In all, the barber, or whatever he was, only made about ten strokes. He went front to back from one side of Bill’s head to the other and came back again. Years and years of growing that hair, and in less than two minutes it all lay there on the floor of the jail barbershop.
The barber had left his cigarette in an ash tray on the counter. Finished with Bill, he stepped over the hair and took it up, flicked the ashes on the floor on the hair. Cigarette in mouth, he walked over to where the broom and dustpan were. He returned to Bill who was standing by the chair with his tormentor.
“Clean up your hair,” the barber said.
No other inmate that Bill had seen had to clean up his hair. That one guard, his tormentor, had fixed it like this. It wasn’t the first time he’d been picked on or discriminated against in his life, he thought. Anyway, there was nothing he could do. He shrugged it off, took the broom and went to work.
“Garbage, like you,” Bill’s tormentor said about the hair.
Bill didn’t say anything. He swept up his hair, did what he was told and wondered what was ahead of him.
On the walk back to the dorm, Bill and his tormentor were unaccompanied. Not even completely clear of the barbershop, his tormentor started in on him. “I got all my people watching you. Step out of line anywhere and it comes back to me. Say something, it comes back to me. I’m making you my mission, boy. We’re gonna teach you about America. We’re gonna teach you respect. We’re gonna teach you you ain’t as free as you think. You understand me boy?”
“Yes sir,” Bill said. What else could he say?
His tormentor stayed on his case all the way to D dorm, but when they got there and he opened the door for Bill, he turned nothing but sweet. He walked Bill in and stayed with him so Bill could make sure all his things were still on the bunk. Only then did he head out, leaving Bill on his own.
Bill hadn’t peed since just before getting on the bus. The scariness of it all and the constant anxiety had kept that urge at bay. Now he really had to go, so before he started setting up his bed and getting settled, he walked to the toilets. No one seemed to pay him any mind and Bill thought that was a good thing.
Back at his bunk, he stowed himself away. On the wall between the bunks were two shelves, one above the other. Bill folded his towel, still slightly damp, and placed it on his shelf. He did the same with his skivvies and socks. Then he unrolled the mattress and made the bed. Set, he climbed up, slipped off the shoes and lay down. He so wanted to cry, but he didn’t dare. He wanted to close his eyes and sleep, but he didn’t dare. He didn’t know what time it was. He just knew he was locked in this dorm with forty-five other men and he wasn’t getting out for twenty-one days.
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.