Excerpt from "Leon's Wall"
Seymour Cottingham yanked the mattress off his bed and hurled it from one end of his cell to the other.
“That bastard’s going to pay for what he did,” he shouted.
“Shut the hell up.” Other voices joined in. “Tryin’ to sleep.” The noise level rocketed as inmates hooted, traced metal objects across cell bars and stamped their feet.
Boots rang on the concrete floor signaling the approach of a guard.
“What the hell’s going on?” he yelled, looking from one cell to the other trying to pinpoint the source of the uproar. When he noticed a mattress crumpled on the floor, he stopped in front of Seymour’s cell.
“Pick it up. Now,” he commanded, pulling out his baton. His look said he meant business. The jangle of his keys signaled that if he entered the cell it wouldn’t be pleasant.
Not wanting to be on the receiving end of a beating, Seymour quickly lifted the mattress and tossed it onto the lower bunk.
Glaring, the guard gave him a stern warning, “Make me come back and you’ll wish you hadn’t.”
Charlie, Seymour’s cellmate, waited until the echo of the prison guard’s boots announced his retreat, then poked his face over the edge of the bunk. “What’s eating the mighty mob boss now? Must really be something for you to bust up your bed like that.”
“Anybody talkin’ to you? No? Then shut the hell up.” Cottingham remade his bed and settled back. Donatello’ll get his. Estelle’ll deliver my message. Sal won’t let me down. Life in prison? It’ll seem like heaven compared to what he’ll get when they find him.