“Brax, you didn’t,” The Artist asked.
The tone reminded Braxton of the tone of someone might use when receiving flowers. A pounding came from the video. Cass Lawrence broke eye contact for the first time and turned to his left. A muffled voice echoed as the knock sounded again. Braxton couldn’t hear the words. Did they check his cell? The voice became clearer the second time.
“Cass Lawrence, you’ve broken your parole,” a voice said.
Why the hell would they give him parole?
“Lionel, please complete the Exhibit for me,” The Artist said. “It seems I reached the end of my free time.”
“Yes, Artist,” Lionel said, “They just left the Goliath exhibit. Would you like for me to finish now, or delay?”
The voice on the other side disappeared. They are getting ready to ram the door. A fresh pulse of pain flared up in his jaw as Braxton tried to take a deep breath. The hitch in the breath caused him to breathe fast and shallow.
“I said I want them to see the full exhibit apprentice. Do not make me repeat myself.”
“Yes, Artist. They shall see David next.”
But a small charge explosion interrupted The Artist and his video feed. The picture on the TV showed a shocked Cass Lawrence before static took over. An echo from a concise explosion sounded nearby. What? He’s been here the whole time? Braxton tried to focus on what to do next and worried when Lionel approached with heavy boots. The thump in his heart reverberated to the sharp, repeating pain in Braxton’s jaw.
Lionel walked away at that point and left Braxton breathing heavy on the floor. I can’t let them finish this show. Braxton remembered the first time the Artist completed his first show at the Haunt. It ended with an innocent girl’s insides draped on a wall to shape a rose. There will be no more Jessies. Braxton braced his jaw with his hand and stood up. The flare of pain almost knocked him unconscious, but Braxton fought the nausea and dizziness. In the distance, a red light faded on a sculpture taller than the walls. In the last light, one of the upper limbs gave a lurch and sank further down a pole. If the swollen jaw would have let Braxton vomit, he would have, but the acrid stomach acid stuck in his throat. The burning sensation almost made him forget the pain in his jaw. Braxton approached the maze of black fabric walls and red lights.
4 thoughts on “The Exhibit 22: Breaking Parole”
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