Chapter 1 Convicted
Blood is pooled everywhere. Car debris scatters around and in the blood, alongside with mangled corpses and injured souls. Sirens wail through the crisp autumn air and people crowd around the scene. A train lies detached from the tracks, a body still inside. The body is a twenty-four year-old, high out of her mind. The police drag the young woman out of the train, the girl having no idea what is going on whatsoever. They lock her bony wrists into handcuffs and send her off into custody for court...and for the drugs to wear off.
\"Court is now in session.\"
Everyone in the courthouse stands. The judge gestures and the crowd sits.
\"Davy Curvet, to the stand.\"
A tall, dark-haired man of about forty-six rises from his seat and takes his place in the stand next to the judge. He places his hand on the Bible, swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. He then gives the testimony of what had happened.
\"My brother and I were driving down to the store to pick up some groceries,\" he choked, \"and there was a train coming. He was going to stop for the train when the gates came down. The train was going so goddamn fast that it flew off of the tracks, right into my brother's car, smashing him and a few other cars there. I was the only one in that accident to survive.\"
The judge nodded. The attorney turned to Davy and asked, \"And how do you know this young lass was responsible for this?\"
\"Cause I saw her!\" Davy snapped, shooting his glare at the convict. She immediately looked down to the floor.
\"When the train was speeding down the tracks, I could see the head of a woman, young I should say. Still in her early twenties.\"
\"Tell me. Although your brother has been murdered, do you feel remorse for the girl?\"
Davy laughed heartily. \"Hell no!\"
The judge sniffed and said, \"Curvet, you may sit.\"
Davy went back to his seat, glaring darkly at the girl. The girl tried not to make as much eye contact as possible, only focusing her vision on the cedar wood table.
A couple of witnesses later, the judge was getting rather weary.
\"Genevieve Dawn to the stand.\"
The girl, named Genevieve, slowly stood up from her seat, making her way to the witness stand. She placed her hand on the Bible, making the same vows as Curvet. When that was done, the attorney went up to Genevieve and asked her questions.
\"Why did you drive the train?\"
Genevieve searched her mind for a memory of the accident. Because she was so high on drugs, her memory was foggy. She had no idea how to drive trains at all. She could barely remember what she wore that day.
\"You don't know, huh? Is it because you were high?\"
Genevieve bit her lower lip and nodded.
\"What made you drive a train?\"
Simple answer. \"Drugs.\"
\"Are you a drug addict?\"
She hesitated. \"Not really.\"
\"What made you take drugs? Is this your first time?\"
\"I have taken drugs before. But this time, I have taken drugs because...\" Her voice faded.
\"...B-because I was forced to.\"
\"Ah. Peer pressure. Even the most mature get involved in such activities as you. So, have you killed anything in your life?\"
Genevieve paused. Would hunting count as killing? She had used to be a hunter before all of this happened, before she was a criminal. But, instead, a small \"No,\" had escaped her lips.
\"Not until now, huh? Tell me, how did you get into the train?\"
She was in the soup now. When she was getting high with her so-called friends, she had hopped on top of a friend's shoulders and they drove on a dirt bike alongside the train. Genevieve jumped into the driver's car and literally threw the conductor out. But, she couldn't remember any of that.
\"I don't remember.\"
\"Don't remember eh? Are you lying?\"
The attorney shared a look with the judge. \"Are you sure?\"
Genevieve was getting nervous. \"Yes.\"
The audience started mumbling to themselves, as did the jury. The judge slammed his gabble and the courthouse was quiet again.
After a couple of hours of evidence and even more testimony later, the results were in.
\"Has the jury reached their verdict?\"
\"Yes, Your Honor,\" a member of the jury announced.
Genevieve squirmed in her seat.
\"We find the defendant 'Guilty' as charged.\"
The whole courthouse went into a small uprising. The judge shouted among the crowd, \"Genevieve Dawn, you are sentenced life imprisonment for voluntary manslaughter!\"
The judge slammed his gabble. Two officers lock Genevieve in handcuffs and escort her to the police car as she struggles in the officers' grasps.
\"It was an accident!\" she screamed, tears running down her cheeks.
\"Accident or no accident, it's still murder,\" the officer driving spat.
The car arrived at its destination; an old prison bus stop. The officers grabbed Genevieve out of the car and push her into the bus. A couple other girls were pushed into the bus and the bus eventually drove the passengers to prison.
Chapter 2 Becoming a Prisoner
The other girls on the bus looked at Genevieve as if she had fallen from the sky. Genevieve felt uncomfortable; she had never seen so many other girls before. She had her brothers. She was the only girl in the family and the only time she had seen girls like herself was at school. But this many girls here overwhelmed Genevieve and she did not know how to control herself.
A woman next to her turned to Genevieve and drawled, \"Who're you?\"
Genevieve played with her long dark hair anxiously. \"G-Genevie-eve.\"
The woman snickered lightly, showing an open mouth of yellow teeth, most of them missing.
\"This ain't m'first time goin' to jail,\" the woman told Genevieve.
\"What did you do?\"
\"What did I do? Well, let good ol' Sona tell ya what happened.\"
Genevieve went silent.
\"I was'a trimmin' mah hedges. There wuzza man a'coming mah way. He tried to take advantage of me, but ol' Sona cut him open with them clippers. This is why ah'm here.
\"The first time ah got mah shinin' start was atta store. Boy, ah robbed that store like ah wuzza takin' candy frumma baby. Ah was locked up fo two years.\"
Sona paused. \"Whudda 'bout you?\"
\"I was high on drugs and...uh, wrecked a train and killed people in cars. It was pure hell.\"
Sona nodded. \"Hm. How 'bout that? Dat even bettuh den mah story!\"
\"But mine was an accident! And I still got charged for voluntary manslaughter anyway! No one would believe me!\"
The bus pulled into the lot. The driver opened the door and the prisoners shuffled out, coming out in two's. Genevieve had lost Sona and was now paired with a different woman. Suddenly, it started to rain. But the line did not go any faster. It went its usual snail speed and everyone was practically soaked. Genevieve looked up to the woman next to her. This woman was slightly older than Sona; a lanky appearance, long caramel hair with green-blue eyes that were fading with age. She looked like she was in her mid-forties. Genevieve wanted to say something to the woman, but she turned away and kept on walking.
The inmates had welcomed the new inmates with jeers and insults. As the newbies were being checked in, Genevieve looked around. She was starting to feel afraid of the place already. This didn't help her being overwhelmed with so many people the same gender as her. There were women all over the place; small, tall, muscular, skinny, etc. Genevieve wanted to leave, but if she even turned around, she would be dead for sure.
The newbies were now being placed in their cells. Genevieve got paired with another woman; this one looked more different than the one she was walking with during the entry into the prison. She was younger, yet older. Her long dark shaggy hair looked as if she was maintaining it well and her chocolate brown eyes were on the verge of fading with age. Genevieve opened her mouth to say something, but the woman spoke first.
\"You've got a lot of guts to be here,\" the woman said.
Genevieve nodded, pretending to agree with the woman's statement.
\"You know where you're at?\" The woman's voice flowed with a civilized and moderate tone.
Genevieve finally spoke. \"A prison.\"
\"Funny. You realize you're at one of the world's harshest prisons, right?\"
Genevieve shook her head.
The woman sighed. \"Mercy Prison. Yeah, that name totally contradicts itself, you know?\"
\"Get some sleep. You're going to need it. By the way, you can just call me May.\" With that, May turned on her bed to sleep.
Genevieve laid on her rock-hard bed and rested on her brick-like pillow. She wasn't looking forward to being here at Mercy Prison. But, she was starting to like May already. And before she slept, Genevieve prayed for a parole.
Chapter 3 A New Life
A clanking of a metal cell door and the tingling of keys awoke Genevieve from her sleep. Groggy, Genevieve rubbed her eyes, still laying in bed. May got up from her cot like as if she were at home. She nudged Genevieve gently, Genevieve responding with a groan.
\"Let's go you dogs,\" the warden sneered, motioning her hand out of the cell.
Genevieve narrowed her eyes toward the warden, but May gave Genevieve a look, telling her not to mess with the officials here. Genevieve followed May as they were cuffed and went out to the courtyard.
As they stood out in the courtyard, Genevieve saw, not only women May's age, but girls her age as well...Some even younger. Genevieve was amazed at how many people were here, period. It was like as if she were in a dream. But, in this situation, a nightmare.
Genevieve stood beside May the entire time. A couple minutes into the outside session, a girl about Genevieve's age strutted up to her.
\"You a newbie, huh?\" the girl asked Genevieve.
Genevieve didn't answer.
\"Ah. I can tell. You like fighting?\"
Again, Genevieve kept her mouth shut.
May stood in front of Genevieve. \"Leave her be, Kyle. She obviously doesn't want to deal with you.\"
Kyle grimaced. \"Look, I was just asking simple questions.\"
Genevieve stepped out from behind May and stood in front of Kyle. In an almost-whisper, Genevieve told Kyle, \"I haven't fought anyone in my life. Yes, I am new here. My name is Genevieve, former college student.\"
Kyle shook Genevieve's hand firmly. \"Name's Kyle Maneuver. Used to be a soccer coach, but now I'm stuck here.\"
\"What did you do?\"
Kyle scoffed. \"Why would you wanna know that?\"
Genevieve shrugged. \"Just asking.\"
Kyle abruptly changed the subject. \"C'mon, I'll show you around.\"
Before Kyle could give Genevieve \"the grand tour,\" Genevieve spotted a familiar African-American lady waving to her.
\"Genny!! Ovah here!!\"
Sona? Genevieve waved back. \"I'll be with you in just a sec!\"
\"Who was that bitch?\" Kyle snorted.
\"Sona. I met her on the bus before we got here.\"
Kyle's brow furrowed. Genevieve didn't realize that Kyle was somewhat racist. She only knew that Kyle was giving her the tour of the courtyard. They stopped in front of a square hole with a caged lid.
\"This is the 'Time Out Pit,'\" Kyle growled.
Genevieve looked down. The pit was dark and desolate, which reminded Genevieve of a bottomless pit, a black hole. A single shackle reflected the blazing sunlight, stained with blood and rust. An old wooden ladder rested against a corner of the pit.
\"If a prisoner starts to misbehave, they're thrown down here for the rest of the outside session. If they kill someone, they'll be down here for weeks.\" Kyle scratched the back of her neck nonchalantly. \"But you're a good girl, Gen. I can't imagine you down here. Don't tell her I told you, but May actually has been down here before.\"
Genevieve wanted to ask Kyle what happened, but not wanting to get snapped at again, remained silent. Instead, she followed Kyle to their next destination.
Kyle pointed at a security tower. \"See that? If they ever see you escape, it's solitary confinement for you. Better yet, electric chair or lethal injection.\"
Genevieve squirmed. The tower was surrounded by guards holding big guns and barbed wire all along the edges of the tower like ivy vines on brick walls. Must have been that way to avoid escapees from scaling the walls to freedom.
Kyle grabbed Genevieve's arm. \"Let's go this way so they don't suspect that we're escaping.\"
Genevieve looked back at the tower. The guards are girls too, she thought to herself. Genevieve was expecting a prison with both genders, but it was only an all-female prison. Genevieve ever wondered if she was ever going to be freed. But, on a rather strange note, she was starting to like the people she had met so far. She wasn't very social, but maybe being in prison would teach her to interact with other girls.
Kyle pointed to a tall and built woman with a sleeve of tattoos running down her left arm. Genevieve instantly went stiff.
\"Her name is Esta. If you even touch her, boy she'll give you the most goddamn painful sleep hold you'll ever experience. She's the most threatening prisoner here, not to mention smelly. She doesn't bathe a lot.\"
Esta flipped back her greasy blonde hair, the hair looking like it was sopping wet. Flies flew around Esta like moths at a lamppost at night. Genevieve puked in her mouth.
\"Everything okay there, Gen?\"
Genevieve nodded, struggling to keep the vomit from spilling out on the ground. She swallowed it instead, her stomach making a weird noise, inaudible to Kyle. Kyle patted Genevieve's back with a buddy-like attitude, making Genevieve dizzy from trying not to throw up.
\"Hang in there, kiddo. Besides, it's only gonna be your first official day here,\" Kyle said.
Genevieve rubbed her forehead. \"I wish it was my last, too.\"
\"We all do.\"
Chapter 4 New Friends and Foes
After the prisoners were back in their cells, Genevieve instantly ran for the toilet. May read her book, trying her best to ignore Genevieve's gagging noises. The toilet water's stench made Genevieve vomit even more.
\"What's up with you?\" May asked, looking up from her book, \"We haven't even ate lunch yet.\"
Genevieve gazed up at May, a string of vomit hanging loose from her bottom lip, some running down her chin. \"Esta.\"
May narrowed her eyes. \"Esta Von Gora. The most vile and profane woman you would ever meet on this planet. She lived with a family with no discipline or manners whatsoever. She is quite the woman to behold.\"
Genevieve straightened her back and turned away from the toilet, wiping some vomit from her mouth onto her orange cotton sleeve. She faced May with a sick look on her face.
May smirked, not giving an ounce of sympathy. \"You'll see women like Esta, you know. And if you don't get used to it, well, you'll be bulimic. Trust me.\"
Genevieve hopped onto her upper bunker. \"I don't think I'll ever get used to being here.\"
\"You'll have to. They'll break you like they broke me.\"
\"Yeah. They beat the crap out of you and tell you to 'get used to it or die.' It's insane. Absolutely terrifying.\"
From what May was telling her, it sounded horrid.
\"Care to see something?\"
Genevieve shrugged. \"Sure.\"
May slipped off her shirt and turned her back on Genevieve, releaving a sportsbra underneath. Not just a sportsbra, but scars all over her back. There were lashes up to about ten inches long.
\"See that?\" May said, putting her shirt back on and facing Genevieve, \"That's what they did to me. I was a different woman before they did it. They do it to you after your first two months.\"
Genevieve slapped her hand on her back as if a fly landed on her. She was dazed. She felt like she was going to puke again. Good thing I have May to warn me about these things, Genevieve thought to herself. A question was arising in her head, but she felt like she was going to violate emotional boundaries.
\"How long have you been here?\" Genevieve asked anyway.
May looked away from Genevieve. \"Too long,\" she growled through gritted teeth.
\"That wasn't the answer I was looking for.\"
May looked up again. \"I've been here since I was a teenager, about eighteen years of age. Haven't been announced parole yet.\"
Genevieve was shocked. \"W-why? What did you do?\"
\"We don't ask questions like that.\"
May shook her head. She was obviously holding feelings that she didn't want to share. \"Too much.\"
\"Come on, answer me.\"
Before May could say anything, the warden stopped by.
\"It's lunchtime,\" she snarled.
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