| General Fiction
posted August 16, 2015
Short Story-Read Author's notes first
The Birthing Room
NOT ONLY BABIES ARE BORN
The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
The author has placed a warning on this post for language.
"I must say, in my twenty-seven years on the bench I have never seen a more egregious example of injustice and borderline criminal mishandling of prosecution in my life. Mr. Washington, I cannot return the last twelve years to you. I can only apologize for the injustice that has befallen you. I set aside the verdict in the State of Alabama versus Lionel Thurston Washington. You are free to go, sir. We are adjourned."
The need to acknowledge this black-robed man in his lily-white shirt, white-- just like his ass, does not exist within me. I see no sincerity in his face and hear none in the tone of his voice as he speaks the words he has no choice but to speak. Fuck him. Fuck him and the smug prosecutors who got caught with their limp peckers in their hands by some bleeding heart do-gooders. Fuck the do-gooders too.
But, glory be! That ain't the story ya'll want to hear. This be my day of jubilee. Praise be; I am free. My life is restored. What was taken has been returned. My heart sings with gratitude and thanksgiving! Yes sir, ain't dat jes what a good nigga outta be a thinkin'?
At the moment, I'm rubbing the callous on my right forearm. That formed from rubbing on the bolt that stuck up out of my metal bunk. Much as I tried to contort my body to avoid it, there was no other place to put my arm but right over that bolt. Well, after a few months, the callous formed and the problem was solved.
There's other callouses. There's a knot on the side of my head. I tried to drive a cockroach out of my ear by smashing my head against the wall. I never did know if I was successful. I woke up in the infirmary and it was gone. So, one way or the other, my plan worked.
Well, well, well … what a crowd. All these people just to see me. Isn't that just special?
"Shannon Choi, ABC News, Mr. Washington, How do you feel now that you have finally been exonerated?"
"How would you feel if twelve years of your life had been stolen from you?" I'm guessing she was looking for something more uplifting.
"Do you plan to sue in civil court?"
"I suppose I'd have to spend some time calculating what my life is worth beforehand."
"What are your plans now?"
"I guess I'll play the cards I've been dealt. Isn't that what we all do?" Screw em. This is where I leave this bullshit. They'll know soon enough what my plans are. Oh how I'd love to start with you, Ms. Choi … your fake face exploding all over the screen while America watches in horror. Your cameraman, keeping his finger on the play-button, never lifting it a fraction of an inch to help you. Well, another time.
I'm home now. I'm alone. My wife died while I was in jail. They wouldn't let me got to the funeral. Flight risk … too dangerous. My kids are grown. It was good to see them today, but I don't know them, not really. Friends, the curious, all gone home now leaving me in this huge house by myself. I used to think this was small. But that was before living in an eight by ten cell with peeling paint. There was a metal bunk and a toilet with no lid. There was a porcelein sink with no shelf above it … no mirror. What would I want to look at anyway? This place—well, so many rooms. I stick to the living room and the couch. It's so soft. It doesn't seem real to me.
I'm thinking about where, where can I get guns. And then, where would be the best place to kill as many of you bastards as possible. My life is over. I served time for murder and I aim to murder twelve years' worth of you. I think McDonalds is perfect. It's so American. Fuckin' fast food Heaven. A bunch of out of shape calorie junkies eatin' crap that is slowly killin' em. I'm just gonna speed up the process a bit.
"Can I help you, Sir?"
"Sure, kid. Let me get a Big Mac meal … super-size, with a Coke."
"Okay, that will be $8.97 please."
Here ya go, punk, here's your money. I wonder if you'll be bright enough to duck behind the counter? Nah, your fuckin' eyes are glazed over, you'll just stand there and take one between the eyes. Well, out to the car now to load up. Nice crowd. I should be able to take out over twenty. It will be glorious. Secret sauce indeed! Blood and gore all over from ceiling to floor. Sounds fair to me. Lionel Thurston Washington, set free about twelve years too late. Yep, I think it will make the eleven o'clock news.
"Hey, Sandy. Isn't that the Riverdale Park Ripper? I heard they let him out on a technicality. He looks kinda scary."
"Yeah, that's him alright. Nah, he's harmless. He's been coming in every Friday for the last two years. Gets a Big Mac meal, super-size, sits in the corner and watches the traffic go by. I guess he's just enjoying his freedom."
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This does have strong language necessary to the realism of the character. It's not the norm for me, so I thought I'd add an extra warning. Please skip if strong language is offensive to you.
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