San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Making a deal with the devil

The guards approached cell B-48 and surrounded the door.  Its occupant, a sleeping mass under a blanket, did not stir.  The lead guard rapped his club on the door and peered into the window.  As he did, the man inside swung his hand up in a one-fingered salute.

“That’s it,” the guard snarled.  Swinging the door open, he swung his club at the folds beneath the blanket.  As the man cried out, the guard kicked him out of the bed before tossing him a pair of handcuffs.

“Let’s go McCoy. Warden wants to see you.  Put em’ on and, this time,
no funny business.”

The man smirked and handcuffed himself before being led away by the guards.

Warden Prentiss Sharp dabbed his forehead as the thick Florida air threatened to soak his suit with sweat.  But it wasn’t just that making him perspire.  He was nervous.  His guest, tall with charcoal skin, was seemingly untouched by the heat, even in his suit.  He merely sat in the corner unfazed.  There was a knock on the door, followed by a gruff voice:

“Prisoner McCoy to see you sir.”  The door was pushed open and the unkempt, handcuffed Anderson McCoy stumbled in.  Warden Sharp dismissed the guard.

“Please make yourself comfortable Mr. McCoy,” Sharp said.

McCoy remained standing, staring intently at the warden. He inclined his head when he noticed the man in
the corner.

Sharp shook it off.  As the doors closed, he opened the file before him.

“Anderson McCoy, born May 3, 1972 in Dade County, Fla.  Good grades, went to West Point, served with distinction in the Fifth Infantry Division.  Saw combat in the Gulf, as well as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.  Cross-trained in jungle environment.  Eventually rose to the rank of staff sergeant before your incident. After which, you were court-martialed and busted down to private again.  Such a fall from grace in such short time.  And you’ve been with us ever since.” He looked up with a smile, dripping with oily charm.  “Did I miss anything?”

“I’m a Libra,” McCoy muttered stoically.

Sharp glared at McCoy and closed the file.

“Regardless, it’s not your past I’m concerned with.  It’s your current predicament.  A search conducted of your cell uncovered illegal substances, a finding the parole board will most likely find disturbing, to say
the least.”

McCoy shrugged.

“You planted that stuff, Sharp.  No one’s going to believe it.”

“Oh, I think they will, especially when they read all the sworn statements from the guards,” Sharp uttered with a menace as he
leaned forward.

“I could add on at the very least five years to your sentence.  At the least.  At the most, you’ll be here until you’re a rotting old man with no teeth left you son of a—”

Sharp was interrupted when his guest rose suddenly from his seat, surprising McCoy, who responded with a cry. The guest clamped down on McCoy’s shoulders hard, pressing him back into his seat.  In a deathly whisper like scraping gravel on concrete, he said:

“What Prentiss is trying to say, Mr. McCoy, is that because of this recent development, it is in your best interest to cooperate with us.”

McCoy eyed the man warily.  “Who are you?”

The man leaned back and folded his arms.  His voice was filled with venom and power. “My name is Victor Pressly.  But, as far as you’re concerned, I could be the devil himself.”

McCoy sat back.

“I’ve heard that name before.  You ran that company out of business a while back.”

“Regardless of what you’ve heard of me before, I can guarantee you it is irrelevant to your current plot.  I’m a businessman first and foremost.  But I find myself in the situation of looking for a man of your … talents. I can offer you a life outside these walls,” Pressly said.

McCoy scoffed.  “Living in here means I’m still living.  With you, who knows what my odds are.”

“Such a narrow attitude, McCoy.  Of course you’re free to decline my offer, in which case you’ll be returned safely to your cell.” Sharp interjected.

“I choose that option.” McCoy quietly intoned.

Sharp shuffled some papers.  Pressly rose and walked around the
seated McCoy.

“Of course, prison populations being what they are these days, who knows how you will fare after today?  A drop in the water, inmate’s violent tendencies, a lazy guard.  All the difference between life and death
in here.”

McCoy shook his head in disbelief.

“You’re joking.  Who do you think you are, huh?  This is America, but you people in charge think you can trample on those without any power, or worse—any hope.”

“America is what I say it is, Mr. McCoy.  Because, right now, the America you live in is a 6-by-8 foot slab of concrete—and I control all 30,000 of them in this prison.  Mr. Pressly is offering you a way out, for a very reasonable favor.”

McCoy leaned forward.  His voice was deathly quiet.

“Then do me a favor.”

“I’m listening,” Sharp sniffed.

“Prisoner #3211964. Get him out of here.  I don’t care how you do it, but if you give your word, then I’m all yours.”

Sharp glanced up at Pressly, who gave an ever-so-slight nod.

“I’ll do what I can, McCoy.”

“What do you need Pressly?” McCoy queried.

“I need you to take a god damn shower first.”

A wry smile spread across McCoy’s face.

“You had me at ‘rotting old
man,’ gentlemen.”

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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Making a deal with the devil