Getting ahold of those smokes wasn't easy. I didn't have much cash to speak of, so I traded my A-harp to Swifty Coblentz for enough smokes to get some info out of the little dude. I hung around the yard for what seemed like forever. I never saw him.


I 'bout shit my pants.

"Where did you come from? How do you do that?"

"Never mind that - got those smokes?"

I slipped him the packs.

"Okay. There's a guy in C block - second row top left - got posters and pictures of that chick."

"C block? How in the Hell am I gonna get in C block."

"Not my problem, brother. I'm just the messenger." He started to leave.

"Wait. How do I know you're not lying?"

He smiled over his shoulder. "You don't."

And he was gone.

I was pissed. I had just given up my A-harp for a crock of crap. As I started to walk away, my shoe kicked a folded-up piece of paper.

When I unfolded it, I couldn't believe my eyes.

"Hey! Numbnuts! Get a move on!"

Damn! The guard.


I shuffled off, but at least I was on the right track this time.

I just had to find a way to get into C block.

Back in the lockup, I started asking around. I knew this was a wrong thing to do, 'cause everybody got the wrong idea. Nobody wanted to talk to me. I mean, nobody!
It was like I had a disease or something.

So I stood against the wall, waiting for my block to be called , so I could go back up and get some shuteye and plan my next move. Everybody was avoiding me.


"Dammit!! How can you just sneak up like that?"

"Trick of the trade, person-in-need."

As he said that, he smiled, and his gold tooth shined in the fluorescent light. I wondered how he'd managed to keep it in his mouth all this time, but I really didn't want to ask.

"You still want to see the lady in the red suit?" he smiled.

I looked at my feet like I expected them to give me the answer. "Yeah - sure would."

He looked around quickly.

"Lookee here. I can't guarantee you anything, but I can get you in to see the man in cellblock C who knows everything about her."

"Umm hmm," I thought. "For what? My blood?"

"No, dumbass, not your frigging blood - but a carton will do."

"How do you do that? Read my damned mind and show up like a damned ghost?"

"You worry about you, and I'll worry about me..."

And he was gone.