Central Unit (Part 7 by Warrior)
Warrior - Serving fourteen years for kidnapping and aggravated assault. Half Hispanic and Scottish-Irish with family still in Mexico. Brought up by a family steeped in drug commerce. He writes some of the best prison-fight stories on the Internet.
Central Unit began with Warrior discovering a race war is raging, and the guards are staging human cock fights. Part 6 left off with Warrior’s cell opening, and him stepping out expecting to be attacked.
With my stomach knotted, my eyes narrowed as I glared at the cells, trying to discern another open cell or one that was about to open. I wasn’t sure what I’d do if I saw a cell open. I was more concerned with who would be coming out, rather than me going in. What seemed like minutes was probably just a few seconds. No one came. I didn’t hear another cell open. An officer’s radio garble snapped me back to reality.
Once again the sound of steel against steel made me recognize my cell was racking closed. I dashed into the closing two-foot gap.
Tigre’s voice boomed, “Watch your back!”
My peripheral vision caught movement headed my way. My instincts kicked in, lunging me further into the cell, to where I hoped I’d put enough distance between the incoming body and me. I did a 180 in preparation for a hit or a tackle. What I caught instead was an arm slicing down and out from in-between the remaining 6-inch gap. Then my door shut. I’d failed to realize the sound of my cell closing had overlapped the sound of another opening.
At my door was a dark man, his smouldering eyes giving off spasms of irritation all across his face as if to say, “You’re fuckin’ lucky!” He looked to be about my age at the time: 26. He was holding a toothbrush fastened with two razor blades on the end – a prison scalpel.
“You fuckin’ chicken shit,” I said, my eyes blazing.
“Chinga tu madre!” He hawked spit right in my face.
My eyes winced shut in disgust, and then I felt explosive rage. I turned my head and gave my cell a once-over for something within reach to throw. My cup was convulsing with boiling water due to the stinger still left plugged in. I threw the cup at his face, but he turned his head. Some of the water got the left side of his neck, and he bolted back to wherever his cell was, shrieking in pain.
At my sink, I washed the spit off. I heard keys clanking against my bars, a guard trying to get my attention. He was stood in front of my cell, wearing a khaki jacket and matching hat.
“What’s up?” I asked, wondering if he’d seen what had took place.
“What?” I asked, my attention still stuck on what had happened.
“Your tray. It’s pick-up time. I need your tray.”
“Oh yeah. Here you go.” I handed him my breakfast tray. Whether he was aware or not, he didn’t let on. Even if he did know, I was sure he didn’t care. He just wanted the tray. He took it and left.
Tigre appeared, mirror in hand, his face lit with bitter triumph as if he’d expected a better show. “That was a close one.”
“Yeah it was,” I said. “Good lookin’ out. Thanks for the heads-up.”
“I saw the fool creep around the corner as you were stepping in. He had a blade.”
“That woulda left a mark,” I said.
“Fuckin’ A, it woulda.”
“I got something for his ass next time. Believe that.”
“Hey, that’s the vida in this pinta homeboy.”
“Yeah,” I said. “You’re right. It is.”
Click here for Central Unit Part 6.
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Shaun P. Attwood