The ruckus started well into the night. Bill didn’t know what time it was, but he had lain awake for what seemed an insufferable amount of time before finally dozing off. He’d slept a bit—he didn’t know how long—only to be awakened by the “shh” sounds and then the clear tumult of people moving around. Next was the unmistakable sound of a struggle.
They carried him to the back corner behind the toilet partition and from the sound of it, they threw him down so part of him, maybe his head, hit the wall, the partition wall or maybe even a sink. Then came the punches and the kicks.
Bill didn’t stir. What he most noted was how the punches and kicks sounded so different from how they sounded on TV. They were much duller and more blunt than on TV. Quite remarkably different, he thought.
There were a lot of them, he noted. No talking at all. The only sounds that resembled those on TV were the grunts. Each thud and dull pop was followed by a grunt.
The whole thing took less than a few minutes, Bill guessed, a moment in time that would be etched into his mind forever.
His own ordeal had only taken a moment. At least that’s how he remembered it. He went to help this kid, to pull one of the six people beating on him off. He was hit from behind and knocked out. He woke up in a paddy wagon with a split skull and split eye, blood dripping from him like it had been dripping from that guy yesterday. Like that guy yesterday, he’d been unable to wipe his face or anything like that since his hands were cuffed behind him and the cuffs cuffed somehow to the side of the paddy wagon behind him.
Bill remembered. He hadn’t felt anything at the time. He didn’t feel anything until after he’d come to, and even then not immediately. That was the adrenaline. But then, like a sledge hammer, boom, his head exploded in pain and his skull and eye burned. He didn’t get to the hospital until ten hours later, after he was bailed out.
He wondered. The inmates who had dragged the one who was beaten slipped quietly back to their bunks. The one beaten didn’t get up for what seemed a long time. Bill’s heart thumped. All he could think was there but for the grace of God.
Finally, the beaten man stood up. Being toward the back and in the top bunk, Bill could see him. His face was bloody. He wobbled as he tried to stand on his own. He stumbled to the first sink and ran the water, washing his face by rinsing with his hands. Then he simply ducked his head into the sink and let the water run over his head.
Bill wondered if the man at the sink thought he was going to get away with causing someone to be beaten by a guard. Bill was sure now there was no way that he would get himself in such a situation, not if he had any say in it. He was also sure now that copping a plea deal so as not to go to the penitentiary was a smart play. In the pen, Bill thought, that man with his bloody head in the sink would have caught a shiv.
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.