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Maroon Rain


It was Jack’s first night in the cage that he would for the next couple decades call home. He could not pretend he didn’t deserve it, that he was innocent. Jack knew what he had done was wrong, that was why he confessed. When he confessed he fully intended to pay for his crime. Sitting alone in his cell on his hard bed, elbows on his knees and face in his hands, he recalled that horrible night when everything changed. The memory came back to him in vivid color and clear picture as if it had happened yesterday.

Again he heard his wife nagging and yelling about things he had no concern for. She had been drunk before he got home but the moment he did she was on him telling him how horrible her day was and how it was all his fault. He brushed past her and went to the fridge to get a six pack and brought it to the couch all the while his wife complaining. In order to hear the television that was already on he turned the volume all the way up. It only made his wife bitch at him louder. Eventually she got fed up with him not listening to her incessant counterproductive ranting that he always came to and placed herself in front of the television. The best he could do was to pretend she wasn’t there and stare right through her. Of course this only further infuriated her rage and she turned to unplug the television so he could not simply turn it back on with the remote. Immediately he stood up to face her, wobbling a bit after having finished almost the entire six pack. Being a foot taller than his petite wife he looked down into her angry bloodshot eyes.

“Move,” he commanded. She only stared back up into his eyes, “I said move!” this time shouting as loud as he could.

“Fuck you,” she responded in a shrill voice that reminded him of a bird. He only waited a second before shoving her out of the way. Though he did not look to see, he heard her stumble and fall. After bending down to plug in the cord again he turned expecting her to be already up and ready to continue her raving, only she was still on the ground crying, bed making her short hair wet. Part of him was glad it had happened but only a very small part. He moved to help her up.

“We need to get you to a hospital,” he said barely containing his panic.

“Don’t touch me or I’ll kill you!” she wailed.

“This looks really serious you need to go to a hospital right now,” frustration spread over him and he grabbed her arm and yanked her upright, her squealing all the while. She did her best to rip her arm out of his strong grip but it was no use. Then before he could stop her, she sunk her fist full of rings into his face and he backed up a few inches, “Fine!” he shouted, “Die for all i care!” Jack moved to sit down once again and switched the television set back on but before he could his wife was running at him with an old trophy she grabbed from the mantel piece. With a quick swing she struck his head. For a few moments Jack did not know where he was as a dull pain radiated through his skull.

“That’s it!” he roared regaining his bearings. He ripped the trophy from her grip and brought the heavy base down against her already bloody head. Instant remorse filled him and he tried to catch her before she fell but he was not quick enough and she fell with a clunk to the ground. For several minutes Jack tried to wake her before the cops came. Neighbors had called about a domestic disturbance after hearing shouts. The police wrestled him away from her damaged body, out of the house, and into a car with bars on the windows.

Jack hated himself for what had occurred that night ever since. He told the police the truth of what happened and did not even get a lawyer for his defense. Up until that morning he had accepted his fate, then as the bus he was shackled in reached the gates of the prison it finally fully dawned on him. He would be in this building for longer than he had yet lived. The rest of the day went by in flashes like some kind of horrible drug trip. It was not until he was in his cell did he come back to his senses. A wave of alarm consumed him and all he wanted in that moment was to be free again.

Jack raised himself up off his new bed and began rapidly pacing his couple feet of space. He turned back around so many times he began to feel sick and dizzy so he was forced to sit back down or vomit. His breath was quick and shallow and his heart hammered in his chest. A picture in his mind formed of his heart pacing its own cage made of rips trying desperately to escape. Only a few minutes passed before he had to get back up and burn off energy in pacing. For what seemed like hours this act of getting up and pacing and sitting back down continued. Soon enough Jack’s thoughts became louder in the silence. Hundreds of little voices swam through his mind whispering loudly but above all he heard the one that told him he must escape.

“Escape… ,” it hissed silently to all but him, “must get out…” he wished it would leave him alone, “cornered… “ it insisted.

“Madness… “ another voice buzzed.

“Murderer… “ a third voice taunted.

Then all at once the other voices echoed, “Murderer,” They grew even louder until he felt them shouting. Finally, he couldn’t take it any longer.

“Murderer!” he howled to himself and his voice bounced off the walls. He heard footsteps down the corridor but he would not let them silence him, “MURDERER!” he screamed again and he wanted to die. The only way out now was death. His mind worked double time trying to find a way. Never could he gain access to a gun, likely a knife would take time. Eventually a thought crossed his mind and before he gave it any real consideration he was doing it. Jack sunk his teeth into the flesh on his wrist. The bite was at least an inch deep and blood streamed from it. By the time reached his cell there was already a puddle on the floor. Blood on his arm, on his clothes, on his face, in his mouth. The guard did not get over his initial shock fast enough. Ignoring the severe pain in his arm, Jack bit another even deep crater into his other wrist. More blood. Blood that squirted the walls.

Jack passed out before the guard could call for help or open his cell. The last vision he had was of the blood that covered the front of him. He did not even feel his head hit the now wet concrete.