Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Orange (the color) (11/19/09)
TITLE: Wearin' orange
By Graham Starling
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So there I am about midnight outside the store with a snub nose in my pocket, waiting for the place to empty. I’m all like jittery and stuff and as soon as this last couple comes out, I pull my hoody up and go into the place.
The guy’s got sports bags on offer, so a grabs one a chucks it at him. The gun’s in my hand and pointin’ in his face, and I yell for him to open the register over and over until he does it.
I ain’t never seen so much cash. There’s got to be like nearly a grand in there and I’m thinkin’ that’ll get me a new set of alloys and maybe that neon kit. I yell at him to fill the bag up, and the guy has to be retarded ‘cos I got to say it over and over to get him to move. Then I notice he’s got this look in his eyes, like stubborn or somethin’ and I know he’s going to do somethin’ stupid, so I starts yellin’, “Don’t even think about it man,” over and over.
He’s not listenin’ and he reaches under the counter for somethin’. I mean it could be a gun or anything, so I pull the trigger. I can’t believe the noise, or how blood there is all of a sudden. I grabs the bag and runs. There’s alarms goin’ off now so I duck down a few alleys and soon I’m far enough away that sirens are goin’ past and I’m clear away. Wow what a rush, I can’t stop grinnin’ that I pulled it off.
Anyway it’s not that simple. Long story short, the gun’s been used before and the cops trace the bullet back to the guy who sold it me, and he fingers me. So a coupla days later, there’s uniforms busting in my front door and cuffin’ me and readin’ me my rights and stuff.
I’ve already chucked the gun and bag, but they lift blood from my clothes and GSR from my hand, so in the end I got nothin’. My lawyer gets me to plead guilty and the judge sends me down for life.
So here I am wearin’ orange overalls lookin’ to spend the next twenty years stampin’ out license plates. Prison’s no easy ride, you got to stand up for yourself, so I turn up full of attitude and bustin’ for a fight. After a week most people are giving me some space.
Anyway it’s Sunday and I’m just chillin’ when this old guy comes into my cell. I’m about to lay into him when he tells me not to be an idiot and shoves me down on my bunk. He says he’s been watchin’ me and reckons if I carry on like I am, I won’t live too long. So I asks him why he cares, an’ he tells me that he’s just doin’ what God tells him and God tells him I need a break.
For the next hour he tells me about Jesus and what he gave up for me ‘cos he loves me. Now I don’t get this much, my dad left before I knew him and my mum died when I was twelve. I haven’t had anyone look out for me since so I figured everyone just took what they could get. To hear that someone cared about me and wanted to give me something just didn’t hang right.
I didn’t make no decisions that day, but I did calm down. This guy kept lookin’ in on me every few days for the next few months, and eventually I did let him introduce me to this Jesus of his, and I’ve found a new way to live.
It doesn’t change everything. The guy in the seven-eleven is still dead, I still see his head explode every time I shut my eyes and I’m still gonna live inside these walls for most of my life, but even if I have to wear orange, at least my hands aren’t stained red any more.
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