It’s past lights out, and I am alone in the darkness. A little washed out light leaks through the narrow bars in the window, just enough to see the shapes of things, just enough for the shadows to pool around me. I lay still upon the bed, the thin mattress barely enough to stop the metal slats digging into bruises over my back. Fully deserved bruises I should add, you don’t kill a couple of nation’s finest in broad daylight without expecting a few recriminations.
Despite the pain I am content, it is good to rest after such a hectic day. I guess in some way I should be thankful that all I have are a few bruises from well placed blows. Petty revenge considering what I have done. The first stage of my plan is complete and there will be a reckoning, but for now I just lie still and absorb my surroundings.
Every half an hour the flap in the cell door snaps open, eyes peer in to make sure I am still alive. They take such care of all new prisoners, especially those who are never likely to see the outside world again. On this wing, only the man I can hear sobbing at the end of the corridor and myself are the new intake for today. They shouldn’t be concerned with me, I’m right where I want to be. Him on the other hand, well, we’ll get to him shortly.
Lying still in the darkness I listen to the unfamiliar sounds around me. At the bottom of the cell, a single water pipe gurgles in its vain attempt to warm the chill air. In front of the pipe I can see the outline of a small cupboard, the sole repository of my worldly belongings. In the corner a toilet sits and beside that a small table and chair.
From all around the prison I can hear sounds, mostly voices. Some just chat about the day just gone, sharing titbits of news that they have heard. Others welcome the new intake, their menace adding to the fear that these new prisoners feel in their first night locked away from all that they love. Unlike them I feel no fear, I have lost nothing. They have lost their loved ones that they normally curl up beside for warmth, I had no-one for this having lived cold and alone on the streets. They have lost their freedom and as with most people they have no idea what this means until now, when it has been taken away from them. But I carry my freedom with me, these walls are not a prison for me, my mind can escape the confines of both body and concrete whenever I desire.
I smile at the short poem some wit had written on the wall before I came to this cell –
“If these walls were made of blow,
I’d smoke a hole and away I’d go.
But as they’re made of brick and stone,
I leave the fucking things alone.”
The same wit, obviously in fine form had also labelled the emergency bell, above it states “Push button for sex!” and below the red button they had written “When pressed a cunt will appear.” It’s good to know that even hear some people’ humour remains strong.
In the cell beside me, I can hear the rhythmic sound a man masturbating himself to sleep, I release my mind and float through the wall and take a look inside his mind. Well, well. That’s not something you see every day. In his mind he is picturing a pretty blonde, older than himself, but submissive to his energetic exertions. Delving deeper I discover that this is no ordinary blonde fantasy, the women is question is much closer to him. I smile to myself, his mother has a fine figure, well worth the attentions of an obedient son, not that my tastes run that way you understand. As always though, he detects my presence and it’s throwing him off his stroke, which does seem a little unfair. So I withdraw and leave him to his solitary pleasures.
It really would be nice to know how they can always detect my presence. I let my mind drift down the corridor, pas t the patrolling guard. On each side there is a bank of eight cells. They are all maximum security as befitting category A prisoners. Every person on this wing has been deemed a serious risk to the public. Each prisoner here is a murderer or rapist, or has demonstrated some level of violence way beyond even the police contend with on a regular basis.
At the end of the corridor is the sobbing newbie. He is surrounded by the catcalls of the other prisoners. As with all predators they can sense weakness and here this weakness is audible to all. I enter his mind easily, there is no resistance, just confusion. A chaotic mixture of guilt, terror, and a need for the needle and bliss it would contain. A quick fix is all he would need would take the pain away, and not just the pain of withdrawal, but the pain of the memory of what he has done. Even now he barely remembers, but I can see. I can see with great clarity the crime he has committed, the sin for which even the murders and rapists around him will not forgive him for. Like me they already know the truth, the grapevine informing everyone before he had even arrived. And with relish they had waited.
The guards are right to maintain a watch on this one, if he the means and the will, it is doubtful he will last the night. The fever that grips him causes enough pain on its own to make him want to seek the final option,. He barely remembers what he has done, the terrible crime that he has committed. I can help him remember, lay every detail out bare for him to relive.
His cries become louder, fractured as I reveal the truths to him. First is the sight of his young daughter, only weeks from the womb. The second is the sounds of her crying, seeking attention and nourishment. He is alone in the squalid flat. The mother is out scoring more of the drug they need, the drug that will bring peace. But for now he is alone with the child, and all he wants is for her to be silent. Not so much to ask he thinks, and with a shout and a shake she is silent. He drops her in her crib, satisfied of a problem easily solved. Neither he nor the mother notices the silent corpse turning blue until the visit from the social worker later that day. And then the frenzied confusion that ends with him here, alone in his cell.
But he’s not alone, I am here to help him remember, to add the terrible vision of his guilt to the withdrawal pains he is suffering. Like a proxy conscience I resurrect his dead daughter and smile as his screams echo from the walls that close in around him. He looks at those same hands now. They look the same as earlier. It is strange that he can see them with such clarity. He barely hears the rough voices around him, the promises of what will happen to him in the day to come. I withdraw and leave him to his misery, there’s no real sport there. With a nudge it would be easy to convince him of what must be done. But why waste the effort? His fate is already sealed and I have more fun times ahead of me. If by some miracle he survives the next day, then I can visit him again, but for now, I drift away.
Back in my own cell I rest my back against the hard metal bed, I am contended and allow myself to sleep and to dream.