Cell 13

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
A childs scary story.

Submitted: August 13, 2016

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Submitted: August 13, 2016






 “Great.” Jim thought to himself as the deputy led him through the jail and back to his cell. 

  Jim had landed himself in Los Angeles County jail. The deputy looked at Jim, shook his head, closed and locked the cell door. 

As his footsteps trailed away. Jim thought, ” f$%# me.” He was back in his cell, with the tiny little sink, toilet and bunk bed.” Well least I lucked out and got a cell all to myself”. He thought.

 Jim had bumped a lady at an intersection in his car and had left the scene. The police picked him up a few blocks away for hit-and-run felony, with bodily injury. The had arrested him and, taken him away in chains head to toe, like some kind of dangerous animal. 

  One of the deputies had remarked, as they were leading him to the police cruiser,”You’d better not try to make a run for it or, I’ll have to taser you.” “Very funny ”Jim had thought to himself. “WHAT A DOUCHE.” 

 Well anyway, here he was, and here he was going to stay. For a while at least.The judge had given him 90 days and two years probation. Jim had had no criminal record. Maybe that’s why he got such a light sentence. He was tired, bummed, and decided to call it a night. 

He got onto the bottom bunk, laid down and pulled the one single wool blanket over himself. Lying on the plastic covered thin mattress he mumbled “Crap.” 

Jim looked through the bars at the flickering light, feeling a sudden inexplicable chill in the air.“Wow.” he thought. "It is really cold.” Jim knew they kept it pretty cold in jail. It was supposed to keep the germs from spreading. But, this didn’t feel like a normal cold. He dismissed it, and tried to go to sleep but, his mind was restless. He wondered why. 

He had already been sentenced so, he didn’t think that was bothering him. “I really didn’t hurt anyone.” he thought to himself. If that stupid lady would have been wearing her seatbelt she wouldn’t even have bumped her head.” 

Jim knew he had done a stupid thing and was thankful a damaged car, and a minor injury was all that had happened. 

“And of course her son lawyer is trying to take me to the bank”. he said out loud this time. “I’m glad I’m broke. Can’t get blood out of a turnip.” he smirked. He suddenly wondered if talking to yourself was normal. He’d heard that it was, as long as you didn't answer back. 

Living as isolated a life as he could, away from the cruel uncaring world for so long, had made him his own best friend. He had no immediate family, and all his relatives lived far away. “I'll be okay. 90 days. No problem” he thought. Jim dismissed his restlessness and went back to his thoughts. Murmuring to himself, he drifted off to sleep.

Jim had an odd dream that night. His dreamt he was driving. Driving in a car he didn’t recognize, starting to get out of control. He was going faster and faster until he was bouncing up and down an unpaved section of highway, completely out of control. He thought he saw someone sitting in the back seat. He was suddenly airborne, felt his heart in his throat and just before the car crashed, he woke up.

He realized it was really, really cold. Jim looked at the walls of his old cell. He was shivering, watching his breath as it came out of his chapped lips. He looked for the little cockroaches that he had adopted as pets. 

He had always wondered, as he looked at them, if they had any conscious thought. If they were aware of him, or anything else. Maybe they were wall street bankers or investment counselors, that had been reincarnated as cockroaches for all the money they had stolen from all those hard working people. 

 They had full reign of this jail he was in. They were too small to be confined by something so big and bulky as jailhouse bars. They could go anywhere they wanted to but now, they were gone. They had all disappeared.

“ They’re probably home with their friends and family no doubt regretting what they had done in their previous life.” he thought. 

Jim thought how lucky he had been not to have been sent to the main dorm of the jail which housed hundreds of inmates. All in one huge room. Jim had told the nurse he was on psych meds and they had placed him in his own private cell. Alone. In the Psych ward. So, his first experience in jail wasn’t working out so badly. 

Besides his crappy furniture,or lack there of, no T.V., the green eggs in the morning, the tiny little shot glass sized cardboard cartons of milk or juice, and God knows what was passing as meatloaf, for dinner, it could be worse.

Jim had a bed, a shower, three squares of whatever it might be that day. A place to go to the bathroom, and no rent to pay. Also, if he was really nice, the deputies would give him the paper to read. “You see,” he thought to himself. “ Deputies are human too. You get what you give. Jim had never really hated the police. I mean who are the first people you call when your in trouble?

I think things are going to work out all right.I'll do my time, pay my debt to society and my life will go on. I”ll look for a job and…..”

 Jim suddenly stopped. He had seen something. He thought he had seen a pair of eyes peering down from the top bunk. He was frozen in fear. What?? Jim waited until he finally mustered up the courage. He jumped out of his bunk back against the wall and looked up at the top bunk. There was nothing there. Nothing at all. 

“That was weird” he thought. Jim was breathing hard. I could’ve sworn I saw… something. "Your eyes are playing tricks on you." Still, it had unnerved him and he started to feel a sense of dread creeping over him. 

“Don’t be stupid” he thought to himself looking around." You’re in jail. There’s no one here in this cell with you. You are alone. Don’t be paranoid."

He slowly got back into the bottom bunk, laid down and pulled the blanket over him. It had become really cold now in the cell. “Crap. What the hell’s going on. Is there a snowstorm outside or something?”

He pulled the thin scratchy wool blanket up under his chin, feeling the terror still lurking inside him. He said silent prayers to calm his nerves. Praying to Jesus and the Archangel Michael to protect him. He felt comforted. After a while of praying over and over he finally drifted back to sleep. 

Jim never woke up.


“Oh man, are you kidding me?Another one?” Detective John Bailey and his partner Frank Johnson were standing outside Jim’s cell. It was 9:36 am in the morning. The deputy that had come to give Jim his breakfast had found him. Dead. “That is the third one in three years John. No one heard a thing. This is really bizarre.” Yeah, John echoed. It is really weird. Three deaths on the exact same day, three years in a row. What was this guy’s name and, what was he in for?” 

  “Jim. Jim Coperwaitee“. John stammered. Coperwaitee? said Frank. "Let me see that report. It’s pronounced Cow-per-tha-waite. handing John back the report. 

John looked at Frank as if he really could care less. John was a cop, not an english professor. "The only reason I know that name is I grew up with a guy with the same one. No one could ever pronounce it. Not even the teachers. I’ll bet the judge had fun with that one.

Well anyway Frank, Mr. Jim, was doing a little stay for hit-and-run with bodily injury. He had some mental problems but, nothing serious.”

Did he hurt anyone seriously in the accident?” John asked“No, just an old lady, bumped her head, got a few stitches. Nothing major. But, break the law, get caught, go to jail. You know what they say John, Theres alway’s room in jail for another idiot.” Yeah Frank, I know but, the guy sure didn’t deserve to die.”

John walked over and pulled the sheet away from Jim. Jesus! Look at that. Just like the other two.Twelve years working Homicide, and I have never seen anything like this. Looks like the guy saw a ghost, and died of fright.” 

“A ghost. Really John? The coroner said he died just like the others. Heart failure. Maybe the autopsy will show something. I mean, he was mentally ill. Maybe he thought he saw something and scared himself to death.” Frank leaned over to take another look.

Jim’s terrified eyes were wide open and his hands were palms outward as if he was trying to ward off something. His face was completely white, and a terrified look was frozen on his face.

“Wow, that mental illness must be something pretty bad. I wonder what he thought he saw?

Well, he won’t have to ever worry about being depressed again. Hey John, you want to write up the report?” Really Frank? With that name? Funny. You know I have to go to Candice’s dance recital with Jen tonight. You’re single, you know how to spell it, and you’ve got nothing better to do.” 

Unfortunately, this is true. I’ll do it.  

  Well, looks like we’ve gotten everything we can get.  Let’s get the hell out of here and go get some breakfast.” They left the cell and started walking down the corridor.

"Oh, by the way, how are those lessons going for Candice anyway?" “expensive. At least it keeps her focused on something positive.” 

As they were walking down the hallway and out of the cell block, John turned to Frank and said “Hey remember that Kincaid case about four years ago? They arrested him and put him in jail for armed robbery? He had some pretty serious mental problems. The guy was into some kind of witchcraft? He couldn’t take being confined and he ended up hanging himself?” 

“Yes John, I remember. The detectives found out later that he wasn’t guilty but, it was too late by then? What does that have to do with what happened last night?” 

  “ Well, I seem to remember that it was around this time of year that it happened, and I think he killed himself in that same cell.There were all kinds of weird symbols scratched into the wall with his own blood.” I heard it really messed up the deputy that found the body. He quit the department  after that and moved to someplace called Grizzly Flats.” 

“What a ghost again John, and now witchcraft, and where the hell is Grizzly Flats? You keep talking like that and you’re going to be the one that ends up in a mental hospital. I think you should just focus on Candice, Jen and the fact that you don’t have to write up the report. 

Tomorrow we’ll check the records, the autopsy reports, and see what we can come up with. I’ll ask the Captain about getting some kind of camera in there next year. Maybe forensics will find some kind of a clue. Right now I’m really hungry and, we’re going to get a nice big breakfast and try to forget that face.

They walked out of the county jail and drove away, headed towards downtown.

Later that night, after the last shift had just passed by, a group of cockroaches that were feeding on some crumbs suddenly scattered, and disappeared. A small mist gathered on the top bunk and a gleaming pair of terrifying, cold, evil, demonic, angry, eyes appeared. 

In the Los Angeles County jail. 

On the top bunk In the cell Jim had died in. 

Cell number 13.

© Copyright 2018 John Copperwaite. All rights reserved.

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