“The Plan” by Tyler Dempsey



We bounce in chowline, a long, orange serpent. Brownies spoon slop and dobies on our trays.

“We can do this, Lare!” I cut eyes, communicatively, above the slop.

“We can do it, Ben.”

The floor: 69.1m²two exits, three guards. One’s a cowboy. They’ll croak before a meat-wagon sparks.

I unleash The Plan. The Plan: shanks, distractions, whirligigs. The Plan has flaws. Larry doesn’t know that.

I repeat, “We can do this, Lare!” Say, resourceslabor-wiseare in these walls. I point at the table.

Go on concerning vegetables, full-solar, interest rates, what real reintegration is. Eddie plays a stick made of newspaper and hand lotion on an upturned bowl. Tap-tap. Tap-tap. Tap-tap! Kosher, vegetable-protein smells waft merciless.

The chant beginsshy, low at firsta murmur. A creature oozing upward. The room turns maniacal; Arnold, electrician in his heyday, feeds us into groups, Mexicans with Skinheads, and so forth.

We overpower by numbers. See us rush sparkling fences . . .

Bed springs hoisted as ladders. Sheets hurled atop razor wire, worked fist-over-fist, the way you do a water hose of money. The Plan’s wonderful, fantastic, bipartisan, free-range, ethanol free.

An unknowing officer rings the bell for pill-line. We turn, panic. Renegotiate razors. Rappel bloodied sheets. Stumble in retreat. The herd disintegrates, orderly.


Tyler Dempsey was a finalist in Glimmer Train and New Millennium Writings competitions. His work appears in X—R-A-Y Literary Magazine, Five:2:One Magazine, Buck Off Magazine, Wilderness House Literary Review, and The 3288 Review, amongst others. Find him on Twitter @tylercdempsey or at: http://tylerdempseywriting.com.

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