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Exiled by Ryan and Niki Traynor Chapter 2

Chapter 2
March 3, 2011 Another day another dollar, Noel thought to himself as he finished cleaning his portion of the large stainless steel pots and pans. He had always hated doing dishes growing up, but in his present situation, Noel found it to be mentally relaxing and looked forward to it every single day. As irony would have it, Mr. Brighton, also known as inmate 473290, would be forced to find solace scraping burnt potatoes and old macaroni in the enormous kitchen of Luken Penitentiary. He had been transferred to this awful place within six months of its grand opening.
The warden of Luken, Jackson Milford, was made aware of the inmates deemed most hazardous to the integrity of the institute. He wanted to break them in as if they were thoroughbred stallions. Noel caught his eye early on for several reasons; the first being the crime that had landed him in the joint, followed by the outrageous events that transpired during the tail end of his trial. The icing on the cake had been his ingenious, yet unsuccessful, prison break one year prior, which made headlines all across the country.

Warden Milford made a special visit to Noel’s cell the morning he arrived. Milford was accompanied by two armed guards in full riot gear including plastic shields and retractable batons. At first, Noel assumed the visitation was nothing more than a scare tactic until a third guard stepped into the chamber brandishing a silver roofing hammer. By the looks of it, the blue handled hammer appeared to be newly purchased. On closer inspection Noel noticed part of the label ripped down the middle displaying its price atop the remnants of a long thin bar code on the shaft of the tool.
Even though inmate 473290 knew nothing good could come from this precarious situation, his mind continued to focus on the price tag, wondering if it had really cost thirty-four dollars and ninety-nice cents. If it had, than he was sure the hardware store had marked up the price well above its original wholesale value. His mind delved on the instrument as he wondered why they did not choose a different model; say a ball pin or conventional framing hammer. Why not a black one with a perforated red handle?
As the warden made himself comfortable folding his arms and leaning against the shared wall, Noel noticed his grey suit was not only expensive but most likely an Armani. His silk tie was diagonally striped red and black, complimenting the shiny suit, not to mention the black oxford button down shirt neatly tucked into his trousers. Noel looked down and admired his shiny black dress shoes as Warden Milford opened his mouth to speak.

“Hello Mista Brighton,” he said with a southern Alabama twang, making his last name sound like ‘Brah-tun’. He smiled wide revealing crooked yellow teeth, stained from coffee and decades of cigar smoking.
“Good morning,” Noel responded pleasantly. “I’m ‘n charge of this fine establishmen-” “I know who you are,” Noel interrupted. The warden’s face hardened into a fierce scowl at the interjection and then rescinded back into a cocky smirk. “Scuze me. I mean to say you are well known to most of the inmates here... sir,” Noel managed to squeeze out.
The warden looked to his right at one of the guards and burst out laughing. He turned his gaze back to Noel, “You sho' are a spitfire son. It’s a damned shame I don’t take kindly to rascals such as yourself. Now, you interrupt me again and I guarantee you won’t like the outcome. Ya understand?”
Noel looked at the floor as his heart raced at a million miles per hour. He could feel his sweat glands working overtime as rage swept across his frontal lobe, well aware of the danger
being encountered. Noel labored to make his outward appearance seem ashamed despite the fact that he wanted the warden’s head on a stick. He had just met the man and already knew he was being singled out. It was only six fifteen in the morning and his day was ruined, possibly his week, by the crotchety old fart.
As Noel put on the apologetic fa├žade, Warden Milford pressed the issue. “That was not a rhetorical question. So, ya choose to speak out a turn and then ignore direct inquiries huh? I’ll ask you one more time and I expect an answer. Do you understand?” he asked emphatically.
“Yes I do,” Noel replied sheepishly. The warden raised his eyebrows and frowned in anticipation as Noel finished his sentence, “Sir”.
“Now I’ve come to visit you personally to set the tone for your extended stay here and I’ve brought the welcome wagon,” said the warden with enthusiasm. “Boys make your acquaintance with Mista Brighton.”
Without warning, two of the guards smashed the surprised prisoner into the corner of his cell with their clear shields. Noel looked at their helmets and wondered if the visors were made of the same material as the shields. He assumed they were. Plastic was quite an amazing invention. People lived for millenniums without it only to make it into a modern day necessity.

I guess I’m gonna take a beating, thought Noel. He looked directly at the warden and smiled. Nothing I haven’t been through before. He thought about every beating he took since he found himself permanently incarcerated. No sweat, he thought to himself. As Noel widened his grin, he prepared for something a little more brutal than what he was used to. His gaze turned to prison guard number three who would be the master of ceremonies on this fine day. He laughed out loud as the video Can’t Touch This played out in his mind. The warden’s smug look turned to pure venom as he absorbed the laughter at his expense. He nodded at the guard wielding the blue handled tool. I guess M.C. Hammer would be doling out the pain courtesy of Warden Milford: writer, producer and director.
The warden, realizing he was in full control of the situation, returned Noel’s hazy grin. The master of ceremonies looked slightly uneasy with his lead role in the entire state of affairs, but his face was full of determination. Noel closed his eyes and listened to the footsteps approaching directly in front of him. “His shoes,” uttered the warden as Noel exhaled deeply thinking about his failed prison break. What did he expect to do even if he managed to escape? No money, no friends and no family equaled an eventual apprehension. Living on the lamb, off the grid would have been all but impossible in this day and age; at least without the proper resources and connections, which were completely and utterly nonexistent. Now, he would pay. His extended sentence was nothing more than bureaucratic red tape when all was said and done. Not to mention his time spent in solitary, which was hard, but nothing more than a bad dream.
“You think you’re smart Noel. I know you’re not nearly as stupid as ya look. But I’m here as a harsh reminder.” It sounded more like ‘riminda’ with that sickly drawl. “You will not make me look bad son and I hope this’ll ensure just that. Do not think I take a sick pleasure in torturing my inmates.”

“Of course not,” Noel responded sarcastically. The warden snickered, “I am a God fearing man and I just believe in sending unconventional messages. This here is an unpleasant job, one that most people would hate. You may despise me and bring even more pain upon yourself by invoking my wrath, but believe you me; I will make you understand eventually. I have a hard job to do and yes, I am amply compensated, but like my daddy always said, ‘it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.’” “Well warden when you put it like that, I guess I do understand. Keep in mind I still despise you.” Noel watched as Warden Milford turned around and exited his cell. Guard number three bent down in front of his shoes, placed the hammer down on the concrete floor and took them off carefully, one at a time.
Noel held his breath as he felt his socks torn from his feet. The cold floor tingled, which didn’t feel all too unpleasant in the early morning hours, as he tried to savor every passing moment before his chastisement began. Prisoner 473290 closed his eyes and pictured his little girl’s smiling face.

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