The Innocent Chapter 14: The Chaplain’s Legacy
Chapter 14: The Chaplain’s Legacy
Warden Greene watched from his large office window as the Our Lady of Forgotten Sorrows chapel burned. He seethed with anger. The religious nuts fought so hard for that chapel against his wishes. In the end, he had to concede that the Lord’s beacon of hope was what was needed to rehabilitate the sinners that were housed in the walls of his prison. He thought he should be happy that it was burning, but no smile graced the hard face of Daniel Greene.
He dismissed Kit Marshall moments after he entered to inform him that the chapel was burning. Greene was no idiot. He heard the blast and rushed to his window to see what was going on. Once the purplish smoke was clear he could see the smoke beginning to billow from the chapel. He harshly dismissed Marshall to deal with it while he decided what to do next.
He thought for a moment about what to do about it once the chapel was was in ashes, but he decided to do nothing. The inmates that wanted a sanctuary can share a rec hall for Sunday sermons once some other dull Chaplain took the position. If any would be stupid enough. It was about time Havenville lost its beacon of hope.
He heard his door open and close as he stared at the billowing smoke rise from the windows of the chapel. He didn’t have to turn around to know who it was. “Can you tell me what happened Rockwell?”
“Which part?” Rockwell asked. “The tear gas bomb or the fire?” Rockwell had been with Greene since the beginning. He was the head guard, and usually spent his time enforcing his rule at the Max Security wing. Lately he’d sent Rockwell away from Havenville to assist Jodie Slate in an urgent manner, and he had paid for himself ten times over on that trip. Not every man in Green’s employ would murder a child.
“Do you believe the two incidents are unrelated?” Warden Greene asked as more flames shot from the sides of the chapel.
“It’s not just two incidents now,” Rockwell said. “The groups we sent after Xander’s friends all decided to use the explosion as a cover for their tasks.”
Greene turned around to look into the face of Rockwell. His grim expression told him everything he needed to know. “They failed?” he asked Rockwell not wanting to know the answer to his next question. “Which group?”
“It was a total loss,” Rockwell said. “Chad and his gang were found brutally murdered. None of the cameras picked up the carnage because of the smoke, but it looks like Wolfsky took all six of them out.”
“Six men?” Greene asked. “They didn’t call him Wolfsky the Butcher for nothing, I guess. What else?”
“The Ten of Clubs were in the chapel when the fire started,” Rockwell said. “They probably followed the Asian in there. We are sure he started the blaze. He killed two guards in the process.”
“Jesus fuck,” Greene said sitting down. This was getting bad. “What about those rapists?”
“All dead,” Rockwell said. “Had to have been Wolfsky again. There’s no way that geek Kelly could have fought those three off and brutally murder them all.”
“No,” Greene said staring off. He was sure he’d have the least trouble with Leonard once he was separated from his friends. “At least there’s three less rapists in Havenville. Is there any doubt who set the bombs?”
“It was Kelly,” Rockwell said. “Had to have been. I did my homework when Kit assigned these three to me. It has him written all over it.”
“Can you prove it?” Greene said nearly salivating at the chance to toss Kelly into the bowels of Max Lockup along with so many rapists he’d die skewered in any orifice he left unguarded.
“No,” Rockwell said. “If he could contact a lawyer they’d get him off in a matter of seconds.”
“Shit,” Greene said. “What a country. The little shit blows up a bunch of people, and there’s still a scumbag lawyer that would take the case.”
“What about Xander?” Rockwell asked. “He’ll be going back to those three as soon as we let him out. What do you want to do?”
Warden Greene actually smiled at this. Having Xander under his watch was very entertaining. It was going to get more entertaining now that his friends had gotten themselves out of the traps he set for them. Greene had time to kill before his final phase was complete. Why not have a little fun.
“Do nothing,” Greene said.
“Nothing?” Rockwell asked with a confused look on his face.
Xander walked silently as the guard led him back to his cell. He was painfully aware of the stares he was getting from the other inmates as he passed them. He hadn’t shaved or showered in the twenty days since he entered The Hole. He had also lost any weight he had as he was only fed scraps. He supposed on some levels his rights as a human being were stripped from him, but he would say nothing. He wouldn’t give the Warden the satisfaction.
“Brought your cellmate back, Wolfsky,” the guard said. Wolfsky merely grunted from behind his hand-written book as Xander stepped back in the cell and sat on his bunk. As shitty as his surroundings were, it felt good to be back.
The guard left and Wolfsky followed with his eyes from above his book not moving the rest of his body. Once he was sure the guard was gone he came down off the top bunk and observed Xander. “You look like shit,” he said.
“Thanks,” Xander said. “I miss anything good?”
Wolfsky handed him a package of peanuts from under his pillow. “Wolfsky takes it you haven’t heard?”
“You’re the first person I’ve talked to in twenty days,” Xander said. “All I’ve heard are rats scurrying in the walls.” Xander saw the look in Wolfsky’s face saw no trace of a smile at Xander’s poor attempt at a joke. “What’s happened?” he asked.
“We better get Tajiri and Leonard,” Wolfsky said.
After a shave, a rushed lunch, and a shower (Wolfsky was somehow able to get Xander a private shower stall on A Block), Xander and Wolfsky secured an empty wood shop to meet in. Xander listened silently as each one took their turn telling their tales of the last twenty days. There was a lot to take in. Chaplain Freeman had been murdered, and the three of them had also been targeted. Our Lady of Forgotten Sorrows was gone as well. Wolfsky and Tajiri had both left an impressive body count, but they were worried since there was no repercussions from their actions.
“They’re likely waiting for you,” Leonard said. “You’re what this was all about, right?”
Xander sat and stared at the floor over his folded hands. He hadn’t told him his own part in the story, but he felt awful about what was going on because of him.
“Do not feel bad about it,” Tajiri said sensing what Xander was feeling. “Things were coming to a head long before you came to Havenville. Besides, we all knew the dangers when we decided to help you.”
“Speak for yourself,” Leonard said. “I would have rather had the Ten of Clubs come after me than have those rapists in the showers.” Xander knew he was joking about it, but he could see in Leonard’s face what the ordeal had done to him. Xander began to wonder if all of Leonard’s jokes was to mask some kind of pain.
“We are all targeted by a different faction,” Wolfsky said. “The Ten of Clubs went after Tajiri. Chad and his thugs came after Wolfsky. The Ginger Rapist and his boys went after Leonard. The Agents of the Warden didn’t want it to seem as if our deaths were related.”
“And you weren’t attacked?” Leonard asked Xander. “Just stuck you in The Hole and added twenty years? I can’t tell who got off lighter.” Xander took no offense to Leonard’s comments. He knew he was tense and anxious at the moment.
“They didn’t come after me,” Xander said. “They found my family.”
The others watched Xander in silence. He had nobody to talk to since he heard the news that his wife and son were dead other than Rockwell (who admitted to killing Christian as he closed Xander in The Hole for twenty days). He thought about them a lot when he was in The Hole, but didn’t know what would come out of his mouth when he started talking about it.
“The Warden had someone in the FBI,” Xander said. “They found where my wife and son were and killed them. They blew up the FBI headquarters in Boston and destroyed all the evidence of my old life. I seem to be a long-term resident of Havenville now.”
“My God,” Tajiri said. “How?”
“I don’t know,” Xander said. “The Warden told me before he threw me in The Hole. He was trying to get me to crack.”
“You had twenty days to dwell on that hard fact,” Tajiri said. “Greene made a statement then let it rot inside you.”
“This is why we have to take him down,” Wolfsky said.
“This is why I am going to kill him,” Xander said. “My mission was to get information on Warden Greene and relay it to my superiors and get back to my normal life on the outside. I have no life on the outside. I have no superiors. My mission is over. I’m starting one of my own. I don’t expect you to join me.”
“I’m in,” Tajiri said with no pause.
“So is Wolfsky,” Wolfsky said.
“Fuck it,” Leonard said. “Nobody attacks Leonard Kelly’s sweet virgin ass and gets away with it!”
Xander was touched by their gallantry. He fought an urge to try to convince them not to join him, but they were part of it whether Xander liked it or not. He also couldn’t take down the Warden without their help. Besides, he knew there was no convincing them otherwise.
“That leaves only one thing,” Tajiri said. “What did The Chaplain leave you, Wolfsky?”
“Wolfsky nearly forgot,” Wolfsky said reaching into his shirt. “Wolfsky hasn’t opened it yet. I was waiting for the four of us to be together. Now seems like a perfect time.”
“Do you know who the Warden of this prison is, Wolfsky?” Chaplain Freeman asked.
“Greene,” Wolfsky said. He was new to Havenville, and The Chaplain had taken a shine to him the moment he came into Our Lady of Forgotten Sorrows and begged forgiveness for his sins.
“No,” The Chaplain said. “It is ourselves. We are the Warden of our immortal souls.”
“Wolfsky’s body is a prison?” Wolfsky asked.
“Yes and no,” Chaplain Freeman answered. “It’s whatever you imagine it to be. I used that analogy based on where be both are. I also based it on the fact that you and I are both here by choice.”
Wolfsky paused. He was taken aback by that last comment.
“Don’t think I don’t know about you,” Chaplain Freeman said. “One inquiry was all it took to get the details on your arrest. The police found you with the bodies of a man and wife with their three children. You were covered in their blood. They came upon you by accident. With your skills you could have gotten away easily, but you surrendered. Wolfsky the Butcher was brought to justice with a whisper.”
Again, Wolfsky said nothing.
“You don’t have to speak,” Chaplain Freeman said. “You think you deserve to be here. Is that right?”
Wolfsky sighed. “Wolfsky deserves that and a lot more,” he said.
“But you didn’t kill those people,” Chaplain Freeman said. “Wolfsky the Butcher may have been a cold blooded killer, but he never killed kids. I don’t believe that family should weight on your conscience.”
“Wolfsky did it,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky killed that entire family. Wolfsky’s killed a lot more.”
The Chaplain observed Wolfsky’s face for a moment. He still didn’t believe Wolfsky could have committed those murders. Sure he killed in his line of work, but Freeman didn’t think he’d kill children. It just didn’t fit his usual style. “Would you ever kill righteously?” he asked.
“Wolfsky won’t kill again,” Wolfsky said. “Wolfsky has already told you that when we first met.”
“God has a plan for all of us, Wolfsky,” Chaplain Freeman said. “He brought me here to Havenville for a reason, and I believe he brought you to me as well. We could do some good here. Wolfsky. Even if that good is done though not so good means.”
“What is it you’ll have Wolfsky do?” Wolfsky asked. His curiosity was piqued. It might take some more time to convince Wolfsky to join the small and silent movement that he had built in Havenville, but Freeman knew Wolfsky’s curiosity would be enough for him to at least hear The Chaplain out.
“Tell me one thing first,” Chaplain Freeman said. “What’s the first thing you would do once you’re out of Havenville.”
“Wolfsky is here for the rest of Wolfsky’s life.”
“I know,” Chaplain Freeman said. “But let’s say you weren’t. Hypothetically, what’s the first thing you would do?”
“Get a bottle of Mount Christmas rum,” Wolfsky said with his demeanor beginning to lighten.
“What’s that?” Chaplain Freeman asked.
“Old family recipe from the islands,” Wolfsky said. “Can’t get it all the way up here in New England. Probably not even in the states. Wolfsky hasn’t had a glass of Mount Christmas in years.”
“When we get out I’ll get you a bottle,” The Chaplain said smiling.
Wolfsky smiled back even though he knew that day would never come.
“Enough with the dramatics,” Leonard said. “Open the package already.”
Wolfsky looked at the brown-wrapped package in his hands. He was aware he was lost in a memory for a moment. He almost didn’t want to unwrap the package. He felt like it would somehow tarnish The Chaplain’s legacy if he did so, but he had to do it. After what they went through on the day Tajiri retrieved it. He tore open the top of the package and reached inside. He pulled out a brown bottle.
“What’s that?” Leonard asked craning his neck.
“It’s Mount Christmas rum,” Wolfsky said trying to keep his voice from cracking. “I mentioned it when I first met Chaplain Freeman. I can’t believe he was able to get it.”
“It was obviously meant for you,” Xander said.
“No,” Wolfsky said. “There’s no point to drinking alone when one can drink with his friends.” He pulled the cap from the top and took the first swig. He passed the bottle to Xander.
“What shall we drink to?” Xander asked as he held the bottle.
“Warden Greene’s death,” Leonard said.
“Do not drink to a man’s death,” Tajiri said. “It’s bad karma.”
“Even if we intend to kill him?” Leonard asked.
“We are men of honor,” Tajiri said.
“Yeah yeah,” Leonard said. “Way of the samurai. I got it. Then what should we drink to?”
“Us,” Wolfsky said. “How we came together in the face of a common enemy.”
“To the downtrodden inmates of Havenville Pen!” Xander said taking a swig. The warmth immediately filled his stomach and began to spread. He passed the bottle to Tajiri.
“To fighting with honor!” Tajiri said expecting another rib from Leonard. He took his own swig before passing the bottle on.
“To the sanctity of all of our butt holes!” Leonard said raising the bottle and taking his own swig though laughter. He passed the bottle back to Wolfsky.
Wolfsky held the bottle looking at the three men he had come to know as friends. So much had changed in Wolfsky in the short time since Xander Zane had joined the ranks of Havenville’s population. He raised the bottle searching for the right words. “To the innocent!” he nearly bellowed before taking a huge swig and passing it back around. They all toasted to themselves as the innocent.
The darkness that seemed to surround them had been lifted as they passed the bottle around laughing and joking. This was The Chaplain’s legacy. It was the ability to bring them together after so much had happened recently, and it wasn’t going to get any easier from hear on out. This might be the last laugh the group would share.
The bottle of Mount Christmas rum made its way back to Wolfsky, and he took another swig from the rapidly lightening bottle. The other’s didn’t know the conversation he had with Chaplain Freeman when Wolfsky told him about the rum. There was a second meaning. One that only Wolfsky would be able to pick up on. The Chaplain had asked Wolfsky what the first thing he would do if he ever got out of Havenville. Mount Christmas rum was the answer.
The Chaplain was telling Wolfsky it was time to leave.