Walter Sam was awarded an Honorable Mention in Drama in the 2022 Prison Writing Contest.

Every year, hundreds of imprisoned people from around the country submit poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic works to PEN America’s Prison Writing Contest, one of the few outlets of free expression for the country’s incarcerated population.


EXCERPT

LARRY

About these notices, I assure you, we have never got them, therefore we are unaware and legally not liable.

MAURICE

Ah ha ha, if only the world spun in that direction, Mr. Blackman. But it doesn’t. This house will be foreclosed on in 12 days whether you got the letters or not.

LARRY

Wait just a minute. I don’t know what kind of scam you’re running, but this house is paid for full and clear.

MAURICE

That’s almost true as the houses taxes haven’t been paid in years and it should have been foreclosed on for that alone, but the debt I speak of is a $16,000 debt left by the deceased owner of the home, a Mr. Aubry Blackman.

George’s eyes scan the room for the meaning of the work deceased.

LARRY

Deceased?

MAURICE

Yes? Deceased. I’m sorry, did you not know? (Finding it humorous) He died many months ago. The paperwork for debt collections moves slower for deaths, go figure. (Placing a hand on Mark’s shoulder) I’m sorry for your loss, but he owed $16,247.38. The house will be foreclosed on and auctioned in 12 days if the debt is not paid in full. (Turning to Larry with a painted sad face) I don’t suppose you have the cash on hand do you?


To finish reading this, as well as the works of all other contributors, purchase Variations on an Undisclosed Location: 2022 Prison Writing Awards Anthology here.