Anthony, 32
Anthony, 32

Meet Anthony

As the line moves closer and closer to the courtroom where dozens of verdicts and releases await, I can’t but help to think about a Cattle Slaughterhouse and the similarities between it and jailhouse court.

It’s dark and hot in this room. I couldn’t sleep with the anxiety and nervousness surging through my body.

Why do court days always seem to steal precious sleep from me? God, I hope the judge goes easy on me – My heart beats a lil faster as I think, what if the judge says, 42 in prison,

NO, I can’t think negatively.

I try to stay positive and understand that I can only do so much and not control the outcome of my situation, yet regardless of what happens my ultimate focus is me and working on myself in the areas that have been problematic for me.

This realization calms me, and I am able to clear my mind and breathe deeply. I am feeling lighter – weightless and at peace.

There’s an eerie silence as herds of inmates – both male and female are quickly escorted into the courthouse.

 

“Keep it moving” shouts officers impatiently ushering the herds to the executioners, I mean judges, it’s funny by comparison.

I’m doing my best to stay calm, but things just don’t feel right and I notice how the shackled humans go inside the courtroom but aren’t returning the usual way. As a group of us, shackled and nervous enter a small musty holding cell bearing a stagnant toilet, and one wooden bench displaying dozens of gangs and members’ artistically carved forever into it. I refuse to add myself to that list and somehow trap my soul forever to this cold musty room, so I stay standing – listening to my heartbeat thunder the background noise of exaggerated talk from other idiots who are just as nervous as me.

“Anthony!” shouts the bailiff. “Get ready, you’re next.”

I suddenly feel sick and break out in a cold sweat. As I straightened myself I hear the heavy cell door loudly unlock and swing open.

“Ready?” the bailiff smiles suspiciously as he asks. All I can do is give a nod in the affirmative, I step into the corridor that has two ends. Shackled, I am escorted into the courtroom where surprisingly I am met by a room darker than a starless night with the moon hidden behind clouds.

A chill runs down my spine as I think “This isn’t right”. Suddenly I am tightly restrained to a cold metal chair by my feet, arms and waist – similar to the electric chair. I don’t remember this being a part of the process?

Next I see the judge or who I think may be the judge, Just that he’s wearing white instead of the traditional black gown…odd? And, oh wow! Are those stains on his clothing? …something is definitely not right.

“What’s going on” I say, but immediately I am answered by a long metal rod shoved into my side delivering a strong, sharp electrical shock, causing me to sag into the metal chair.

The judge stands and reveals himself. A butcher? Wearing what now appears to be a white blood-stained apron. The judge shouts “Guilty!” laughs sinisterly and pulls a lever that brings to life machinery out of view. My chair suddenly spins me into the direction where the noise from the hidden machinery seems loudest.

Slowly I am transported, and despite my shouts of defiance and struggles, the judge continues to yell “Guilty! Guilty!” closer to the loud machinery, what now sounds like grinding I can hear screams of others who are pleading for mercy. But to no avail.

My heart is pounding painfully in my small 18 year old chest, with swarms of questions and regrets flooding my mind – all unfortunately unanswered…next, my chair stops and begins to lift me forward allowing gravity to pull me down towards the menacing sounds of grinding and I feel myself slowly pulling from the chair closer to my slaughter.

“Here it comes” as the last strap frees itself from my waist, I feel light, weightless and strangely at peace, as if I’m suspended in a slow freefall.

“Anthony!” The intercom in my cell loudly crackles on, startling me from my sleep. “Anthony, get ready – you have court today.” It was just a dream…yet, I swear I thought I heard the sounds of machinery grinding at the end of that message.