by Letecia Burch
First place winner, Fiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
I grew up with a woman who inhabited a different world
from the loving carefree mothers of my friends.
Not saying she didn’t love me.
She showed it in a different way.
I had more of a friend than a mother
I couldn’t tell them apart
and definitely didn’t know where to start.
My mothers feelings were like intense colors—
fiery reds, soft pinks, earthy greens and the deepest slate gray.
Why should I write of teardrops falling
if your no longer there to wipe them away.
Silently obscuring the timeless tells that follow.
Who’s fingers traced the outline of my face
when I cried tears of sorrow
not knowing I’m on borrowed time.
Soon youd leave and this time I cant call or follow
for a beautiful soul who would never come back
I try and catch my breath
when I feel the panic attack.
It might be quicker and silent to sink into quicksand
to disappear beneath its surface
I’ve always thought and been told
pick your head up you have a purpose
It’d be so much easier to just let go but I cant
because of not the chance of seeing her again
is so clear seeing the pearly white gates of heaven
I can’t wait to be with you again.
In art class they taught us that sunlight contains all the colors of the rainbow.
You were my sunlight.
You taught me how to find a rainbow.
You’ll forever be in my heart.
What Goes on at the County Jail
Third place winner, Fiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
- Where the commissary is the bail
While the frail
Complain that the milk is spoiled
And the bread is way too stale
Mail is also being pass-out like a
To all those
That is willing to use it
- You see
Everybody knows that a shower
Along with the help of some soap
It shouldn’t hurt
- And speaking of pain
What about the insane
Thought of having a smelly celly
The type that lies thru his teeth
Even on the tele
One of the reasons why….
- The phone ,ay be hard to use
Since there are those that want to
- From a candle lit
To a fuse
- From a word that curse
To a nice nurse
That’ll come to your aid
With a bottle of Gatorade
- From the county of Dade
All the way to the county jail
Where the “fresh flavor”
Is a savior
Similar to what spinach does for
Popeye the sailor
- From Brutus to Olive Oil
Some may feel as if they’re in
And no Im not talking about the kind
- Good grief!!
- From a deputy to a police chief
- From sweetgreen to sweetleaf
- With this Imma keep it brief
And say to all that red
Have a nice day
- Even if the clouds in the sky are in
50 shades of a darker gray.
Public Command’s All Street’s Donational’s De-Man-da-Ment’$
by Christ Joshua M. Fletcher
Fiction/Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
If ¢aught by Christ Jo$hua, thy man of your lord GOD. It will be a $ame day fine of $300.00 or a ¢itizen arre$tment will be made.
If, heared out in publi¢ the letter$ O.M.G. or name ¢alled in vain, Chri$t Jo$hua or not ¢alled to be needed a $500. to $1,000 fine of $ame day need’$ to be paid in full.
When you lie to thy $elf & lie in the pre$ant’s of your lord & $avior for not #01 Perfect rea$on a $250. to $500 fine $ame day payment in full.
When Chri$t Jo$hua walks up & a $moke $e$$on i$ going, just contribute for Native ¢ause. If not $175 to $300 in ful ¢ash & along w/your $moke. Plu$ if not are$t will be citizen reque$t per weak will be made!! HA HA HA
If caught $elling Native tree’$ to the young youth and not age 18 & older, All tree’$ will be taken on $pot w/arre$tment being made, Plu$ $ame day payment’$ of $1,000.
Princess Can Prosper
by Mary Taylor
First place winner, Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
* The Beginning *
2022 — Who would’ve known I would end up here again at A.C.J. or with a new record.
Let’s go back to 97-98. A senior. I know High School was a time your suppose to find yourself and have fun becoming an adult, not me I hated school. That was the year I lost my virginity and found out my mother smoked crack.
See growing up in Elementary School my mom was a drunk her and her BF would drink Velicoff by the gallon. If she wasn’t out with a man she was drunk. I got beat for no reason and kept up on school nights. That’s what I called mental & physical abuse.
In Junior High I participated in every after school activity I could: Cheerleading, Pom-Pom, Double Dutch and Basketball just to escape from the reality of home. I have no siblings it was just me. So in school I didn’t know how to be a good friend or share not to mention I was shy and my wardrobe wasn’t up to par. Shoot, sometimes I had to wear the same thing twice a week and also it didn’t help I couldn’t read.
Yep you guessed it I graduated and couldn’t read they just passed me by, but one thing I could do was write a helleva essay and I was good at it.
My senior year I got accepted to two colleges: U.D.C. and Wesleyan. I knew I wasn’t going to college. There was only so many bathroom breaks I could take when it was my turn to read. So college definitely wasn’t an option. I took the easy way out and got a job at McDonalds and went to Sanz School for medical assistant, but that didn’t last long.
Terminology kicked my ass..so I quit and got me a job at Marshalls, on my way to and from work I would teach myself to read. That’s when I met my son’s father the man I fell in love with, what I thought was love. That’s when everything went down hill.
My 1st Love
I was in love actually he was my first love, we were inseparable. I would sneak him into my room and he would sneak me into his mancave. I was 18 then and he was 21 and neither of our grandmother’s was having it. I thought I had me a good man neither one of us smoked or drank at least I thought.
One night I went 2 his house after work and he got a phone call all of a sudden he became adamant about taking some movies back to Blockbusters. I told him I want to go to, but he told me, “No” Red flag. Anyway long story short his grandmother caught me in his bed and called me every name in the book. Once I got outside I saw him in a car smoking weed with some girl. I just looked at them and walked away. I was hurt until I heard the girl tell him to go after me. Of course he did and I forgave him.
In 1999 we both decided we needed our own placed and moved on R St. NW. In February I found out I was pregnant. We were both still working and everything was good until we found out our rent was damn there $1000 because of my income. So I had to quit my job to make it more affordable.
After that things got worst. One of his sisters moved in and we didn’t get along and he started hanging around females and smoking weed alot, and I hated it. I wasn’t getting no attention and then he lost his job and had the nerve to take it out on me and told me to get an abortion. I like to died, but I knew that wasn’t an option. I would move back home 1st.
Anyway he started hustling with his BG down the west and everything was good money was coming in his sister and I was getting along. At this point I’m 5 months and I found out I was having a boy and I had chlamydia. Do you know this nigga had the nerve to say I gave it to him. I left him and moved back home. A month after that the apartment was raided looking for his sister’s boyfriend, and who did he come running to yep me.
At that point our relationship was over the trust was gone but I still loved him. In November 21st I gave birth to my son 9 lb 10 ozs 21 in. At HUH by C-Section.
My son’s father was some shit he may have came everyday to see him but through labor he was ghost. I left in 5 days but my son stayed 20 days due to complications and I didn’t even indulge.
After his birth I started kicking it with some girls from school. And through them I met Tony Bone and found a G.G.G.F. [good girl friend]. T.B. loved me and my son like he was his. I was 19 and he was 28 and a male hoe.
After what I been through my heart was shut down for repair. So I started messing with both of them on the side.
Good Girl Gone Bad
In 2003 I moved to Woodland SE. I should’ve listened to my family when they said “no way.” I got back with my son’s father and everything was good at least I thought we were working, I bought a car. Then here comes his BF came and put him on again from there he started back hustling. Dude’s there didn’t like that he was in their territory, so they started stealing and robbing him, but that didn’t stop him.
Next thing you know an informant told on him and they raided the house but no one was there. Once again God spared us. I was so scared I thought we should stay with his sister for awhile, that was 2004 that’s when shit hit the fan he started smoking PCP and I was his punching bag. All his money and time went to PCP. There were blackouts, some times he got lost, and don’t forget the flock of dipper heads around. That drug was taking so much of his time.
I tried it and liked it, it was the worst mistake of my life.
When we saw not charges were filed we moved back to our apartment he started hustling again this time my aunt moved in which smoked crack so money was flowoing like water. He got locked up again and he went away for 3 years and I was lfet with a vicious habit. I started taking over the hustling by day and while at work my aunt had the night shift.
The girls around there already didn’t like me because I was fly they really hated me now. I had to idea what this drug was [doing] to my brain, but I loved this drug and it didn’t love me back.
Then I started hanging with this girl who was the devil. At this point Im catching charges every other year. I was so gone I decided to steal my neighbors truck. I pack all my clothes in the truck put my turtle in the front seat with the seatbelt on. I had no money but I was moving to NY to sell my ass for a living, before I left I got 4 dippers and pulled off without paying.
At this moment it’s 2008, my son’s father is home but wants nothing to do with me because I won’t stop smoking. You got to be kidding right. The only good thing he did was take my son with him, because I was done. Anyway I got all the way to Baltimore called my BF who is a officer, and decided I wanted to go back. So I went back home and got a U.U.V. [unauthorized use of a vehicle] charge. I was losing my mind. I didn’t know I lost it when my grandma died in 2006, she was like my mom.
So at this point I got 2 yrs Probation, I’m clean working as a Document Specialists and hustling and hanging with this serpent. In 2009, this girl got me jumped and they hit me with a brick. All I could see was this girl who I thought was my friend dancing and laughing while there damn there killing me. HUH released me that same night why I don’t know my face was so messed up the bus drivers wouldn’t even let me on the bus. I was so embrassed.
One thing I can say is I always attendant church on Sunday because it is only by God’s grace I am here to write this. I’m saved and I got baptized twice at 13 and 42 yrs. At my church I’m in the choir and the production crew, but due to Covid 19 I relapsed and it robbed me of everything I owned and my joy. I’m done with that life of drugs.
I want to now become a Peer Specialist and help others leave drugs alone. I just hope God see fit to give me another chance and let me go home.
To Be Continued
by Christ Joshua M. Fletcher
Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
Eye’m thy real living life in thou flesh. Christ Joshua, Yeshua Josh, Yahweh, Jesus, Highier Power, savior, Allah, of thou whole world.
Incarnation: a Roman Christian Catholic church in southeast Washington, DC. Thou father which are thy Ppriest Mr. Joseph-white blonde hair demonic demon devil. Whom proformed a casting spell with an unholy book of curses w/ritual’s. To whoever not believeth this curse was done 3 months after my birth.
Joseph baptized me in thy devil unholy water. 3 yrs. later after thou mother married thy father in that same conjouring church which reincarnated my life to thy Roman [ritual] curse. Thou priest who served both act’s was Catholic Joseph.
Also not knowing thus thou birth father had already swarned his life over to the Satan Devil Army of the Navy Seal Marines.
So thy mother, mother, grandmother-Marie and my Great grandma sent me away from thou evil United Nation. To where me and 5 other sybling’s were hidden from Satan’s Government. So eye was given away and given undercover hidden name. Which was once Yeshua thy original name spoken to the same as Joshua (Jesus) (Yahweh). My life have been victimized from day one, cursed by sight also cursed by birth born rights of heaven to earth.
Eye still carry thou birth marking at thy 3rd chambers of my (“RIB”) to show proof of Christ Yeshua (Jesus) (Joshua) (“Yahweh”) Heaven savior of thou yhee creator. As these white Devil’s worshipier’s marked my life by this cabin branch 606 seat pleasent. Thy father mother address of thou beast birth wright’s 606 oldest of 6 @Resident evil Maryland. The mark of they’re beast of the devil 666, Born to be punished by beat Daddy @ his mother home.
Wonce eye became removed from there, thy devil still punished me each moment + eye returned to the Christian Catholic home of birth wrights. Thou only life form that still acknoleadgement is my younger sybling’s. Paul, Kionenna, Kionete, Unika, Amanda;…… The rest DEAD!
I’ve always been abused but never taken seriously about what happen nor taken place in thy life. Killed with and by kindness, never once did any of my family done nor did anything to stop these punishment’s to me and my life. Only a few of thy chosen who shall believeth in thou life will knoweth also by sight thy truth.
It’s 148 Marshall law chamber’s which is against all man made law’s. Also 36 chamber’s defeat’s Satan devil’s 10 commandments. It’s 21 Heaven commandments of princables at each four point’s of thou world to follow.
These devil white demon’s fournicated thier own law’s along w/it’s own witch craft book of death for our life. Roman Christian’s proformes Rightual’s not baptisim’s also they Catholically curse our children after birth with these spell’s of fact’s.
?Caused me to become a victim!?.!
Well first let me speak on my life being born is one purpose. The next is getting backed washed in the Roman Catholic Church in front of all it’s member’s. After that eye was punished by my DEAD beated own father; who was not my real Daddy. He were the Catholic father that cursed me and my whole intire life.
Then all hel broken lo[o]se. My real father kept trying to kill me by setting me up-side down on my D.A.M head; for hour’s and different day’s like his mother Cabin Branch home in Seat, pleasent.
Mrs. Joyce 3-5 time’s seen what her last oldest male child did to me and said, or anything about this Father to her oldest/Grandchild.
Eye was sent away from that house hold, but kept being returned there for more punishment for just living and breathing.
Eye am the correct “Yeshua” (Joshua) = ‘Jesus’, the savior of thy whole world. Thy Roman Catholic Christian’s attempted to form a rightual curse on thy “life”. Also created a book of curses [about] my life.
These book’s of witchcraft formed a lot of curses in life. Only a few of thy choosen who shall believeth in my life will knowith also seeith Thy truth.
It’s 148 chamber’s of Marchall Law wich is against all man made Law’s, also the 10 commandments is faulse. It’s 21 commandment’s of heavenly princeables that each point of Thy world to follow. These white demon’s phornicated their own law’s along with it’s own 10 commandment’s. Christian’s does rightuals’s not baptisms, also they curse our children after birth with these act’s.
Once the devil was stripped from his power’s of possessions. [Satan] continued on [conquering] thy world with spells. Then lied about His-o-try (history) and forced thy land to speak thy curse of language witch is “English”.
Took all that we acknolage and replaced it with thier own. Also inslaved us with our own land and TAXED us with our own money. Just to concour us with statutes by non limitation wrights. Then place a forced by Death wrights to become “equal.”
The 3 eye opening changes all points of view’s; It shows thee 4 ways of thy Devil. First is the mother who bitten 4 holes in Adam ball’s. Second is thee lust by seeing his own sister necked. Third was the sexual entercourse with Eve. Fourth was thee birth of her first child unto (“Life”).
Incarnation: – Catholic Roman Christian’s is the headquarter’s in southeast Washington, D.C.. [“Roman’s”] who, were, how, when, why, Christian’s invaded our Hebrew & Jew’s, Isryal-rights, concorded and stolen all of it’s Chamber’s by commandment’s.
Then replaced thy 21 commandment’s by putting the Satain 10 commandments. Joseph – white man Demon/Demonic =Devil; preformed a [ritual] curse 3 month’s after my Birth wrights. Baptized me inside Lilieth Devil unholy waters. And used a curse with spells, 3 years later thy Birth Mother & father got married in that same conjourning church.
The priest who served both casting spell w/curse, was Joseph from Incarnation Roman Christian Catholic Church. Not kno_wing that thy 10 commandments were never strucked by heaven lightning above. Not knowing that thy Birth father had already swarned his life over to the Devil pool of fish along with, Satain Army of Navy Seal Marine Corps.
So thy mother, mother which is thy grandmother = Mary Thompson, and my great grandmother Mrs. Bailey sent me away from thy evil Nation. To where me and my younger 5 syblings were hidden from Satain’s Government Services. So we were all given an undercover hidden names, which was once “Yeshua” thy original name spoken to the same as “Jesus”,= “Joshua”, Yeshua!!…
My life have been victimized from day one; cursed by sight also cursed by a Blessing at Birth. For thy still carry the Birth mark of thy 3rd chamber of my RIB to show proof of GOD, Yeshua/Jesus/Joshua/thy world saviour of our Creator.
As these Devil’s worshipier’s marked me with the Cabin Branch; Thy Mother of thy Father & Birth wrights to an Address and thee oldest of 6 residen[ce] at 606 Seat Pleasent, Maryland.
P.S. The Mark of thy Beast placement Home, 6.6/6 Address oldest of 6 home of 606
P.S.S 3=6,6,6=18+3=21 Blackjack
Born and raised at 1004 Roger that Rabbit, silly kid Trick are for rabbeye’s. Also punished by my Dead beat Daddy @ his mother home. Once eye became removed from there, they Devil still punished me each moment eye returned to that Catholic Beast from of Birthwrights.
Thy only life form that still acknoleadgemented is my younger sybling’s; Paul, Kionnena, Kionete; Unika; Amanda Sekiethia, was adopoted the first two month born by the Marshall’s, the niece of Elizabeth Marshall, my GOD_mother @ [address listed here in original submission but not reprinted].
P.S. The rest is DEAD
P.S.S. I’ve always been abused but never taen serious about what token nor taken place in my LIFE!?..
P.S.S.S. Killed w/and by kindness Never once did any Family do nor Done anything to stop these punishments to me nor in my LIFE
by Karen Steelman
Nonfiction, Arlington County Detention Facility/Heard/OAR writing contest, August 2022
In life there are crossroad [where] we need to take responsibility for our lives. I went through the crossroad and chose the wrong path. I was supposed to die but by the grace of God I was given another chance. I have been clean for 16 months.
I have lived most of my adult life as an addict, I was governed by drugs. The end result was crimes, prison and poor health. I was so focused on getting what I thought I needed that I ignored most of the moral boundaries most people take for granted.
I stole, lied, scammed and robbed and in the end I was in the street’s twenty four hour’s a day looking for money and drugs. My life became miserable this resulted in a vicious cycle.
My pain was from childhood abuse, I medicated the pain with drugs. They made me feel better, but in the end the drugs drove me to the brink of death.
Now if I was to use street drugs it would be suicide. I still carry the pain of my childhood, it’s not always present but it arises from time to time. As a child I lived in a world of fantasy in effort to escape from my emotions fear, pain.
I have a disease it’s called addiction as I have been an addict all my adult life. I am powerless I hand my will and my life over to God, which has relieved me of trying to control things. It is up to God now – the results and footwork is up to me.
I thank God on a daily basis for my life and my recovery. I treat myself with respect and I love myself because I deserve it. I look at my behavior throughout the day. Today I’m more able to say I’m sorry. I forgive myself but not forgetting the crossroad and the path.