Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The last of the first chapter of OT...

I've already been rewriting what's been posted and rearranging how Jake gives out information. It's interesting that this change is also adjusting Jake's voice. He wants to be leaner. Crisper. More to the point. I have no idea if that's good, and I'm still trying to figure out where to slip in the information I cut out...but at least it's different.


Until that point, I was on top of what’d happened. But it didn’t take long for the adrenalin rush to pass and memories of my previous dance with the law to come crashing in.

That was a bogus arrest, too. I know it's a cliché for an ex-con to swear he's been framed, but in my case it was proven to be true...just not till after I'd gone through the hell of a trial, prison and probation. And why did it happen? Because I was stupid enough to ask the cousin of a deputy sheriff pay for damage she did to a city car. That's it. He got her out of it by planting drugs on me then a deputy district attorney helped him convict me. I was sentenced to four years, did twenty months before making probation, then did ten months of that before their sick schemes blew up in their faces and I got exonerated, my record expunged, and a nice settlement from the State of Texas. Now some assholes in California were going to try and pull the same stupid crap. Well...not again, motherfuckers.

Half an hour later, an old man in a white coat was let into the cell, snapping, “Get up on the bench.”

“I can’t,” I snapped back. “It hurts too damn much.”

He frowned and sat on the floor. He had long silver hair, weary eyes, more wrinkles than a Shar-Pei, and hands that knew exactly what they were doing. He helped me off with the top of my jumpsuit then felt the bruising on my side and muttered, “Don't feel like nothin’ broke. Prob’ly just bruised. Gonna hurt for a while. Who did it?”

“Does it matter?” I asked.

He eyed me then tapped the tattoo covering my right bicep and shoulder. “Celtic?” I nodded; no need to point out some of the symbols were in Farsi. He nodded back, rose, pulled out a form and rapped on the door, calling, "This boy's for the ER."

A guard appeared on the other side of the door. "You so sure he's not just faking -- ?"

“That wasn’t no request!” the medic shot back, filling out the form.

The guard blinked then vanished.

Man, I liked this guy.

"Thank God I'm back on days, next week," he sighed, then shot me a glance of apology. “Ambulance'll be here, shortly; I'll see to it. Don’t move if you don’t have to. No heavy liftin’ for a good six weeks. And I sure hope that ain’t the side you sleep on.”

“I’ll live, Dr...?”

He grinned and said, “Sandoval.” Then he pounded on the door and the guard came to let him out.

As the guard shut the door, I said, "Don't I get a phone call?" The only answer was complete silence.

An hour later, I was taken to a nearby hospital under armed guard, like I was a terrorist or presidential assassin or something, and examined in every way from touchy-feely to x-ray to anal probe, then I was admitted for overnight observation. One deputy wasn't too happy about that, but the female doctor didn't even look at him as she shrugged, "File a complaint."

I was set in a solitary room with my left ankle handcuffed to the bed and the door locked. I couldn't find a way to get comfortable enough to sleep, but it was a hell of a lot better than my first night in jail.

Back then, I was nowhere near as built as I am now, and I was scared shitless. A non-violent guy accused of having drugs locked in a jail cell with murderers, rapists, armed robbers, anything else you can think of. I found out real quick that alphas like to prove you're their beta in there. A couple shoving matches came damn close to me having to fight somebody. One stopped when a guard passed by; the other was put on hold when a trans prostitute was tossed in with us and the other guys forced her to give them all blow-jobs.

I was offered a go, but I told them I was busted because a cop caught me having sex with his seventeen year-old daughter, so I was spent for the night. Not a word about the asshole planting drugs on me. Not a word about me being gay. I had a feeling lies about screwing a girl were safer than the truth, though one guy did insist I describe my night in detail as he fucked the prostitute's mouth. I spun a beautiful pile of crap, and nearly got sick doing it.

Then five mean-as-shit-looking black guys were put in. All solid muscle and cold-eyes. All focused on me. From the second the cell door was closed and the guard was gone, they told the guys I was a punk for the cops and a fag and started tearing at me. At my clothes. At every part of my body. They were lying, but no one listened to me. Instead, the other guys in the cell screamed for them to get harder and nastier, like they were the audience at a gay bondage shoot. On and on and on, for what seemed like forever. I don’t care if you’re as buff as The Rock, if five men want to fuck you, they’re gonna fuck you; at least I wasn't killed.

But Jesus Christ, the things they made me do, even after they were spent. Slashing memories of hands on me...going where they wanted in this sick sort of intimacy...and the slapping and the punching and the pain that never let up and...and son-of-a-bitch, I’d rip anybody who tried that with me to shreds, this go-around. I’d fucking kill 'em. Wouldn't even hesitate.

One positive aspect of being chained up like that was, when I'd start drifting too deep into that first night in jail all I had to do was yank on the cuff to send a sharp pain jolting into my brain to cut the link...for a little while. Unfortunately, it also meant I could spend time wondering how I'd wound up in the one place I swore I'd never be, again -- caught in America's so-called system of justice -- while hoping to God the message I'd left on that voicemail would bring help before I vanished, too.

Because the way things had been, lately, I couldn't be sure anyone would come looking for me.

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