I’ve lost my voice. That’s what happens when you scream constantly for the greater part of the day. And as it is, I’ve done a bit of screaming. My hand has been crushed. I can afford to be quiet about it because the pain, which was intense in the morning, has died down to a dull, but still painful, throb. It’s night now. The best I can do is steel myself against the pain. Because lying in this prison cell, it seems to me that help is not coming anytime soon.
I’ve been here long enough to forget why I was put here in the first place. Only two things register in my mind about this place. That it is a lonely place, and that one is always hungry here. At least it isn’t lonely anymore, with my new cellmate. The man is freakishly big, but surprisingly gentle for a giant. He doesn’t seem to mind sharing the cell with me. A few others before him had tried to kill me any chance they got, and the only way I had protected myself was wedging into one of the corners of the cell and hope they’d get tired of attempting to kill me. But this giant keeps to himself, and I, to mine. It’s an unspoken agreement.
I wonder what he’s even in for. I can’t get it out of him even if I tried, because the man barely realizes my existence. To him, my contribution to his world is infinitesimal. But sometimes I see him at night (I hardly ever sleep), after a disturbing dream, clutching his moth-infested pillow and whispering, “I didn’t mean to do it. I didn’t mean to do it.” That, and the way the guards give him a wide berth, have allowed me to draw the conclusion that the giant did something really bad.
Maybe he was a part of a robbery gone bad. Maybe he had stolen to feed a starving family. Maybe he had crushed into someone’s car after having too much to drink and killed the person. My imagination is my only solace here. But to allow it to run too wild, might leave me mad. I’ve seen it happen before.
The small slit at the bottom of the metal door opens, and a plate of what the prisoners have nicknames ‘slob’ is pushed in. The scent is heaven for me. But then again, I can’t remember ever eating good food. I know this plate belongs to the giant. The guards always forget about me. I’m starved. Very hungry. I crawl out of my corner into view of the giant, careful with my messed up hand. The giant had caused that in a rage today. But I don’t blame him. I had overreacted and jumped unto him earlier this morning. Right now, he doesn’t seem to mind my presence, though I catch him eyeing me. Maybe he wouldn’t mind me tasting his ‘slob’. Just a little…
The chalewote came down hard and fast. With a disgusted look the prisoner kicked the dead cockroach aside as he bent to pick up his plate of cold oats.