In the crisp, clear, moonless night, the quiet majesty of the stars mocked the firework's feeble imitation that had welcomed the New Year a few hours earlier. Now, natural beauty reigned in the tranquility of the rolling Central Texas landscape, except at the angry chancre of light pollution that was the Seguin Unit. The ugly, yellow-orange lights of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice maximum-security prison obliterated even the brightest star.
Located miles from the nearest town on a small farm-to-market road a mile or so from a main highway, that orange glow made passing motorists uneasy even before they saw the lighted billboards warning drivers that stopping, or even slowing, would result in a ticket.
Motorists who turned off the farm to market road into the prison's two-lane driveway were confronted by a new string of ominous yellow warnings. Not only would carrying firearms or tobacco into the prison result in criminal prosecution, but anyone who passed that point would now be subject to strip searches.
Officer Mark Clotell gave a sardonic glance at the ever-increasing speedometer as his flashing brights shattered like rubies off the rear light clusters of the Cadillac in front of--
Murdoch picked up the phone and dialed. "Dammit, Merril, whose freaking idea was it to get Bill Shatner to voice-over the new series of America's Worst Offenders?" --anon.
Opening: Reb Bacchus.....Continuation: Anon.