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Chapter 10: Scene 35: Security's on the way


       Howard. The jail cottage. I step back and lean over the sink. My head's pounding. Blood drips down my cheek and into the dirty dishwater. Nobody moves. Davis stands in the middle of the room. Randy backs into a corner and shoots that cornered coyote look at me. I'm breathing hard, and the muscles in my arms stand out like they're ready to go at him again.

       Randy got Hi-Lo to push me. He tricked me and I fell for it! Making me fall into Randy. Sweat runs down under my arms.

        "Security's on the way," Ferguson says as he comes back into the kitchen.

       Davis nods. "I'll stay with these two until the car comes."

       My face is hot and the bloody place under my eye where Randy landed his lucky punch is starting to throb. Davis slops some antiseptic on it and hands me a square of gauze to hold on it. A car squeals to a stop outside. Davis pulls the door open. "Take them over to Howard, one at a time. I'll file a report before I go off duty."

       "This way, gladiator ," a guard with a beefy belly tells me. He takes hold of my arm and leads me outside. "We'll get you cleaned up and tucked in for the night, and then I'll come back for your buddy." He pushes my head down as I climb into the back seat.

ThinkLink: If you got into a fight, what would happen to you?

       Howard's just back of the school building. It only takes us a minute or two to drive there. "Wait there," the security guard tells me. No door handles in the back seat. Windows don't roll down. A metal grill between the seat. Where does he think I'll go? He squeezes his belly out from under the steering wheel and walks around to the big gray steel door of Howard. I watch through a barred window as a guard opens an inside door and then the big steel one to the outside.

       "I'm Mr. Wagner, night manager ," he tells me as I go in. He leads me into a little office area. "You're going to a segregation room , but first take off your shoes and jeans and put them in that basket over there. No belts or shoe laces."

       My skin starts to crawl. Not another body search . But as soon as I'm standing in my uns , he hands me a pair of sweats. He cleans up my cut again with something that stings bad and then he points me to another door. We walk into a long room with a ceiling that goes up two stories. It's almost as high as the barn at the ranch . I look down rows of steel doors that line both sides of the room. Little bulbs in wire cages up on the ceiling make small pools of light in the shadows.

       Wagner stops at one of the doors. He turns the lock with a key that hangs from a chain fastened to his belt. "Inside." He holds the door open and waits for me to go through. "Lights go out at 9:30. Get your bed made up before then. And don't make any ruckus . You're in here to cool off, so do it."

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 Updated on 5/13/04

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