All Along The Watchtower


“Give it a rest, will you? I told you, there’s no way out. Hitting the cell bars with that little stone will only annoy the guards. Now pack it in.”

“What makes you so fucking sure?”

“Because I’ve been here a couple of times… or more.”

“What you in for, anyway?”

“Oh, the usual… highway robbery this time. What about you? What’s your name? I’m Mallen.”

“Brandon, and er… I annoyed the king.”

“Haha, if you annoyed the king, you’re in here for a long time, unless you screwed his daughter, in which case your stay will be short and finish at the end of a rope.”

There was a long silence.

“You really did screw the princess? Well hello, dead man.”

“My rap sheet says I insulted the king. I’m the court jester.”

“Rap sheets are always works of fiction — in any case, no-one will publicly shout about the princess’ deflowering.”

“She was no virgin…”

“And if you keep saying that, your end will come before we have a cup of excellent prison coffee — and with perfect timing here comes the guard now. Hey, Roscoe, whose coffee did you spit in today?”

Roscoe stood outside the cell and carefully, and deliberately, spat in Mallen’s coffee. He pushed the tray containing the coffee and a roll of stale bread through the slot at the bottom of the cell bars. Brandon got the spit-free coffee and roll.

“Roscoe! You know why I always get you to spit in my coffee? Makes it taste better.” Mallen chuckled to himself. “Brandon, you should have cracked that joke, you ARE the joker?”

“Piss off, Mallen. Thief.”

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