flash fiction challenge



Rossi Carter worked in the mail room at a state prison. She knew she had crossed the line. If anyone knew what she had done, she would become an inmate herself.


From a young age Rossi loved to read, She lost her  most of her hearing by the time she was 9. She never had to hear books so reading was her safe place. She had cochlear implant surgery when she was 18 and remarkably, regained most of her hearing. At age  24, reading remained her favorite hobby. 


She loved to read but was disappointed that her job wasnt as interesting as she thought it would be. She was a mail checker, incoming and out going. Rossi could barely stand to read the inmates mail. It was just endless rambling from mostly uneducated, uninteresting prisoner affiliates.  She checked for drugs,weapons, gang codes and explicits, that was her days work. She detested most of them but… there was one inmate, prisoner #10469-78 who wasnt like the other prisoners. He wrote the most beautiful love letters to his wife, his name was Max Grant.  


He was just a number to the state, but to Rossi Carter he was much more. He was different from the rest of the men here but, he was locked away with the worst of the worst. He was  gentle speaking, strong and smart not to mention handsome. she watched him through her window when he was in the prison yard.


She had grown attached to Max  and to his love for his wife .  She hung on every word that they communicated with eachother. She anticipated the pictures that were included with the letters.  he wrote about his appeal and asked her to look into it. 

Even though Max and Elayna were seperated by barbed wire, Rossi was jealous, they had something she didnt… they had love.


Curiosity got the best of her she looked  him up in data base, He was charged with manufacturing marijuana and conspiracy. This was a federal felony, but why was he here in the state penitentuary? He should be in a minimum security federal facilty with the other white collar criminals. There was something wrong with him being there. It bothered her.


The court documents said he did not plead guilty but requested a trial, but there never was a trial. He had sent out request for hearings and wrote to several lawyers about his wrongful incarceration. This troubled her because one thing she hated was injustice. 


It was like he was pleading and begging to and empty abyss. he never heard replies. Nobody cared. He would ask his wife to write to lawyers and prison officials but there was no record of any letters to the prison officials. All the mail came through her department. His wife would say she never heard anything back. It didnt make sense that someone with such a minimal charge would be locked away and forgotten. She wanted to reach out to him, to encourage him to keep trying, but she knew she could not offer her help. 


She was watching the traffic come and go from a window in the diner she ate breakfast at most mornings. And she saw her. it was his wife. There was no mistaking who this was . Rossi had seen her picture 100 times. She was with a man in a suit they were talking very closely,he looked familiar. He was familiar, It was the prison warden! She was kissing him they were holding each other.


This is all wrong. Her heart sunk for Max.  She was all he had.

The private investigator inside of her urged her to follow them. She owed it to Max. 


Ross followed.


Her heart felt like it was going to jump out of her chest. She pushed the dial on her hearing aid. Head colds and sinus problems interfered with her cochlear implant so she often wore a hearing aid. She could hear them talking when it was turned up.

“It’s happening tonight”. 


“Don’t concern yourself with that” 

“I want it to be quick and…”

“You have life insurance right?”

“Prison murders happen all the time, nobody will suspect a thing”


Max!! they were plotting to kill him! She had to let him know .Could they be so cruel…what if she was wrong. She could lose her job, or worse. But his whole incarceration  was  a set up. 


Rossi sped to the prison.

How could she tell him?

She did not have that kind of access. She only saw him from afar, from her office window….

The mail. 

She could write him. 

She showed up at 9:00 a half hour late. But still before the mail rotation.

She walked in. It doesn’t look like her boss noticed. 

“Dammit” she said. She should have wrote the note before she got there. She is shaking like a leaf  its hard enough for her to snag an envelope, so she just decides to write on the inside:


She licked the envelope shut, stuck a stamp on and hoped that it would blend in. It was a good thing she had his number memorized. 5 min until mail time.

She came back to her mail room . Her co worker Marcy asked her if she was ok. Her heart felt like it was gonna pound out of her chest. 

She replied “I’m not feeling that well.”

“You look pale sweets, just go home and lay down ” said Marcey.

Rossi thinks for a second that might not be a bad idea because she had just slipped the note into the mail rotation for cell block C…and she felt nauseous.

 ” I think I will, thanks” Ross said as she grabbed her purse. There was no turning back now.


She popped her trunk and rummaged through her toolbox she always kept…wire cutters! On her way out she drove by the west tower and chucked the wire cutters out her window. She could hear them hit the fence but couldn’t see.

She was repeating “what have i done” to heself every 30 seconds.

Why is she risking her innocence?

Because she loved him… that’s why. She had never been so scared and excited in her life. For the first time felt like a total bad ass!!

She kicked it into full gear and sped home.

She had a friend that stayed there sometimes that left some clothes. Running pants…too big but they would work. she found a gray T and her  Detroit ball cap  She grabbed crackers and a water and threw them in a bag. 

Wait….money, he would need some. 

She always had a cash stash. She shoved $600 in the bag and… thought for a second…should she run away with him?


She grabbed some stuff for herself and left in a panic. She gassed up and drove to the exit just past the prison. The road she was on ran on the other side of the forest just past the west tower. If he excaped he would come out here. The prisoners don’t go out until two. This is where she would wait….wait… there was a man running ahead. It was him! She pulled up to him and slowed down and yelled “i wrote the note”. He jumped in and she told him everything. He asked to be dropped off on an street she won’t mention. he called her his gardian angel and shut the car door.  He took off right in the broad of daylight. If the sirens were going off at the prison she wouldn’t know because they were 20 miles away. 


She went home and watched the news. They didnt catch him! They didnt even notice he was gone intil 4:00. Rossi felt like a criminal, like the police would bust down her door at any moment but they never did. She went to work the next day just like normal. She was questioned along with every employee there. 


Max and the note she wrote were never found an no one will ever know if he would have been murdered that night…because he escaped and got away with it! 

She never told a soul a thing. She worked at the prison for 3 more years and then moved to Mexico, to the place she had been vacationing for the past 2 years. She was invited by a friend and fell in love with the country. 

There she was married to a man who looked remarkebly like Max, but went by the name Ross Frees.He says he was named after his guardian angel! 


Ross and Rossi never told a soul, and never went back to the US.  When they had both passed they left something to thier children worth more than money!  They left behind a bad ass love story, that would stay alive in thier family forever


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