I didn't do it, I thought again. It wasn't me.
I looked toward the guard at my right and saw my reflection in his dark sunglasses. I didn't understand why he had his sunglasses on, though. We were on a bus with tinted windows. Besides, it was raining outside. I tilted my head and the miniature Alec in those black frames tilted his head back at me. I was about to reach up and smooth down my hair when I remembered that both of the guards were holding onto the chain of my handcuffs, completely immobilizing me. I was the only kid on the bus, so why did I need two guards?
The dim vehicle screeched to a stop and the guards yanked me into a standing position by my cuffs. There were already small scabs on my wrists from the rough metal, and having them rub against my skin made it sear with pain. I didn't give the guards the satisfaction of hearing me cry out in pain, so I bit my tongue and only grunted in their general direction.
I was pulled off the bus and into the pouring rain outside of a huge, gray institute with walls topped with barbed wire on all four sides. There were more guards at the door of one of the walls and they pulled it open when we reached it. Inside of the walls was a big, grassless yard filled with boys wearing the same black shirt, pants, and gray button down. Their ages varied from about 14 to 19. Some of them were rolling around in mud or talking in groups, but most of them were shouting at me. Shouting things along the lines of 'You ain't gonna last long in here!' and 'Look at the newbie!' I think I even heard a whistle or two.
There was one certain boy, no older than eighteen, that was standing under a set of bleachers, smoking a cigarette, who caught my attention. It was his eyes, really, that made me falter. They were green mixed with gold, and very condescending. Like a cat.
The guard with the sunglasses pulled forcefully on my handcuffs and I stumbled forward, trying to look away from the cold stare of the cat-like boy. I was pushed inside of a huge, gray building with few windows. The guards led me down a dark hallway to a room filled with bunk beds and small tables and chairs. There was hardly any other furniture, except maybe a dresser here or there, and it was all the same bleak shade of gray.
"Here," said one of the guards, shoving a stack of folded clothes at me. "This is your uniform. Every three days you will wash it and wear a clean one. Breakfast is at six, lunch at one, and dinner at six-thirty. You will wake up at five, shower, and report to the dining hall for breakfast. Afterwards there are obstacle courses you must complete among other things involving manual labor. If you step out of line you will be punished, understood?"
I nodded, looking down at the stack of clothes in my arms. Mr. I'm Too Cool to Show My Eyes Indoors directed me to one of the bunks and told me to change. He took my handcuffs off and I did just that, thinking about where exactly his eyes were underneath those glasses. Once I was finished, he took my old clothes and his buddy handcuffed me again.
When they were almost at the door, I spoke up. "Why do I still need to be cuffed?" I asked.
He and the other guard laughed at me, like I had asked the most ridiculous question on the fucking planet.
"Go out to the yard, kid," one of them said gruffly. "Welcome to Idris." Then they were gone, leaving me alone to think about what the hell was going on. I walked to the yard, which I assumed was where I had walked in. I noticed that there were buff guards everywhere.
Once I was outside in the pouring rain again, I wasn't really sure where to go. My feet steered me over to where that nice looking boy had been standing. And by nice looking, I mean he was pleasing to the eye. Not that he looked like a nice person to be around. So why was I walking toward him? Because there was something about him that I couldn't quite place my finger on, something about him that made me want to run over there and just stand next to him. He was magnetic.
As I walked closer to him, I realized that he had altered his uniform a bit. His black undershirt was cut so it showed his bellybutton, which was pierced, and the sleeves of his unbuttoned over shirt were rolled up to his elbows. Everyone else was wearing the same clothing and somehow he made it look good. He was all pierced up, too. Besides his bellybutton, his nose had a stud in it and there were quite a number of rings in his ears. His hair was not only 100% black, but also silky looking. I had the urge to touch it. Everything about him screamed gay.
I was suddenly reminded of my life back home, when I had come out to my parents. Neither one of them thought it was okay or normal or anything. They thought they had done something wrong, like it was impossible for them to produce a gay child. They took me to a number of psychologists, but gayness isn't something you can get rid of. I guess no one understood that. Not only did my parents practically disown me, but I was bullied at school and shoved into lockers countless times. My life had been hell and I thought that maybe it couldn't get any worse until that one awful day and that stupid building that erupted into flames.
It wasn't me.
Before I got a chance to talk to the green-eyed boy, the guards barked at us to go to our bunks. One of them yelled at the boy to put out his cigarette but I noticed a different guard slip him a pack.
I followed all of the other prisoners (though it didn't seem like the right word because they were all just boys) into the big building. I remembered my bunk was the third row down and I got into the bottom one. Like robots, everyone else did the same and slugged into their beds. The guards left us and turned out every single light with a huge click, like a giant light switch. Almost as soon as the door swung shut behind them, the room burst into movement and light. Boys were climbing out of bed and talking and flicking on lamps all over the place. I could've sworn those lamps hadn't been there a minute ago.
Someone hopped down from the bunk above me and I saw that it was the boy from the yard. I struggled to sit up with my cuffed hands and walked over to where he had sat down. He was playing cards, poker I think, with a dark haired boy about the same age that I had seen him talking to earlier.
I eventually got the courage to go over there and sit next to him, maybe try to start up a conversation or something.
When I sat in the chair next to him, both he and the kid he was playing cards with hardly acknowledged me until I said something admittedly stupid, "What are you in for?" They both started laughing and the dark haired kid handed him a pack of cigarettes.
"Oh, I'm sorry," the pierced up boy said. "Are we in an old western movie now?" He grabbed a cigarette and held it up to his eyes, putting on a fake country accent. "I reckon this here cigarette is the best darn invention since the dang waterin' hole!" He and the other boy cracked up and he rocked back onto two legs of his chair.
I just sat there and blushed like the idiot I am, rubbing my red wrists. When that kid lit his cigarette with a liter he seemed to conjure out of thin air, I was reminded of the burning house again and I narrowed my eyes at the liter like it had called me a bad name.
He took a puff of his cigarette and blew out the smoke. "Don't worry too much about that," he said, nodding towards my wrists. "They always keep you cuffed through your first night, just to see how dangerous you are. I've been here two years and they always slap the cuffs back on when you do something they don't approve of. Now the marks won't go away."
"So are you like the Billy Badass of this place?" I asked.
He blew more smoke and looked at me with his eyebrow raised. "Try Bane," he said.
"You're name is Bane?" I asked.
"That's what I said," he replied. "It's my last name, kid. First name's Magnus."
I noticed that he had a bit of an accent, a slight lit to some of his vowels. He seemed like he had some Asian in him, maybe Korean, but it didn't fit his accent. "Alec," I said. When I moved my wrists just barely, the cuffs scratched against them and I made a noise of discomfort.
Magnus heard this and said, "I think I can help you." He called over to a tall boy not too far away to the table we were sitting at. "Ragnor!" he almost shouted. "We've got a newb over here that is in need of your special talents!"
Ragnor walked over to us and nodded to me. "This is Alec," Magnus said a little too cheerfully. "He's kind of a pussy so get those cuffs off of him, would you?"
Ragnor got a bobby pin from Magnus and went to work on the cuff's lock. They snapped off in a second and I rubbed my sore wrists. "Thanks," I muttered, looking at him.
His face got stony and he growled at me to 'Never look him in the eyes unless I wanted a fist in my face.' I swallowed and nodded, averting my gaze.
The boy who was playing cards with Magnus laughed and hit Ragnor on the back. "Knock it off," he said. "The poor kid is gonna shit his pants if you keep messing with him."
Ragnor's voice changed drastically, going up a view pitches and letting a small British accent leak through. "Oh shut up, William," he said, grinning. "I'm just having a little fun with the new kid." He ruffled my hair and slapped me on the back. He sat next to William and offered me a cigarette. I turned it down, though. Ragnor laughed and took it for himself.
"Uh," I started awkwardly, my mind filled with questions. "Do the guards know about this? I mean, can't they hear you?"
"Nope," Magnus said, throwing down his cards in victory. "The entire room is soundproof. I don't know why but I don't care. Why question a good thing?"
"Amen to that," Ragnor muttered blowing smoke in my direction. "Some of the guards know what's going on but they just look the other way. No matter what they do, we aren't going to stop so it doesn't really matter."
"Oh," I said, eyeing the door anyways. "What did you do to get in here?"
Ragnor raised his eyebrow and shrugged. "Ah, the lawyer screwed me over," he said. "Well, first I screwed his daughter, and then he screwed me over. Got a year and a half in this bloody hellhole."
William wrinkled his nose. "I got two years and we had the same court case going on," he said. "You think the lawyer screwed you over."
"It was your fault," Ragnor insisted. "You broke the damn window and the alarm went off. Then when the owner came in you beat him up. I just wanted an Xbox and you beat up an old guy."
"He threatened me," William muttered.
"Yes," Ragnor stated. "Because we were robbing his store."
"Shut up, both of you," Magnus said even though he was grinning. "I've been here two years and now I've got another year ahead of me. Don't you start complaining."
"Why have you been here so long?" I asked quietly. I saw that Ragnor and William had looked down at the cards on the table when I asked Magnus.
Magnus turned to me with his cold stare up and running. "You sure do ask a lot of questions," he said icily. "Why are you here, hm? What'd you do?"
"Nothing," I muttered. "I'm innocent."
Ragnor snorted and William laughed in a barking way. "Everyone's innocent in here, kid," he said through laughter.
"My name is Alec," I said angrily.
"I think you're in over your head, Alec," Magnus said. The way he practically purred my name sent chills down my spine and I tried to hide the fact that I was blatantly turned on by scooting closer under the table. "Maybe you should try to go to sleep before you have a mental breakdown and start crying for your mommy," he said.
I felt my heart contract and my face get stony at the mention of my mother. I thought that going to Idris would be an excuse to never speak or think about my parents again.
"She'd be the last person I'd cry for," I said thickly. My arms were crossed on the table and I put my chin on them. "She wouldn't care anyways."
"You got mummy problems?" Ragnor asked softly.
"Don't we all?" William asked. Ragnor shushed him, saying that he wanted to hear this.
"I have mummy problems, yes," I said quietly. "She doesn't exactly think that being gay is alright. When I was thrown in here she almost threw a fucking party."
None of them said anything and I looked up at them. Both Ragnor and William were staring at me, moving their eyes to Magnus and then back to me.
Magnus stamped out his cigarette into an ash tray and rolled his eyed toward the ceiling. Shaking the hair out of his face, he said, "It could be worse, k-Alec."
"You could have dead parents."
It took a moment for that to strike me. "Oh," I said. "I-I'm sorry, I didn't know."
"No, it's fine," he said nonchalantly. "This place is better than a foster home so I guess everything is fine." He slammed down his pack of cigarettes and stood up. "Everything is fucking perfect." The slam of the door he closed melted in with a resounding boom of thunder.
"I think he likes you," William said happily. "Some guy a while back said almost the exact same thing and Magnus punched him in the face. Poor kid lost two teeth and damn near broke his jaw. Instead he's just going to hoard the bathroom and more than likely break a mirror."
"I don't… what did I say?" I asked.
Ragnor shook his head and leaned in closer to me. "Magnus' parents died when he was fifteen and he broke out of every single one of his foster homes," he whispered. "He had to rob a shit ton of places just to survive on his own. The fuzz picked him up and brought him here."
"He broke out after the first two years," William muttered to me. "First one in a long time. He was supposed to stay here until he was nineteen so they caught him and threw him in here for one more."
"Oh," I breathed. "How much longer does he have to stay?"
"Well, he broke out right before his eighteenth," Ragnor said. "So he still has a full year. They're going to let him out a month or two after his birthday."
"Oh," I said again.
William's eyes filled with realization and his mouth dropped open. "You like him, don't you?" he asked. Before I could answer he nodded. "You do. I can tell."
"I just met him," I stated.
"Listen," William said. "Magnus is a drifter. He goes along with whatever is keeping him alive at the moment. He's been with everyone, done everything, you don't have a chance with him."
"Go to sleep, Alec," Ragnor said. "It's the only thing you can do at this point."
I climbed into my stiff bunk and pulled the sheets over me. It was hard to sleep with all the light and sound around me, but things eventually died down and my mind slowed, lulling me into a fitful sleep.
A/N- That was better in my head, but isn't everything? I know I'm writing this in the middle of Changes but I just had to get this idea down. I know the opening and the ending, now the only thing I need is the middle. :D I'll get it done, don't worry. Changes should be updated later :)
Until later! and PLEEEAAAASSSSEEEE REVIEWWWWW! (I'm a review whore and i'm proud of it.)