I Fought the Law
Torture. The wife asks me what’s on tap when I report to the office, right about the time she’s packing my lunch in its lovely wooden box, and I tell her. Torture. When she stops by mid-afternoon to report how many eggs she pilfered from the hens or to describe the fascinating new bug she found attached to some bit of the garden, I can only tell her about men screaming. Men begging. Men imploring me to end their miserable sodding lives rather than touch them one more time.
Because women are what they are, I keep that to myself. I nod and act astounded with my wife’s prattle, whilst trying to dispel the ringing of despair in my ears. Even at the dinner table, while my boy is saying grace, I can hear the noise clanging on the inside of my head.
It is especially nasty today.
The breaking of men permeates my cell block. Their crying seeps into the bricks and mortar. Rattles their chains. Shakes the foundations of this awful place, this monument to some of the worst things men can do to men. I gnaw on my chicken leg and pretend I’m somewhere else. Anywhere else. I am a pathetic cretin and lack the imagination to rise above it all.
Especially when I cannot consume my meager feast without interruption.
Sir. Bad case. Your unique skills are required.
Barely digested food spins in my stomach as I drag myself to Cell Seven. The unluckiest accommodation we have. My victim awaits, shackled to a chair in the corner, the flickering torchlight making a freak show of his persecuted face. I am angry that it is down to me to break him.
And, it is the anger that fuels me. Every time.
This post is part of the series Jailhouse Rock, set in and around the Old Charleston Jail. If this is your first visit to the series, please click here to read the first installment and here for the second. And, if you’re ever in Charleston, do not miss the Old Jail.