Face the WallA Story by Ronnie
Corey is facing difficult times in the joint, but an artifact calls out to him. Can this artifact help him?
Face the wall
“Lights out on level 4, Frank.”
Darkness inched through the west wing devouring the light. Corey sat on the edge of his bed and stared into the mirror. It was the worst beating he had taken in his three year stretch. Cornered in the shower, their fists raining down like fairground mallets, each one reeled away as they wrung his bell. The blood felt warm as it dripped down his throat. His head pounded so hard it felt like his heart was between his ears.
“You’re mine, Boy.”
A voice echoed round the cells. Corey edged closer to the wall. He knew he had to leave this place somehow. It would either be a body bag or on his own two feet. The thought of the bag made his skin crawl.
“One more word, Myers. I’ll have you thrown in solitary.”
That’s when it hit Corey. The safest place in this joint is solitary. His mind raced as it hit the pillow. How to get inside? A low thumping sound ran through his thoughts, every beat was getting louder. He put it down to
his throbbing head. It was not long before he drifted off to the realm of the sandman.
Bang! The cell door opened. Corey sat up and looked in the mirror. The left side of his face had swollen through the night. His head ached, like a thousand trees falling to the ground. Leaning over the sink, he placed the palms of his hands on either side of his nose and fixed his breathing problem. He saw the other inmates had begun to leave their cells. Corey stepped out onto the walkway and looked down to the next level. Standing there looking back with his tattooed tears falling from his eyes was Myers, surrounded by his goons. Each one had the gang markings etched on their skin, a crescent moon next to three stars.
Corey knew what was going to happen when he saw something passed down the line to Kane. He was the size of an outhouse. His skin covered with tribal markings and other images. The ones that stood out where the skulls down his right arm, each one representing a hit he had made on fellow inmates. There was a space just on his upper arm. Corey wondered if that was for him. He would have to be ready for what is to come. Myers moved his fingers across his throat and pointed to Corey.
“What’s on the menu today, Chef?”
“Same as yesterday, kid.”
Great, Corey thought. He hated the bacon it felt like he was chewing leather. The only good thing was the scrambled eggs, just like his mother used to make them,
It would be the only thing he could eat. With every move he made his jaw ached. He caught Chef stepping back and looking over his shoulder. Corey ate a mouthful of eggs, then grabbed his cup and turned. Kane was a few feet away but with every step he took, he blotted out the light; something glistened in Kane’s hand as he made his move. Corey sidestepped and swung the cup, it connected with the side of Kane’s head; he wavered then fell like a great redwood.
The inmates gathered like kids in a playground, with every punch thrown the chants got louder and louder.
“Fight…fight… get him… kill him… go on!”
It was not long before Kane was lying in a puddle of blood. The guards charged with riot gear on and batons swinging like gladiators.
Everybody dropped to the floor. Once the guards brought order to the chaos, they took Kane on a stretcher to the infirmary and escorted Corey to the safe place.
“That’s one week for you.”
Corey sat against the wall, as the door slammed shut. For the firsts time in here he felt safe.
Corey knew he had been there for a three days by the number of meals he had eaten each one worse than the one before. He knew that cells seven and nine were empty. But something worried him, he could hear the thumping sound again it had been getting louder over the last few nights. Maybe it was one of the other inmates, banging on a wall or the thick pipes, which wove through this place. He did not know who occupied the other cells, but solitary can affect the sanity of men. But that noise, it sounded like a clock.
But he could not recall seeing any on the way in. Corey sat on the bed and scanned the room. He looked near the sink, toilet and under the bed. But he couldn’t see anything, so he lay down on his bed. The ticking had not stopped. It was getting louder. Corey thought that some else should be able to hear it. He really thought he was loosing it, but as he lent against the wall he heard the ticking clearly. It has to be from behind the wall.
He woke to the guard thumping the cell door and sliding a tray through the hatch. The food was scraps, one step from being fed to the dogs. It smelt even worse. He slid it to the corner; it hit the wall and dislodged a brick. Corey managed to remove the brick and like the day before the noise started again.
He reached inside feeling around; there was something there but just out of reach. Lying flat on the floor, he tried again. Just a little bit more he thought. Then he heard Marcus starting his cell checks. He had been a prison guard for years. After an incident with an inmate he was given the solitary job.
He barked orders at the inmate. One of the inmates said the wrong thing that really pissed him off.
“You b*****d... you broke my f*****g fingers.”
“If you don’t shut your mouth it won’t be the only thing I break.”
Marcus moved quickly through the cells like Genghis Khan. One more stretch, he was nearly there. But there was no time. Click went the lock. He slotted the brick back and headed for the sink. The cell door opened.
“Face the wall.”
Corey turned to check on the wall.
“What you staring at, turn the f**k around”
Marcus slammed Corey into the wall pinning him up with his baton.
“Don’t test me, Boy. You’re in my domain now.”
Marcus released Corey who fell to the floor and scanned the room. He noticed the food tray in the corner.
“What is this?”
“I…I am not hungry, Sir.”
Marcus picked up the tray he was inches from the hole. Corey held his breath hoping not that he would not get rumbled. He picked the tray up and turned to Corey.
“Wasting good food here, Boy”
“If that’s what you call it.”
Marcus threw the tray to the floor and grabbed hold of Corey, thrusting his baton into his gut. Corey could see the tray had hit the loose brick, so he crawled and covered the hole. Marcus gave him a swift kick in the stomach making him collapse to the ground.
“Remember I am the boss in here”
He left the cell and door slammed behind him.
As soon as the guards called lights out, Corey removed the brick, reached in and pulled out what felt like a box. He sat on the edge of his bed and held it up to the moonlight coming through the small window in the ceiling. It was wooden with strange markings on it there was no clasp or lock visible. He moved his finger around the box looking for a way to open it. Turning it around and around he felt like smashing the box, but that would draw attention to it, this was Corey’s he had found it. He placed it on the edge of his bed and went to the sink. Cold water felt good, refreshing. Corey turned and looked at the box. The markings had to mean something. As he stood over it, he felt water fall from his brow onto the box. It travelled through the grooves then disappeared. He raised the box to the light and saw a small section that now looked out of place. As he turned the box, he noticed a few more markings on the opposite side.
Nothing happened when each one was pressed individually but when pressed collectively a panel moved, reaching inside he pulled out what resembled an old pocket watch. The box then resealed itself. He knew he did not need the box, so he placed it back in the hole.
He lay there on his bed staring at the watch. The intertwined spiral pattern was hypnotic; it had no beginning or end. Light bounced off it creating a glow like the northern lights. It was the must beautiful sight he had ever seen.
This was his last day in solitary; he wanted to stay where he was safe. Then he heard a voice he knew all to well, Kane. He must have got himself thrown into solitary to send me a warning.
“You’re f*****g history, Boy.”
His week in solitary was over. Now the nightmare begins. As he was escorted back to his cell, he could see Myers and his goons, all signalling to him that his number is up. The guard locked his cell door once he was inside.
Corey lay on his bed staring at the watch. Wondering where it came from and whom it belonged too. Some one must have put it behind the wall.
“Lights out on level, four.”
He closed his eyes as the sandman called to him.
Then that noise cut through the silence.
Corey sat up and looked around for the watch. He found it at the bottom of the bed running his fingers over it to see if there was a clasp. After minutes of fumbling, he managed to open it. The face had markings on it, nothing like the patterns on the outside. He looked at it and was convinced it was a watch, but nothing he had every seen before. The face of it had four oval shaped holes set at 12, 3, 6 and 9. A figure of eight piece of metal moved round the dial like that of the hands on a clock. Inside the oval shapes, patterns disappeared and reappeared.
He realised it was counting down or up to something, there seemed to be a sequence repeating in the patterns as they changed. Then one of the ovals went blank.
Corey sat in the canteen staring out of the window. The sun was beaming in and catching the watch as he passed it between his hands. Then he heard that voice again.
“What you got there, Boy?”
“Nothing for you, Myers.”
He tucked the watch back in his pocket as Myers moved round the table. Two of his goons stood either side of Corey.
“Give me that.”
“Seems like you grew a pair while you were been away?”
“Like you give a s**t.”
“Just give it to me and we can call it square.”
“Do I look like a f*****g idiot?”
“You will be a f*****g dead one.”
As Corey stood up a hand was placed on his shoulder. He looked up at the goon.
“Do you remember what happened to Kane?”
Corey shifted his weight as he stood up at the same time he twisted the arm of the henchman and slammed his head on the table. The other goon went for him but Myers signalled for him to stand down. Myers laughed as the guards approached. He tapped Corey on the back as if they were best friends.
“What’s going on here?”
“Nothing, Boss. We are just having a laugh at his expense.”
Pointing towards his fallen henchman slumped on the table.
“I will be watching you two.”
Once the guard had moved away, Corey pulled away from Myers. As he walked back to the cell, he glanced at the watch. Another oval went blank, it must be a countdown, he thought. As he approached his cell Corey spotted someone moving away, it was one Myers goons. There would be no point informing the guards or warden, each one of them was on the take of some kind. Inmates deaths chalked up as freak accidents. He sat on the bed and looked in his mirror; a message read he would be dead by daybreak.
Corey sat in his cell staring at the watch. Entranced at the watch as another oval went blank, what is it counting down to he thought. He was surprised he had not worn a hole in his cell floor with the pacing he had done. The anticipation ripped through his mind like a chainsaw. The ticking seemed to be getting louder. Then he heard footsteps and voices.
“You have got 8 minutes till Frank gets back.”
Corey stood up and walked to the sink, he needed to give himself room to have a chance of surviving the night. Then he heard Myers.
“If you hand it over I might just let you live, Boy”
Corey looked at the watch as the last oval one went blank.
“If you want it, come and get it”
Myers stepped in to his cell and rolled his sleeves up.
“I was hoping you would say that, Boy”
Corey expecting Myers to pull a shank form his pocket was surprised when threw a punch. It connected and rattled Corey. Now the rules had been set, he threw a punch into Myers’s gut. He reeled and staggered, but then he froze in mid fall; it was as if the world was playing musical statues.
A big white flash lit up the west wing, the noise was deafening it sounded like a big machine was moving. Thinking he was losing it, he stepped out of his cell and everything was still, motionless, the light had vanished.
He turned to see an old man wearing a white suit with a neatly trimmed beard standing against the guardrail. On his jacket was a pin in the shape of a figure of eight. The old man looked over the rims of his glasses at Corey.
“Who are you... How do you know my name?”
“I am Mr Corone. Let’s just say I know all I need to know about you.”
“That’s impossible, I have never met you.”
“That is true, but I have been watching you for some time now.”
“This is crazy, I must be dreaming.”
“Your quiet sane, my Boy and you’re not dreaming.”
“What do you want with me?”
Mr Corone moved closer to him. He had this white glow about him. That lit up the next couple of cells. Corey could see the other inmates were not moving.
“I am here to offer you a way out.”
“That’s impossible; I am here for the long haul.”
“I can free you from this place, away from Myers and the beatings. I am offering you the chance of your life time.”
Corey turned and looked back inside his cell. He could not believe what he saw. Standing at the back of his cell was himself frozen.
“What the hell is going on? Who are you?”
“I am to time, what mother is to nature.”
“That makes you….”
“That is correct, Corey. I have frozen the world that is part of what I can do.”
“Why have you come to me with this offer?”
“I have seen you through your life being a watcher of people. I know you have lost your way. But with this opportunity it will help you redeem yourself.”
“How long have you been doing this job?”
“Honestly… too long I am feeling tired, my time is almost over.”
“Do you expect me to believe this?”
“I know deep down inside you yearn for freedom. I have been hearing your prayers. I can take all the pain away. But you have got to want the job I can not force it upon you.”
“Is that your choice?”
“No it is one of the laws of time, there are many more which you will need to learn.”
“I haven’t decided to take your offer, I feel like I am loosing my mind.”
“You leave me no choice but to show you?”
Mr Corone pulls a watch from his pocket turns and holds it in front of himself. A flash of white light appears then disappears. When Corey opens his eyes, they are standing in the showers of the prison. Corey can see himself standing under the water. He knows what happens next as he sees Myers and his goons walk in. Kane was the first to strike. Corey watched himself defenceless on the floor, blood falling down the drain.
“Please no more, I don’t want to see this!”
There is another white flash and they are back on the walkway, time is still frozen.
“You can either stay in this hell or take over the job.”
“What’s the catch? There has to be one”
“You become me, is the only catch.”
“I can’t stay here, what do you need me to do?”
“Do you have the watch?”
Corey went back into his cell and grabbed it from himself. He hands it to Mr Corone who grabs hold of his hand.
“There will come a time when you need to find a replacement. Choose wisely.”
A light began to emanate from the watch filling the darkness, and then it just disappeared. Corey opened his eyes and Mr Corone has gone, and before him, he saw the world moving again but something seemed strange. He panicked as the guards ran down the walkway, but they went passed him as if he was a ghost.
He looks into his cell and sees the guards hitting him to the floor. Myers lay motionless on the floor. Corey sees himself handcuffed and dragged out on to the walkway. Amazed at what he can see.
His shackled self looks directly at him and winks. Corey is now wearing the same suit as Mr Corone. He turned and pulled a watch from his jacket pocket, as it opened there was a big flash of white light, it began to grow. It turned into a circle and as it got bigger, Corey could see giant cogs an springs, it looked like inside of a watch. As if, he was looking into the mechanics of time. The thunderous ticking, called out to him, the sound that had been following him stopped as he walked through the light. Then the light disappeared.
© 2012 Ronnie
Lancahisre, United Kingdom
AboutI enjoy creating , that is pretty much it. I will write in any genre. more..