Although this is my latest post, it is not, technically, new work. I wrote this over a year ago towards the middle of my stay at JAIL. A few weeks before this shit came out of my head, I had hit the book-cart lottery and came across a copy of Cormac McCarthy’s The Crossing. It was such an amazing stroke of luck that I find it difficult to convey the excitement I felt at that time. In a claustrophobic world dominated by westerns, romance novels, fuck-books (slang for romance novels with explicit sex scenes), YA literature, outdated technical manuals (MS-DOS programming anyone?), and bottom of the barrel science fiction; finding The Crossing was the most merciful event I experienced since I had been incarcerated. However, I was about a third of the way into a novel of my own at the time and a few months later it became apparent that multiple readings of McCarthy’s work had negatively effected my own. I couldn’t help but notice that my novel had turned into a cheap imitation of Mr. McCarthy’s style. In response, I wrote this as an exercise to regain my natural voice. For lack of better terms, I would say that what came out was simply a dictation of a hallucinatory daydream and although not purely stream of conscious, I engaged in a very minimal amount of editing. I thought it was decent enough to copy and mail to a friend to see what he thought of it. Continue reading
Category Archives: Fiction
Officer Steve, possibly the most hated correctional officer of the Lake County Correctional Facility, leads Fred Dewitt, an ex-alcoholic laborer, in his mid-50’s, down a concrete block corridor, past the protective custody cells (one of which houses a mouse of a man whom to Fred looks more like a pedophile than anyone he has ever seen – although the man’s actual charges are unknown to him. The other is occupied by a large pool of vomit. The vomit is composed entirely of baby-shit-colored stomach bile in which the solids have congealed into a single pulpy mass, the liquid having run off in a stream that creeps steadily towards the cell door. Fred estimates that 80% of the countie’s inmates are junkies in on heroin related charges) and then to the door of the visiting room. C.O. Steve radios the control tower and there is an audible click as the steel door unlocks. Steve gestures for Fred to enter and he does. Continue reading
Official disclaimer: nothing in this post reflects the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, the Marines, etc. This is only the unofficially terrible, wrong and poorly written opinion of one person who happened to have served at some point since 9/11. This is a work of fiction, but still, better to throw this disclaimer in here. You have been warned.
Beele was not pleased with the deployment. He had joined the Army, specifically the infantry, so that he could prove himself in combat. To get right down to it and quit fucking around, he joined up so he could have the chance to kill someone. But the deployment so far was a joke. The unit had deployed in December. In November, most of the tribes fighting the U.S. decided to switch sides and were now our allies, which coincided with an 85 percent drop in enemy contact. Can’t fight the enemy when they’re your pals now.
It was now February, and only one platoon in the entire battalion had even had a chance to fire their weapons. Three months in, and that was it? That was bullshit, Beele thought; a waste of his time. His platoon spent most of its time on patrol – driving out to some hillbilly, dusty Iraqi village of 30 people to ask them if they’d “seen the enemy.” Yeah right, like they weren’t still the enemy and like they wouldn’t be again if the U.S. money dried up. The platoon leader and one of the squad leaders would meet up with the local sheik and find out if anything was needed in the area. The usual answers were water, electricity and more weapons for security. The exact three things the unit had zero ability (or authorization, in the case of weapons) to provide. Continue reading
Little D had been selling bottles of his father’s liquor to neighborhood kids for a couple of years. He charged a flat rate of five dollars per bottle, no matter the content. I’m not sure how he determined what bottle he gave to who. Sometimes you’d get a near-full fifth of Crown Royal, other times a half empty bottle of Apple Pucker. After two years I imagine the selection was pretty dim. Continue reading
I was definitely in the factory. Yeah. The flickering fluorescent lights. The beat up yellow tow motor. The time clock computer terminal. Employee number: 9974. Employment status: temporary. You could technically be hired in after ninety work days; I can’t recall how long I’ve worked here. Longer than ninety days. Continue reading