“Pack and get dressed, before your father hears us.
Today we escape. We escape.”
-Radiohead “Exit Music (For A Film)”
Part 1 of Our Fathers Sons
Images of Russian Gulags and Communist guards populated Jackson’s moderately furnished cell-sized living quarters and disappeared when he closed his copy of A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch.
His son had given the book to him “for his birthday” in the summer (Jackson’s birthday is in January). Jackson assumed he did it out somewhat out of spite but mostly as a way of rubbing his current incarceration in and never thought his father would actually read it so, out of spite, Jackson read it. He didn’t read it right away because that would give the impression that he was bored and in need of entertainment (which he was). His son really wouldn’t know when he read it or even if he read it at all but made all the difference to Jackson. It was a matter of pride.
What necessitated the closing of the book was the frantic entrance of Charlie in his room. The boyish satisfaction in Charlie’s face and the screams of what sounded like a Banshee emanating from down the hall told Jackson enough. Since his mischievous friend had discovered a new source for contraband, he had seen Charlie receive much more unusual items than mild narcotics. In this case, his teenage grandchildren delivered unto him a small rodent of some sort which he promptly planted in Janine’s room once his delinquent descendants had delivered said contraband. This was the source of the Banshee screams.
It was a few moment when Jackson’s instincts kicked in and he saw the ordinary Charlie prank as a small opportunity. Since most of the guards (attendants) were occupied the delicate task of getting Janine to stop screaming they were likely to have left the parking lot surrounding the Home unattended. The front door would still be too heavily populated so he would need Charlie to serve as another distraction.
“Charlie, we’re in business.” The boyish satisfaction graduated to a devilish glow. The two of them rooted around the cell for a pinch of salt and made their way to the dining hall.
Luke was patrolling the last obstacle between Jackson and freedom. The large space of the dining hall being empty would make it hard for him to cross I unnoticed. This was why he brought Charlie and the salt. Luke would surely have no mercy on either of them since they had marred his good looks on more than one occasion. This was exactly what Jackson depended on. He directed Charlie to make sure Luke saw him slip the powdery white substance.
The vain attendant played into Jackson’s hand like the idiot he took him for –no doubt he assumed Charlie was attempting an “Uncle George”) and while he was busy interrogating Charlie Jackson made his move past the vacant lobby and out the doors to the smell of fresh air.
His small taste of freedom was cut short by a fresh batch of jackassery from none other than Donald who was faithfully standing guard outside the entrance and promptly stretched his foot out to trip the old escape artist.Jackson’s leg collapsed and Donald collected him from the cold concrete.
The defeated old man was marched back inside holding his wrist, bloodied a little from the fall. He recognized a well-dressed but rugged looking man in his mid forties on his way in. At the sight of him Jackson covered his wrist and straightened himself up. His new gait suggested that he had nothing better to do and he ignored the rugged middle-aged man.
…to be continued.
*A prank of Charlie’s that was well-known among the guards involving the spiking of someone’s drink.