Tears of Shame
Flash Fiction contest. Prompt: Red, prison, horn.
Word limit 300
Word Count = 292
|Jordon Champion was instructed to approach the counter. Behind the prison officer he saw rows and rows of clothing, all the same colour and all with the letters HMP PRESTON written on the front of the sweatshirts.
The prison officer was more than six foot tall. He had a dark moustache, piercing blue eyes and looked to be about fifty. Champion heard no spark of spontaneity in his voice, just the drone of a man who’d asked the same question a million times. Very smart in his uniform, complete with red tie and embroidered HMP motif, he stared at Champion in a most intimidating way.
“Don’t have much time for thieves myself.” He said. “Scourge of society, Champion. Keep your nose very clean while you’re with us. Let’s see, how long we got you for then…mmm.. looks like you’ll be a short stay. I see you’re to be transferred to open prison. Ninety days. First time, eh. Take my word for it, keep yourself to yourself and you’ll be fine. Ninety days. It’s a vacation.”
That last piece of advice was good advice. Champion detected that this officer had already sussed him out and was being as compassionate as his job allowed.
“Okay, all of you, stand on that line. The doctor will be with you soon and then you’ll have a nice photograph taken to remind us what you look like if you should come again.”
An hour later they slammed him up in a cell.
That night, after the horn sounded lights out, and fearful to even speak, he lay on a bunk in the sterile dark of a prison haunted by snores, coughs and men moaning through masturbation, and let tears fall freely down his face without a murmur.
Word Count = 292
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