The Big Bad
Jirani was determined to have some kind of life outside of me. All of the tours that I'd given him around the prison left him comfortable enough to deliver the mail alone. He delivered the mail all over building E. The Aryans were still in the Supermax cells, but Jirani wasn't nervous about it at all. He learned how to deal with them from me. If any of them had some shit to say, he knew to stomp or rip their letters into pieces. Jirani was going to fare just fine over in building E. After going through all of the floors in the Supermax building, Jirani hit the basement solitary cells. That same Mexican, Jito Torres, had another letter drenched in perfume.
Jirani hit the basement and that very same female guard was once again gossiping over the phone like she was having a day at the spa.
"I have a letter for Jito Torres."
She waved him inside, without saying a word nor really paying Jirani any attention.
"Aqui, Papi. Estoy Aqui!" Translation: "Here Papi, I'm right here," Jito called.
Jirani walked over to him, "I think it's from your lady friend again." He handed the letter away to Jito.
"Gracias Papi," Jito thanked. "You don't know how much this means to me."
Jirani smiled. This was one of the reasons he liked distributing the mail to the cells. Sure, he had pricks like the Aryans who would spit on his shoes while he walked by, and assholes like the Bloods that would make obscene gestures to him. But these moments, the moments when he saw genuine happiness in a prisoner's eyes because he'd literally brought them good news, made him feel better.
"You're welcome, Jito. Be good," he said. Jirani headed back to the cart so he could head back to the mailroom
"Ay dude!" Lil' Billy called to Jirani from his cell.
Jirani looked but became extremely hesitant about going over to that cracker.
"Come here, man."
Jirani took a few steps in his direction. Obviously, Jirani didn't like or trust this crackhead-skinny white male and Lil' Billy picked up on it. Lil' Billy figured it was probably a result of some information he'd been fed from me. And he was right. Whether he liked it or not, Lil' Billy did kill my best friend and roommate for 3 ½ years. And yes, I told my new roommate all about that shady white asshole.
"Yes?" Jirani asked.
"Any mail for Bill Chapman?"
"No," Jirani said. "Not today, sorry."
Jirani was in a rush to get out of Lil' Billy's presence. After answering his question, Jirani began to walk away from him.
"Hang back, man. Let's talk," Lil' Billy said.
"Yeah. We're both from cellblock B. That almost makes us family," Billy smiled.
"Yeahhh. How's the block been going?"
"It's ok. Everybody's good, I think," Jirani answered.
"Nothing out of the ordinary has happened?"
"Define out of the ordinary," Jirani requested.
"Ummmm..." Lil' Billy hummed for a couple of seconds, then his facial expression shifted to a sadistic smile. "A murder, maybe? Is there anything juicy going on?"
At first, Jirani dismissed this comment. He assumed that after weeks of solitary confinement, Lil' Billy was just happy to see a familiar face and wanted to gossip. Jirani didn't pick up on the devilish tone, nor the sense of urgency in Lil' Billy's voice.
"There's nothing juicy going on," Jirani said. "It's the same old boring ass cellblock B."
"Oh, that's where you're wrong. There's nothing boring about cellblock B. And any day now, I expect that it will get very interesting," Lil' Billy led on. Lil' Billy flashed those teeth in that same demented smile. This was the moment Jirani knew that something was up.
"What does that mean?" he asked.
"Oh no, have I said too much?" Billy joked.
"Why is it supposed to be getting interesting?"
"There are certain things in the universe that tell me so. The planets are aligning, and there will be blood on the sun."
That line threw Jirani for a complete loop. "What the fuck? Are you crazy or something?" Of course, Lil' Billy was crazy, but Jirani meant, "Do you have mental issues?"
Lil' Billy smiled again. "Yeah," he said mockingly. "I'm so crazy, yet I will be the one who is safe when the universe combusts."
Jirani got fed up with Billy talking in circles. "Look, let's end all the double entendres and the universe comparisons. What's going to happen?"
"Haha," Lil' Billy laughed. "I could tell you, but it's fun to see you squirm."
"Well then fine, don't tell me," Jirani turned to walk away and continue his work.
"Do you really want to know?" Lil' Billy said.
Jirani stopped walking. "Yes, but I'm not going to beg you."
"Ok, I guess I could tell you."
Jirani walked back to Lil' Billy's solitary cell to listen to the words of a mad man.
"The stars are all in place, so there's nothing you can do to stop it anyway."
"Then tell me."
"Ok," Lil' Billy agreed. "The stars are all around us and the planets have aligned."
"Can you speed this along, please?"
"You're so touchy," Lil' Billy took pleasure in doling out the information slowly because he knew that it annoyed Jirani. "But... the planets will attack, and even the powerful sun won't be able to stand a chance. It's flames will go out, and it will no longer be the hottest thing in the universe."
"I guess this is the part that you've been waiting for," Lil' Billy said. "When the sun's flames are cold, Cypress Turner will die."
Jirani's face went from boredom to rage in milliseconds as he reacted to the news. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Billy laughed. He walked back to his bed to lay down.
"I said, what the hell are you talking about?"
"I'm sorry, but it appears you're out of money. And a psychic doesn't give away the future's secrets for free. Now, run along little boy. Try to stop the future from happening."
Jirani backed up from the solitary cell, and then bolted out, leaving his mail cart behind. After running out of building E, he ran all the way back to building B, where the mailroom was located. I heard his quick-moving footsteps as he was coming. When Jirani found me, his mouth panted heavily because he was out of breath from running so fast.
"What's wrong with you? Why are you running?" I asked.
"Buh-Buh-Billy," he tried to catch his breath.
"You're running from Lil' Billy?"
"No," he swallowed. "But Billy wanted to gossip with me."
"Gossip? Man, I told you not to talk to the prisoners. There's no telling what kind of crazy will come out of their mouths, especially Lil' Billy's."
"He said Cypress is gonna die," Jirani spit out.
"Yeah, that's what he said."
"How? Wh-Why?" I asked.
"He didn't say. He just kept going on and on about stars and planets and the sun."
"Yes!" Jirani exclaimed. "He said that when the sun's flames go out, Cypress will die."
"Wait a minute. Nigga, you not makin' any sense."
"It's what he said!"
I knew that Lil' Billy was crazy, but damn... "He mentioned the sun and planets and all that shit? And you believed him?"
"It's what he said!" Jirani reiterated. "He also said something about being psychic."
Oh My God... this gullible ass nigga. "Lil' Billy ain't no damn psychic, nigga. He's just a fuckin' meth head and you're letting him fuck with you. See, I knew I shouldn't have let yo ass go over there alone," I scalded him. "And where the hell is your mail cart nigga?"
"I-I left it."
"Oh My God, nigga," I was pissed. This nigga couldn't go leaving other people's mail unattended in this prison. "Yo, you stay here and sort these letters out. Imma go get that God damn Cart. I can't fuckin' believe you let silly ass Lil' Billy shake you up."
"When someone says that your brother is going to die, you'd react the same way."
"Not when that someone is Lil' Billy!" I walked to building E, and into the solitary chambers. The white guard lady was still on the phone so I walked right in and to Billy's cell.
"Where do you get off trying to scare people?"
Billy smiled. "Somehow I knew you would show up next."
"Yeah... because you're psychic, right?"
He laughed. "Is he frightened?"
"Don't worry about him. Now, what's this shit about Cypress dying?"
"It's true. You don't need to be a psychic to see that. It's a long fall down when you're standing at the top."
"Leave Jirani alone. Next time he comes in here, don't you dare speak to him," I ordered.
"Fine, I won't. But don't you want to know what I told him?"
"No, I don't."
I began to leave.
"Not even when it has to do with Hakim?"
I stopped in my tracks.
"Ahh.... I knew that name would get your attention."
"Don't mention his name again," I gave him another order.
"I'm trying to help you. I want to tell you what I know."
"But you don't know a God damn thing."
"I know many things, Terry," he said. "I know who killed Hakim."
"Yeah, I do too. I'm looking at him."
"I know who was behind it; the person who told me to kill him."
"Bill, do you remember the last time I was in here?" I asked. He nodded. "I told you that I knew you were hiding something from me, and that if I found out the truth from someone else, I would kill you."
Lil' Billy nodded again.
"Hold me at my words. I will kill you and not think twice about it."
"Not if you want the information I have," he retorted.
"See, I know a lot of things. And I know that there's a conspiracy to kill Cypress Turner."
"By who?" I asked.
"Ummm, you know what? I don't really want to tell you. This isn't fun anymore."
"Bill, if you don't speak the fuck up-"
"Or what? You're gonna grab my arms and slam me into the bars again? Try it! You can't reach me from where you're standing," he said proudly.
"I will fuck you up."
"I'm so scared," he said sarcastically. "What's the fun in giving you the answers? I'll give you a hint. I'll tell you everything I told that boy."
"Then start talking."
"The planets will align and attack the sun. The sun will bleed out and start to run out of heat. And when the flames burn out, Cypress will die," he said.
"You're fuckin' crazy."
"Maybe so, but do you want to hear the last little bit of information?" he asked.
"I'm gonna tell you anyway. The orders for Cypress's death come from the top-"
"The top? The top of what?"
"That's all I can say," he said.
"The top of the prison? What the fuck are you talkin' about?"
"I said, that's all I can say."
"You're a prick, Bill. And I meant what I said when I told you to never talk to Jirani again. You're on real thin ice with me."
I grabbed the mail cart and rolled it all the way back to the mailroom. Jirani was sorting the mail but dropped it when I reentered the room.
"What happened?" he ran over to me, eager to hear about my encounter with the white boy.
"He's not psychic."
"How do you know?"
"Because he told me that he was just fuckin' with you," I said. "Yeah, he played you."
"However, he did say that there is a conspiracy to kill Cypress and that apparently... it comes from the top."
"The top? You mean like Tongis or something?" he asked.
"I don't know. The nigga's crazy. Let's not worry about what that loony ass nigga said until after we finish working."
"But what if he's telling the truth?"
"He's probably not. How would he know that there is a conspiracy to kill Cypress?" I asked. "Nobody would tell him that shit. The nigga can't keep his mouth shut."
"But you also said that he was a sneak and shady and nosy."
These things were true. And I guess it could have been possible that Billy overheard it. But I still didn't believe this shit. "Billy is just trying to stir something up."
"So you're not going to tell Cypress?"
"No. You can tell him if you want, but I wouldn't dare tell mention that the local nutjob came up with some fake prophecy about his death, when he's already worried about other issues; real issues," I said. Today was the day that Sugarman and the rest of the guys would be entering cellblock B.
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