This week at Friday Flash Fiction, we were given the starter sentence "He had been told crawling would get him nowhere." I had a hard time coming up with a story for this, even though it was my starter sentence!! Anyway, the story is below, entitled "Breakout!"
A thank you to Cormac Brown for his continual hosting of FFF as well...a great job!!
He had been told crawling would get him nowhere. Somewhere in the back of his jittery mind he remembered being told this. It wasn’t going to do him much good now, though. The rain pelted heavy on his head, his stringy hair pasted to his face as he continued on his hands and knees down the open canal that ran beside the outer wall of the penitentiary. He could feel stones and other sharp objects – possibly glass - digging into the heel of his hands, causing him to wince then instantly shake his head in quiet determination – absolutely nothing was going to deny him this break for freedom.
Planning had taken months; arranging for the right people to look the other way had taken more than greasy palms and a promise; he had had to debase himself, demean himself, to get the wheels in motion. He had humiliated himself but, he reasoned to himself, it would be worthwhile once he had cleared himself of his current inconvenient predicament.
Earlier in the evening, he had hidden in the projection room after the screening of some mind—numbing feature film. When he was sure that he was alone, he exited and made his way through 4 Division, skirting the edge of the compound wall, knowing that the guards would be watching the other inmates who were out for evening exercise before being locked away for the night. With his back to the cold, wet bricks, he slid his feet inch by inch along the wall, until coming upon the twelve foot drop to the fields below. He had sighed with relief when he saw the thick rope had been provided as arranged – he was amazed what a little blowjob could achieve.
Once down, his hands red raw from the rubbing of the damp rope, he kept to the shadows of the prison walls, until he rounded the south-east corner. The rain seemed heavier here; somehow denser. He understood it had something to do with the design of the roof and the runoff from a storm typically flowed down here, collecting finally in the canal that flowed along the eastern wall of the prison.
He waited for the siren to signal yard-time over, and, knowing that the guards would be otherwise distracted, headed for the bushes that lay just fifty yards from the perimeter wall. Keeping as low as possible and not daring to stop for fear of being he spotted, he broke out of his well-protected hiding spot and ran for the tree line and quickly dived head first into the murky, dirty water of the canal. Coming back up for air, gagging on silt and other filth that was more than likely present, he shot his gaze toward the outer wall, checking to see if his charge had been spotted. He had dragged himself for one hundred yards, crawling on all fours, whilst waiting for the opportunity to move once more.
He hadn’t heard the klaxon wail yet, so he figured those in charge hadn’t noticed his disappearing trick. He realised that their ignorance wouldn’t last long. It was almost time for lockdown and lights out and then – then – he knew that, without a shadow of a doubt, they would be scouring the nearby surroundings for him. And there would be very little in the way of concern about what method they used to recapture him.
A flash of lightning revealed a large concrete wall in front of him. It was the end of the canal that he had been warned about. He was exhausted; there was no way he could physically drag himself up and over such a large obstacle. That left him only one option – to make a break through open ground. He lay on the muddy bank, assessing the best direction in which to head. Looking back over his left shoulder, he could see the guard tower quite clearly but, to the right, the guards would have very limited visibility, especially with the rain and spasmodic flashes of lightning.
Crouching now, he watched for the lightning, trying to time his run. Waiting for the next period of darkness, he kept one eye on the towers, making sure that they were still partially blinded to his escape route. He could feel his muscles tense as the moment approached but he was then shocked by the sudden brilliance of the jail spotlights and sudden sirens. They had discovered his escape.
And now the chase was on...