Bag of Soap

By Dick Johnson

I was in the county jail. I won’t say which one. But, I was locked up in a cell block with 6 other guys. We were all awaiting trial. The cell block was made up of 2 cells with bunks, connected by a day room, with a table. The jail was overcrowded so, there were guys sleeping on the concrete floor.

4 of us were sitting around a metal table playing spades, while the other two were in their cells still sleeping. Or so we thought.

Mark came out of his cell and into the day room. He went over to the stainless sink, shitter combination, and looked at his face in a scratched up stainless steel mirror, mounted to the cinder block wall.

“Man I got dried skin all over my face. This place needs some humidity.” He said to the room.

And I, being the asshole that I am, decided to reply.

“That’s not dried skin. That’s spooge. We jacked on you while you were asleep.”  I said.

“Well, how about I kill you in your sleep?” Mark answered

Now, Mark was locked up for murder. He had killed his girlfriend, whom he had met online and her 10 year old daughter. So, when he threatens someone with murder, it’s a little more than a threat.

On top of that, he had a weapon. Somehow he had gotten a hold of a thick piece of copper wire, which he wrapped part of in tape to make a handle. Then, he sharpened the end making an ice pick.

His cellie was terrified, because Mark would lie in his bottom bunk at night underneath him and sharpen that shank on the concrete blocks that made up the wall. Just scrape, scrape, and scrape, over and over, for hours.

So, like I said this was a little more than a joke. There was no way I could let this go. So, I got up and went out of the day room and into my cell. I took 4 bars of Ivory Soap; I had purchased from the commissary and dropped them into my pillow case. I figured it made a great club.

I left my cell, went through the dayroom carrying my flail, and entered his cell, where he stood picking his face in another stainless mirror.

And I swung that sack of soap with all my might, hitting him in the head. Then, again and again I hit him. He backed off, and raised his hands to protect his head, but I kept cracking him.

He ran over to the emergency intercom and hit the button, screaming,

“He’s beating me, he’s beating me! Help!”

I hit him a couple more times, then ran back to my cell. I opened the pillow case to remove the soap, only to discover that all the bars had been busted into powder. So, I dumped the whole mess into the stainless steel toilet and flushed it. The evidence went away with a wonderful whoosh. Those jail/prison toilets are powerful, to prevent any clogging.

I started to put my pillow, back into its case, when he ran around the corner into my cell with his shank held low, ready to stab me in the body.

I leaned back and booted him right in the chest with my right foot, sending him sprawling out of the cell door and onto his ass. The ice pick skittered on the floor away from him.

At that moment the guards arrived and told everyone to lock up. They found the shank and threatened to charge everyone with possession of a weapon, in a penal institution; which would really screw several of us. But, Mark took his weight. I guess there is honor among thieves. Especially, since he was charged with murder, what more could they do?

All I can say is that a bag of soap makes a terrible weapon. After the first two hits it’s useless. I could have done better if I’d beat him down with my fist, then stomped him into mush. Well, live and learn.

Bio: Dick Johnson is a writer from St. Louis, MO. He likes to tell stories on the grittier side of life. He has several on The Yard: Crime Blog. “A Bottle of Vodka” “Drunk Tank” “Thou Shalt Not”Sad Day” “Do You Like Masks?”

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Publishing Editor for The Yard: Crime Blog.

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