When the jury pronounced me ‘Guilty of first degree murder,’ I felt like the good Lord burdened me with all the crosses everyone carried—each burden, each iota of sorrow on my shoulder. The feeling was like being burnt at Calvin’s stake, but worse, because I was more innocent than Servetus. There was a fool writhing for blasphemy, and here I was, a Bible believing churchgoer being punched in the gut by an unfair fist. ‘Why Lord?’ I cried out, and then some idealism that kept me through my youth, and when I was with her—before some sick, twisted individual muted her chirp, and made sure the evidence pointed to me, like the fingers of a disgruntled society wanting someone to blame—falsely glowed within.
‘Motherfucking sand-nigger! You think you can get away with stripping our women of their integrity and blood!’ They screamed while they brutally beat me, and handcuffed me, though I was the one who made the 911 call, screaming, ‘Help me! My wife…’ unable to complete my sentence.
Did my brown skin make them easily pin me to the board of guilt, throwing me like a dart though I knew nothing, and found her in that state, breathing her last? Or is this justice for petty sins committed like lustful thoughts or bitterness? I’d like to believe the former is true, because if God is just, he wouldn’t have thrown me in a cell, where I couldn’t survive, because the very first day, they pounced on me, and soon passed me like a pizza slice calling me Cynthia, Luella and Sharon, and bought me for half-smoked cigarettes and sour tasting cheap booze brewed from ingredients best unmentioned.
But I ironed clothes and played the ‘bitch’ because there was no other way out. And soon, they transferred me to another prison where the rules were relaxed but the predators remained. But I didn’t want to spend fifty-years being a ‘prag’ and I decided to strike back. I made a shank and stuck it into the first inmate who made a pass at me. I dug it deep into his skin and he barely survived. Soon, I needed a gang to survive, and since the ‘Christians’ were self-righteous hypocrites, I joined a gang that embodied my race. And I grew with blood spilt and made it to the top.
Today, I’m back in another maximum-security penitentiary and I look at Clara who does my bidding, and bark orders when needed. I guess I’m well and truly rehabilitated!
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2018)