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Rated: GC · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2143265
A prison escape ends in death. Or, does it? (Screams Contest win)
Benny never said how he got the saw. Some say he had a whole collection and brought this one in himself. Anything is possible. The first anyone knew he had one was when he cut up Jonesy in the shower. Benny was new then so he got tested. A young kid scrawny like no muscle at all. He had victim written all over him. Trouble was, he didn’t know that.

I tell you when Jonesy raised that bloody hand of his with three fingers missing, Benny passed with flying colors all of which happened to be shades of blood red.

Now, shut up and listen. I’m telling you this because you’re new here and there’s only one way anyone gets out of this section. Except for the rumors about Benny of course. He’s the only reason you newcomer's start dreaming, hoping and worse, planning. It gives us a mess of sorrow to deal with. It does.

Lifers like us don’t bother with troubling the guards about much of what goes on inside. They like it. It’s safer for them in their guard stations. I’m telling you the way it is.

Got a light? This isn’t free, you know. Everything costs in here. Thanks. So you want to know what really happened to Benny. You want to know the score. Him and that saw of his. That’s what it all comes down to.

Benny got left alone for awhile. He’d passed the first test. He proved he was a stand-up guy. So he got approached like you will. The Bloods, Crips, MS13. Everybody liked him for hired help to settle their grudges. If he didn’t work out he’d get thrown away as a fall guy.

Thing is he instinctively played those who approached him against each other. How’d the saw work into that? Weapons. He was a master at making them. He’d shape them out of throwaway stuff nobody had a use for. Beautiful work, it was. All he had to do was show one and wait for the bidding war.

Arnie got the first one. Half mad Arnie. Bennie almost gave it to him. He knew Arnie would use it in a spectacular fashion. The guard ragging on Arnie must have had fifty holes bleeding out by the time Mad Arnie finished his revenge.

Yeah. This was first rate advertising. Everybody wanted one. Benny produced, each one better than the last. For toothbrush knives good only for stabbing he offered add-ons like poison tips causing an agonizing death. Zip guns of his may only have one bullet but it didn’t matter where you got hit. You were dead.

And so the real wars started. Each death demanded retribution. When the loss in numbers piled up the guards finally stepped in. We’re a for-profit prison. Losing prisoners dropped the bottom line. The pressure was on and Benny was given up.

I guess the sore point was losing that first guard. We kept it hidden who was behind it because we had a reason. Now we didn’t.

When they come for Benny he’d shown he was ahead of the game once again. Him and that saw. It was Shawshank Redemption all over again. What that show didn’t show were the huge rats. Benny left a trail of them on his way out. It was the saw again.

The guards found it easy to follow. There are as many endings as there are wishes. Every one of them has been tried without success since. The last one was bribing a guard to look the other way. The guard took the bribe and looked the other way while the other guards rolled the prisoner still wrapped up in laundry out of the basket and piled him into one of our industrial washers.

The truth of the matter is that Benny did make it as far as the end of the sewer line. The ones who know say the old guard that found him still alive and hung up on the grate, well. He’d used his saw again and again slicing and dicing the rats in that nest they’d made as they came at him.

The rats use their teeth like saws. Being carnivores they use them viciously. The smell of all that blood Benny’s saw made amongst the horde was what maddened them. Those animals swarmed him, sawed him slowly apart piece by piece.

By the time he was rescued no doctor could have put the puzzle of his parts together again. I suppose it wasn’t a rescue after all. Benny’s face was the only part of him left untouched. Him and that saw of his. He still clutched it in the boney remnants of one hand.

The brother of the guard being killed by Benny’s first weapon was there. When they started to move him, Benny screamed in such agony they dropped him. Ol’ Benny knew he was a goner. He handed his saw to that guard and asked him to end it there.

That paid employee of the state may have committed murder using Benny’s saw on him, but he didn’t do it out of vengeance. He did it out of pity.

So Benny finally got his freedom. They left his body there for the rats. No way could they kill them all. There’s that many down there.

No, I’m not telling you this as a warning not to try to escape. On the contrary. All these years I’ve been keeping and training rats. Everyone thinks I’m doing it for pets. They are so smart they learn tricks you wouldn’t believe.

I make money doing rat fights. My trained rats go up against one’s caught by other prisoners. I’m telling you this so you can check what I’m saying. I’m not making any of it up.

My rats can saw through about anything. The guards didn’t have the nerve to go down to where Benny’s ghost walks near his bones. That escape route is still there. My rats have been knawing and sawing at the edges around that grate Benny left his life at.

You see, I know you are the only one in here who is innocent. You have been framed. I know who by. O.K., O.K. let go of my throat I’ll tell you soon enough who set you up and how to get him. It’s not who you think, by the way. Forget that. No. I have proof. All the proof you want.

Here’s the thing. It’s one of the guards. As soon as you murder him there is no way you’ll be left alive. That is unless you escape with me. You’re my backup. When my rats go to war with the wild ones I should be ok and the grate should fall open with only my strength needed. I’m not going to end up like Benny. If I’m snagged on something and can’t get loose then you’ll be the hands I’ll need.

Are you with me or not? If not, be prepared to get acquainted with Benny’s saw. I bought it from the guard who brought it back.

Entry into the daily "SCREAMS!!! contest
-limited to short stories
-more than one person must enter for a win
-varying lengths required depending on the day
-entries must be based on contest prompt
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