“Squueeeeeak!!!” went the long metal bench for about the 20th time in the last hour. Though it was secured into the wall with heavy metal chains, Marcus awoke every time the bench shook under the weight of the massive man laying against him with his sweaty t-shirt brushing along the back of his legs.
Craning his neck to glance behind him through the bars to the adjoining room, he could see that it was only 7:12 a.m. The woman in her mid-twenties with stringy black-hair and fishnet stockings underneath her red pleather skirt and black tube top sighed deeply from her bench across the cell. Since arriving around 1:45 a.m. to a rowdy crowd of about three teenage boys, an older blonde prostitute and two tough bikers covered in tattoos, Marcus had seen the rest come and go with their lawyers (or parents, in the case of the young boys). Now, all that remained was him, “Sweaty Pete” and “Bertha” (as he’d silently nicknamed the other two unfortunate characters).
Turning over to now face the patchy ceiling, Marcus pondered the events and choices from the previous evening that led up to this point. With his temple still slightly throbbing, he vaguely remembered that it all began with a few innocent drinks at “The Watering Hole.”
It had been a normal Saturday in July with scorching temperatures only allowing comfortable activities at a waterpark or indoors in the air conditioning. All of his friends had plans and his family lived out of state. So, after having spent a majority of the day sprawled on the couch watching the Indiana Jones marathon, he had decided to grab a small dinner and a few beers.
The bar had a decent group of people camped out laughing, talking and eyeing up the various baseball game in progress on the flatscreens overhead. All of the conversations around him were incomprehensible all together at once but after being camped out for about thirty minutes, Marcus saw a party of six come through the front door and make their way toward his end of the bar. It was three couples, with the men all dressed in black suits and the ladies in various brightly colored evening gowns. They excitedly chatted as they each ordered beers and toasted together.
“I can’t believe it! In just twenty minutes, Carrie will be getting hitched,” exclaimed the tall skinny blonde in the navy blue silk dress. “Who ever thought little miss Martin would become Mrs. Hawkins so quickly,” she continued.
Marcus perked up at this conversation. “Excuse me,” he leaned into their gathered circle. “Did you just say Carrie Martin? Do you mean Carrie Martin from Roosevelt High School?”
“Why, yes,” the blonde answered with a puzzled expression. “She’s getting married at St. Joseph’s Chapel to…” she said. Before she could finish her statement, Marcus threw a a fifty dollar bill onto the counter and shouted to the bartender, “keep the change” and hurried out the door to his car.
“So, what are you in for?” asked “Sweaty Pete” as he propped himself up against the wall and bringing Marcus back to reality. Marcus chose to remain silent as he closed his eyes and tried to think back to what happened after he left the bar last night. Had he gone to the church? Had he punched her fiance? Had he stopped the wedding? Or, had he been stopped by the police while on the road?
His mind seemed to have a huge black hole from the “Watering Hole” to waking up in the holding cell of the police station. What had he done? How much trouble was he going to be in? Suddenly the front door to the station opened and in walked Bob Mason, Marcus’ stuffy overweight attourney. Internally, he rolled his eyes in anticipation of one of the condescending talks Mr. Mason was sure to give him. My, how he hated trying to explain himself to this man, who always seemed to be inconvenienced to do his job.
But, as Marcus watched Mr. Mason speak with the officer at the desk and sign the log book, he sat up and collected himself. He straightened his striped polo shirt, patted down his hair and thought what to say. He had to keep his cool and get through this encounter and take it one step at a time. No matter how much he didn’t like Bob Mason, he realized that this man holds the key to his immediate freedom and direction of his legal future. Marcus took one last deep breath as the officer unlocked the iron gate with a stern Mr. Mason glaring behind him…
The prompt this week on Write on Edge was to write about Freedom. I decided to write about an individual who made unfortunate choices and anticipated freedom in the uncertainty of his consequences. I went over the word limit but my story simply took on more life as I began writing…