Samuel Hawkins

On The Way To Prison

The guards took their time as they loaded the bus, and signed off for nearly fifty prisoners. They had a routine that didn’t change much from week to week.
There was a slow rumble as the engine started and this shook me out of my daydream. I heard somebody say that it would take about an hour and a half to get to “Shelton”. This was immediately disputed by someone else.
The release of the brakes came with a “Whoosh”, as the bus slowly moved forward.

I was on my way to prison.

The over sized garage door opened and the sunlight of that December day lighted the bus. We pulled out slowly and turned up the hill. I stood up and looked out of the window. I saw the parking garage that I had watched them build from my jail cell on the tenth floor. As the bus turned onto the freeway I looked at the guard standing in the front of the bus talking to the driver. He had an AR-15 style assualt rifle strapped to his chest. In case there was any attempt to commandeer the bus. All the guards were fully armed. The guard behind us was in a special cage and the shotgun that he had was also visible. We would be well protected on our trip.

My attention returned to the freeway. I looked at Harborview Medical Center as we passed by, then the Yesler Terrace Housing Projects, then they were gone. I looked across the aisle out the window on the other side and saw the Kingdome. I didn’t realize that t was the last time that I would see it. We were speeding down the freeway now. I continued to look out of the window seeing sites that I had known all of my life. Then they were gone.
It quieted down some as we moved farther away from th city. Some went to sleep, others talked to those closer to them, and still others sat like myself, lost within their own thoughts.

As we got closer to the Reception Center the bus came alive. Almost as if everyone had just awakened. People began to stand up, looking out of the windows. We were in a formal small town. Lots of tall evergreen trees, and then we came upon a Christmas tree farm. This was it. As I looked out of my window, I saw the beginning of a long razor wire topped fence. The buildings appeared to be long, tall cement and brick with tall windows lining them. The guard towers were positioned at strategic points that observed what someone said was the yard.

Samuel Hawkins
DOC #706212

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