Barricades: Volume One — Part 1.1

By Christian Tizya


They let him out.

Through the armored Sheriff van doors and into the blinding daylight, Wilbur Klichuk struggled to adjust to the sunshine reflecting off the pillars of the free world. The Guards were decent enough to drop him off downtown but not enough to say goodbye, giving him twenty dollars of spending money for his first week out. Initially they offered to fly him to the oilfields, but he refused. He was exactly where he was supposed to be.

He took a moment to breathe in the not so fresh city air, but the door slammed behind him jolting him out of his first moments of liberty. There he was, a free man after nearly two decades of incarceration. Now he only needed to take those first steps towards his new life, or cautiously revisit what he had left behind. Wilbur wanted to start fresh, take the good memories and make the best of the bad ones.

There was one problem, he felt like he stuck out like a sore thumb. The world had changed a lot since he was sent away. He read the occasional newspaper, or got updates from family but he wasn’t expecting it to be this crazy.

He twiddled his fingers, tapped his right foot and whistled “I Walk the Line” while smiling to a fetching older white woman who walked by. She snuck a fearing glance at him, but his smile disarmed her so she smiled back.

“Good day” he said, she replied with a nod and went on her way.

Maybe it won’t be so bad here after all, he thought while he took his first steps down the street in the city’s financial district. In his mind he tried to think he was a new man, but with his tattered Neil Young tour T-shirt he felt the same as 15 years ago. Just another damned dirty Indian in the city, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Even though. Maybe I should get some new clothes. What am I going to eat? He thought.

His thoughts jumbled again, who will he call first? His kids gave up on him, his oldest son Marcus passed away when he was 3 years into his sentence. The authorities were agreeable enough to give him a few hours out to attend the funeral. He’ll have to visit the grave when he gets to Mooseback.

His other two kids, Darla and Dane never got over the fact their dad was a jailbird. He and their mom had broken up so during his attempts to make a connection with them he was sent away . They pretty much wrote him off and referred to their mom’s new husband as dad.

Wilbur’s recent stint in prison was without a doubt his longest, but then again he had spent his entire life in “the system.” His own childhood was endless nights of abuse at the hands of teachers, priests and social workers…pretty much anyone he came across in his life. This is the only one that kept him away from his kids and out of all the stints he served, this one hurt the most.

Many nights lying in his cell, staring at the bunk above him he thought of the “Resistance Movement” and the sacrifices he made for it. Yes, he made the decisions, but…

Was the revolution worth it?

Read Part 1.2 here

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