The bus arrived about 2:00 PM. Just like in the movies on TV, the prisoners were in foot and hand shackles so they shuffled as the length of the foot chain allowed, their hands in front of them tied to their feet.
Stepping down off the bus was tricky. One boy no older than Bill Wynn who was just twenty-one tripped and tumbled down off the bus. He couldn’t use his hands to protect himself in the fall and stood up with a bloody nose. He didn’t really stand up. Two jail guards pulled him up by the shackles. Bill saw that the handcuff part cut one of his wrists. The boy stood there bleeding at his wrist and with blood dripping down his face from his nose.
“Goddamn dirty pig soiling our yard here,” one of the guards said.
A different guard stepped up to him. “You gonna pay for this, motherf…er,” he said. “You gonna pay for it and you gonna clean it up. Whitey,” he called, ” get someone to bring the bucket and brush.”
Everyone off the bus, the guards lined up the prisoners. There were about fifteen of them by the time the bus had made all the stops for the pickups. Bill was scared worse than he’d ever recalled being scared. He was trying not to cry, trying to look tough and trying to take in everything going on around him all at once. Somehow his eyes must’ve met the eyes of one of the guards because of a sudden that guard was in his face.
“You eyeballing me boy?” he said loudly, so close to Bill that Bill could feel the guard’s breath on his face and smell his stale lunch too.
Bill had no clue what he was supposed to say. “No officer,” he finally managed.
“You call me sir, boy.”
“Yes sir,” Bill said.
“Lookee here,” the guard said. “We got us a bona-fide genuine hippie boy.”
All the guards came over. They all wore sidearms and carried shotguns. One guard cocked his shotgun and said “I see the slightest motion out the corner of my eye while I’m checking out this here hippie, I’m shooting at it first and asking about it after I shoot.”
“I’ll be damned,” one guard said.
“Remember the hippie we checked in this morning?” another one said.
“I heard he enjoyed the strip search. You gonna enjoy the strip search, boy?”
Bill did not answer.
Another guard, one who not spoken, poked Bill in the ribs with the butt of his shotgun. “Didn’t you hear him ask you a question?”
“Yes sir,” Bill said.
“Well?” the same guard said, prodding Bill’s ribs with the shotgun with each word. “Answer his f…ing question. You like it up the ass? You look like a faggot to me.”
“No sir,” Bill said.
“You a queer?”
“We gonna put you in D dorm with the toughs,” the sergeant said. He hadn’t spoken before. He stepped close to Bill. “Course that’s after the barber gets done with you.”
The sergeant stepped off and told the guards to start marching the inmates in. Just before they did, an inmate came out carrying a bucket with a brush inside it. Bill noted the inmate, in workhouse blues, was an albino.
“Thanks, Whitey,” the sergeant said. “Okay now, Mr. Sharp,” he said to one of the guards, “hold the line while the bleeder cleans up his mess.”
One guard pushed the bleeder forward and forced him down to his knees. Another pushed the bucket forward with his foot, not caring that water was splashing the inmate on his knees.
The line of prisoners stood watching while the still bleeding inmate scrubbed the cement with the bristle brush. He stopped only to keep wiping his face with his sleeve so he didn’t bleed on the ground anymore.
“Anyone else wanna bleed?” one of the guards asked.
No one said anything.
A Note About the Fiction Outtakes:
The Fiction Outtakes are based upon my fiction. Very often they utilize characters which appear in different pieces of fiction written over the years. However, the events and incidents do not generally appear in the fiction. For the most part they are outtakes, pieces written and not included in the actual works or pieces written for fun. All of The Ghost Writer outtakes are not actual events depicted in the upcoming novel (tentatively to be released in February 2017) but the characters are actual characters from the novel. Similarly, Bill Wynn is a character from The Kitchen Stories (written over many years and also to be released in 2017). However, the actual experiences depicted in the outtakes do not necessarily appear in The Kitchen Stories.