Imprisoned with a Boogeyman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A man on the brink of being freed from prison, finds himself housed with a violent cellmate from whom there's no escape.

Submitted: August 24, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 24, 2019



Trapped with a Prison Monster

When they slid the steel door open to put me in the cell, there he was, a large man kicking back on the lower bunk staring at me. I'm not particularly small, but he was huge, filling that bottom bunk like a bull in a baby's crib, one massive tattooed arm folded back behind his shaved head, crushing his dirty pillow into the cinder-block wall.

I let out an involuntary sigh which I was certain the animal would interpret one way or another.

If I'd had a moment to prepare myself it would've helped, but instead of bars, the cell had a solid steel door with just a skinny plexi-glass window that was smeared with potential excrement or something else gawd-awful.

Anyway, he was terrifying at first glance, and not any better on the second, his face a tattooed road map of a life that dared you to look.

Black tear drops bled down from his left eye which was circled by highly detailed barbed wire, his thin left eyebrow acting as a kind of dark foliage through which the barbs zigged and zagged. A swastika was the center piece of his right cheek, with an upside down cross and other symbols staining his face from his crippled ears to his beaked nose. On his forehead it simply said HATE, and it struck me that his face as canvas was likely still a work in progress.

"Hey, Dutch," he said to the guard that was escorting me into this new hell. "What'd you bring me?"

"Don't be an asshole, Thompson," said the guard. "He's a transfer and I expect you'll do fine together while he's here."

"He looks like a faggot cowboy!" said Thompson, grinning at me, showcasing his rotting rat teeth which protruded from bloody gums. Stringy saliva and errant brown chunks of chewing tobacco peppered the mess that was his mouth, as if some murderous Oreo had taken a shit in there.

You look like somebody wiped their ass with your face, is what I wanted to say, but thought better of it. At the same time it was as if my new cellie heard my thought because his sick smile faded as we locked eyes.

"Now you boys behave yourselves," said Dutch the guard. "You don't, I'll make sure you're locked up in here together 24/7. But you act like civilized human beings and you'll get your time out in the yard."

Thompson's infected smile returned and he swung his legs over the side of the bunk, slamming his flip-flopped feet to the floor with a smack, rising like a great pale bear.

"We'll be fine," he said, giving me a heavy paw smack to the shoulder as the guard left, slamming the steel door shut.

"My last cellie didn't work out so great," said Thompson, turning my way, his warm sour breath beginning to invade my space. He came a bit closer, staring down at me, his eyes off and twisted, then belched right into my face. Like a vile breeze, the full nasty volume of his breath washed over me like a puke wave, reminiscent of rotten eggs, old rice and broccoli. I stood firm and tried not to react. He smiled and fell back onto his lower bunk's filthy little mattress, rolling on his back with his knees pulled up in the small space. He was surprisingly athletic and agile for his size.

I remained standing, not at all excited about how my time with Thompson would go.

But go it would.


I'd have preferred to stay in the fine Trinity County prison dorm where I'd been initially housed upon arrival due to my status as a short term transfer with a record of exemplary behavior, at least recently. But that only went so far.

Overcrowding, and other prison concerns out of my control, cast me in with that beast, Thompson, who some of the others told me was well-known for his loud, lewd, aggressive, obnoxious, and overall questionable disposition, backed by a first degree murder conviction and violent past.

Gang problems being what they are in California prisons, our both being white was likely the reason the thoughtful prison officials made us cellies, their discussion probably going something like, Why, yes, Warden - I do declare! He's a perfect fit with that deranged and murderous white supremacist - or at least the best fit we have!!! HaHaHa …

Yeah. Thanks, Fellas.

So there I was, involuntarily thrown into a game I had no choice but to play. And play I would, as well as I could, clinging to what life I had left in hopes of preserving a future.

"Hope you like the top bunk," Thompson continued, his foul, rotten smirk now really catching fire. "I jerked off on it when I heard you were coming."

I hadn't even been in the cell for a full 30 seconds and the monster was already testing me, needling me, searching for a soft spot, a soft spot I would not give him willingly.

"So let's just get all of the bullshit out of the way," Thompson said to me, looking up from his cherished lower bunk. "I don't like having a cellie, period! And they know that. They know you're gonna piss me off and may not be walking outta here in the morning. They don’t like you, so I’m guessing, what - did you fuck a kid?"

Again, what a delight they'd caged me with, the towering thug's tattooed face tearing into me like a thousand fighting words. But I definitely couldn't afford any violence when I was so close to freedom. So I just looked at him, the closet sized space of the cell offering no retreat.

"Somebody must want your punk ass dead," he continued, rising up again from the bunk into my space.

I didn't want to show any hints of emotion, or anything that could be construed as fear or anger, so as casually as I could, I side-stepped past him to the commode at the far end of the cell, beyond the bunk bed, and sat down.

"So what - You think you can just ignore me? Is that how you're gonna try to work it?"

He picked his nose and flicked a booger at me. Fortunately it had little weight or velocity, falling short on the floor. Then he flopped back down on his bunk with a dirty magazine. "Just stay the fuck outta my way," he said.

He kicked off his flip-flops, his long nasty feet, with their hairy toe-knuckles and rancid blue-cheese nails facing me, which meant so too did his ass. He lifted a leg and blew out a horrid voluminous fart, the sound vibrating wet and almost visible. I hoped he hadn't shit his pants. Then he laughed and went back to the mag.

It was never easy in a cell the size of a mini-van, but I did try my best to “stay the fuck outta” his way.


He eventually nodded off as I remained sitting quietly on the commode. He snored a little, seeming to strive for comfort in the too small space. Every now and then he'd let loose another crippling fart, as revolting as that first warning shot he'd fired over the bunk, and I tried to imagine his parents and what all went wrong.

Distasteful farts aside, it was a blessing I'd been locked in there just after breakfast which meant lunch would come soon, hopefully followed by some time in the yard. Still dangerous places, but a definite reprieve from being locked up with this new unpleasant cellie.

My lawyer told me I'd probably be there for two or three days. After that, things were actually looking up a bit, my lawyer thinking it likely we'd win our appeal once and for all, or the judge would cut my time, and I'd finally be free. But the violence, he'd said. If you could just avoid any violence.

Easy for him to say. They never seemed to care who started what, or if you were just trying to defend yourself, but as long as you didn't get killed, or kill someone else, there was hope.

Regardless, for me, being punished with additional time, for whatever reason, at that point, was too disheartening to consider. I just tried to stay focused on once again feeling a crisp ocean breeze on my face and the cool blue Pacific ocean rinsing my body and soul. It was something one of the prison doctors, Dr. Hummel, had suggested I do. Good guy.


A guard finally banged on our cell door to fetch us for lunch. Thompson popped up from his bunk leering at me with his creepy eyes, daring me to try to exit our cell first. I remained seated on the commode until he'd ducked out, the guard then popping his head into the cell to move me along.

I sat with a mixed group of prison outcasts and ate my bologna sandwich. Then they let us go out in the yard. I found out they'd done away with weights there a few years back because some inmates enjoyed killing others with the workout equipment, so for activity, my fellow prisoners and I were left to our own devices.

Again, for me, every moment was about avoiding any potential problems. I was just passing through for a short-stay before my chance in front of a judge and didn't want anything to mess it up. I had worked hard to survive and avoid trouble over the recent years, and while I hadn't always been successful, I could now finally sense some light. I was looking forward to life.

I found a spot in the yard, avoiding as much interaction with my fellow inmates as possible, did my pushups and sit-ups, and found an open chin-up bar where I got in a few sets.

Then I noticed Thompson stink-eyeing me from across the yard. He was laughing it up with some other post-apocalyptic looking skinheads, pointing me out as I finished a set of chin-ups, then blew me a kiss which all the freaks apparently thought was hilarious.

It was going to be a long night.


Last to leave, I was the first to enter our cell following the afternoon yard time, quickly flipping over my top bunk mattress which wasn't too difficult because it was about as thick as the bologna sandwich I'd had at lunch. That's when Thompson stepped in, ducking into our cell as the door quickly slid shut behind him.

"Saw you getting a work out," he said. I calmly slid back toward my place on the commode, sitting. "I'm gonna need that, so don't get too comfortable," he continued.

"Just let me know," I said.

Then he rushed me, again reminding me of an enormous pale bear, instantly filling the space as I stood to absorb his attack. But he stopped short, smiling, and took a playful swing at my raised hand. His swipe missed though, because I moved my hand. Then he swung again, me raising my hands this time and blocking his awkward jabbing sweeps in the tight space.

"Come on," he said, through his foul putrid mouth. "You wanna go ahead and fucking have it out?"

He stepped back, shrugging his beefy shoulders and shaking his arms like a heavy weight before a match, getting loose and ready to kick some ass.

"No," I said. "We got nothing to fight about. "

Thompson shook his head as if understanding, walked toward the cell door then suddenly turned and came at me again. But once more it was a false charge, he skidding to a stop on the concrete floor, laughing, turning, then coming again, another faint, threatening me with punches, bobbing in and out as if he knew what he was doing.

"Come on! What you got?" he said with that shit-stained grin. I just looked at him. "Gawdamn you are a pussy - Your mama's gotta have bigger balls!"

Bringing my long ago deceased mother into it did anger me, but I simply stood as prepared as possible. It is a strange thing among men that when someone refuses to fight them they automatically think it's because that person is a coward, or incapable, which isn't always the case.

Thompson shook his head as if disgusted, and with a final guffaw stepped backward before executing his signature roll onto the lower bunk.

"You scared because you know I'm an all day, all night, lifer that don't give a shit?" he said. "Tight-ass little pussy - We'll see how tight that ass is after lights out tonight."

I hoped not.


Like lunch, dinner couldn't come soon enough. I finally climbed up onto my bunk while Thompson napped and farted, and when my bed creaked, awakening the animal, he kicked the bottom of my bunk several times, hard, telling me he was going to kick my ass.

But he finally had enough and settled down, though it seemed like centuries before the precious dinner-knock from the guard echoed through our cell.

The evening meal offering was the same variation of mystery meat I'd experienced in the other California prisons where I'd been housed, but with a little salt and pepper and mustard I'd learned to somewhat enjoy it.

I could see Thompson across the room eyeing me while I ate. At once I despised him and finally could take no more, my switch flipped, the feeling of his intrusive wicked eyes crawling over me like hairy little crabs. We locked into a staring contest and I was thankful when he looked away, laughing with his fellow chow hall mates.

After bussing our dinner trays we were given time to roam in the day room which consisted of some steel tables and stools all bolted to the concrete floor. There was a TV and some people played cards and dominos. The two levels of cells surrounded the space, and though it was bleak, it was still much better than being locked in that concrete shit box with Thompson.

Like out in the yard, the African Americans mostly stuck with the African Americans, the Latinos with the Latinos, the Caucasians with the Caucasians, and everyone else, like me, mingling in where they could, or just trying to be invisible.

While I'd done pretty well maintaining an even disposition up to that point, I was having a difficult time calming my nerves as the inevitable upcoming night cooped up with Thompson approached. So I wandered over into a group to listen to a story a guy was telling, because judging by the crowd he’d gathered around, it was apparently pretty good -

"So he asks me if I've ever been to Hawaii, and I'm like, Hawaii? Mothafucka, please!" Everyone laughed, and I found myself chuckling for the first time in a long time too.

"Fuck outta here, Hawaii. Shit, closest I ever been to Hawaii is Hawaiian fuckin'
Gardens, and that was to pick up some booger-sugar and a ho!"

The group of guys exploded, slapping their knees, high-fiving, for a moment seeming like they'd forgotten where they were, enjoying the best laugh we'd all had for quite some time.

Beneath the laughter, some motion across the way caught my eye, a fist flying, then another, shouts, screams, brown people colliding with whites, the two groups forming a whirlwind scrum.

Right away I saw my cellie, Thompson, swinging and kicking wildly into the mix, backed by four other skinheads. But despite their size advantage, they were out-numbered, and the scrum collapsed onto the concrete floor.

The intercom echoed from above, then all around, "Get on the ground! Everyone down on the ground!" But the fight was quickly fizzling anyway as the three guards in the room wandered over, those involved in the altercation voluntarily peeling themselves off one another.

"You, dumb asses," said one of the guards. "Don't bother with getting on the damn ground, just line it up - You know the fucking drill - Line it up and off to bed, boys. Lock down!"

The response from my group was a collective, Aw, Shit, with some other choice expletives, as we all lined up and fell into our places. Thompson was smiling his nasty glare at me from across the way, a little blood dribbling down from a fat lip. He'd started the fight on purpose to cause a lock down, and likely had some of the others in on it with him. Fact is, anybody who really wants to do some damage or kill a fellow inmate doesn't do it in front of the guards, out in the open, but when nobody is looking or won't be there to stop it for some time, the type of environment Thompson had now crafted for me in our cell.

He continued smiling at me, his upper lip working into a quivering snarl, sending a signal my way that the lock down would provide him just a bit more uninterrupted time to have his way assaulting, torturing, and killing me.


The lights from the day room shined just enough into our cell to see. Not that there was anything to look at from my top bunk except the ceiling right in front of my face. But the quiet glow helped me relax a bit. There'd be no sleeping, but it felt good to rest and reflect a little just the same.

That lasted about 15 minutes.

"You ready?" said Thompson, his scary moon-face rising up from the lower bunk. The shadows through the cell's narrow window painted him like some horrific boogeyman which, looking back, he definitely was.

I could see his shoulder moving, his arm jerking back and forth below, and I tried to block out the realization of what he was doing.

"Come on down from there," he said. "This won't hurt but just a little."

I instantly jammed my left thumb into his eye socket while grasping the rest of his skull with my other fingers, clawing. Then quickly swung my legs around, shooting one between his arm and flank, and the other up around the side of his head around his neck, tightly securing a leg-lock on that upper quadrant of his body.

He hollered, surprised, flailing his long arms in an effort to keep his balance, one of his hands finding my wispy mattress while the other struggled to push my octopus hold off his head.

But I only locked my legs in tighter, hoisting myself up onto his shoulder. I leaned over his head awkwardly, the space between Thompson and the ceiling being sparse, then forced my weight to take him down, the brute toppling like a lopsided sack of potatos, hitting the floor hard.

"You fucker,” he screamed, already breathing hard. "You'll be dead!"

Like many formidable men, I'm sure he thought he would somehow just overwhelm me, perhaps land a magic knockout blow. But that's not how it works. I've simply fought too hard for too long.

At the same time, for a brief moment, I sensed great sparks of confidence and hope flaring up in Thompson, because as I adjusted my leg-hold, I also ended up on my back, Thompson forcing his knees underneath himself and looming over me.

But I kept him working in the tight space between the wall and the bunks, he shuffling on his knees to maintain balance while I continued ratcheting my legs in harder around his head and sweaty arm pit, isolating his flailing right arm while also controlling his wrist.

His wide eyes animated the squirming tats on his face, Thompson continuing to instinctively rise up, sensing an advantage, feeling like he could use his weight to pile drive me through the concrete floor. But I had his arm straightened out against my body where I needed it, and kicking my leg over his head, I thrust further leverage through his elbow with my hips while twisting and rolling hard, the elbow bending the wrong way, sinew hyper-extending, then snapping, at which point he really screamed.

The arm dangled useless, a wounded rubber appendage screaming pain, and Thompson slumped to the floor on his face. I rolled clear and took his back. He struggled to crawl forward away from me but I was on him and started whaling on the side of his defenseless face from behind - crack, crack, crack. Then I grabbed his head with both hands and smashed that bloody ugly mug into the concrete floor several times, until I thought he couldn't proceed, and got off him.

Through the shadows I could see that his face was bleeding pretty badly, a dark nasty pool forming on the concrete. As he tried to crawl he succeeded in planting his remaining good hand in the puddle of blood, the hand slipping away beneath his weight and down he went, face planting into the cold hard floor again with cries of pain and exasperated frustration.

I backed away, prepared to start hitting him again if I had to, but was confident even getting up would be a struggle for him with his snapped elbow. He rolled over to his back though, his breathing heavy through bubbling bloody froth, shrieking again when he accidentally put some weight on the injured limb.

"You motherfucker," he sputtered at me through the gloom. "I bet you fucked your mother!"

Again including my mother in our fray was not a great idea, as I distinctly remember his words pushing away any empathy I may have been starting to feel. His face was a horrible mess, blood from his broken crooked nose caking down on his mouth and chin, and his right eye socket that I'd sunk my thumb into, a quickly swelling black hole.

"Come on, you little bitch!" he continued. "You can't finish me - You can't finish shit!"

He tried to sit up, the tattoos on his face drowning in blood, mixing with the shadowy light to make him look creepier than ever. But again demonstrating his surprising athleticism with the help of his good arm, he rocked forward and gained his feet, lurching toward me and lashing out with his remaining good paw.

I blocked it away but he was able to grab my shirt, pulling me toward him. So I let my fists fly, free and easy, hammering him with unopposed looping bombs and straight shots to his meaty face, the bones behind that bloody mug crumbling like a mutton-caked gingerbread house as he toppled to his back again from a last hard strike. For good measure, and for mentioning my long lost lovely mom, I leapt onto his chest and dropped a wicked elbow onto his already shattered nose.

He stared up at me with his better eye, and say what you will, but he certainly wasn't a quitter.

"You better kill me, or I'm going to kill you," he said, his good hand weakly pawing the front of my shirt.

"I'm not going to kill you," I said. "I'm not going to stay locked up like this for killing you."

He managed a grip on my shirt and tried to yank me down, but I planted a hand on his bubbling face and bolted up, knocking his arm away. He still wouldn't stop, though, struggling to get at me, so I slipped my thumb into his crooked mouth and ripped his cheek away from his teeth, yanking down hard and tearing his mouth open like a bursting zipper.

That fresh scream was different, but quickly faded into a blubbering cry, the enormous but rude man bleeding on the floor in a squirming heap. He was finished, but I made sure he would definitely live.

I opened the slot in the door, yelling out, "A little help in here, please?"

It did take awhile, our block being on lockdown and all, but the guards finally arrived and were not at all pleased with what they saw.

But I hadn't killed my cellie, as so many others often do, and that was the difference. For once the judge and prison officials reckoned to see things fairly. With the help of my lawyer they acknowledged they'd put me in a very tough spot, and proceeded to smile upon me like a great judicial sun.

Now, this ocean air is sweet, and the Pacific washes over me as I paddle. I won't be going back to the joint ever if I can help it. And I think I can help it.

© Copyright 2019 revenge's-sweet.. All rights reserved.

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