At 11 o’clock, the night was young. It was cold, dark and wet, but the exhiliration was almost too much. We ran on, faster, ever increasing our speed, until we were all but blinded by the stinging rain. Thunder crashed in the heavens and lightning illuminated the landscape all around. As the last member of our group was helped over the fence a true sense of freedom came over us. It was a feeling that couldn’t be described in words – a feeling that made you feel…high? lofty? elevated? As I sat in the mud, safe on the Southern side of the prison walls, I knew that there wewasn’t a word for this. There would never be a word.

One by one we all ended up on the ground. Dave, Mac, Toaster, and Jinx (and myself of course) – all free, all kings of the fantasy worlds in our minds. The world was our for the taking. Legal taking, now that we were free. We’d learned our lesson in the hellhole we were running from. Horrible things went on there. Terrible, awful things not fit for even the most hideous ghost story. Brief thoughts came into my head of the night before, but I pushed them away and allowed myself to soak in the glorious rain. That wasn’t too much to ask, was it? Just the chance to sit in the rain, if only for 5 minutes… But it wasn’t like that in prison. On the days it rained, they would never allow us to go outside. It was during those dark times, grasping through bars every rainy day to reach the unreachable, that I began to work on my plans.

It was only during the rainy rec hours that we had peace. If not for those bits of solitude, I would have gone insane with the sounds of pacing gaurds. Step, step, steps taken, steps returned on the about face. It was the moments of rest and the books that kept me sane. And oh the books in that prison library. Torn, beaten, pages missing. I loved them then – they were my salvation – but, now that I’m free, I have a certain hatred for them, a loathing that comes and goes. They were all I had and so I read them time and time again, until no memory of them was forgotten. And even when I had them all memorized, I read them still, to pass the hours away, drifting through the words and pages to a land unseen, except in my mind. And that was my consolation: that of all the things taken from me – a house, common everyday foods, my family, my life – I had my mind. I had an imagination, thoughts, feelings, ideas, but most of all, I still had music. And there isn’t anything more important to keep inside you than music. I could listen to whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however loud I wanted: I could listen freely. And out of all the guys in that prison, we were the ones who preserved the music in our souls. And the guards tried to break into our souls, to steal our music but, like the rain, they were just trying to reach the unreachable.

not finished

Be Loved,
The Jack of Hearts

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