= = = =
It was odd how clean the cell looked; the floors were kept very clean, and almost seemed like tile. The walls were maintained, the bed even appeared decent to sleep in. It had a simple sheet set and blanket, with one pillow. I even had a window on the opposite wall. Natural light was pouring in, making the cell seem less like jail and more like a very bare room, however, those bars that burned behind my back and cast shadows beneath my feet kept reality in check. I squinted.
I was still so confused, still awakening from my once unconscious state; why was I here? What did I even do? My stomach was turning and my heart ached. Was this going to be forever? I missed so many people already... I was waiting to hear the horror sounds of a jail, as seen and heard in movies. However, nothing. Just the natural signs of the outdoors, a bird chirping even. Why was there a window that could lead to a prisoner's escape? The easiness of it made me even more weary about ever trying. There had to be a catch.
I sat on the bed and time went by. Before I knew it, it was dusk. My fingers were laced together, clutched tightly. Someone came to the bars, a cop. "Time for a break."
Break? I pressed my lips together, remaining quiet but stood up and followed. I was lead out to a courtyard, a rather nice one, actually; there was green grass and a hill, with a covered area with picnic tables and even a basketball court on the other side. The prison was oddly co-ed, however, there seemed to be no problems with it. No creeps, pedophiles, anything; everyone appeared about the age of 19-25, give or take a couple years. Such a young specified prison, that was nice and well maintained? It seemed odd, and fishy.
A lot of other prisoners were gathered there, all donned in the grayish one piece uniforms. I looked around, I knew no one; everyone else was either loners, "don't mess with me" types or were clumped into groups. I sighed and sat down, clutching my knees to my chest. I was trying to decipher possibilities of where I was and why I was here, but everything was fuzzy. I squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to be whisked away.
Cops and prison guards were at the top of the hill talking to all of us now. One in particular, a female in an all black suit was talking. It all felt like some sort of orientation; everyone was quiet and listening. In a normal jail, would everything else be this calm? Was referring to the movies and the books of pop culture too naive? But still -- even if the place was well maintained and nice looking, the criminals thrown into a prison wouldn't be so calm, quiet and uniform; they wouldn't be listening so easily, behaving. They'd be jumping or escaping out the windows of their cells, they'd be climbing over the easily accessible walls of the courtyard. This hardly felt like a jail, save for the metal barred sliding doors to each cell.
What was going on?
I didn't catch much of what they were saying but we were all soon escorted back to our cells. It was nighttime now. I was brought to my cell and the doors opened; however, someone was sitting there in the small chair against the wall. He was hunched over, his fingers pressed together and his elbows resting on his knees. He had black hair, slicked back, contrasting against his pale skin. His eyes were green from what I could tell, and his demeanor very mysterious and out of place. I looked back at the guard, about to speak up, but he escorted me in and shut the door anyway. "The place is pretty full; if anyone leaves, you'll get their new cell. Until now, get used to it." Then, he walked off.
It was just this stranger and I left now.
For a while, it was quiet. I sat in the farthest corner away from him, slightly terrified. Now the horrors of prison were settling in; it was nighttime, not a soul here cared about me, and I was now in this single locked prison cell with some strange man, possibly a criminal, I've never met before. I constantly fought back tears, trying to remain as motionless as possible. But inwardly, I was screaming, sobbing, desperate for help or an explanation. WHAT was going on?
Nothing happened for a couple hours. He remained still and on his side of the cell; I remained on mine. I remained awake I was too scared to sleep. The prison was overall quiet, with muffled whispers here and there, and creaks of mattresses as restless prisoners attempted sleep. I found myself sinking into sleep, my whole body fatigued and cramped; my body sunk and I had the sensation of falling: and my eyes jerked open, and I reflexed. My heart pounded and my body jerked so heavily my head slung back and hit the wall. It sounded as horrible as it felt, and my whole head was pounding, my vision blotted. I felt dizzy and nauseous and I held a hand to my head, and sunk to the floor.
New terrors sprung in my mind; I'm going to become un-concious, and that's when this man will attack; he will take advantage of me, he could even kill me with his bare hands if he wanted to, and it'd make it one less body for the prison guards to have to manage and handle. The tears finally started to flow, and a gross choke left my lips as I curled into a shaking mess, and let it all out.
I didn't really care right now what was going to happen; I had to let this ball of confusion, sadness, anxiety and terror out of me before it started to eat away at my sanity. I didn't know how long I was going to be here, I didn't even know why I was here. I saw the faces of all those I loved behind my squeezed eyes: My parents. Ethan. Cheryl. Mattie... all my friends.... I even saw instructors and fellow peers from school, even their faces at this moment would be more than welcome. I wanted nothing more but to run into my parents arms and just be held and told it'd be okay. Did they think I was still peacefully going about my life in Edmond at the apartment? Was I even in Oklahoma anymore?
I didn't know how much time passed when I heard him finally speak up. It was at this point that I realized I had been completely vulnerable and defeated and he hadn't done anything yet. My guard was still up though as he spoke: "What on Earth is wrong?" He said. The words sounded cold, but it was also like he was trying to seem concerned without appearing attached or curious.
I didn't answer him at first. Then, I heard him shift and stand. My eyes shot open and I saw his shadow moving closer. I shot up and stared up at him, my heart racing. My body was now in survival mode; I didn't know how I could take him on, he was awfully tall and appeared strong. But who knows, with everything else going on I didn't know about, maybe I became stronger.
He stopped in front of me, and was staring at me. His eyes glowed a greenish blue, and his frame was elegantly lit by the moonlight. He had a very regal stature, even within prison rags. His hair was slightly more disheveled now, as if he'd been running his fingers through it constantly in stress. "I am not going to do anything to you, so you can calm down."
His words did calm me, his voice was deep and soothing. He crouched down in front of me, was closer this time. It was annoying to me because I couldn't help but admit he was a very handsome man; regal, almost royal looking. Mysterious and alluring. I instantly shifted my eyes away from his face, suddenly feeling very self-concience about my appearance to him. My hand touched my hair, it felt recently washed but still tangled and scragy. It was long and my bangs hung in my face as I ducked my head down. I'm sure my eyes were sunken and red, my face was splotchy and tear-stained. I didn't look nearly as regal or wonderful, even as a prisoner. I felt irritated and upset by this; but at the same time, it was better than feeling lonely, anxious, confused, terrified, I guess.
He sat down next to me, his shoulder barely touching mine. My heart was still pounding, my guards still up. "Do you know.. why you are here?" He asked me. What, did YOU? I wanted to ask him. But I just shook my head quietly..
"Mmm no. Everything is fuzzy."
"Ah. Hm." He grew quiet again. I decided to be conversational, or, at least curious.
"Um.. do you? If you don't mind me asking.." I looked over at him, he had a very nice profile. I tried to keep focused.
"I am not sure. I know I am not well liked among these mortals, however, I am unaware as to why I am here." These mortals? I couldn't help but keep my face from seeming perplexed. I guess I was stupefied and staring because he looked over. A smile crept onto his face; it seemed rather mischievous. My guards shot up again and I averted my gaze.
"I am not some simple human like you; I am beyond that, destined for so much more." His hands clasped together in anger and his gaze burned forward ahead of him; but at something beyond what was in the prison entirely. "and yet, I can never obtain it. I am always bested, or something else I can not plan outsmarts me..."
"I.. can listen." I don't know why I said it. I honestly want to throw a rope around my words and take it all back, lasso it in and remain quiet and to myself. However, I spit it out so quickly and so genuinely that it almost seemed to even take him off guard -- he turned his head to look at me. He seemed perplexed, off guard, taken aback. I retracted my gaze and looked down at the ground instead.
However, what happened next surprised me.
He told me everything; things I couldn't believe, wrap my mind around, understand. Magic, gods, otherworldly dimensions. However, I listened. I listened intently and remained quiet but engaged. He spoke angrily at points, sadly at others. He was consistently struggling between the good in him and he evil in him; he knew of his real life versus the life he grew up in, however, he was being torn in two from both sides. Part of him longed for the torture and suffering of those that hurt him, double-sided him; but part of him remained attached some how, intact with those emotions he wanted to be free of. Even as he spoke of being murderous or cynical, bitter and serial, I wasn't scared. Because he was vulnerable at this point, speaking to me and opening up in a way that no true killer or psycho-case would. Regardless of any events from here on out, this moment defined a spark of humanity in him --
even if he was the god of mischief.