“C’mon Williams, get up.”

“Move it kid, wake up now!”

“Rise and shine fella, get the hell up!”

Carter Williams reluctantly rises from his makeshift bed, and rises sluggishly to face the three guards surrounding him in his cramped cell. His posture is weak, and struggles to stand straight in a comfortable position. Suddenly, one of the three guards abruptly kicks him in the stomach, forcefully launching him backwards to the perimeters the metallic walls. Carter struggles to recover, and exclaims a feeble grunt of despair. One of the guards, armed in a chipped and scratched set of Viper S.W.A.T armour and fitted with a FL334AR military assault rifle (similar to the other guards), walks slowly towards the sprawled body of Carter.

“You call that an acceptable demeanour to display to a commanding officer? Huh? Do that again and I’ll put a bullet in your back.”

Carter then scrambles back up to his feet, and although heavily injured from the blow to his body, braces the pain all over him to stand straight, staring to the adjacent wall, forming a traditional military pose.

“Good.” Said one of the guards, hurling a bundle of clothes in Carter’s direction. “You’re getting released today, so clean up and wait here to be escorted.”

Carter’s face suddenly lit up with sudden bemusement. “I’m being released today? The judge said that I was getting twenty years and tha-”

“Well, there have been a few changes, but it isn’t my job to disclose these details. Now shut up, and don’t ask any more questions. Put on the damn clothes and get ready to leave.”

Carter’s eyes filled with compassion. The thought of leaving and returning back to his family filled him with a burst of euphoria that was beyond his own comprehension. His mind, formerly drained by the dull, monotonous atmosphere of Veronica State Prison, has been torturing him for well over five years. His own intelligence had been performing an act of suicide, perception eating away at him, unable to feed on any feasible information to satisfy his running consciousness. An intimate purgatory, they say. But he calls it a living nightmare.

He limped to the cracked basin in his cell, still injured by the blow that the Viper guard gave him. He turned the tap in a counter-clockwise motion, resulting in a stream of cold, clear water. Cupping his hands together under the tap, he splashes the water onto his face. Relieved by the cooling sensation, Carter proceeds to wipe his face with a damp, yellowed towel and looks at himself in the mirror. His dark brown hair was entangled deeply with various coils, his eyes blue eyes reeked with paleness, staring into an endless void. His beard has not been attended to in years, uneven and out of control.  The skin of his tanned body expose the bruises and scars brought to life by the brawls and fights that he has encountered through his abominable journey. The same scars that have pierced his outside, has carved a permanent mental barrier of pain, suffering and depression. To escape such thoughts would be near impossible, similar to the same calibre of escaping the bars that he is caged in.

Carter turned to face his bed. There perfectly folded was a pair of jeans and a grey polo shirt. As he put the clothes on, he felt the cheap material scratch ferociously on his roughened skin. He felt slightly more comfortable than before. Staring at his prison jumpsuit on the discrepantly tiled floor, it was as if he left his old skin of life, torn, slashed and brutally devastated. As he slips into his new attire, he promises himself that he would take much better care with it.

He began to wait.


(To be continued)

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