As April Drummond looks at her etiolated image reflected in the dirty, almost opaque windows of Craggy Prison, she counts the steel bars that separate her from the outside world…and waits. She waits for the monthly visit that she desperately wants, but knows will never come.
She is inconsequential. She is unimportant. She is insignificant. She is irrelevant. She is nonessential. She is meaningless. She is picayune.
She is also a murderer.
There are no words of comfort from the guard, who watches her every move, as she sits and waits. There is only a slight look of fear when her visitation time is up, and no one has come.
April has a look in her eyes…the kind of look that unnerves you. The kind of look that makes you shudder. The kind of look that makes you question whether she is predator or prey. The kind of look that foments the common reaction of fight or flight, when confronted by fear. For those reasons, other inmates don’t bother her, but those aren’t the only reasons.
A one time interaction with another prisoner named BB, aka Big Bertha, aka Big Bitch, who invited April to join her “family,” became folklore legend.
BB, an unsympathetic bully, was born in this very prison, and as if written in a playbook, she found her way back “home” when she was just 23.
Her mother, (street name Jasmine) was a drug addict, who got pinched for prostitution after she solicited an undercover police officer.
Jasmine told BB that she didn’t know who her father was, but whoever he was, for a minute or a month, he was surely a happy man after having “been with her.”
The day before Jasmine was to be released, she was stabbed to death by another inmate.
It was well known that BB ruled the prison, had a few guards in her pockets, had her defenders, her enforcers and her family, which included several “daughters,” and three “wives,” and was not the kind of prisoner you ignored, challenged, or turned down.
Although BB wasn’t a large woman, she was powerful and intimidating. April, being diminutive, was mistakenly considered an easy mark by BB and her family. When she refused BB for the last time, the family gathered around her like a pack of angry wolves.
April grabbed BB’s left breast and twisted it like a corkscrew. BB screamed in agonizing pain, and dropped to her knees. After she surrendered, she attempted to smile as she said, “I forgot that you were a murderer.”
April leaned over and whispered, “don’t forget it again.”
At 38, she is three years into her forty year sentence, which carries the possibility of parole after ten years, or possibly sooner if she is a model prisoner, or overcrowding becomes an issue.
Everyone who is incarcerated declares their innocence, but not April. She is the only guilty inmate in the prison.
To be continued_______________