Two days went by and no one noticed Ray was gone. We were nine months into our sentence here. Ray has been dead almost five days. We’ve moved him to the furthest corner of the cell and wrapped him with a few blankets, but the smell is still awful. John seems to get sick from it. Seems like the flu.
Seven days after Ray died; Guard Rhodes came around with a laundry cart. He opened the cell, pushed it in and said:
“All right, five minutes, throw all laundry and linens in the cart. Strip to your skivvies.”
Mike and I dumped the cart, we put Ray at the bottom, piled everything back in and added our laundry.
When Rhodes came back, he yelled:
“John Wyatt, front and center push the cart and collect the rest of the laundry.”
I stepped forward and said:
“Sir, John’s nauseated, I’ll push it.”
“Not so fast Wyatt, you, Peterson, you take the cart.”
Halfway down the hall, Rhodes says:
“Damn, what’s that smell? What the fuck are you boys doing to your linen?”
Mike shrugged and pushed along.
After an hour Guard Rhodes walked Mike to the basement. There was a shoot for clothing, linen, and trash. Rhodes said:
“All right, separate the laundry, you got thirty minutes.”
Mike dumped everything pushed Ray into the trash shoot and sorted everything as fast as he could.
After twenty-five minutes he was done. Rhodes came back. Looked at the floor and then at Mike:
“I know what you did, boy.”
“Yeah, you find cigarettes or contraband in the laundry?”
“Empty your pockets.”
Mike was so busy focusing on Ray that he didn’t even search the linen. Sometimes you score a loose cigarette or a joint. Not this time.
“All right Peterson, let’s move it.”
Then Rhodes stopped:
He clicked a buzzer on the laundry shoot, then the linen shoot. Stopped, looked at his watch and walked over to the trash and clicked on the incinerator. Mike froze. Just like that Ray ceased to exist.
“All right. Quit standing around, back to your cell.”
Mike followed the red line back to the cell. Rhodes unlocked it, let Mike in and locked it again.