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Day Forty

Rose was right: in the cold light of morning I was not so fatalistic. The effects of the cream had worn off, and I yelped when I tried to pull up my clean knickers, but Rose refused to rub on a second application.

“They might notice when they inspect you,” she said: “besides, it’s only a small tube, and you’re going to need it tomorrow.”

“Don’t remind me Rose.”

I squatted over the bucket, wincing again. I remembered what Prana had told me of the time she had been hit with the crop: how she couldn’t sleep or use the bucket properly.

I dragged myself into the corridor, and was immediately bombarded with questions. What had happened yesterday? Was it true I had tried to attack Dawes? Some of the women were even applauding me, treating me like a heroine, for something I had not done. All I wanted was news of Prana, but none was forthcoming. I was glad when I was back in my cell.

“Have you actually seen your bottom?” Rose asked, when I peeled my knickers off again.

“I’m not sure I want to,” I said: but Rose had taken the tarnished mirror down from the shelf, and was holding it to my behind. I couldn’t resist turning my head to look.

“Oh God,” I said. What I saw was a long weal: the red skin was raised and puckered as though a tiny mole had burrowed under it, across the width of my buttocks.

“Nasty, isn’t it?” said Rose. “I’ll put some more cream on when they’ve inspected us.”

She replaced the mirror, and I ran my fingers gingerly over the weal.

“I need to wash my legs,” I said, soaking my flannel under the tap. “I wet myself yesterday: we both did.”

“I could tell,” said Rose. “I wiped you down yesterday as best I could when I shaved you.”

“So you did shave me,” I said. “I thought I was dreaming. Thank you.”

I wiped myself down again, not forgetting my feet and ankles: though pain shot through my bottom when I tried to bend down. I had just finished when the door clanged open, and in came Clark and Bradley with breakfast.

“Well, well,” said Clark, eyeing my bottom: “Officer Dawes has done a good job there. Hurt, does it?”

“Yes Sir,” I said.

“Ain’t nothing to how it’s gonna hurt tomorrow,” said Bradley.

“What’s going to happen tomorrow?” asked Rose, sharply. Clark turned on her:

“Your little cellmate’s going to get what’s coming to her for assaulting a Prison Warden,” said Clark.

“She didn’t assault anybody,” said Rose: “she was trying to stop Kumali.”

“You’d better watch what you’re saying,” said Clark. “Or you might just get a couple of stripes of your own.”

Rose gave Clark a hostile look, but said no more. Clark turned to me again:

“Message from Officer Dawes,” she said: “You can expect twelve more like that at Exercise tomorrow.”

“Twelve?” I said in horror.

“A nice round dozen,” grinned Bradley. “And the same for your little friend.”

“In front of the whole prison,” said Clark.

“Enjoy your porridge Goldilocks,” said Bradley, as they left.

My appetite, which had been growing, had deserted me.

“Twelve,” I said to Rose, as though I couldn’t believe it. “Rose, how am I going to bear it? How’s Prana going to bear it?”

“Never mind her,” said Rose impatiently. “She should have had more sense than try to throw her nappy at Dawes: it’s you I’m worried about. We can’t let this happen Chloe.”

“We can’t stop it Rose,” I said.

“Just shut up and eat your porridge Chloe and let me think.”

I forced the porridge down me, feeling sick with apprehension. Prana had been given three once, and had suffered unimaginable pain. Never again, she had said. And now it was to be twelve. In front of the whole prison. I thought back to Cradock, tied to Vaulting Horse: they had only used the strap on her, yet her bottom at the end had been red and raw. I remembered her howls. I remembered the reactions of the other prisoners, sympathy giving way to annoyance, as their precious hour of Exercise was denied them. Was that how Prana and I would be viewed?

The door opened again: it was Raymond and Mrs Tiggywinkle, come to inspect our shaves.

“How are your legs today Littlehayes?” asked Raymond, giving my pussy such a cursory glance I realised it would not have mattered for once if I had not been shaved.

“A bit better thank you Sir,” I said.

“That is good,” said Raymond. “And your bottom: it still hurt?”

“Yes,” I said. “Though not quite as much, Sir.”

The two Wardens made to leave; but before Raymond could follow Mrs Tiggywinkle out Rose said:

“Officer Raymond: may I speak to you please?”

“Of course Mason.”

“May I speak in private please?”

Raymond gestured to Mrs Tiggywinkle, who left the cell and closed the door behind her.

“Raymond,” said Rose urgently: “about yesterday: Chloe didn’t attack Dawes: she was trying to stop Kumali.”

“Leave it Rose,” I said wearily.

“No,” said Rose. “She’s going to be flogged tomorrow for something she didn’t do.”

“I know this Rose,” said Raymond, lowering her voice.

“You know?” asked Rose in surprise.

“Yes gorukle escort bayan Rose: I see it happen: I hear her shout Kumali to stop.”

“Then why didn’t you tell Hardiman and Dawes?” Rose almost shouted.

“Sshhh Rose, not so loud. I try to say this: but Officers Hardiman and Dawes do not listen: they have made up their minds.”

“But Raymond, this can’t happen: if you know Chloe didn’t do it surely the other Officers know as well?”

“I cannot say what they know for sure Rose. Officer Clark sees what Officer Dawes sees. Officer Bradley likewise. Officer Causer…” Raymond shrugged.

“What about the prisoners?” persisted Rose. “Some of them saw what happened. Can’t Dawes question everyone?”

“Officer Dawes will place no value on the testimony of prisoners,” said Raymond.

“Isn’t there anything you can do?” pleaded Rose. “They’re going to be flogged tomorrow – twelve strokes of the riding crop – please Raymond.”

“I will tell Officer Hardiman what I saw and heard,” said Raymond. “That is all I can do. But I make no promises.”

“Thank you,” said Rose.

“Now I must go,” said Raymond.

“Well, there’s a glimmer of hope,” said Rose, when Raymond had left.

“I suppose so,” I said. In truth I didn’t know whether to be hopeful or not, caught as I was between two appalling alternatives: being thrashed with the riding crop, or leaving Prana to be thrashed on her own. At least it was Rose, not me, who had taken the initiative: the matter was out of my hands.

By lunchtime there had been no news. Bradley and Mrs Tiggywinkle brought us some sandwiches, but neither said anything beyond the usual jibes. After lunch Rose settled down to masturbate, and I tried to empty my bowels, though the pain in my bottom was such that it was an uncomfortable and unsatisfactory business. Then, somewhere around mid-afternoon, the door was unlocked and Bradley put her head inside:

“Get your knickers on Goldilocks,” she said. “You’re wanted.”

I shot Rose a look: my heart started to beat faster, and I dragged on my knickers and skirt and stood up.

“Cuffs on,” said Bradley, holding up a pair of handcuffs and dangling them in front of me as though dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. I held out my hands, but she laughed and said:

“Behind your back.”

So I put my hands behind my back, and Bradley locked on the cuffs and shepherded me out of the cell. We tramped down a corridor, round a corner, and came in sight of the Examination Room.

“Where are we going Sir?” I asked apprehensively.

“You’ll find out,” Bradley said.

To my relief we passed the Examination Room, and continued, into an unfamiliar part of the prison, until Bradley came to a halt outside a wooden door which bore a sign in gold lettering: ‘CHIEF OFFICER HARDIMAN’.

Bradley knocked, and a voice bade her come in.

Bradley took my shoulder and I found myself walking on brown carpet, into a room that was evidently Hardiman’s office. My glance took in a functional office desk with metal legs, a swivel chair, several metal filing cabinets, and windows which let in light from outside. I barely had time to register the furnishing, though, for I was at once turned by Bradley to face a side wall, along which a number of upright chairs were arranged. On each chair sat a Warden, with Dawes and Hardiman at the centre.

“Prisoner Littlehayes,” said Bradley.

“Thank you Officer Bradley,” said Hardiman. “Take the cuffs off her please.”

Bradley unlocked the cuffs, then planted her sticking-out arse on the last vacant chair.

“Get your clothes off Littlehayes,” said Dawes: I noticed she was holding the riding crop, and I started to tremble: were they going to punish me now, in private, after all? I was shaking so much my fingers were fumbling with my clothes; but last I had everything off, and stood before them naked.

Dawes, who was sitting with one leg crossed over the other, tapped the palm of her left hand with the crop. My legs felt like jelly; my bladder started to spasm, making me press my legs together and close my eyes.

“If you wet yourself on this carpet I will thrash you here and now,” said Dawes, who again seemed to be able to bore into my secret fears. I made heroic efforts to control my muscles, but Dawes’ words had given me some relief: evidently, unless I wet myself, the intention was not to thrash me here and now.”

“Pay attention,” said Hardiman. “We’ve brought you here to get to the bottom of what happened yesterday in the showers.”

“Yes Sir,” I said.

“You’re going to tell us exactly what happened.”

“Yes Sir,” I said. “Well, I’d just come out –

“Not yet,” snapped Dawes. “We’re going to make sure you tell the truth.”

“I will tell the truth Sir,” I said.

“I know you will,” said Dawes: “because we’re going to use a lie detector on you.”

At that my heart started thumping again: I’d read about lie detectors and how unreliable they could be: supposing I told the truth, but because of my nervousness it gave the wrong reading? I looked round, expecting to see some sort nilüfer escort bayan of box on Hardiman’s desk: but instead Dawes got up and motioned to a device about the size of a car battery which was plugged into an electrical socket near the door. All I could see was a dial, and some leads which seemed to terminate in a cardboard box on the floor. Dawes bent down, reached into the box and took out two objects: the first was silver, and torpedo-shaped, like a lipstick holder only larger; the second was straighter, something like a metal pepper pot, with a red button at the top. Were these what I was supposed to hold in my hands? Both were connected by leads to the dial box.

Dawes put the object with the red button on her chair, and came towards me with the silver torpedo.

“Stand with your legs apart,” she ordered.

I did as she asked: then she squatted down in front of me, spread my pussy-lips roughly, and thrust the object inside me. I winced. Then she pulled some sort of harness out of her jacket pocket, fastened a narrow strip of leather around my waist, and a second, wider strip between my legs, fastening it tight over my vagina such that I could not push the object out.

“Cuff her again Officer Bradley,” she said.

Once more my hands were cuffed behind my back.

Dawes then resumed her chair, taking the second object with the red button in her hand.

“This is our specially patented lie detector,” she said. “Do you want to know how it works?”

“Yes Sir,” I said reluctantly – for I already had some idea. Dawes smiled the smile of a storybook fox before it eats the goose, and held out her hand. Then she pressed her thumb down on the red button and I felt a convulsion inside my vagina, accompanied by a tingling, clamouring pain. It was as though I had straddled an electrified fence: I yelped, bent double, flexed and squirmed to try to get away from the source of the pain, but that source was clamped firmly inside me. Then the current snapped off – Dawes had taken her thumb off the button – and I was left doubled-up, gasping, my shocked vagina throbbing uncomfortably.

“Stand up straight, you’re not hurt,” said Dawes.

I did my best to comply, and saw that all the Wardens except Raymond had grim smiles on their faces.

“Right,” said Dawes, who had moved over to the dial-box again: “There are five settings on that dial. Each one will give you an electric shock. What you experienced was the lowest level, setting one. Setting five will just about fry you alive. So I’m going to turn this dial to setting number four. I’ll leave it to your imagination what that will feel like.”

And with that Dawes turned the dial clockwise, and resumed her seat.

“You are now going to tell us exactly what happened in the showers,” she said, taking up the red-topped device again. “And if you tell the merest ghost of a lie I shall press this red button. Do you understand?”

“Yes Sir,” I said, thoroughly terrified: I was the merest slip of Dawes’ thumb away from pain on an unimaginable scale. “But Sir – “

“What is it?” snapped Dawes.

“How will you know when I’m telling the truth?” I bleated.

Dawes stood up again, came right up to me, and pressed her face close to mine.

“Oh, I’ll know,” she said. “I’ll know because I’ll be watching you like a hawk. I’ll be watching your eyes, Littlehayes; I’ll be watching the movements you make with your head, and all the other little tics and evasions you’ll make without even knowing you’re making them. And if I do miss anything, Littlehayes, Chief Officer Hardiman will spot it for me. So believe me Littlehayes: I shall know when you’re telling a lie.”

Still staring into me, she backed away and resumed her chair.

“All right,” said Hardiman. “Start talking.”

I could not take my eye off Dawes’ thumb. Any thoughts I may have had about trying to protect Prana had vanished. I started to talk, but was immediately interrupted:

“Look straight ahead,” said Hardiman.

I started again.

“I’d just come out of the showers,” I said. “I was sitting drying myself. I saw Prana Kumali take off her nappy and walk across the room with it. I thought she was going to throw it at Prisoner Wilson – she’d been offensive to Prana earlier. I didn’t know what to do. Then I saw Prana was carrying her nappy towards the Wardens – towards you. I realised what she was going to do. I ran towards her to try to stop her. I shouted to her to stop. I tried to grab her arm, but it was too late. After that I don’t know what happened: somebody – Officer Clark – knocked me to the floor.”

My eyes reverted to the red knob. So far Dawes’ thumb had not moved.

“You and Kumali are as thick as thieves,” said Dawes: “we’ve all seen you in the showers, and in the Exercise Yard, like a couple of bitches on heat. You must have known what she was planning to do.”

“No Sir,” I said – cringing with expectation of the electric current inside me.

“No?” said Dawes. “Surely she would tell you something like that?”

“No Sir,” I said again. “I don’t think she’d made her mind bursa otele gelen escort bayan up. I noticed her pacing backwards and forwards and biting her nails. I think it was a sudden decision.

“And anyway,” I went on. “If she had decided she wouldn’t have told me.”

“Why not?” demanded Dawes.

“Because I would have stopped her,” I said.

“And she said nothing at all about any intention to attack Officer Dawes in any way?” asked Hardiman.

“No Sir.”

“So how did you know what she was going to do when you saw her carrying her nappy across the showers?”

I hesitated.

“I’m watching you,” said Dawes.

The light from the window was slanting across me: I felt like I was standing under a spotlight.

“I just knew,” I said. “From her bearing, from the way she was walking – and from the state she was in earlier.”

“What state?” demanded Dawes.

“She was very upset at having to wear the nappy,” I said. “She was very – agitated.”

To my relief Dawes nodded.

“All right Littlehayes,” she said. “Suppose everything is as you say: that still doesn’t answer the biggest question: when you saw her coming to attack us, why did you decide to join in?”

“I didn’t Sir!” I protested. “I told you Sir, I tried to stop her.” Any second now I would be fried, bruised, internally electrified.

Dawes screwed up her face in scorn – but still her thumb held off.

“Why would you do that Littlehayes? You don’t like me. You hate my guts. If you saw somebody coming towards me with a shit-filled nappy you wouldn’t try to stop them: there’s nothing you’d enjoy more.”

“I – ” I said, then faltered.

“Well? Are you going to deny it?” said Dawes, flexing her thumb.

“I didn’t stop to think,” I said. “I saw what she was doing and ran to stop her because I knew it was wrong.”

“Wrong?” shouted Dawes: “you’re in here for serious drug offences: since when have you ever cared about right or wrong?”

“I did it for her,” I wailed: “I didn’t do it for your sake I did it because I knew she would get into trouble.”

I hardly knew whether the red button had been pressed or not, I was so distraught.

“All right Littlehayes,” said Hardiman. “That’s enough.”

“Yes Sir,” I said, trying to get a grip.

“Have you any more questions Officer Dawes?”

Dawes shook her head.

“Anyone else want to question Littlehayes?” asked Hardiman. There was head-shaking and a chorus of murmured ‘no’s.

Dawes came over to me, and unbuckled the harness. There was a sucking sound as the silver torpedo was withdrawn from my vagina. I drew in lungfuls of air. Dawes unplugged the dial box and replaced the leads and devices in the cardboard box.

“Littlehayes,” said Hardiman. “You’ve said your piece. The Wardens are now going to give their version of what happened. Officer Clark: please tell us what you saw and heard.”

“I saw two prisoners charging towards us,” said Clark. “One was Kumali, the other was Littlehayes. Kumali was carrying a missile of some sort. I didn’t stop to ask questions: I was nearest Littlehayes, so I flung her to the ground.”

“You did very well Officer Clark,” said Hardiman. “Did you hear anything? Did Littlehayes speak?”

“I heard her shout ‘No’ as I grabbed her,” said Clark.

“Was she saying ‘No’ to you or to Kumali?” Hardiman pressed.

“I don’t know,” said Clark. “Like I said, there was no time to ask questions.”

“Thank you Officer Clark,” said Hardiman. “Officer Bradley?”

“I saw Kumali rushing at us with a stinking nappy in her hand. She looked like she gonna throw it at Officer Dawes, so I hurled her over.”

“Did you see Littlehayes?”

“Not ’til I got Kumali on the ground. Then I saw Officer Clark on top of another prisoner. I didn’t know who she was at first. I heard somebody shouting, but I don’t know who.”

“Thank you Officer Bradley,” said Hardiman. “Officer Causer: please tell us what you saw.”

I eyed Mrs Tiggywinkle anxiously. Since the episode in the broom cupboard, I had had no contact with her beyond the formalities of meals and inspections – although once she had given my pussy what felt like a pinch whilst inspecting my shave. Did she harbour malice towards me over the flannel and chocolate?

“I didn’t see anything,” said Mrs Tiggywinkle. “I was looking the other way: then there was a commotion, and Officers were wrestling prisoners to the ground. You shouted for handcuffs, so I hurried away to fetch them.”

“Did you hear anything?” asked Hardiman.

“Someone was shouting,” said Mrs Tiggywinkle. “But someone is always shouting at Showers.”

“Thank you,” said Hardiman, who was displaying a civil attitude, at least to the other Wardens, I had barely thought her capable of. “Officer Raymond: please tell us what you saw.”

“Thank you Officer Hardiman,” said Raymond. “First I see Kumali coming towards us: she is carrying something: as she gets closer I see this is soiled nappy. The way she is holding it I think she is going to throw it. Then I see Littlehayes running towards us from the left. She is shouting: ‘No Prana no.’ As Kumali try to throw the nappy Littlehayes try to grab her arm. Then I join Officer Bradley wrestling Kumali to the ground. When I look up I see Littlehayes is also on the ground. Then I see nappy has hit the wall behind Officer Dawes: I think but for intervention of Littlehayes it may have hit Officer Dawes.”

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