my friends and, some of them, my lovers. Even condoms can be found in a prison, if that’s what you want and I did. The following years were very hard on me but I got stronger and smarter and much more intelligent, being able to fool everyone, even me.


 The day I stepped out of prison, I realized the real world had moved along without me and it scared me. But only for that day. Because the following morning, I used what I had learned and got myself a job in no time. I have a life now, a real one. And, strangely enough, I have to thank prison and its population for that.

miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2015

The Beast

   When the man also known as The Beast was caught, everyone was relieved. He had escaped every single police force along his path, as he killed innocent people, and he had finally committed was small mistake. The police had noticed his liking for a certain candy and it was a wrapper they found at a gas station that lead them directly to him. He was found torturing his latest victim on marsh. Fortunately, she was still alive. He had to be shot several times in the legs and spine in order to immobilize him. The police remembered that they couldn’t kill him, no matter how much they wanted revenge for what he had done before. He had killed several people, not only women but children and men too. Besides, the way he did it earned him the nickname Beast from every force chasing him.

 Finally in a prison cell, doctor that checked him upon arrival were surprised to see that the damage done by the bullets to his body was minimal. He could still walk and had only a slight limp on his left leg. He was transferred to a maximum-security prison that same day, where he was able to wait for his trial. This offended many of the victims’ families, because they didn’t thought such an animal had the right to a trial. But the law was the law and he was at least entitled to tell the people how he had done it and why. The trial, after all, was also useful as a way to explain everything that had happened and shed a light on such a monstrous behavior. If it ever happened again, authorities and society needed to know why.

 For everyone, it was a very hard time. The pictures, the police videos, the details by coroners… It was awful to hear how every body was dumped, how some of them were raped and how he tortured every single one of them. He had no real proceeding; it wasn’t like he just raped the women or something like that. He was erratic and that was proven by the first two weeks of the trial. People had asked for only a week to show evidence and so on but the judge had to change that as he had to cut short every day, because at least one person would get physically sick of all the details of the murders. He knew it was asking too much of every single person to sit there and stand such truths.

 At least five of the jurors had to be excused. They all decided to leave the trial as they realized they weren’t fit to stand all those gruesome details that they knew had to come out to the light. They were replaced as they left, and some information had to be repeated for the new jurors in order for them to understand the whole process. That week was the most difficult time in the lives of the family member, more than the moment when they had been notified that their loved ones were dead. Everything hurt up to that point and most of them just wanted it all to finish with the dead of the Beast, they needed to see how his body stopped breathing.

 The second week of the trial it was all about the Beast. Bringing him to the courthouse proved difficult, as demonstrators were always there throwing things at him. The authorities didn’t really mind but they just couldn’t allow something worst to happen. It was rumored that some of the family members were planning to kill the Beast and that had to be stopped. The police started bringing him through the back door of the courthouse and they also made a couple of arrests to make people understand that they needed to trust justice and what it stood for. It was understandable that they were angry, very angry for what happened but they had to let justice do what she needs to do. They needed closure and that couldn’t be found by killing a human being. They shouldn’t become him to prove their love.

 The first couple of days, he was cooperating so much. But by the third day, he started speaking, saying incoherent things. After the opposing lawyer confronted him, the man attempted to attack him and had to be restrained and tied to the chair he was sitting on. The lawyer asked for the trial not be cancelled for this incident and he used this event to demonstrate to the people why the murderer was called the Beast. He then read a psychiatrist’s report, where he stated that the Beast suffered a very rare syndrome were his brain thought everything and everyone was a danger to his existence. It was the only explanation they could give to killing so many people. But why torture them, they asked? No response.

 The next day, it was a very long one. Again, pictures and videos of crime scenes were shown but this time in order to provoke a reaction of the Beast. His lawyer, who was trying to get him life instead of the death penalty, had not spoken much with his own client because he had become very quiet and still. He had to go through all the evidence to, at least, prove the man he was defending was insane and that he belonged to an asylum. He repeated this over and over again during the trial, without little to no positive response from the jury. They were all disgusted by what they had seen and had no space in their hearts or their heads to consider the Beast as only a crazy guy that happens to kill people.

 By the end of the week, they finally got some words out of the Beast. He said that he had to kill them all because he was afraid. But when asked if he had any reasons to torture any of them, he was quiet for a while. By the end of the session, he stood up and said that he fought against the forces of the devil and that it had been God himself who had told him what to do and how to do it. This was a low blow for everyone in the courtroom and for everyone in the city, to be honest. Blaming God was ridiculous but it was a step towards that insanity plea and it was hard to fight it because his time on the trials ended just after that.

 The following days a couple of family members gave their statements. It was, again, a difficult thing to see and hear. Most of the people in the room cried at some point and how not too, when the details of someone’s death were being given by their wives, husbands, mothers, fathers… The jury was thankful that those statements only lasted for a couple of days. After that, the judge gave the jury four days to decide about this man’s faith. Of course, they didn’t need so much time. The following day every single person had being summoned to hear the verdict: the Beast was going to die by lethal injection. Many of the families were relieved but none of them were happy or anything close to that. They just needed to close that door in their lives, once and for all.

 The execution was programmed a month after the trial had ended. Some people complained that it should have been done faster, but they couldn’t get everyone that needed to be there at an earlier date. The governor wanted to be there, as well as at least one member from every family that the Beast had destroyed. They even looked for his parents or relatives and found and old woman that denied the invitation to see a family member die. She said he had not seen him in years and that he had always been “one of those weird kids”. Television crews stationed themselves very early the day of the executions, as well as many people that supported the families. Strangely enough, there were also protesters against the death penalty. Not their best showing.

 The lethal injection process was very simple and some people complained, again, that it was too humane for such an animal. But the state had no other way of killing inmates. Firing squads were a thing of the past, there were no electric chairs anymore and communities had successfully avoided the implementation of death by gas. So everyone gathered in very small room and just watched as the man they hated so much was brought from his cell. As they saw the people from prison tie him down, many thought that the last ting their loved ones had seen was probably the face of that man. And that made them so much angrier.


 The liquids that went into his body were lowered slowly, one by one. As they saw him closing his eyes and his vital signs going away, they felt their hearts even more broke than before because it was the end of the road and they had gone through all of it together. They pronounced him dead and the governor started to applause but soon stopped. Everyone else looked at him with disgust. Somehow, people were still disgusted by the fact that people had to be killed to teach a lesson, a lesson that maybe no one was really hearing or understanding. Somewhere in the region, another person was being killed. Because the evil inside humans doesn’t stop and it has many layers and faces. The only way is to keep fighting.

sábado, 6 de septiembre de 2014

New Freedom

Official Transcript # 485

Interrogation officer: Please, state your name.
Inmate 3063: My name is Jordan Skye.
I.O: Louder, please.
J.S: I'M JORDAN SKYE!
I.O: Occupation?
J.S: Special agent of the UN special forces unit.
I.O: Can you prove that?

Silence. Jordan sighs.

J.S: Not at the moment.
I.O: Why?
J.S: No papers, man.
I.O: Please sum up the events occurred on September 6th.
J.S: That was the day after the invasion.
I.O: Proceed.
J.S: I was part of a small group that came in with the rebels, on their ships. As they took the city, we had a special priority.
I.O: Which was?
J.S: Capture Minister Sumter.
I.O: What were your orders regarding him?
J.S: Capture and bring him to justice.
I.O: Which justice?

Again, Jordan sighs, tensioned.

J.S: Had to take him to Geneva.
I.O: What happened September 6th?

Jordan fists close, as if imagining the man's neck.

J.S: The rebels were winning. You were winning.
I.O: We know.
J.S: I fucking bet that.
I.O: Keep going.
J.S: My team was composed of seven men and women. Three of them had to secure Sumter. My partner and I were the ones that had to going in his office and take him.
I.O: Partner?
J.S: My husband.
I.O: The new government overruled those rights. Are you aware of it?
J.S: I don't give a shit.

The interrogation officer moves on his chair but doesn't say a word.

I.O: You failed. Why?
J.S: Supporters of Sumter overran me and my team. They started to chase us. I lured them to me in order for my team to be extracted by fellow rebels.
I.O: No report of that on our data.
J.S: Secret operation, genius.
I.O: You were captured by those men, correct?
J.S: That's right.
I.O: Then, you were rescued by the new government on September 10th, correct?
J.S: Rescued is a strong word.

The room feels too cold. Jordan wraps his arms around himself trying to the cold not to diminish his spirit.

I.O: What happened between your capture by those men and your extraction?
J.S: You know what happened. You did the tests.
I.O: Please, sum up for record.

Jordan tries to talk but his mouth feels dry. There's a glass of water on the table but he doesn't take it. He wets his lips with his tongue and talks.

J.S: I was held prisoner in some old barracks or a hangar. I don't really know.
I.O. Hangar A-03, Sumter Military Base.
J.S: Ok... I was tortured by the group of men that captured me.
I.O: Were you visited by Sumter during that time?
J.S: Never.
I.O: What kind of torture were you submitted to?

The man looks at the officer and smiles.

J.S: This is fucked up.
I.O: Please state the nature of...
J.S: They raped me, ok?! They fucked me with a stick or something and tortured me with water and punched and hit me, for hours.
I.O: Were you given food or water?
J.S: What a fucking stupid question.
I.O: What happened on September 10th?
J.S: You people showed up and apparently took me here.
I.O: What happened before that?

Jordan stands up, annoyed.

J.S: None of your business.
I.O: This is a report for the republic. We need...
J.S: You don't need shit!
I.O: Our team extracted a body along with yours. Whose body was it?

Shadows do not allow Jordan to see his interrogator well but he tries to glare at him, hurt.

J.S: You have his body?
I.O: Yes. Who is he?
J.S: You have my husband.
I.O: Those rights were...
J.S: Fuck you! That man got in that airbase and attempted to save me. He did something as you stood there, forgetting what we did to let guys like you keep on living.
I.O: He was unsuccessful.
J.S: They caught him. He was framed. They beat him up in front of me. They made me watch...

Jordan has started crying, in silence.

J.S: Then, they told him because of his bold act he had to see me go. Turns out, right in the moment they were going to kill me, the gang's leader changed his mind and shot him in front of me. I fainted after screaming my lungs out. I woke up here. In this prison.

The interrogation officer stands up and exists the room. Jordan walks to the door but they shut it. He then hears a voice on the speakers.

I.O: Thank you, Jordan Skye. You may go to your cell now.

Another door, on the opposite wall, opens. But Jordan does not walk towards it.

J.S: I told you everything. Let me go now.
I.O: You will be released in due time. Have a good sleep.

Two men enter the room. Jordan tries to fight but they have a needle, the needle he has learned to fear. He slowly falls asleep, letting go, again.