Thursday, June 2, 2011

Prison Cell From Hell

This week's prompt from The Red Dress Club is all about character development.
We'd like you to write about what your character wants most. Today I'm building on my character Lina. She was introduced in my last prompt I Never Left Her.

The prison cell was frightening most the time. But right now in this perfect moment Lina lay on the bottom bunk thinking about Lacey and Ben. Her kids were all that held her together. Her cell mate left for a few hours for laundry duty and this was a good thing for Lina. It gave her a break
from Sheila’s constant berating.

Lina thought maybe the warden would transfer her to another cell after the last incidence but it never happened. So she lay there waiting almost holding her breath knowing Sheila would be back soon. But for now Lina could get lost in her memories of the good times before life went wrong.

The night her sister Lynn came to pick her up from Eckerd was a turning point in her life. Cross Point Rehab Center agreed to admit her that night. Lina worked the program for 3 months and has stayed clean since then. Her life was being rebuilt and Lacey and Ben were living with her again.

Then the day came, the dark, horrible day when she had to begin paying for her past mistakes. Lina was arrested for selling drugs 4 months after coming out of rehab. She wasn’t selling drugs at that time but in the days when she was addicted Lina would have done anything for a fix.

The police detective offered her a deal. She would give the authorities information about the drug ring in Atlanta in exchange for a much lighter sentence.

Her main concern was that if she became a nark it would put her life and the lives of her entire family in jeopardy. She knew the consequences she would pay for giving information to the government. So she didn't do it. Lina was sentenced to 2 ½ years in a federal penitentiary.

She lay there crying, debating with herself, “Did I do the right thing?”

“Would God have protected us against them?”

“No I had to do it this way to protect my family.”

As she was pondering these things Sheila was brought back to her cell. Lina pretended to be asleep.

Sheila had the urge to humiliate Lina once again. “ You know little girl, they ain’t never lettin’ you outta here. You gonna mess up again right here in this prison and get more time.”

Lina laid there, eyes still closed, breath held, not acknowledging a word Sheila had spoken.

“Did you hear me little girl? They gonna make you stay right here in this cell with me for a long, long time.”

Lina continued in the same sleeping position, not moving nor saying a word. At this point Sheila grabbed Lina by the back of her shirt and jerked her out of the bunk onto the floor. Looking Lina dead in the eyes as if she were about to kill her prey she screamed,  “I said you are stuck with me for a long long time!”

Lina looked up at Sheila as if she were a  vulnerable, frightened lamb going to the slaughter. Somehow an  inner strength rose up within and she said, “ All I want is to get out of here! I will get out of here and nobody can stop me not even you Sheila.”

The prison clinic was cold and dark. Lina lay there wondering why she was there on a gurney. The clinic nurse came in and asked how she was feeling. “My head hurts and it hurts to breath.”

“You got a pretty bad beating, but you’ll be fine. You have a concussion and a broken rib.”

Lina began sobbing. With every sob she wanted to scream from the excruciating pain shooting through her body.  “All I want is to do my time so I can go home to my babies.”