Days Thirty-Five to Thirty-Eight
After all the drama, it was back to stultifying routine: the foetid air, the ever-present whiff of latrine, the four dingy featureless walls and the long, long hours to fill. When to exercise; when to masturbate: these were about the only decisions we were free to make. Food was brought and crockery taken away; occasionally we were made to sweep out our cells, or a fresh supply of razors and tampons was delivered: otherwise we were almost completely cut off from human intercourse, such that even shaving inspection, which these days carried the threat of appalling punishment, was a welcome diversion, and, since we never knew who would appear to carry it out, provided a slight daily variation.
The only times we were able to escape the confines of the cell were the brief periods allotted to slopping-out. Mornings were never my best times, and usually I was too bleary-eyed to do more than lug the bucket into the corridor and exchange some tired and predictably obscene banter. But one morning – it was the second after Exercise – something happened to banish my drowsiness.
As we had to stand in a line determined by our cell number, there was little chance to speak to anyone except our nearest neighbours, or perhaps exchange a brief remark with someone passing by after emptying their bucket. I never saw Prana during sloping-out, or Fatima, or any number of familiar prisoners. But on this particular morning I saw, turning out of the slop-out room and walking towards me, the new girl Dianne. Next to her, and carrying the empty bucket, was not her friend and fellow inmate Lisa, but a large West Indian woman – the same who had thrown her arms around me in a playfully sexy way on that long-ago afternoon of my first shower.
“Dianne,” I exclaimed. “How come you’re not with Lisa?”
“We’ve been put in different cells,” said Dianne, pausing beside me. She looked round quickly, and lowered her voice:
“That woman said she was going to separate us. So now I’m in with Naomi.”
She looked very bitter about this, though from what I knew of Naomi she was a friendly soul, and Dianne could have fared worse.
“Who’s Lisa with?” I asked.
“Shift your fat arses!” came a shout from further down the corridor.
“They put her in with that Asian girl,” said Dianne, looking round and starting to move away. “The one you were with at Exercise: Kumali or something.”
“With Prana!” I exclaimed.
“That’s the one,” said Dianne: “Is something wrong with that? Should I be worried?”
“No Dianne,” I said, “Not at all: I can’t think of anybody I’d rather share with.”
Dianne and Naomi moved away, though not before Naomi had given my cheek a friendly pinch, and I was left to process this new information.
So Prana now had a cellmate. Time and again my mind had flown to the empty bed in Prana’s cell: whilst it had been empty a part of me had still hoped for a miracle, hoped that Megan or some quirk of bureaucracy or act of God would install me there. That hope was gone now: which at least meant I could stop thinking about it and stop wondering what, if anything, I could do to realise it.
And I was glad Prana had company, and no longer had to stare alone at her four bleak walls.
Only, I wished the company had not been quite so young and pretty.
I thought about this as Bradley poked at my pussy. Lisa would still be wearing that hateful nappy: did that mean she didn’t shave? Or did Dawes or one of the other Wardens shave her when they changed her? Would Lisa shave Prana? Would she supply the other hand, the hand that Prana had lacked since Fartski had been released? Would Prana return the favour? Could Lisa even masturbate, fastened into her nappy and under threat of punishment if she tried to remove it?
These were the questions that nagged at me that day – questions to which even the experienced Rose had no answers.
Rose and I did talk, though. I realised the only way we were going to stay sane for months on end was if we told each other about ourselves, our past lives, friends and experiences. Rose as ever was reluctant to talk about her past: she insisted it made her unhappy, made her long for a world that was denied to her, that was best shut out and forgotten. The one thing she would talk about was sex, and so we beguiled the time by posing each other questions: When was the first time you had sex? What was your worst sexual experience? What is the most unusual place you’ve had sex in? Although this, too, demanded we reach back into our memories, somehow the remembered sexual experiences came to life again in the present, in our cell, renewing our excitement, making us randy. And they could, if we wished, be banished with a rub, the way a magician conjures up then banishes an illusion.
In this way the daytime hours passed; though sometimes it was an effort, and our sexual memories could not sustain us for ever. Better were the nights, when we could escape into dreams, casino oyna which came effortlessly and were endlessly surprising.
One night – the night of the day following the encounter with Dianne – something woke me. I heard a sound, which at first I thought was the door, then decided must be Rose using the bucket. Though I was still half-asleep I listened: I could hear breathing, and a rustling sound, as of clothing being moved or discarded. I was facing the wall, and in any case the cell was pitch black, so even had I been facing inwards I could not have seen anything. I was just starting to drift off again when I felt my blankets being moved – and I was aware of naked flesh pushing up behind me.
“Rose?” I said, wriggling forward to the wall.
There was no answer. A sudden unease came over me.
“Rose,” I started to say a second time, until a hand was clamped over my mouth.
“Sshhh,” hissed a voice in my ear.
“Who is it?” I asked, alarmed: but the hand was immediately clamped over my mouth again, this time more firmly.
I froze. The person behind me shifted, pressed up against me, and closed a hand over one of my breasts. I could feel the rise and fall of her chest against my back, and her slightly laboured breathing. The hand slid down from my breast, slid over my tummy, and started to probe between my legs. I kept them clamped shut, until the hand groped more aggressively, slid between my thighs and pulled them open. Next thing a finger had wormed its way up me. I whimpered, too frightened to call out. The finger was joined by a second, working at me, forcing their way deeper inside my vagina.
Then the fingers were withdrawn, and whoever was behind me thrust one leg over my leg, and began to work herself against me. I lay there like a corpse: the woman ground her pussy against my leg, grunting; the movements changed from rotational to straightforward humping: she had heaved herself on top of me and was thrusting and pumping, her hands pinning my arms down, her breath on my face, her hair occasionally brushing my cheeks as her head drooped over me. I felt as though I were being ground into the mattress. Eventually, with a strangled groan, she climaxed, and collapsed on top of me.
For a while we lay there, under the blankets in the pitch darkness, entwined in a nightmare intimacy. Then she rolled to one side, put her hands to the top of my head, and began pressing downwards. I realised what she wanted. Down under the covers my head was pressed, right down, until, by the smell, I knew I was alongside her mound. Still she said nothing, but lay on her back with her legs spread, and forced my face onto her pussy.
Who was this woman? One of the Wardens? One of the prisoners, given the key to my cell as a favour? The smell, contained by the blankets, was intense, and I tried to place it, running through all the women I’d been forced to suck, but it was a generic, sex-and-sweat-and-virginal odour, common to almost all women.
A hand closed on the back of my head, the woman drew her legs back as far as she could, and I started to do what I had to. Her pussy was shaven – at least there were no pubic hairs for my tongue to deal with – and I locked my hands around her thighs and I started licking. All the time I was ticking off Wardens I had had sex with: it wasn’t Hardiman, this woman was too short and her hair too long. It wasn’t Raymond, who was taller. But other than that I was in the dark: the woman was plump and thick-thighed and clean-shaven: could it be Clark? Possibly. Bradley? Somehow I was sure not. Dawes? Mrs Tiggywinkle? Megan or one of her cronies? I got my tongue into a rhythm: the woman, whoever she was, gave little grunts of satisfaction, all the time keeping her hand on the back of my head. I licked and sucked and felt her growing wetter. Then, thrusting her arse up into my face and clutching my hair she climaxed fiercely.
Her grip relaxed. She lay back, and I lay where I was, half way down the bed, with my face against her fleshy stomach. I tried running one hand over her side, reaching for her tits, but she clamped her own hand over mine and stayed me.
I don’t know how long we lay there: I was beginning to think I would have to spend the whole night cramped up with this alien and anonymous woman whose flesh and whose smells were invading my bed. But eventually she gave a sigh, and swung herself from under the blankets.
Greatly relieved I stretched out, listening. I could hear the sound of clothes being put on, and tried hard to determine their nature. In particular I tried to hear whether boots were being laced or sandals slipped into, but even that was impossible. Then I felt the blankets being pulled over my head: before I could react to this I heard the door open and close again almost silently.
Jesus Christ, I thought, my heart pounding in the darkness.
My impulse was to wake Rose, but as I heard her steady breathing I restrained myself. Instead I lay there, feeling abused canlı casino and nauseated, trying to remember precisely how the thighs and buttocks felt, of Dawes, Mrs Tiggywinkle and the others, how their vaginas had tasted, and anything else which might give me a clue to the identity of the woman who had sneaked into my cell in the night and violated me.
But in the end I fell asleep no nearer to solving the mystery.
“Are you sure you didn’t hear anything?” It was the following morning, after breakfast.
“Not a dicky bird: but you know how soundly I sleep. Are you sure this wasn’t just a vivid dream?”
“I could almost think so now,” I said. “It seems so improbable. But no, Rose, it really happened.”
“And you’ve absolutely no idea who it was?”
I’d gone over it again and again. At slopping-out I’d scrutinised the faces of every Warden and prisoner I’d seen, making eye contact where I could, alert for the slightest hint of recognition, such as an averted glance, a sharp intake of breath, a look that lingered too long. But there had been nothing.
“No,” I said.
“Go through them all,” said Rose.
“I have,” I said. “It wasn’t Hardiman or Raymond, I’d know them even in the dark. It wasn’t Mrs Tiggywinkle, her hair’s too short. Hackett seems too thin, though I can’t be sure. It could have been Clark I suppose, or Dawes: maybe Bradley, though I don’t think so, she didn’t smell right. Anyway, Bradley was stubbly, and this woman was clean shaven.”
“One of the prisoners then?”
“It wasn’t Megan,” I said. “Or that sour-faced friend of hers, her hair is too long. Cartwright perhaps. But why, Rose? They know they can have me any time in the showers.”
“Not the same though, is it? A quickie in the showers, or an hour or two with you in the sack.”
“Don’t you have any clues? I mean, did she smell of carbolic soap? Did she wear any jewellery, a ring maybe?”
I tried to recall when the woman had put her hand over my mouth.
“I can’t remember anything like that Rose. I was half-asleep, I was scared. She had her own smell, but I couldn’t put a word to it: I don’t think she smelt of carbolic though.
“It’s horrible,” I went on. “To think there’s somebody in here who’s had me without my knowing. Every time she sees me she’ll be gloating with this secret knowledge. Ugh. And I won’t know who it was. I’ll look at everybody now and wonder: Was it you? Or you?”
“I don’t think it was a prisoner or a Warden,” said Rose. “My guess is it was a friend of Hardiman’s from outside, who fancied a go with a captive girl.”
“I don’t know whether that’s better or worse,” I said. “Knowing there’s somebody out there, some stranger I’ll probably never meet who’s been in my bed.”
I shuddered again at the memory. In my imagination the anonymous woman had started to take on all the most repulsive characteristics of people I knew. I saw Tops’ blackhead-peppered nose bearing down on me, and Cartwright’s ugly scar. There was a woman who dribbled constantly, and I instinctively put my hand to my hair, as though to wipe away all the spittle she might have left there. I imagined menstrual blood and excrement, pimples and pustules, everything unwholesome forced against or into my body.
“I read a story once,” I told Rose. “A man’s car breaks down, miles from anywhere. The garage can’t fix it. Then a stranger comes along, and offers to put him up for the night. They go to this man’s house, a grand house in the hills somewhere. The host has a beautiful daughter, who makes eyes at the man over dinner, and offers to come to his room. In the night, the man hears the door open, and a girl gets into bed with him. They make love all night, and the girl leaves him just before it gets light.
“When the man goes down to breakfast, he sees that the host has not one but two daughters: the beautiful one he thought he had slept with – and another, whose face is hideously deformed by syphilis.”
“I think you’re letting your imagination run away with you,” said Rose.
“Maybe. But you know what I mean. I’ve had to have sex with some pretty repulsive women in here – but at least I’ve been able to see them, and know what I’ve been in for.”
“This woman might have been gorgeous, you never know.”
“I don’t think so Rose,” I said.
“It must be strange having sex if you’re blind,” Rose said later in the day. “Not being able to see your partner at all.”
“I used to have this fantasy,” I said. “I used to imagine a party where everyone was blindfolded. No-one was allowed to speak either. You paired-off with someone based only on how they felt and tasted and smelled. Maybe you had to wear gloves as well, so you couldn’t even find out things like their shape and size. Imagine that Rose: everybody is naked, and all you have to go on is their smell and taste. Would you choose the people you would have chosen if you could have seen them? I think you’d choose different people, people you’d kaçak casino otherwise have overlooked. I liked that idea because I thought it would open up the sexual possibilities, stop everybody relying on appearances.
“But after what happened last night, I think you’d just be squeamish and picture the worst.”
“Maybe you’d stop picturing at all,” said Rose. “A person’s smell and taste would become all-important, instead of their looks. There was a blind woman in here once: she used to feel everybody up in the showers, claiming that was the only way she knew who they were: she was the randiest devil I’ve ever known.”
“Imagine being blind in this place,” I shuddered.
“I don’t know,” said Rose: “at least you wouldn’t have to look at Dawes’ ugly mug.”
“I know one thing,” I said: “I can’t wait to get in the showers and wash that woman off me.”
“Only a day to go,” said Rose.
Day Thirty-Nine: Showers
That night I gave myself up to happy anticipations of seeing Prana in the showers – though these were tempered by a slight anxiety lest I receive another visitation. But no-one, known or unknown, invaded my bed, and I woke feeling excited and refreshed. There was a bit of a commotion during slopping-out: the sound of raised voices and laughter, quickly shut-off by a Warden’s command. But this took place out of sight, round a bend in the corridor, so neither Rose nor I could determine the cause.
Restless with nervous excitement, I went through my exercise routine in the morning, and after lunch managed a brief doze.
Even before the call to showers there was increased sexual excitement in the air. It was as though all the prisoners were aware of one another, stripping off in their cells, getting ready for whatever the session might bring. I’d always enjoyed stripping off outdoors, and had loved it when Mark and I had made love in a wood or on a beach, the sensation of the air on my skin, and the slight fear of discovery, adding to the thrill. I felt something of the same when Rose and I tossed our uniforms outside our door and took our place in the line. Dozens of naked women, all randy, mostly available. Often the excitement bubbled over into ‘accidental’ groping, pretending to stumble into a neighbour in order to have a feel. Sometimes there would be a push from behind, maybe three or four places back, and successive women would pitch forward and grab at the woman in front of them, to mock indignant protests and shrieks. Our neighbour was a skinny Irishwoman with a squint – a gypsy and serial shoplifter, who I had nothing against but did not much care for, and, taking my cue from Rose, had never spoken to more than necessary. Her cellmate was an older woman with sagging breasts and buttocks. So I had never been tempted to brush up against them, or reach for their tits the way some women did for my own. Today, though, I felt so randy, there was so much floating sex in the air, that if even the scrawny gypsy woman had reached behind her I would have willingly thrust my pelvis forward to let her have a play.
Ahead of me I could see Dianne and Naomi, and wondered if the new girl had come round to the concept of a ‘helping hand’. She would be avid to see Lisa, I supposed: as avid as I was for Prana, though perhaps for different reasons.
We were on the move, shuffling forwards, turning corners until the double doors of the showers came into view. The quality of the sounds changed, as voices echoed off the white, clinical tiles, and the steaming water splashed down.
Within seconds I knew something was up. Instead of spreading-out as they usually did, the women were all converging on one area. Even Megan and her cronies, who usually made a bee line for the same bench, were drawn to investigate. Behind the press of women I had no chance of seeing what it was that drew them, but I could hear shouting and laughter: then, as Hardiman ordered cells one to six into the showers, a little gap opened up, and I pushed my way through.
“Oh no,” I said. “No.”
In my shock I took a half-step back, and backed straight into a woman who instantly clasped her hands over my tits and pressed her groin against my bottom.
“Let me go,” I said furiously, wriggling free. The woman laughed, called me a clit-tease, and let go. Holding my own in the press of women I stared in dismay at the spectacle that had drawn them.
In front of me, almost surrounded by jeering, laughing, muttering, gasping women, stood Lisa and Prana. They were each wearing a nappy.
“Prana!” I exclaimed. “What on earth?”
I had wormed my way to the front of the audience at about the same time as Dianne. Seeing her friend, Lisa shot straight into her arms: the older girl held her protectively; Lisa was crying, and I saw that the back of her nappy was bulging with shit. Then they must have managed to slip away – at any rate I lost sight of them – leaving Prana to face the mob on her own.
“Prana – what happened?” I called again. Prana looked out as though she hadn’t seen me: her eyes were red, she looked terrible: there was an angry defiance about her, but I could see how precarious it was, how it could crumple at any second.