Short Stories > Once a Convict

Once a Convict

© Daniel Verastiqui

Flash of painful light, like staring into the sun on a cloudless day.

They could call it freedom if they wanted to, but the truth of the matter was that they wouldn’t be undoing Pony’s cuffs until he had made his way through the gauntlet of barbed fencing and razor wire to the last guard shack on the perimeter fence. Even a guy on parole was trusted no more or less than a lifer with a bad attitude and a sharpened toothbrush. He was a criminal, from the moment he stepped onto the grounds of the Turner Correctional Facility to the moment he stepped off. A piece of paper wasn’t going to change the way they saw him. He imagined nothing ever would, at least for the guards and the warden and the eight hundred other pieces of shit that he’d had to live with for the last fifteen years.

He walked alone for those last fifty yards, a great expanse of nothing cloistered on both sides by sharp metal, just wide enough for a man his size to...

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