by Eli Crow
It's cold as hell.
|The cells have gotta be the worst part about this place. They got glass all over so its cold as hell, ‘specially when winter come along, and I stay up most nights on account of I can’t sleep!
E’en the door’s made of glass so you can see right through e’m, clear as a bell. I saw one of the guards walk by. I think his name was Ned. “Hey Ned,” I said. “can you turn the heat up?” Ned just kept walkin’. I yelled at him again but louder this time, “Ned. Hey Ned! Can you turn the heat up?!” One of the other guards yelled at me to keep quiet. Damn Suits.
I went back to bed an pulled my scratchy little blanket over me—don’t even cover my toes so I have to sit up a little. “You awake, Larry?” I axed. Larry sleeps on the bunk above me.
“Yeah.” he said.
“Whacha doin’ Larry?” I said.
“Readin’” he said. Larry’s got books; he’s a smart guy.
“How you keep gettin’ those books, Larry?”
“Santa brings ‘em to me.” he said real quiet.
“Oh ... well who’s Santa, Larry?
“He’s a big fat guy who comes around to all the good little boys and girls and gives ‘em stuff if they’re good till Christmas.”
“Well he’s a nice guy, Santa is.” I smiled cuz there aren’t too many nice guys around anymore. “Hey Larry ... what’s Krissmiss?”
“Lil’ baby Jesus day!”
“How’d you get to be so smart, Larry?”
“I guess it’s just cuz I read a bunch. Them books are like brain food.”
“When can I get a book, Larry?”
“Soon ... Santa’s a comin’.”
“Well ... when’s that, Larry?”
“Santa’s a comin’”
“Larry ... when’s that Larry?” I yelled like a whisper. But he just kept sayin’ it. “Santa’s a comin’. Santa’s a comin’.”
• • •
The next day after second mealtime, my surprise on my pillow, low and behold, a book. A real live book, honest Injun.
Santa done brought me a book.