Like all good prison stories, it’s best to start at the beginning. But that’s the problem: I don’t remember where the beginning is. About a week ago, my friends, brother and I woke up in a cell in this prison. Now you may say to yourself:
“Frank, every fucking guy in prison either can’t remember why he’s there or is innocent.”
I’m Frank and I’m not bullshitting. John, Mike, Ray and I woke up in a prison cell and our belongings are gone, we’re in the typical prison uniforms. You know, like hospital scrubs.
Anyway, this is the first day they have let us out of our cell. We ate in the cafeteria with other inmates and then we were moved to a day room to watch a baseball game. It’s the first time since arriving here that we’ve seen other people. Once we walked into the dayroom, it seemed like the plan was that we never walk out.
Once Ray stepped foot into the room, someone hit him over the head with a broomstick. It cracked in half. Ray dropped to the ground; Mike, John and I were swinging. John picked up the two halves of the broomstick and used them as a pair of daggers.
John stabbed two guys, Mike was punching anything that moved, and I downed a few people with a folding chair. Now, Ray, Ray was another matter. He was bleeding from his head. Seconds after they knocked him down, he stabbed this guy named Teddy with a pencil. Teddy dropped to the ground. What happened next changed everything. Ray dragged Teddy to the back of the room. None of us took notice as we were all in the middle of a riot.
Between swinging the chair at anything that came near me, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. Ray got caught up in the surrounding insanity. I shook my head to clear it and then looked back over; Ray was raping Teddy while sticking the pencil in his neck.
I dropped the chair, fell to my knees and threw-up. The prison lockdown sirens blared, and the guards came through the door with shields and tear gas.
They hit me with a baton until I lay down. Once down I was handcuffed with zip-ties.
They dragged me, John, Mike, and Ray to solitary confinement.
I’m not sure how long we’ve been in prison. A week, two weeks, I’m not sure. I’ve never been in a shared yard outside. It wasn’t until the day of the riot that any of us had been let out of our cell. So, we hadn’t been to a cafeteria or a day room. Once we were let out, it seemed as if they scheduled us to die.
Every afternoon when the guard, Rhodes, would wheel the lunch cart around, he would give each of us our lunch tray and a large white pill that we had to take in front of him. A little thimble of a plastic cup with the pill inside and a glass of water to wash it down. Then Rhodes would say:
“Open your mouth. Lift your tongue. Next.”
Rhodes would repeat this three more times and move on.