So here is a (very) short story I wrote one morning after I had been thinking about the future of the crime/penal system in England. If you've ever seen Joss Whedon's Firefly, you may detect its inspiration in the words below. There's also some Sin City that went into it too. The eventual idea would be to work this up into a crime-thriller novel of sorts, possibly even a series. As ever, I would be overjoyed to hear any thoughts on either this sample, or the idea at large! Heck, I even consider requests!
Eddie understood. I needed everyone for this. The Bandits would be crossing into our turf within the half-hour and the gang of heartbreakers and hardcases that I lead would need every one of its numbers to keep those clowns from razing our home to the ground.
I'm no historian, so look elsewhere for an explanation of how the present came to be. All I know for sure is that, at some point during the second month of mass-riots, the government came up with a solution for its crime and penal-system troubles. Shortly afterwards, the wall went up - fifty feet of triple-reinforced concrete slab, ringing the whole city. As well as a barrier to keep us inside, its also the solid curtain that stops the outside world from seeing what goes on in here.
You commit a crime out in the world and you'll find yourself taking a one-way trip through the gate in the wall. The outside calls this place 'The Rehabilitation Zone' in polite company, or 'the blackzone' if they are feeling particularly daring. We don't go in for that. When you arrive here, you call it Hell. Survive for a while and it becomes home.
At this point, I feel the need to point out that I have never committed a crime outside the zone. I've never had the chance - I was born inside these walls, grew up inside these walls and will probably die having never seen the other side of these walls. It sucks, but hey, that's life for you. Ma was a smart woman and while she never told me what got her sent into the blackzone, we all heard about how she was smart enough to see which way things would go in here and how she chose to find a strong protector right off the bat. That's where my pa came into the picture.
He was one of the Baron's enforcers. For those of you not in the know, the Baron became pretty much the number one crime boss in the zone after the wall went up and, these days, nothing major happens without him finding out and taking a slice of the action. Anyway, my ma used pa's connections to get herself a cushy job doing the Baron's thinking for him. A few years later and my first bawling cries filled a cold Thursday night.
They raised me right, or at least as right as they could given how us zoners have to live. I still miss them and probably always will and thatís natural, I suppose. Then again, seeing your parents gunned down in front of you and being unable to do a damned thing about it isn't exactly good for giving a sense of closure.
Anyway, I'm getting all maudlin and almost misty-eyed and I don't have time for that crap. All kinds of violence and death are minutes away from breaking loose and I need every single one of my people to keep the damage to a minimum. Thatís my job, after all. I don't know why all these people follow or listen to me, but they do and that makes me responsible for their lives.
And right now, one Eddie Blake is making that responsibility harder than it needs to be.