Warning: The following material is rated PG-13 for violence and minor sexuality.
Scene: The interior of a jail cell. It is dark; faint moonlight comes from a high window. It illuminates the room enough for us to see the shabby mattress with its tattered blanket. Sitting on the floor by the head of the bed sits a young man or about 16. It is our protagonist, Steve Harmon. The top of his prison issued orange jumpsuit is hanging around his waist; a white
wifebeater stands out against his dark complexion. On the floor next to him lies an open journal, a pen between the pages.
Close up (CU) of Steve’s face. The remnants of tears are seen on his cheeks. A voiceover plays over top of the scene.
Steve: Another night in this
dungeon. Another night without sleep. How can anybody sleep in this cold?
CU of his socks, zooming out to a mid-shot (MS) of the boy.
You put on the only pairs of socks you own, and you still can’t feel your toes. You would think they’d turn up the heat in this place, but who really wants the prisoners to be comfortable? It’s anything but comfy here. The floor is freezing, it’s dark, and you can hear the guy getting raped a couple cells down. I try really hard to ignore the screams, but some things are really hard to ignore.
Aerial shot of Steve and bed. Slowly zoom in to the tattered pillow.
I’d be more comfortable sleeping on the cement than on that bed. The lumps are killing my back. It smells like sweat and piss. I don’t know how anybody could sweat in this place. Maybe it gets hot in the summer. I hope I’m not here in the summer.
CU on a tear as it rolls down his face.
What am I talking about? There’s no hope in here. Every day is the same. They lead us to the cafeteria, pushing and shoving when we go too slow or step out of line. Somebody might get tazed if he starts smart mouthin’ off to the guards.
Zoom out. Steve’s face takes up the entire screen. We can see the desperation growing in his eyes. The whites of his eyes are bloodshot. His lips are chapped, cracked and bleeding from dehydration.
They feed us slop as if we were pigs being prepared for slaughter. It looks and tastes like baby food. I’ve stopped eating it. It only makes me throw up.
Cut to a shot of the bars of Steve’s jail.
The last time I threw up all over the Boss’s shoes. He’s not really the boss, just a guard who thinks he’s tough. Needless to say he was not happy. He smacked me around a lot, but the worst part was when he made me lick my own vomit off of his shoes. He wouldn’t let me stop until it was all gone. I wanted to die right then and there. Boss said next time, it wouldn’t be his shoes I was putting in my mouth.
CU of the pen in Steve’s notebook. We can see that the end has been broken off, leaving a sharp, jagged edge.
I haven’t told anybody about it. Boss said if I did, then I’d be the next one screaming in the dark. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want him to rape me. I just want to go home…
Steve takes up the pen, and brings the jagged edge into the light.
They won’t let me go home. I’m never getting out of here. My lawyer can’t understand what I’m going through. I can’t tell her anything. If I tell her what happened, then King will hurt me during lunch or rec time. If I tell her about Boss, he’ll kill me. I have to keep quiet, but that means I’ll have to stay here. I don’t want to stay here.
Steve brings the sharp end of the pen, a makeshift
blade, to the vein at the base of his wrist.
I just want to go home.
He draws the blade over his wrist. CU on the thin trail of blood begins to well up and drip onto the floor.
I just want to go home.