Comforting A KillerbyStardog Champion©
Micheal Scott McKinley sat on his bunk absently reading a seven year old wrinkled and dusty copy of a dated National Geographic from the prison library. An article about a failed attempt by several mountaineers to scale Mount Everest had vaguely caught his eye.
Being an adrenaline junkie his whole life, McKinley had sill not gotten use to the stale, monotonous existence of day after day being behind the shadowy iron bars that held him captive.
The article detailed several men's ultimate grasp for freedom, to climb the world's highest peak and to stand above all creation and look down on everyone and everything. Micheal smiled a little as he read seeing that the mission failed and one of the climbers had died in the process. "That's what they get," Mckinley thought to himself.
Stuck in his current position, he often took solace in the failure of others considering he knew he'd never get the opportunity to climb to those heights. The small pleasures in life was what Micheal Mckinley had to look forward too, that and simple survival.
One of his chronic personality traits ever since childhood had always been needing a new rush. As he sought out greater and greater thrills, once he reached his teenage years and his hormones and outward influences both began taking their toll, those urges began to become more violent and harmful.
At the same time, the gradual almost tepid influences of pot gave way to the more demanding and financially constraining grip of crack and methamphetamine, thus a criminal was born.
The years from 16 to 20 had really been but a blur really for Micheal. One memory though that would always be engrained there was of the cool October night on quiet country sideroad on the outskirts of Memphis where Mckinley stood over the deceased body of one of the dealers he frequented.
A pool of warm blood covered his workboots as he held the lightweight, smoking Saturday Night Special tightly in his right hand, trying to think of what to do next as the vibrations of firing it sizzled through his body.
The rising tide of addiction in his body had led to a series of poor decisions, the worst of which was leaving a clear trail of bloody finger and shoe prints all over the scene of the murder.
Micheal, to this day couldn't remember why he killed the man, whether it was a "business' decision or just a passionate acting out of rage because of some perceived indiscretion.
Two days after the killing he had been arrested sleeping on a friend's sofa and after a short wait for a trail, Micheal Scott Mckinley was convicted by 12 men and women, then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole.
"Should've got the chair," he thought to himself as he continued to read about the Everest article. "At least there would be a light at the end of the tunnel". The old lyrics of a Neil Young song that he frequently listened to growing up plaid in his head,"It's better to burn out than to fade away... "
* * * * *
Nineteen year old Emily Harding was raised in a strict Southern Baptist home where life was relatively simple. Live by the code laid out by the Bible and the respect the discipline handed down by your elders. Although her sheltered existence had developed a young lady that was well versed in religious doctrine and as pure as the driven snow, Emily sorely lacked some of the experiences necessary for a girl to develop into a well rounded adult. Even though she was on the cusp of adulthood, in many was she still was like a naive preteen when it came to matters of understanding that there are other forces at work in the world than the love of family and God.
After finishing her high school education at a prep school in Nashville, Emily had been quickly accepted on academic scholarship to Tennessee Baptist College.
The atmosphere and opportunity for social growth at college wasn't markedly different than what she had endured at prep school. Although she was on the verge of completing her freshman year, many of the things she had secretly hoped to happen while away at school still had not transpired.
She had looked forward to the expectation that college offers to gain experience dealing with a variety of different cultures, ideas and personalities. Unfortunately, the choice of the "Bible" college had severely limited the types of people she would be sharing a campus with. Somewhere deep within her gut, Emily knew that there was another word outside of her limited lifelong landscape, but at 19 she still was safely away from it.
Another thing she secretly hoped to explore was her burgeoning sexual needs. Although she couldn't put many of those tinglings and desires into words, something equally as deep within her was telling her every hour of every day that she was missing out on something vital to her inevitable happiness with life.
As the spring semester wound down, Emily was left with several options to contemplate for using her summer vacation as an opportunity for personal growth.
After having spent the summer vacations during prep school as a bible school teacher and helping out on her parent's farm when she could, Emily sincerely hoped to get nothing more than a part time job for some spending money and the rest of the time could be spent relaxing and soaking up the sunny Tennessee summer.
Although her parents were pushing her to look into some missionary work abroad, Emily resisted the temptation to help out in a few of her churches South American outposts, aching to spend the summer trying to find herself.
One such opportunity to develop a few skills dealing with people she had never encountered previously was presented to her by one of her college professors, Dr. Glendon P. Lowell.
Dr. Lowell had been a civil rights lawyer and activist in the 60's but once the opportunities to capitalize on oppression in the South became more subtle and complicated, he decided to funnel his energies into teaching the next generations the value of fairness, equality and justice in society.
Emily had greatly enjoyed her class with Dr. Lowell on Constitutional Law during her Freshman year and loved his stories of the good ol' days.
One of the side projects the 58 year old professor had taken on in recent years was a small personal campaign to help inmates in Tennessee who believed they were falsely imprisoned, a free and empathic voice to lobby on their behalf. To those who freely and honestly admitted their guilt and wanted to repent, Dr. Lowell was also there to provide the voice of God and a caring hand of love in their life.
Occasionally in his classes, Dr. Lowell would bring up these episodes to his students and Emily for one was sickened at first, thinking how those "animals" would even be worth saving.
Still, the teachings of forgiveness and her lifelong experiences with faith had brought her around to seeing the small joy and necessity that Dr. Lowell's program offered.
With the Spring semester winding down and still without any concrete plans for the Summer, when Dr. Lowell made a passing reference about possible using a few student aides with the program over the break one day in class, Emily's curiosity was slightly tweaked.
Later that day, Ms. Harding found herself standing nervously outside the locked office door belonging to Glendon Lowell, fidgeting with the Bic pen in her hand. As the butterflies fluttered in her stomach, she slowly reached her right hand up and put her signature on the first line of the sign up sheet for the summer endeavor.
As incentive, Dr. Lowell was offering three internship credits as well for working in the 8 week prison program. Looking up at the sheet, empty with the exception of her name, Emily immediately felt as if she had done the wrong thing by signing up.
Momentarily she contemplated x-ing it out, but since erasable pins were things of the past and her name was clearly obvious on the top line, she figured plenty of other students would gladly join in the opportunity to gain three credits for basically 8 hours of work. Her backup plan was to defer to them.
Walking away from Dr. Lowell's office, the thoughts of what in fact she might see inside the walls of a prison circled frighteningly in her head as she contemplated what she had signed up to do.
Making her way down the hall to the student parking lot in her apprehensive daydream, Emily was startled back to reality as her for the lack of a better word boyfriend, Alvin Dantzler stopped her to talk.
"Why haven't you called?" he asked in a hurt tone.
"I really don't feel like it Alvy, " Emily sighed, "I've had a really long day. "
Alvin tried to stop her but she forcefully walked right on by on the way back out to her car. What she didn't want to talk about was what had transpired between the two, 3 nights earlier in his dormroom.
* * * * *
The two teenagers had slowly and methodically been building up to that night for quite a while. Alvin Dwayne Dantzler wasn't exactly Emily's idea of the man that would take her on that special night where she gave up her chastity. Although she had promised her parents and made the declaration before the entire church that she would wait until her wedding night to lose her virginity, she had also made a promise to herself not to get married until she had finished school and that was more than three years off.
Even though Alvin wasn't the most suave and accomplished man either, he was still a virgin as well, one thing that he was most certainly was persistent. Over the course of their freshman years, Alvin and Emily had met, become friends and eased into that age old mating dance of love without actually diving headlong into it.
As the semester wound down, each of their libidos had wound up to high and as nature had taken its course, they found themselves alone in Alvin's dorm kissing each other with definite intentions for more.
Alvin's hands seemed more explorative than ever and Emily seemed to allow him more leeway than she had ever previously. Slowly and tentatively, almost as if he was petting a strange animal for the first time, Alvin worked his hands up over Emily's bare thighs and moved them closer to the heat source he could feel radiating from above.
Emily had her eyes clenched shut as she felt Alvin make his move. She almost felt as if she was a spectator, watching the scene unfold inside her head, inside her self imposed darkness. She wanted to just get "it' over with and get on with her life and when Alvin clumsily raised up and pressed his weight on top of her, Emil sensed the time was near.
Fumbling with the fly on his jeans, finally Alvin was able to free his straining cock from his pants. Emily could feel the warm fleshy spear as it smacked up against the inside of her alabaster thigh but as good as the warmth felt, something inside her head kept saying over and over, "This ain't right... this just ain't right. "
As Alvin placed his cold sweaty hands onto Emily's shoulders, trying to secure his balance, the young virgin suddenly felt an incredible nausea fill her stomach.
She opened her eyes to look up at a horny but unmistakably frightened Alvin above her, almost looking as if he was searching out a users manual to consummate the relationship. Sadly, there wasn't one.
Although she desperately wanted to lose her virginity, and wanted to do it with someone who was as wholesome and "special" as Alvin, the instinctual non secular voice inside Emily's loins begged to be taken and used correctly. Losing her virginity would not be easy and a desperate part of the young girl needing someone who knew what they were doing rather than sloppy hoping to get it right.
Before she even realized she was doing it, Emily had lifted up, pushing the shell-shocked Alvin off of her and as she gather her sweater and purse she ran from his dormroom crying, leaving the young boy on the couch, his still ready cock obscenely dangling freely.
Emily knew it was her fault, all her signals had told Alvin that she was ready but when push came to shove, her body simply wouldn't let her, it acted as if Alvin didn't have the right key to start her engine.
For the next few days, Emily had avoided him, unsure of how to explain her dilemma without devastating him. As she rushed past him 3 days later after signing Dr. Lowell's prison program sheet, Emily Harding found herself more confused than ever about her future, her cravings and most importantly, about herself.
* * * * *
Upon arriving at school the next morning, Emily trudged her way into the computer lab to check her e-mails. There were a few from Alvin, begging her to talk to him and one also from Dr. Lowell. Emily feared what that one was about and hesitantly clicked it one to see what her professor had to say. Dear Emily,
Got your name her on the sign up sheet for the Summer internship with me. If you could, swing by my office today to discuss. Thanks and have a nice day, Dr. G. Lowell
About 3 that afternoon, Emily finally mustered enough courage to go see him.
"Ahhh.. come on in Emily, I've been waiting," Dr. Lowell implored the young girl, waving his hand from behind his large cluttered desk.
"Is.. this about.... the sign up sheet?" Emily mumbled nervously while ringing her hands together.
"Why yes it is," the older man quickly answered. "I have to admit I was a little surprised to see anyone's name on the sheet, I've had semesters in the past where no one even considered helping out.. and I also have to admit I was surprised a little that you were the one to sign up this time. It isn't exactly a glamorous way to get 3 credits during the Summer. "
Emily smiled weakly back at him, feeling a little jolt of pride that her courage had been recognized but still scared to death of the proposition of what she had gotten herself into.
"What do.... do you mean.. the one to sign up this time? No one else did?" Emily asked unsure if that was what her elder professor meant.
He lifted up the sign up sheet, and sure enough, her signature was the only one gracing the front of the otherwise blank piece of paper. "You're it," he smiled proudly.
Emily was left speechless, her back up plan was also out the window. She had long been taught not to go back on her promises, no matter how small, and that her word was her bond, but as she tried in vain to come up with a way to squirm out of her signed commitment, she was left with these frail words as they fell numbly out of her mouth.
"Well Dr. Lowell.... I had to have something to do this Summer... and the 3 credits were kind of.. well.. they certainly would help... "
"Its done then," Glendon Lowell howled, slapping his desk in admiration of the girl's courage. "Don't worry Emily, I'll be there with you every step of the way through this. You are one brave woman and I think the men were are going to be helping will be only bettered seeing you show your heartfelt compassion and courage to help them. "
* * * * *
Lying about the specifics of what her Summer internship with Dr. Lowell would entail was one of the biggest lies Emily had ever told her parents. She knew that if she told them the truth, their reaction would be an immediate cease and desist order, so in lieu of that, Emily fabricated a believble and utterly plausable story about helping inner city kids in Memphis one day each week during her Summer holiday. The story would account for her long car trips across the state as well as provide a good alibi when the envitable stress of the visits to the Tennessee maximum security lockup began taking their toll emotionally on her. Emily could simply say she was feeling a hole in her heart for the kids she was seeing every Wednesday.
* * * * *
The first trip down state had been stressful from its outset. Dr. Lowell had decided to drive his beat up 15 year old jeep to Memphis rather than his newer car because his wife didn't want him running up miles on it and she also rather liked the way the Cadillac looked carrying her around town on her daily errands than she did in the rickety jeep.
Cramped into tight quarters made the one and a half hour drive uncomfortable and that feeling of claustrophobia was only heightened by the fact that a steady rain fell during the entire trip down I-40. To make matters worse, the roof of the old warhorse also leaked slightly around the seams and by the time they pulled into the prison's large parking lot, both passengers looked as if they had each taken a shower with their clothes on.
As they sat in the lot, Emily took a series of long deep breaths in anticipation of going inside. Dr. Lowell warned her, as she sat there preparing herself, that there were going to be things she'd see and hear about inside those heavy concrete walls in front of them that she would never be prepared to understand. It would literally be like walking into another world and another culture where a different set of rules than she had ever experienced governed the running of the lives inside.
Looking straight ahead at the prison walls as Dr. Lowell continued his warnings, the butterflies inside Emily's belly grew larger and more rambunctious.
By the time Emily was ready to go and she and her professor had gathered their bags and briefcases to go inside through the myriad of guardposts and checkpoints, her clothes were now soaked completely through, highlighting the vague outline of her Reubenesque frame through her long blue and white Sunday dress.
While thankfully Dr. Lowell and Emily weren't made to promenade through the main corridor between the assorted cellblocks, Emily could still feel the weight of the leering stares from the various prisoners who did supervised spot duty as janitors and gofers throughout the prison's hallways.
Dr. Lowell had told Emily to simply keep her gaze and focus directly in front of her and to try as best as she could to block out the craving glances from the men as she walked by.
Coming from such a sheltered background, Emily had never had to deal with men looking at her like that, licking their lips as if she was nothing more than a piece of freshly served up steak, waiting to be devoured as soon as the guards turned their back.
One step at a time, Emily continued walking beside Dr. Lowell, who had long since become use to the gauntlet she was walking for the first time.
Although the prisoners made her greatly uncomfortable, the intense and unsettling stares she got from the prison guards made her rather nervous as well.
Finally, the professor and Emily reached the end of the long white linoleum hallway and were let into a small conference room where Dr. Lowell and his Freshman protégé would meet with the 4 inmates that had signed up to talk to the good doctor.
For some reason, Emily had expected the inmates to be secluded behind a glass and they would talk to each other via telephone-like devices that she saw on television shows occasionally. But as she walked into the room and looked around the small room, the 4 men in denim shirts and faded prison issue jeans were sitting freely in chairs in a semi circle at the back of the room, being watched guardedly by their keepers.
* * * * *
In all honesty, the whole experience of her first trip downstate was nothing more than a blur. As she sat down in the still wet jeep seat and waited for Dr. Lowell to get in on his side and begin the long trip home, she was thankful to get out of the imposing facility surrounding her.
Although all four inmates seemed amiable and repentant for their sins, Emily still couldn't escape just how intense and probing the looks from the inmates had been at her. Although she tried her best not to make direct eye contact with any of them, she couldn't help but occasionally engage them in small bursts of recognition and internally, her body trembled from the intentions she was reading in their stoic gazes.