Wake up was at four-thirty. On the first morning Bill did not understand why so early, but by seven everyone was fed and out for their work details.
An alarm sounded over the PA system. That meant get your ass out of bed because by four forty-five line up for mess was made. If you were late, you got a demerit. Three demerits and you lost commissary privileges for a week.
Bill had no idea what he was doing but he was smart enough to follow along with those who knew the routine. So he got up. He hadn’t slept much and was tired, but he dragged himself along. He was already dressed. He slipped on his shoes and lined up with the others. He made the trip to the mess hall simply following the man in front of him.
Breakfast! Really? Bill slid his tray along the metal slide-shelf and sleepily watched as some white, runny stuff was slopped on in the middle compartment. Next came equally runny yellow eggs and two pieces of burnt toast. Finally came a choice between chocolate or regular milk. Bill chose chocolate.
As he had done with dinner, he didn’t touch his tray. He drank the milk almost greedily, so fast it nearly upset his empty stomach. Luckily, or maybe by the grace of God, he didn’t heave it up. Then he sat staring into space. When cleanup came, he dumped everything in the trash and returned the spoon.
They got one double-edge razor blade each morning. That was for forty-eight men. You didn’t have to shave and Bill decided that first morning he’d skip the pleasure. He did wash up. He did brush his teeth best as he could since he didn’t have toothpaste. He was dying for a smoke, but he didn’t have cigarettes. After washing up, he lay on his bunk waiting.
The razor was passed around according to who knew whom. No matter who got it first, Bill would learn, the tough would end up with the first shave and his friends would get it next. Then it went by who was associated with whom or who was paying off.
At six-thirty work details started getting called out. A few names would be called, the people would line up at the door and then within minutes they would be led out. Bill’s name got called in the fourth set. He and two others from D dorm went out.
Bill found himself in a paddy wagon with five other inmates. He didn’t know where he was going or what the work was, but he was on his way. The other men were a mixed group of young and old, three a bit older than Bill, two in their forties or fifties. They all knew each other and joked around. Bill sat quietly until one of the older men asked him his name. That loosened things up. Next question was what he was in for. Bill told them. Each inmate then introduced himself in turn and told what he was in for. “Jesse, drunk driving.” “Warren, domestic violence.” “Newman, drunk and disorderly…”
“Where we headed to?” Bill asked when each man had said his name.
Bill discovered he was on the way to the police shooting range. The work detail was one of the tougher ones, pure physical labor.
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.