The Escape

The flood light went on, bright as day and the sirens awoke from a slow lazy moan to a loud and irritating repetitive shrill. A sound of metal against metal could be heard and chanting and cheering. The inmates were going wild, they knew exactly what was going on; someone had made it for the ‘other side’.

The warders in the cell blocks closest to the administration block ran in and assumed position with AK 47 rifles and night sticks at hand ready for the command. The warders in cell block ‘C’ where the petty offenders were stationed ran around the block in search of the missing inmate. They knew exactly where the escape happened because unlike most inmates, Henry was a chatty Patty. It was as if he was afflicted by some obsessive compulsive honesty and disclosure syndrome. His first few months were spent paying for his ‘fat mouth’ now his prison nick name. The wardens ran from showers to the laundry to the kitchen, there was no sign of him.

The flood lights shone and rotated from end to end of the compound. Henry ran faster and faster, his breath hot and heavy panting and gasping. His canvas shoes now soaking wet from the night dew, his thin cotton prison uniform clung on him. He was better off naked, his clothes weighed him down without giving him any warmth. He saw torches behind him with dogs panting heavily in the distance. This was his only chance to make it to the other side.

 If Henry got caught, he would be lucky to get solitary confinement. What the prison did to petty offender escapees (since their terms were 3 years and less) who get caught, they would be placed with hard core criminals where they would serve the rest of their jail term. When you are moved from prison’s ‘paradise’ with minimal work and loads of outdoor time, to Sodom’s gang rape, indoor excessive hard labour, you make sure your ass does not get caught when you escape.

Henry had a good reason to escape after just 14 months of his 2 year sentence. There’s something he had to finish. He could not get caught. His only hope was a red Datsun pickup with his brother behind the wheel now just 200 metres away.

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