Weak afternoon light from a pale sun highlighted grey wisps in Charlie Newman’s untidy hair.
Charlie sat on the old wooden bench accompanied by a few sad plants leaning against the waist high walls enclosing the garden. He pulled his jacket tight around himself. Even in the cold afternoon air, this little space was a haven from the mad-house inside. He rummaged around in his pockets. You silly old devil – how long has it been since you gave ’em up?
He crossed the yard and grasped the iron bars set securely into the brickwork. He looked through to the park beyond and thought about all the evil men that he had put away. Now I know how you feel.
Behind him the French doors rattled but he paid no attention. Then came the voice of authority he couldn’t ignore.
“Come on Mister Newman, hurry up or it’ll go cold.”
With a sigh, Charlie looked at his watch. The gold had worn off the edges of the bezel exposing the plain metal underneath. Some reward. Half a lifetime of service and all I have now is memories.