Howard Meets a Border Collie by Joseph Plasan

January 14, 2013 Comments Off on Howard Meets a Border Collie by Joseph Plasan

One soap tick mark,
One more soap tick mark,
another soap tick mark…   

A soggy brown popcorn bag, shoved in through the metal slot, marked Christmas for Howard and fell atop his head in the midst of making his first prayer in fifteen years. The slot closed with a loud clang, but after all that time, Howard had learned to hold his ears shut.    

One soap tick mark,
One more soap tick mark,
Another soap tick mark…

Howard’s mirror was filled with the tallies of days past. Soon he would no longer be able to see himself and would give up completely. Everyone in the other broom closets seemed to speak their own different languages, mostly muffled low-pitched tones. You could hear the echoes down the hallway, young men and old men posing as young men, screaming and taunting one another.     

After three more days in unit #2, he would finally take the offer to be transported to the parking lot, and it was in this concrete cubicle that Howard made the acquaintance of a border collie named Lee. The two of them would share a brick wall for quite some time. They had heard each other’s moans in solitary for weeks without knowing it. Howard wiped off his mirror and began again, trying to remember the number ‘32’ in his head.

One soap tick mark,
One more soap tick mark,
Another soap tick mark…

The Border collie informed Howard that he had signed a similar contract, then a bunch of ghosts armed with Berettas  dressed him in funny hats and ornaments and made him dance. The dog spontaneously combusted on his 47th day in the closet, a series of violent yelps and a boom were overheard by Howard on that day. The ghosts passed by Howard’s cell door as usual, their pistols and boots had seemed a little shinier than the day before.

One soap tick mark,
One more soap tick mark,
Another soap tick mark…

Howard sat holding a bowl of pork bits in watery grits. He stared blankly at the wall. His uniform had turned yellow. The smell was despicable. Many men had been in Howard’s situation before, and there where sure to be many more to come.

One soap tick mark,
One more soap tick mark,
Another soap tick mark…

“Two years down and only two to go!”Howard thought. “At least I have this funny hat.”

© 2012 Joseph Plasan 

Joseph Plasan is younger than most writers. He is currently in the process of editing his first full length novel while he and his best friend eagerly await a long Pennsylvania winter and a spanking-new baby boy.

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