By Johnny Utah
Based on a suggestion by MetalbondNYC
I was at a camping site in the Osceola National Forest. We had been out there camping for three days. Just a bunch of us, we all knew each other from college, it was our last day there. We’d be packing up after lunch. We stayed near the Ocean Pond, more of a small lake. It was a nice place but after three days I was ready to go back to civilization. The bugs weren’t too bad, and we did a lot of hiking.
While everybody else was heading home I was going to stay in the area for two more days in a hotel somewhere towards Jacksonville. I didn’t have a job to go back to because of COVID. My job searches were not getting me any call backs.
I turned out onto road and set off for Jacksonville. I was driving for about five minutes when I saw it. There was a sign, “Prison Work Crew Ahead.” Sure enough, just ahead of me were groups of guys working on my side the road. There were a lot of them, working away. I wondered how early they started. They were all in blue uniforms, some wore an orange vest, some not. There were white guys and black guys, all sweating away. Guys were using weed whackers on the long grass, sticks with claws on the end you can use to pick up trash without bending over too far, and some guys just using their hands to pick up trash and junk at the side of the road.