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The prisoner sat on the cold concrete floor of his cell. Doing time is tough. But did it have to be this tough? The unending boredom of living alone in the small cell with four bare walls was slowly eating away at the soul of Rex. The frustrating, unsuccessful escape attempts and the bitter months of incarceration had left him depressed, defeated and broken. He sensed he was not the same as he was when he entered this hellhole.
With a tired eye, he looked at his right arm. The wound from the last week's fight was healing but it would leave a scar. He was getting older. He used to win all his fights. Not any more. Now he was having trouble with the rougher characters in this crazy joint. The constant atmosphere of malevolence made him nervous and jumpy.
The hard metallic clang of the ward door opening jolted him and sparked more of the emotion of fear than curiosity.
"What do they want now?" he thought dimly.
The officer, a strange man and a blond teen-aged girl walked through the ward door, their footsteps echoing off the bare walls. The three strode down the center aisle and stopped at the door of his cell.
“That's the one,” the teen-aged girl said. She pointed directly at Rex.
“OK,” the officer said.
The officer opened the door of the cell, confusing the prisoner. He was even more perplexed as the three led him out of the prison door into the parking lot. The bright sunlight dazed Rex who was used to being kept indoors. They led him to a middle-aged woman next to a Mini-van in the parking lot.
"We just signed the papers," the man said.
“He's all ours.” The teen-aged girl said.
The door of the van suddenly swung open.
"He's a good dog,” the officer said with a smile on his face. He's just had a very hard and abused life."
"Jump in so we can take you home Rex!” The teenage girl was now in the back seat.
"Come on boy! Jump!" the strange man encouraged Rex. “We have a house in the country and there are lots of rabbits to chase!"
A faint spark deep within the abused dog made him sense the warm light of a new and better life. His tail gave a brief, hopeful half wag. Then with hope in his heart, he leaped into the van's back seat, entering his new beginning. The door immediately slammed shut. The minivan pulled out of the parking lot and headed West—away from the city.
The getaway was complete. The prisoner was free.
Only read the teaser. Clever story. Good stuff. TB
|Time Wars & other SciFi Tales|
by Gordon Rowlinson