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Photo by Mike Hindle on Unsplash

“Hello” from the other side of the concrete and razor wire wall. A man is trapped behind the wall, calling out to anyone who is listening.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here?”

Man down, man in distress, castaway. A man’s life is slowly but surely slipping away while he is trapped behind this concrete and razor wire wall.

His “hellos” are all met with echoes. It’s an empty vast canyon behind this wall where only the soulless dwell.

“Hello,” it seemed as if he was calling out to himself. This man did not want to become one of the lost souls forgotten about so he shouted his ‘hello’ from the other side of the wall loader.

“Hello,” but still only an echo.

This man wondered if anyone realized that there was a man snared behind this wall. Did anyone care that this man had loved ones to get home to. Little ones to guide. He had a mother to hug, a wife to love, sisters and brothers waiting to receive his brotherly smile. A father he needed to embrace and a mother he needed to kiss.

“Hello,” he could hear the traffic promenading on the other side of the wall. So he roared his “hello.” The response was only a roar of an echo.

He was being ignored and left to be what he dreaded, a soulless shell. Why? He was a man who made mistakes like those on the other side of the wall ignoring him.

He was sorry for his mistakes. Only if someone would listen and let him explain.

“Hello, hello, could you get me out of here?”

The man knew that the concrete and razor wire wall was impervious. Unclimbed, never to be breached, and the sole witness to his trap.

Only if he screamed louder, someone would have to answer him.

“Hello,” just another echo.

Too many screams turned this man voiceless. His calls caused him to be further entangled.


No voice, so the man on the other side of the wall wrote. He wrote his pain in the form of an SOS, placed it in a bottle and threw it away over the concrete and razor wire wall. Somehow, the bottle was returned undisturbed. The man refused to let his hope in humanity slip away. So he threw the bottle back over the concrete and razor wire wall.

Still there were no responses or help. The bottle was returned, note still intact. His “hello” from the other side of the wall could not be reciprocated. His pen was broken.

Now the man cried. Tears of pain, shame and remorse ran down his face.

His hands were cuffed behind his back, his legs were shackled. And his mouth was gagged. Only his tears flowed freely, allowing this man behind this wall in this barren place to know that he still had a soul. A soul that yearned to be free.


Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned.

Kory “Hussain” McClary is a writer incarcerated in New Jersey who enjoys writing short story fiction. His writings can also be found at his personal blog