The flimsy-looking chain of blankets swung slowly in the evening breeze as I glanced down out the window and towards the ground; towards freedom. It looked to be about 25, 30 feet down from here. High enough that a fall onto the grey concrete slab below would either kill me or make me wish it had. Fuck everything about that. I turned back from the window and looked down the corridor, fully intending to walk right out the front door thanks to the uniform I had borrowed from the unconscious guard now lying in our cell. I took a moment to get the lay of the land before continuing; I had gotten a little distracted by thoughts of falling to my doom.

C'mon Jack, focus! The corridor was about 30 feet long end to end, and wide enough across for several people to stand shoulder-to-shoulder; probably made the transport of prisoners a bit easier. One side had several windows, evenly spaced down the wall and large enough for most anyone to fit through. The setting sun cast warm rays of light through each window, illuminating dust particles hanging in the stuffy air and giving the whole scene a brass-colored hue. The light hung lazily across the filthy floor and up the opposite wall. God, Mom would have a fit if I let the floor of the shop get this dirty...I hope she's not worried about me.

The other wall had four doors, all solid steel and all hanging wide open, on account of my cellmates' desire to be as unsubtle as humanly possible. Rusty brackets were mounted outside each door, intended to be used in barring the doors shut. It was obvious that these doors were designed to keep people in, rather than out. I like 'em better that way. Between the doors, the drywall was in bad shape, harboring several holes and oddly human-shaped dents. Gazing up at the ceiling, I noticed that it, too, was in a bad way, with about half the tiles missing and exposing the dust-covered girders and corrugated metal above.

Glancing down to the end of the corridor behind me, I saw a single wooden door, areas beyond unknown. Bet I could pick that thing in 20 seconds flat. On the other end, directly in front of me, the hallway went on for about 15 feet before turning to the right; I knew that beyond that was a small sitting area with a few old chairs and a table. That's where the original owner of my new duds had been dozing off before he was rudely awakened by a large chunk of concrete to the face, thrown by my cellmate who, come to think of it, had yet to introduce herself or even say so much as one word to any of us. She sort of frightens me. After his rude awakening, it hadn't taken much for Jocelyn and Whatshisname to put him back under.

I inhaled deeply as my focus returned, and my nostrils were met with a familiar smell. It smelled like rotten meat, but a dozen times worse, and cloyingly sweet. I was sure the others had smelled it too; maybe that's why they were so eager to jump out a damned window. The smell wafted from the last of the four cells, all the way down by the wooden door. There, we had discovered an old man and the body of a younger girl, shackled the same way we had been but without the dexterity (or in the girl's case, the life) to free themselves. The other guy in my spontaneous group had freed the man, but I didn't feel good about trying to get him out of here. Sorry, pops. Coughing a bit from the girl's mortal perfume, I noticed a warm, coppery taste in my mouth, no doubt a result of the beating I had received when that Waltzer asshole had caught me snooping around their warehouse. I had tried to put up a fight, but once he called his buddies, it was all over. Assholes: 1, Jack, 0. I absentmindedly rubbed my side, and winced when my fingers grazed a tender spot.

I was still standing near the open window, sunlight seeping in, cool breeze ruffling my clothing, when I heard a door open from the far side of the corridor, around the corner by the lounge. Shit, shit, shit. They weren't supposed to come up here, I was supposed to get by them further on! I heard them swear loudly as they no doubt discovered the bloodstain left by my associates' manhandling of their colleague. Kinda fucking hard to play that one off, guys!

I looked around quickly, surveying my options.

Hide in the cell? No, no way out but through them. Through the door at the other end? No, it's probably locked! Fuck!

I heard the sound of footsteps, echoing closer to the corner in the hallway.

...through the window? Shit.

I took a tight hold of the blankets-cum-escape rope and hoisted myself through the open window. For a moment, I held on tight while trying to work up the courage to start descending. The breeze out here was a bit stronger without a wall blocking most of it, and it felt good on my skin. I looked back inside briefly, seeing Whatshisname standing there with an urgent look on his face, and decided.

Now or never, Jackie!

I began carefully working my way down the rope, working knot to knot, foot by foot. My eyes darted around nervously, and I think part of me was still hoping for another way out of this mess. Finding none, I resolved to continue down the rope and get the hell away from here.

This has gotta look fuckin' weird to anyone watching from the ground.
.
.
.
I hope no one's watching from the ground. I ain't looking down to check.

I got about halfway down the rope, feeling a little more confident, when I suddenly lost my grip on the fabric. I flailed madly, trying to find anything to hold onto. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck! SHIIIT!

Falling.

Landing.

Crunch.