"Get out,” I said, pushing him out of the cell he was assigned. His inmate, a rapist, stares at him with blue, beady eyes.
“Where’s he going?” His inmate said with a harsh southern accent. He picks at his fingernails.
I didn’t answer him. I usually don’t talk to criminals. The little I do are small commands. Most of them listen. Most of them eye the weapon I have on my belt. Charlie was a fighter. I had to pull him out as if it was his last day on Death Row.
“Let go of me, ape!”
After a long, hard fight out of the cell Charlie accepted his fate. Grunting as I pushed him along, through the rows and rows of criminals. I still remember the stink of sweat, piss, and old concrete. I’ve always told myself I'm never going to go back there. I always do.
He was twenty-one when he committed the murders. It’s been two years now. He was the same age as me. His leading case was that ‘I’ve been framed’. That’s the hard truth with drunken murders. Charlie wasn’t himself. But it was his choice to get drunk. Technically, it was his choice to kill those three little girls.
My chest deepens just thinking about it. Three girls. Gone. They had one life and a stupid choice ruins it. I’ve never gotten drunk ever since I’ve been in the police force. You see things. You never crave it again.
I thought Charlie would try some tricks against me in the car, but instead, he just looked out the window, somberly, his head against the window.
“Where you driving me now? To the chair?”
I don’t answer. I hate talking to criminals. They deserve to be treated like the animals they are. Charlie is no exception.
I looked through the rear-view mirror. We made eye contact, but I quickly glanced back at the road.
“Where we going?” Charlie asked again, his voice a bit more forceful this time.
“To the airport,” I grunted. It was true, although Charlie didn’t believe me. Yes, we were going to the airport. I was the one assigned to accompany him to transport him to another prison, one that does a better job at keeping the criminals inside. Since we lived in a remote city, there’s forest all around. If prisoners escape, they escape. Good luck trying to find them.
We arrived at the airport, but I had to look for the back entrance. That was what I was commanded to do. Small city, small airport. Not that hard to find. I parked where workers parked. I park badly, but I think that’s one of the things cops are allowed to do. I don’t care.
I walked outside first then grabbed Charlie out of the backseat. Kicking the door closed, I shoved Charlie in front of me. “No funny business. We’re in a public place. Try to act like a normal human being,” I commanded as I knocked on the back door. Charlie grumbled something I couldn’t understand.
A surprised lady opened the door, stuttering.
Putting on my deep, police voice, I said, “Ma’am, could you please allow entrance? I’m part of the police force.”
Before I could finish my entire sentence, the way has already been cleared for me. I pushed Charlie ahead of me so I can see what he’s doing at all times. ns22.214.171.124da2