Biters Block

loose teeth on a wooden background

Biters Block

Only the truly sick got sent to my stretch of the asylum.

To say the whole place was crazy would be so corny that it became a cluttered little cliche in and of itself. No, no. The lonely psychotics, as we used to call them, went to the socialized wings of the hospital. There was Cutters’ Corner, for the kiddies. Alcoholics’ Alley, for the assholes.

And of course, Biters’ Block. For the really bad boys and girls. The type of babes that needed their own, special, big box.

The story of how I found myself in this sad little sanctuary for the criminally insane is, frankly, one that lacks the utter sorrow of the Chronicles of My Cellmates.

Cell… neighbors?

Cell… cousins?

We weren’t allowed in the same room, you see.

No, no. We were too dangerous. The shadows inside the cell block were sure of that. The only sickos that got sent to my side of insanity were the schizos and socios who were so unsafe; so corrupted… they sat them inside a cell for every shit and shower they could ever hope to savor.

Some of those psychos weren’t so bad.

There was Stephen. He was my best friend. Yes, even the screwy can still have best friends. Stephen lived next door to me and had been in the asylum since age seven. When he was five, the kid nearly sent the family cat to an early grave. At six, he graduated to his big brother, Brian. Stephen never felt too bad about that, so they put him on the Block.

William was the watcher. That was we called him, anyway, simply for the fact that he never could quite sleep. Willy blamed all the insane shit he did in his life on the inability to catch some Zs. At night, when the only sounds were soft snores from the shadows, Willy would keep track of all the weird things he would see.

The least favorite and final resident was the namesake of Biters’ Block; Jesse the Jerk.

Jess had a big mouth, and the only thing it was good for was to bite, spit, or shout at any poor sucker that got close enough to stay and see if he could learn a little more. He wore a muzzle, full time, soon after the shadows got so sick of his screaming that they ran out of solutions.

We thanked them for that, truly we did, but even still the shadows were insatiable and insufferable little snakes. They stole every shred of basic humanity each of our souls had left in our hollow little shells. Most of us were just trying to enjoy our last few years before hell. But they seemed in a rush to get us there.

And still, the most sycophantic act ever committed against the occupants of Biters’ Block started when the shadows stopped giving us our medicine.

They didn’t know it, but Willy always watched. Sometimes, when the their shift came to a close, Willy would see some of those sickly shadows rifle through the supply closets and pocket our precious pills. They would sell them; on the black market, no doubt. Our anti-psychosis pills in particular were strong enough to fetch a large sum for any second-rate med student who couldn’t cut it on the safer side of healthcare.

That’s all they were, after all. Shadows in scrubs.

One morning when the lack of treatment made us all paper the walls with whatever shit was sitting inside or nearby, Willy told us which one of them had stolen the medicine this time.

“Its the salty one, with the cinnamon-colored hair and fat derriere.”

Willy giggled at his words and the rhyme. It did sound sweet, and soon we were all singing along with him. Even Jess managed to add in a verse through his muzzle, which brought uproarious laughter from Stephen and made the melody all the more… musical.

Cinnamon-colored hair.

FAT derriere.

He took our baby brown pills.

Because I saw them, over THERE!

We sang our song until our throats hurt. At the start of the shadows’ second shift, they were sweating. They screamed at us, begged us to stop it before the senior staff came in for the day. The three of them paced back and forth like imbeciles, banging on the cell doors and windows in any attempt to drown out our beautiful and bittersweet symphony.

Cinnamon-colored hair.

FAT derriere.

He took our baby brown pills.

Because I saw them, over THERE!

The next few seconds and moments were so minuscule, they have mostly been wiped from my memory. Cinnabon flavored shadow stepped forward from behind a desk, covered in slime and the stink of bad decisions.

He opened Jesse’s cell door, walked up, and slit his throat. From end to end, all in one smooth motion.

Jess fell to the floor like a domino. At first, it looked like the Jerk might step forward to bite the shadow, as he had done so many times before, but the poor soul never stood a chance. Thick red blood poured from his neck, all while that stupid little mouth still tried to work its way around out of another situation.

I stopped singing. So did Stephen. But Willy did not.

He kept going, in a monotonous, calm voice that was sure of what it saw. He was sleep deprived again, three or four days straight was his average. On those benders he was capable of just about anything.

Cinnamon-colored hair.”

Another that line, a second shadow started to open Willy’s cell.

FAT derriere

The door was almost open, and Cinnabon passed the small knife along.

HE took the brown pills,” Willy pointed at the shape in front of him.

The shadow swiped his neck cleanly, leaving one fine line and a bright red ribbon. Willy’s face looked sad, but his eyes stayed open. Always watching. Stephen and I were left screaming.

It has been seven years since the slayings.

Biters’ Block claimed a bad argument during changing had resulted in the death of two of it’s occupants. The addition of a shiv found under a sink allowed them to kill each other. Big boss man called it carelessness, and the shadows on second shift were all fired. But they were never prosecuted.

Stephen and I were barely capable of complete sentences at the time of the sorrow, so it was not a shock we were not able to stand up in defense. We have since been separated.

Now, I am addressing my story to the chief investigative newspaper of my great state, with my best words and finest typeset, along with the hope that they should find it sufficient.

Additionally included is a record of our song in its completion, performed by me alone in my cell this past September. Those words are as striking a conviction as any that a mind as simple as mine can supply.