the thief in cell block twelve

the metallic buzzer sounded signaling the final call for lights out. the night guard yelled something down the long drab corridor of the louisiana state correctional center as he hit the lights. he took in a deep breath to calm myself. this was the big night, it was now or never. tom had spent the last six months building up the idea that he was a prisoner to be trusted and was content on doing his twelve to fifteen without incidence. he volunteered at the prison library and had even made christmas cards for the warden and the bulls. tom spent countless hours researching locking mechanisms in the small library and tonight he would put that knowledge to the test. he waited a good forty minutes before sliding out of bed. he would bring nothing, speed and stealth were of the essence. he placed his hands on the cold iron bars and said a quick prayer. the heavy door slid open with a heavy click that seemed to echo though the entire cell block. "my god it worked" he whispered shaking his head in disbelief. he crept down the hall as several inmates sat up on their bunks, giving him the thumbs up. he looked at no one. there was a light on at the end of hall four, the guards were playing poker. tom waited to cross the hall until a hand was won and the room erupted in laughter. he held his breath and darted to the other side. they hadn’t seen him. he came to the prison kitchen and slipped inside. prisoners in cell block twelve were forbidden desserts until their second year. tom had once bribed a guard for a piece of oatmeal cookie, and here was a sheet pan of freshly made chocolate chip. he picked up one of the warm cookies and softly took a bite. it was almost heaven. the lights of the kitchen suddenly flicked on and he spun around in horror. “you put that cookie down mr. and get back in bed this instance! this is the third time now and i’m not joking! you have school tomorrow now lights out!” tommy ran back to his bunk bed and hopped in, yanking the covers up to his chin. “it’s going to be plan b then” tommy told himself. a little bit longer and the bulls would be asleep.

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