MGD-64 Maximum Security State Prison reports a seven-to-one prisoner-to-guard ratio. Which is pretty sad on the face of things. But what they won’t tell you is: that number reflects the staff to inmate/convict ratio in total. Not at all times. Or at any time. Over three shifts, with off days, vacation days, sick days, maternity leave, paternity leave, injuries, toga parties, klan rallies, Harry Potter book releases etc. et al., at any given time the numbers are closer to forty-to-one. On that Tuesday there were seventy-seven staff at MGD-64. There were 1,299 prisoners.
We are a population of blood and anger. Of scars grown over muscle grown over bone grown over hate. We are shit and splinters. Inmates. Convicts.
We are murderers. We have weapons. We have very specific skill sets.
We are the great miracle of death.
This is all by way of saying: “They should have opened the fucking doors before everyone else was dead.”
Surely there is a law or a code or a regulation or something that prohibits the use of convicts as a defensive force, we get that, none of us are lawyers but we get that, but surely these laws may be bent when fucking hippogriffs are involved.
A riot is not something with which a body should concern himself when he’s being gnawed on by a fucking hippogriff. Or a Ropen. Whatever.
They could have at least loosed Fraction on the monsters. With a cackle and a blood streaked smile, with a one-liner they could have set Fraction on the beasts and watched him swim in their gut-parts.
“Meet Danny Fraction. He’s a whiz at division.”
“Fraction: from the Latin: broken, like your face in 3, 2, 1.”
“Fraction: he’s part of a whole…world of shit you just walked in to!”
Taking him off his leash was the first thing we thought to do when Quietly opened our cells and lost his arm and changed the world. It had to occur to them. They know of what he is capable. He’s on posters at high schools and halfway houses and Chuck E Cheeses throughout the country. Don’t break the law or you may meet this thing. Keep your nose clean or Fraction will fucking eat it.
He’s the official Florida state bogeyman.
Side note: we met the actual Bogeyman outside a Starbucks in what used to be Denver a few weeks back. Nice enough guy. Sharp dresser. Cheats at cards. Hates Ugly Betty. Not nearly as scary as Fraction.
We can recall only one time when Fraction was allowed out of solitary for more than an hour at a clip. It was Wednesday, September 12, 2001. The bulls separated out all of the Muslim inmates and convicts into their own wing of the prison. Said it was for their own safety. And then they moved in a new convict they called, “Ahmed Fraction.” And then they went on break for a day. And then there were a lot of vacancies at MGD-64.
Legend says that Fraction wasn’t even angry with the Muslims over the 9/11 attacks but the bulls promised him a radio so he killed around thirty people that afternoon.
Legend says they never did give him the radio.
Lucian spoke through the tiny, eye-level slit in Fractions cell as Quietly sorted through his keys with his one good arm. “The World has gone to fuck-all,” he said. “It’s on fire. The whole thing, I think. I’m pretty sure. I’m gonna let you out of here and if you would not kill me, I’d consider it a kindness.”
Fraction didn’t respond, but that was okay. No one has ever heard him speak. We all believe a single syllable from his mouth would level a city. A sentence would explode the world-entire.
We know it sounds like madness, like hokum; but did we mention the fucking hippogriffs?
We took bets as he walked into the yard. As his shark-blue eyes adjusted to the first daylight they’d seen in months and wars gnashed alongside us and bodies and buildings burned; we took bets. If he would live. If he would die. If he would turn out to be their leader.
We took bets.
Danny Fraction smiled.