The Warden

The warden was a portrait of overindulgence. It was so cliché that someone of such great corpulence should so closely resemble a pig—or better yet a hog—but of the warden it was the truest description. Under sagging lids that swallowed the light his eyes sat in perpetual shadow, only allowing the barest of pinpricks to shine back. This rendered the balls themselves unto hard onyx beads. His fleshy lips split his face with a wide slash that seemed constantly wet, and netted by tendrils of drool that burst forth every time he spoke. That monstrous mouth topped a cascade of flesh; a rolling jumble of jowls and chins that never sat still. Every movement he made caused the gizzard to jiggle obscenely in a fascination of fat-filled skin. Nor was the skin pleasing, for it appeared that the warden had suffered a great pox in his younger years—perhaps a scourging of acne or worse—and that battle had left the surface of his face a cratered landscape so rugged that you could get lost in its pits and troughs if you stared overlong... not that the warden would tolerate your staring eyes for any length of time.

He was a hard disciplinarian, and ruled the kingdom of his prison with an iron fist. Some said that he'd requested the post after years of lighter security management, and took the position when no one else would. For whom in their right mind would want to inherit the Blackwall Correctional Facility, not least of when the previous chief had been brutally murdered in the very office, the very high-backed swiveling leather chair that the warden now parked his ample hips? But the new man had proven, over the last decade and a half of his oversight, that he had indeed been the right person for the job.


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