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Gasping for breath, he ran up the last flight of stairs. The dingy hallway seemed empty for miles, and had a faint smell of anesthesia and latex gloves. Frank slid up against the wall, and checked down both hallways to make sure. He stepped out into the open and broke into a run.
In the morning they would know he was gone. They’d think that he escaped during the night. They’d search the prison ward up and down, but they would never find him.
He smiled at the thought of finally getting out of this hellhole. He couldn’t wait, but he knew he couldn’t be overconfident. That’s what his “lawyer” always told him. He was told that he’d be rescued; all he had to do was wait. He’d fulfilled his part of the plan, and he was positive he’d be gone by tonight. Valachi never lied. It was the first time Frank had ever been in direct contact with him. The burner phone in his pocket started to vibrate just as he was starting to forget about it. He remembered receiving the phone in a manila envelope when his “lawyer” came to visit him.
Frank stopped running, and answered the phone.
“Is it done?”
“Yes. I’m going into position. Is the car where you said it would be?”
“Yes, finish up, and meet me at the house.”
He could hear the dogs on the floor below. Soon they would find it, and would rush out. It wasn’t an actual bomb, of course, but enough to make them run out.
He chuckled as he remembered what his “lawyer” told him. “You know, the thing with people in prisons, and with people in general, is they get more scared than they should. And then they just start missing stuff left and right, so kid all we gotta do is take advantage of that, and you’ll be outta here in no time. They’ll think the bomb is real, and panic. Just gotta wait for them to run, and you’ll be smellin’ that refreshing smell of freedom like a dog stickin’ his head out the window during a car ride.”
That was the signal that it was time to go; they would run out. Once he was out, things would be different. He would no longer be the guy in the back, the guy that hardly mattered. He’d be the guy that escaped from prison. He’d have a reputation, and with that rep he would get respect...even from Valachi. Frank was getting ahead of himself though.
Frank turned off the lights, and closed his eyes. The dingy hallway was pitch black, and all that could be heard was the slow humming of the machines. He took several deep breaths, sure that the coast was clear, and opened the door to the back staircase. Taking two at a time, he fled down the stairs. The door at the bottom was bolted shut, but with the correct set of instruments which of course Frank had, courtesy of his “lawyer,” he was out in no time. The first step into the blacktop of the prison lot was one he’d remember for a long time. After six months of being in the hole, eating dog food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, going to the bathroom in front of his inmates, and taking those nasty showers, he was free.
He looked to the far right of the parking lot, and sure enough the black Sedan was parked just like he was told. He ran over, and spotted the keys on the left tire. He chuckled to himself as he picked them up. If only those snobby lawyers and that judge could see his face now. He was damn well going to enjoy driving out of there.
He electronically opened the door, and sat inside. He looked at the prison one last time, and closed his eyes. He squeezed them shut, and turned on the ignition. That was it.