After being put in what looked, initially, like an empty cell, David lost track of time. He heard voices from the other cells, but they were oddly faint, as though they were further away than they really were. His own cell was a stark, barren room with drawings all over the walls, scratches that looked like they’d been made by fingernails marking several of them. A single toilet and sink combination sat near the doorway, its dim and unpolished silver appearance telling a story all it own. The water in the bowl looked clean at least, but for some reason David didn’t trust it. That was an odd thought to have, but upon entering the room he felt that he was being observed somehow, though there was no one else there, only a lone shaft of fading light coming through the single, translucent window that was heavily fortified and warded with what was probably layer upon layer of safety glass.
A single, neatly-folded pile of laundry lay on one of the bunks that was bolted to the wall, and a thin mat that he’d found did little to alleviate the feel of metal beneath his back had been laid across the cot. For a moment, a brief, terrifying span of a few seconds, David had felt like crying. Remembering where he was and who he was, and what he was, a badass to the core, he’d sucked it up and laid down, resting his head on the towel, washcloth, and sheet that lay bundled at the head of his cot. He’d stared at the scratched and slightly pitted surface of the cot above him for a while before his eyes had closed.
After what felt like a very short time, David was awoke by someone tapping his left foot.
“Hey, hey man, wake up.”
Groggily, David opened his eyes, wondering just what time it was. Looking up and behind his cot, towards the window, he saw what might have been a shaft of moonlight dimly penetrating the thick glass, spilling weakly along the floor. It just barely illuminated the black man that was prodding his foot again.
“Make room man, I got somethin’ to say to you.”
Without hurrying, he didn’t want to look like he was afraid, David sat up, ducking his head to avoid hitting it on the bunk above. He maintained eye contact with the man, noting from his peripherals the fierce appearance of the individual. The man was bald, but had a thick, bushy beard and mustache that added to his fearsome appearance. He was thick, built like a bull, but somehow David got the impression that this man could break him in half.
“Keep your eyes off me young ‘un,” the man snapped at him, “You’re in my house, have some respect.”
David wanted so badly to roll his eyes at this, but looking at the man once again he found himself thinking that, on some instinctive level, this would be a very poor idea. So he nodded, and kept his eyes down.
“I’mma drop some knowledge on you boy,” the man drawled, “So you better listen.”
And for nearly thirty minutes, David did. This was amazing, even to him.
(to be continued)