Olin Steps Out

John Langenfeld entered the Texas prison system at the age of twenty-one and served fifteen consecutive years. While incarcerated he earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Sam Houston State University and a master’s degree in literature from University of Houston at Clear Lake. John is a lifetime member of Sigma Tau Delta – International English Honor Society. He has been published in Entropy, The Threepenny Review, and was a finalist for the Frank McCourt Memoir Prize 2017.

Olin Steps Out

Pedestrians below scurried along sidewalks like sand gnats buffeted by a breeze. Planks of glass girded with steel jutted skyward, hundreds of stories high. Olin stood on the ledge of the roof, toes clawing the rim of cement, cumulus clouds floating overhead. Counted one – two – three, staggered forward. Flapped his scrawny arms like a fledgling plover, heaved his torso through atmosphere, breached the facade of fluff. Inside, two of his pals slouched on a couch watching TV. One slurped a beer, scratched his chin, thumbed the remote. Where have you been? the other asked. Contemplating clouds, Olin answered, blue light muddling their faces. Here we are, they chimed as one. We were wondering when you’d come.

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