The Prison

📅 Published on July 1, 2022

“The Prison”

Written by Alan McDaniels
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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It began as another dreadful day working overtime in the hellish place, we called home. Deadrock Correctional Center, a place where we send tormented souls to suffer until the end of time. I was just twenty-one when I started, still green behind the ears. My soul still intact, with shimmers of hope in my eyes. Five years later what was once a hopeful young man seeing opportunity now stares at his neatly pressed black uniform with disgust, seeing only shackles. A shortage of staff has officers working on their days off, and today on this dark, sunless, summer day…my time has come.

I was always a bigger boy than others, not around the belly but the shoulders. My father said I was a giant among men, put on this earth to defend. It only seemed natural I should step into such an environment. I was used to being short-staffed, having to run around by myself conducting searches and breaking up the occasional fight. However today, we seemed to have a lively shift, enough people to do what they pleased, no sense to rush around for anything, and yet here I was standing when I could have my head buried in my pillow. Deadrock housed various men who had all done something bad, however, it varied in sickness. Housing fifteen hundred men in only five buildings, we separated them per there, shall I say illness? A and B building was petty offenses. Drugs, drinking in public, simple fights, and so on. C and D were the hardcore guests, those who had murdered rival gang members, assaulted women and children, and dealt with the hardcore distribution of drugs. E building, well that was another breed. Mentally ill residents were housed there. The twisted souls who lost their right to humanity long ago, nearly all had done something unspeakable, something cruel. Some of their stories would send chills down your spine and have you running to the hills, or for a weapon to put them down, depending on your stance. Despite its’ habitants, E building was often silent, all inmates were heavily dosed and kept docile for their and frankly our safety. All the savage men rounded up into one prison watched over like a hawk with prey by a warden we called the Devil. Today I get the privilege to work in the D building, the upper floor which was known to house various gang members who had all committed the sin of murder. Any sane man would refuse to walk into such a room with a uniform that acted as a target to a pack of marksmen, however, in this field, there is no room for frivolous things such as fear.

I began up the concrete steps and immediately felt the hot, sour air crash against my face. I had not reached the entrance to the pod before beads of sweat began trickling down my shaven head and caught between the trimmed hairs of my beard. Perhaps it was stress that called for my brown hair to quickly retreat or maybe poor genetics were the root cause, regardless I threw in the towel long ago and just simply picked up the habit to shave it. My beard was my pride and joy, I kept it within policy no longer than an inch long, and neatly combed and groomed. At first, I assumed I would be mocked for such a look at such a young age, however, all I got were “It suits you.” and “Gave up quick huh?”.

My job today was to be the floor officer for upper D control, I would be conducting the rounds and ensuring peace was kept. I had worked this building several times in my five years of service, the inmates all knew me and despite their crimes, normally gave me no trouble. Instead, most of my time was spent listening to them complain about various things including politics, family, and other inmates. I often felt more like a counselor than an officer at times, but I consider those to be good days.

Inside the control room was officer Jones, a young woman just a few years older than me with pale skin and bright red hair that just barely kissed her collar. No one called her by her last name, always for as long as I can recall, we addressed her as Red.

The night shift had already left and now it was up to us to keep the place together for twelve hours, in the end, that was all that mattered. The count had already cleared, and doors began to open with inmates all running out to occupy the showers, phones, and seats where card games were previously set up.

“Ready for another day in hell?” Red asked looking away from the computer.

I picked up a radio and placed it on my side adjusting it slightly before looking up at her, “yes ma’am, let’s make the best of it.” I replied.

The day went on as normal first breakfast call then med call, by noon they all went between the yard and lunch. The pod was virtually empty when I made my rounds, still, I performed my job as normal making sure nothing was out of place and those that did remain complied with our guidelines. All in all, it was going well so far, just a normal day in the dreadful compound referred to by staff and residents as the prison of the damned.

It was a little past two as the inmates returned from lunch that Deadrock earned its’ nickname. I was standing in the booth talking with Red about my wishes to be out on a lake somewhere far away basking in the sun as the warm breeze brushed my face when chaos erupted. All at once, several inmates began fighting, even though it had just started I could already see blood being spilled from faces by wailing fists.

I hurried out the door while she called in a code alerting others of the disturbance. Outside I withdrew my pepper spray in my left hand and my baton in my right. I entered the pod while only a few paid me notice as the sounds of rage filled the air. Kicking and the slamming of fists sent various bodies flying, some even used weapons to ensure their opponents stood no chance of winning.

I barked an order for them to stop but no one gave notice, I growled feeling my anger bellow within me as my feet planted firmly on the cold concrete floor.

“Enough or I’ll see to it you all go on lockdown for a month!” I boomed.

A few cast their eyes on me and withdrew but others remained locked in combat. Talking would not fix this, I learned that from incidents before. The sound of stomping sent my eyes back to the entrance as reinforcements stormed in, seven more officers rushed in like the hounds of hell snapping their jaws for a taste of flesh. Denying them a meal I unleashed my can of pepper spray upon the several still brawling, in an instant all fell to the floor screaming out as their sight was taken from them and a burning sensation filled their nose, mouth, and eyes.

My reinforcements, almost sad that I ended the fight so quickly, joined my side, and then like a pack of hunters we spread out to collect our trophies. In a matter of seconds, we had handcuffed them all and the others began to take them away to be examined by medical before thrown into the hole. The hole was a place of absolute madness, a dark room where the only company you had were your own demons. Most men who enter Deadrock are already twisted and accustomed to the dark world around us, however, none have ever braved the hole voluntarily.

An hour later after explaining to my superiors the situation I was back in the booth writing up my report, Red was on break and then to report to medical to assist with the processing. Alone and with a silent pod now on lockdown I was able to do my work in peace, a rare gift in a place such as this.

As I wrote my report recollecting every detail of the fight and my actions, I felt eyes staring at me. A sickening feeling rose in my gut as I pried my gaze from my work and stared into the window that looked out upon the pod. The inmates all stood at their doors staring through the small gaps all of them looking at me. Normally I would growl and return to my work, but this was different, something was different, something was wrong. Their eyes were all black as coal and skin pale as sheets of snow. My heart began to pound as I stared into the vast of twisted souls who seemed to sense my unnerve and licked their lips in hunger. My hands began to tremble, and my body shakes as I felt something I had not in years, fear.

I pulled myself away only to be caught by something else, the monitor hanging above the computer had begun flashing. Normally it was positioned on an angle that would show anyone looking the yard where inmates went to experience fresh air, however now, it was changing faster than my eyes could keep up.

Fear was replaced by confusion and I almost questioned if this was some prank before the monitor finally settled on a screen. It was medical, I could tell immediately by seeing a nurse standing in the camera’s direct view. Though it was only in black and white I could easily fill in the color gap and would recognize the nurse’s blue scrubs anywhere. Just a normal view if one were to cast a quick glance, but while I studied the monitor it revealed a dark scenery in which truly represented the name Prison of the Damned. The nurse held a pair of long scissors and was swinging them at figures I could only catch slight glimpses of arms and legs mostly with the occasional head poke out. She was standing in front of something, no someone! Behind her was a body wearing formal clothes laying still but the minor twitch of a leg a dark pool under him spreading across the floor. I quickly grabbed my radio and called a code advising them of the situation and that staff was in desperate need of help and that someone was already seriously injured. I waited for the questions, I waited for the phone to ring, to hear screaming panicking voices asking me what I know, but instead I was greeted by silence. Whispers began to trickle into my ears as I looked up to see the inmates still staring at me, licking their lips. I turned my radio up but only caught the shuffling sound of static. Quickly I tried the phone, but my heart sank as the dead tone rung through my ears sending a cold deadly quiver through my core.

With no other way to contact anyone, and unable to leave, I did what I think most would do. I watched.

The nurse was no longer wielding scissors but instead held what appeared to be a can of gasoline in which she spilled out on the floor then collapsed to her knees, and with her bloody palms scrubbed as if trying to clean it up. Confusion and fear swept me but still, I was compelled to see how this ended, how this madness unraveled. The radio spoke with a voice so soft and so frightened, my heart leaped as I clutched it tightly.

“Please.” A whispering female begged from the depths of a sorrowful soul. “Please, help my sister.” She continued.

Before I could press the key to respond another voice broke free this one dark and low, loud and violent, shouting “Damned!”. I nearly threw the radio to the floor hearing the voice screaming at me.

“Damned!” It continued booming louder than I could have ever imagined, the voice almost animalistic in sound.

It repeated over and over before I was forced to turn it off and slam my head down in shame fighting the urge to let tears of fear drench my cheeks.

Sound from the monitor caused my head to snap back up, normally this does not happen. The sound went out years ago and no one has ever gotten around to fixing it, yet here, right now at this moment I could hear a baby; yes, a baby’s cries!

Looking up I saw a white-haired elderly woman with skin sagging and the texture of leather. She wore pants but was topless as she pressed an infant baby to her chest and began feeding it to soften its’ cries.

The impossibility of it all caused my head to spin, the inmates who only stared, now shouted! Throwing various things at the window to taunt me, to encourage me to retreat. They knew, somehow, they knew what was happening and knew I was afraid. They could smell it, like a shark to blood, they could sense it, they must because now they howled like wolves to the moon.

The elderly women shuffled out of view as a stretcher rolled in. No one pushed it, it glided with ease and I could almost hear the wheels grind and squeak.

The foam padding was distorted and misshapen, and I had to squint my eyes to get a better view. I could see now what appeared to be a face pressing throw the foam as if it were about to burst free. The mouth opened wide, and I could only imagine screams of terror were trapped with the padding.

Two hands pressed hard against the foam padding of the stretch and began clawing from the inside. As I watched I could see small tears begin to form and black puss seep out. As I watched in horror as the figure continued to claw, trying to free itself three small figures crawled up from the legs of the stretcher. They were tiny, like infants only their hands were larger with long sharp claws on both their hands and feet, their skin was a dark grey color with void sockets instead of eyes. Their tiny mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth in which they snapped open and shut as they crawled along with the stretcher like cockroaches to a wall. One of them titled its grey head back and sniffed before gurgling in delight before ripping into the padding. The two others followed as chunks of padding began filling the air. I watched unsure of anything at this point as the savage, demonic creatures tore into the stretcher like wolves into the fresh carcass of prey. Black liquid erupted from the stretcher as collected screams of men and women filled the air.

I flew back unable to take any more of this madness. The inmates bellowed in triumph watching me collapse out of the chair onto the floor. I could not understand what they were saying, but soon all the inmates began chanting in unison. Foreign words that filled the air then tormented my ears, the sound of pounding and laughter as they banged their fists into their doors.

I was ready to give in, I wanted this to be over and would do what I could to end it. I looked over to a box of items that we had confiscated from the inmates when my eyes landed on a simple razor. Before the idea could process in my mind the booth door swung open.

My head jerked over my fist raised in defense as I felt warm tears slowly run down my cheeks.

I was ready for anything when I saw Red return with another coworker behind her, a look of confusion on her face as she stared at me, her friend and ‘fearless’ coworker, now cradled in a ball, crying in the corner.

“What happen!?” She asked concerned rushing over.

Words failed me as I tried to explain the nightmare I had experienced. Instead, I pointed a trembling finger to the monitor that still showed the insanity I watched moments ago. She raised a brow walking over. I expected her to scream but instead, she turned back to me still confused, and walked over.

Kneeling beside me she placed a hand on my shoulder. “I’m taking you to see the Captain.” She said with a calm tone. Anger and frustration flew through me, why didn’t she freak out as I did!? Did she not see the same screen as I!? Have I lost my mind!?

The inmates still howled in glee as she led me outside of the control. It was not until we were headed down the stairs that the sounds seemed to fade out. I notice black ooze seep from the walls but held my tongue not trying to make matters worse, however, I could not stop my body from trembling.

She guided me into the entryway, and I saw a shot at freedom. Part of me wanted to run and escape the scenes I saw that will no doubt be woven deeply in my mind forever. As I took a step outside, I noticed the cloudy sky was replaced by thick red, anger clouds with a dark orb hidden behind them but still able to cast slightly through.

After all, I have seen I had no time to concern myself with the weather as we walked the forever stretching boulevard. Screams echoed in the distance as I turned my eyes to the E building placed in the far rear of the compound. Regardless of its’ distance, I could see figures on all fours wearing no more than rags running in seemingly circles in front of the building. They were screaming as an officer stood over them holding what appeared to be a whip lashing out at them laughing to himself.

I went to say something when the sky above us cracked with a loud boom of thunder. Looking up I saw the red clouds darken as the sound of rain rushed down on us.

At first, I welcomed it, a sense of cleansing if you will. Not seconds after the first drop I sensed something was horribly wrong, it was not rain. I was being pelted by small drops of thick, hot, red…blood.

I gasped stumbling back when Red grabbed hold of me securing me. “What has gotten into you!?” She asked staring at me with concern.

I shook my head unable to speak as I watched the blood run down her pale skin, clogging up her hair, and run down her face.

She ignored my frantic expression and pulled me towards a building a few feet away. The supervisors’ office. We had reached the doors as more screams filled my ears from the residents of building E.

Inside I felt the air seize my throat as I nearly collapsed. Red managed to hold me up but not before calling out for assistance. I looked up to see a strangely tall, dark-skinned man wearing a fine press uniform and hat walk from an office. His face was cold and mean, his brown eyes filled with rage.

Captain Mass who we often referred to as Captain Massacre due to his love for violence; stomped with a roar almost as loud as the thunder towards us.

He stopped a few feet from us before casting an irritated look at me.

“What is his malfunction?” He asked his voice stern.

Red shook her head and shrugged her shoulders as my eyes were fixed on the blood now drying on her cheeks. With a single hand, he reached down and pulled me up dragging me to his office. I did not fight; I had no more fight left to give. I was gone, my body had used all the fear I had left and left me with a sense of numbness. I watched as Red stood eyeing me with concern and confusion, I wanted to call out to her but before my brain could give the order, I was in Captain Massacre’s office and just as fast the door slammed shut.

He sat me down and took his place in a nice black leather chair at a long red oak desk with various monitors laid before him, some of which I could still catch a glimpse of the horror that had taken place in medical.

“What is your problem son?” He asked overlapping his hand on the desk staring at me.

I just sat there at first unsure what to say, perhaps I had lost my mind. All of this was in my head and to everyone else, this was a normal day.

Frustrated I had not answered he leaned in and repeated the question, this time with a lower, angry tone.

“Demons,” I said before my brain could even process it.

He raised a brow at me before leaning back in his chair.

“Come again?” He asked almost intrigued by my response.

I felt tears build up within me and in seconds I was recalling all that happened while fresh tears trickled down my cheeks.

He listened to every word, not interrupting me once nor did he give me any true facial expression that I could use to determine any thoughts he might have had.

Once I had finished the room was filled with silence, he just sat there staring at me.

After what had seemed like an eternity, he nodded picking up a phone beside him, and dialed a number.

“Do you think I’m crazy?” I asked with a trembling voice.

He brushed my question aside as I could hear the phone ring. After the third ring, I could hear a woman answer the phone. “Yes, hello this Captain Mass.” He paused casting his brown eyes at me for a moment.

“I have one who needs orientation.” He said his voice calm as if this was just an ordinary problem, he had faced a thousand times.

“Yes, ma’am that is correct.” He added before nodding to himself and hanging up the phone.

He took a deep breath before turning his attention back to me, overlapping his hands once more.

“Tell me your name,” he said blankly.

I scoffed, offended by the question but nonetheless answered. “Dustin Miller.” I croaked.

He nodded, “What is your occupation?” He asked a brow slightly raised.

I looked around confused by his lines of questioning, this had nothing to do with what I saw!

He must have sensed my frustration because he leaned in and once more repeated the question.

“I am a correctional officer at the Prison for the Damned!” I snarled only moments too late to realize I had used Deadrock’s nickname rather than its’ official title.

I caught a smirk on his face at my words but before I could respond I heard three knocks at the door behind me before the door swung open and a figured appeared.

It was a woman wearing an all-red dress suit, white shirt, and blood-red tie. Her short blonde hair cut neat with a pair of harsh yet kind blue eyes.

“This is Susan Flame from human resources, she is here for the orientation process.” Captain Mass said calmly.

The woman nodded and took a step into the room before closing the door.

“I don’t need orientation!” I shouted defensively. “I’ve been here for five years!” I continued.

“It is completely understandable Mr. Miller. You would be surprised how many times this process must be completed.” She said in a flat tone.

I raised a brow as she walked over to an empty chair, swatted away imaginary dust before taking a seat.

“Can you tell me your name?” She asked.

“Dustin Miller!” I roared angrily.

She nodded in response then quickly looked over at Captain Mass.

“How old are you?” She asked.

“Twenty-six!” I growled still angry.

She nodded once more looking over at the clock on the wall as if she had other places to be.

“How did you die?” She asked.

The question hit me like a train, what kind of sick joke was she playing?

“Excuse me!?” I bellowed at her, looking over at my captain for support.

“Answer the question.” Captain Mass insisted.

“There is no answer! I’m not dead you idiot!” I roared no longer caring about any of this madness, just wanting to be free of this and return to my bed.

“I see.” She said taking a sigh.

“Would you like for me to leave?” Captain Mass asked her.

She shook her head then looked at me, “I don’t see the need for such formalities here.” She replied.

I stared at the two with complete shock, not sure what to make of any of this.

She turned to a filing cabinet near her and opened the drawer. After a few moments of shuffling, she pulled out a file and set it on the table. She opened the vanilla folder and began reading to herself for a moment. After a few seconds of infuriating silence, she looked up at me. “Dustin Miller, age twenty-six. Born in Virginia and worked at Riverbank Correctional Center until the age of twenty-six, where he passed during a riot.”

I looked at her, tears building in my eyes. “What the hell are you on about!?” I roared.

“Right word, wrong context.” She tsked.

“Think about it. Let the words sink in. You were young, fearless, charged in to save one of your coworkers, but you didn’t pay attention to what was happening.” Captain Mass added.

I turned to him and went to yell but before I could my brain began spinning. In seconds I saw images of a massive crowd of inmates swarming officers with weapons. I blinked unsure what to make of it.

“I see we are getting somewhere.” Susan smiled.

“But…I’m alive.” I croaked.

Captain Mass shook his head, “Sorry son, we all bite the bullet someday. You bite yours when you went to help coworkers already lost. You suffered wounds that no doctor could heal, by that time at least.” He sighed almost remorseful.

I went to argue once more when my stomach flared up with pain that I somehow felt before. It felt as if my inside were being twisted and yanked out, I screamed out in agony before balling up in the chair.

“It will pass once the memory is complete,” Susan said not concerned by my pain.

I wanted to curse, scream, and start fighting but the pain was unbearable. As it heightened, I nearly collapsed onto the floor when memories flooded my brain. Sounds of screaming and laughter filled my ears. Codes being called, pleading, and begging. The sight of me rushing in to help a female officer when something sharp and cold plunged into my gut.

I jerked back into my chair the pain gone just as swift as it came. “I’m dead.” I moaned.

Both Susan and Captain Mass nodded in unison at my words. “I’m in hell.” I frowned.

“Yes, of sorts.” Susan nodded. “As a correctional officer you know how to control people, you were useful, and being that you lacked in faith. You were a suitable candidate for the job.” She added with a slight smile and nod.

“Not enough Sundays in church.” Captain Mass grinned giving me a nod.

I did not say anything, how could I? How do you respond to such a thing?

“it’s fine Mr. Miller. This happens every so often. Sometimes we forget who we are and are sucked back into a life we left. It happens more than you know, all we have to do is simply remind someone of their situation, and everything is settled.” Susan said.

How could she say it so easily? I answered it before I could even realize; because it was that easy, that simple.

“So, who are you?” Captain Mass asked raising a brow.

I felt my stomach tighten slightly and my heart begin to race before I took a deep breath and sat back in my chair, keeping my back straight. I closed my eyes thinking for a moment, before opening them to answer his question.

“I am Officer Dustin Miller, and I guard the damned souls of hell.”

Rating: 10.00/10. From 1 vote.
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🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Alan McDaniels
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Alan McDaniels

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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