Friday, June 3, 2011


The lights had gone off hours ago. Aside from the sound of my bunkmate breathing and the occasional footsteps of someone passing by, it was perfectly silent. Quietly, I reached under the boards supporting the mattress and pulled out the fork I had stolen from the kitchen my first day working in the mess hall. It had dulled over the last several months. It didn't matter. It would have to do.

Pretending to roll over, I moved off the edge of the bed and lowered myself cautiously to the floor. My bunkmate snorted in his sleep, some old memory tickling his funny bone. I remained still until I heard a set of footsteps disappear. Rolling across the floor, I stopped when I bumped into the wall. Supine, I reached up with the fork and carefully began scratching it across the wall. The only movement was my arm moving and inch up, an inch down, an inch up. My body lay quiet even as my nerves and muscles screamed for a break.

When I was done, I rolled back to the bed, dove under the covers as the next set of footsteps sounded, and then carefully replaced the fork between the board and the mattress. In the morning, I would sit Indian style and meditate. Each of the 472scratches marked a day spent confined in my cell and a day closer to going home.

*** One Minute Writer ***

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