Tuesday: Dinner - Beef and Noodles, Fruit Cocktail, Green Beans, Roll
First: A,C Second: B,D Third: E
At seven o'clock, p.m., cellblock E was marched into the sterilized excuse for a dining hall. Murderers, pedophiles, rapists, blah blah blah. E stands for excrement. The shittiest of the shitty.
Gerard was among them.
He kept his head cocked left, like he was slightly deaf. His chin wasn't tucked, and for once his legs and arms were completely free. His hair was greasier than ever, matted and clumped.
Second to last in line, he moved through the line, being dished food from cans by black boys with twitchy eyes. He thought about his second anniversary, when he'd taken Lindsey to Cafe Pinot and blew six hundred dollars on a bottle of wine.
He sat alone, at a table with benches that bolted to the floor, so nobody got any clever ideas. He had been given a metal spork.
Who the fuck made metal sporks?
He began shoveling his food like he was ravenous. Down, down, down, the cardboard noodles and plaster beef, the wax fruit and the rubber beans. The roll was made of granite. He could feel his empty tooth socket bleeding again.
A hand smashed down onto the metal table in front of him, inches from his pink plastic tray. He didn't jump, but instead turned to stone. Slowly, he tilted his head up, following the line of a tanned, muscular arm up, up, up, into a face that looked like a cat toy.
Heavily scarred, patchy beard, a number thirteen tattooed on his neck; like Frank's; the man was leering at him with a mouth full of broken teeth.
"Why you sittin' by yo'self, pretty boy?"
Gerard didn't reply except to grip his spork tighter, knuckles clenching.
"I ak'sed you a question, faggot," the man snarled, leaning in close with his rank breath, "Choo' think you too good to sit wit' us?"
Gerard grinned wide.
"Oh, I know I'm better than a sack of gangbanging shit," He replied breezily, for all the world like this might've been a picnic at Churchill-Downs.
The man actually gaped at him, open-mouthed. But he recovered quickly; "What'choo say, faggot?" he bawled, getting right up into Gerard's face, fetid breath hot on Gerard's face.
"I said," Gerard whispered, smiling even wider, "I know I'm better than any piece of cheap, gangbanger shit who's here on a fucking drive-by fuck-up. Am I making sense, fairyboy?"
Before the gangbanger had even a moment to mark his own fury, Gerard lunged.
He snapped his jaw shut over the gangbanger's cheek, that was still millimeters from his own. He clamped down into the softy, stubbly flesh and hauled back.
The man screamed in agony, jerking back, flailing, face bloody, missing a chunk that Gerard had already spit upon the concrete floor.
Before the man had even a second to get his bearings, Gerard launched himself on top of him, smashing a knee into his groin as hard as he could, simultaneously slamming his spork into the man's mouth, spearing his tongue.
It was over in a matter of seconds, the other inmates barely having a second to observe the ginger-faggot boy's vicious assault before the guards descended, snatching ginger up by his arms and dragging him off the screaming pile of bloodied face that had, until that moment, been the gangbanger.
Gerard settled, instantly, upon the guard's grabbing him. He went quietly to the ground, allowing the spork to be liberated from him, his hands and legs cuffed again. The whole time, he never once took his bright eyes off the shrieking mess he'd created. He was grinning in ecstasy.
There was a dribble of blood on his chin. It wasn't his own.
Later that night, in his cell, with his new mouth-guard in place to keep him from biting his cellmate's face off, Gerard learned that he'd broken the man's pelvis and busted his jaw.
The piece of badly molded rubber in his mouth makes it difficult, but he manages a smile when his cellmate, the tooth puller, relays the fact to him.
And suddenly the man who hadn't wasted a minute in shoving Gerard to the floor and wrenching one of his teeth from his mouth with a toothbrush, looks nervous. Looks maybe even a little frightened.
"What did you do?" he asks, for the first time realizing that this Raggedy Andy is no doll.
Gerard arches his eyebrows, eyes darting down to his mouth-guard, and back to his cellmate, Kenny's, face.
"Oh, right," Kenny pulls the rubber loose like a plug from a drain.
"I killed three men," Gerard said, without fanfare, "I shot two of them in the head, and beat the other one to death. And..."
He trailed off.
"And...what?" Kenny, eyes wide, hands twitching at his sides.
"I sodomized them," Gerard said, without a trace of embarrassment, "I fucking shoved a bat handle up them until they screamed for their fucking mommies."
Kenny's eyes were big as saucers. Gerard's eyes drifted down, realizing there was an obvious bulge in Kenny's pants.
"You're fucking disgusting," Gerard said tonelessly, rolling onto his back on his bunk, hands folded over his stomach, "And what did you do, Kenny?"
"I killed a little boy," Kenny replied quickly, voice suddenly husky, thick, "His name was Jake. And he was...he was beautiful. I loved him, so much. But, he, he told them, about us. He told them about what we had... It was special! He...He was gonna get me in trouble... I...I killed him."
He looked at Gerard, and jumped back. The latter's eyes were chips of dark ice, fury pooling in their depths.
"If you ever come near me, or another little kid, ever again," Gerard hissed, "I'll fucking do to you what I did to them. And you won't like it, I promise."
He rolled over, away from Kenny's terrified face, closed his eyes and was asleep instantly.
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