No sooner had Marie shut her eyes than she was woken up, by a guard loudly declaring that it was “time to get up,” in a tone both authoritative and routine. She had been asleep for hours, but it didn’t feel like that to her; it had been too short, and too uncomfortable for her to really feel that it had been a proper night’s sleep. She groggily lifted her head and then tried to lift her body. Her tiredness, and the restraints she was in, prevented her from doing this. After trying a few more times she realized that she needed to get leverage by swivelling round and putting her feet on the cell floor, so she did this, and at the second attempt had hauled her upper body upright. She dreaded to think what she looked like. She felt exhausted, and knew her hair was a mess. But with her hands cuffed behind her back, there was not much she could do about it. Having got herself upright, it took two tries to get off the bed.
She asked the guard if she could pee before being put back in the pod, and received an abrupt response: “Quickly. If you’re not done in two minutes, I’ll take you out of there. If you’re still pissing, I’ll put you on a disciplinary.” While pleased at being able to relieve herself before going back in the pod, she panicked at having to pee against the clock, with the guard watching, and seemingly so hostile. “I guess you’re not a morning person,” she thought to herself. Marie was able to finish on the toilet before the guard came to yank her out, but she was unable to properly wipe herself. For the first time, she was grateful that her pubic hair had been shaved, even if the area still smarted when touched by the sharp pangs of urine. She walked to the front of the cell, and the door was opened by the rude guard, who grabbed her arm, marched her to the pod, opened the door, and motioned her inside. As she stepped in, she mouthed “Hi” to the red-head in the neighboring pod, and she replied by waving to Marie with one of her cuffed hands.
Only after Marie was back in her pod did the guard approach the cell holding the brunette, and when he did, Marie irritatedly thought, “why couldn’t I get an extra 5 minutes rest?”. When the brunette emerged from the cell, the young attractive woman looked haggard, and Marie felt a little ashamed when she smiled to herself upon seeing her. “I bet she doesn’t have kids,” she thought to herself, reflecting on how she herself had at least been prepared for not getting a proper night’s sleep these last few years. When the brown-haired woman was securely in her pod, the next two cell occupants were released from their pods. The fake blonde was first, and she looked even worse than the night before. The drugs she must have been on must have worn off by now, and she was clearly not in a good state. She ranted on the way into the cell, but Marie could not work out what she had said. Once she was inside, the guard returned to collect the angry young blonde next to Marie, who seemed to have calmed down. As he took her to her cell, the druggie came to the bars, and started trying to talk to the young woman, who ignored her, and immediately tried to take a pee (which Marie shut her eyes to avoid seeing) and then flopped down on the bed. The druggie woman continued to rant, seemingly about someone bringing her drugs. Marie couldn’t be sure.
Marie was fortunate that she could daydream, it allowed her to use her imagination to stave off stultifying boredom in the hours where nothing happened. Given the difficulty of communicating with her red-headed neighbor, they couldn’t keep up conversations for long. It didn’t help that they were both weary, though that did help Marie mentally escape her close confinement by entering a reverie. That was broken when she heard the main door to the cell pod open.
The guard made his way towards her pod, and Marie helpfully turned around to allow the guard to handcuff her behind her back once he had opened the door. But this gesture was unnecessary, and in fact seemed to irritate the moody guard, who grabbed her arm and forcefully turned her around to face him, cuffing her hands in front of her. Confused, she soon realized why the protocol had changed. She was taken over to the shower by the wall to the side of what was for the moment the fiery blonde’s cell.
She was uncuffed and told to remove her gown, which she did nervously, after looking around to see if any of the other prisoners were watching. The two women in the barred cells were of course, woken by the entrance of the guard and curious as to what was going on. Marie immediately realized that it was pointless being wary of whether anyone was watching, this wasn’t the gym changing rooms, she couldn’t just wait until she was alone. She had to disrobe, and do it now, regardless of who was watching. This she did, all the while trying to cover up her pussy and breasts, an impossible task once her hands were re-cuffed. She chose to cover her breasts, which surprised her.
The door to the shower was opened, and the guard told her that she would have 5 minutes of water, and then 5 minutes to dry, pointing to a roll of paper towels under a perspex cover in the shower cubicle. Before Marie could even finish her thought about the paper towels, “what good will that be,” the jet of water was turned on, the cubicle locked, and the guard exited the cell block.
Unlike the pods, the cubicle wasn’t completely surrounded with perspex, but was open from shoulder level and above. She could hear the two women in the barred cells talking, but over the jet of water could not work out what they were saying. She knew that they had laughed when she yelped at the coldness of the water, and thought, with more than a trace of schadenfraude, “Yeah, you won’t be laughing when you’re showering in here, jeez, why’d they have to make it so cooooold.”
Normally, she loved to stay in the shower, and would certainly want more than 5 minutes. Even though she struggled to get much of a lather from the soap, and trying to wash herself while handcuffed made the task pretty tricky (and impossible to wash her back, butt and the back of her legs), she couldn’t wait for the 5 minutes to be over. It wasn’t like being in the ocean, she couldn’t adjust to the temperature of the water.
After what seemed like longer than 5 minutes, the jet stopped, even if she still faced aerial assaults from chaotic drips and dribbles of the icy water on her skin which was trying to warm
itself. She lifted the perspex cover, and started to pull out a length of the paper towel. It was still dry, “probably wouldn’t have been if it had been a hot shower,” she conceded to herself, irritated at her own attempt to excuse the uncomfortably low temperature shower provided by her judicial captors. Dry it might have been, but it was extremely inefficient at drying her damp skin. Once again, the restraints binding her hands in front of her preventing her reaching round to her behind, and overall gravity was doing a better job of drying her than her awkward attempts with thin paper towels.
She could just about make out snatches of conversation between the two prisoners in the barred cells. The junkie seemed to be demanding that the other girl bring her something, and Marie
thought that at one point there was a threat to follow her home after being released Monday and find her family, but she couldn’t be sure. She was trying to dry herself without the tools or time to do it, and also didn’t want to be seen to be listening in to their conversation. She definitely did hear the blonde girl tell the junkie to “fuck off,” and ask the guard to move the junkie to another cell block when he re-entered. Devoid of charm and patience as he was before Marie’s shower, he curtly told her that they would both be in this pod every weekend until the end of their sentence, before heading over to the shower cubicle, unlocking it, and ordering Marie outside.
The mother-of-two almost felt like the participant in some game show, trying to complete some task while given some handicap. “Dry yourself with shitty paper towels, handcuffed, naked in
front of strangers! People would definitely watch that,” she imagined, with a chuckle to herself. She was uncuffed, allowed to put on her gown, which clung to her skin in the many patches where she remained damp. The guard observed these patches with a tut, which led Marie to vocalise her thoughts, telling the guard “See if you could do a better job, go on, give it a try, I can put the cuffs on you myself.” He was not amused, and threatened her with loss of shower privileges if she cheeked him again, and bundled her so quickly back into her pod that he didn’t even go through the odd farce of cuffing her to take her back and then yards later uncuffing her.
It wasn’t hot enough in the pod to work up a sweat, but Marie was glad of the refreshment of the shower after hours of standing and very little sleep. Now it was the turn of the other inmates to wash. Marie felt guilty at laughing to herself when the other inmates were also taken to the shower, and each of them yelped at the coldness of the water.
Sunday proceeded much as Saturday had done, albeit with no shower. The women spent hours on end in the pods, with 4 hour slivers of a rest breaking up the monotony and allowing the weekend prisoners to rest their ever more aching legs. The only trouble with the 4 hour breaks was that they were too short to properly rest, and they just caused Marie’s muscles to stiffen, making the next session of standing in a confined space more agonising than the previous.
Due to the odd timings of the rests, and the permanent low light in the room, Marie lost track of time on more than a few occasions, and had to track back and work out when it was. In what she thought was her last session of standing in the perspex pod that weekend, which took her through to Monday morning, she nearly collapsed a number of times, so tired and weak she felt. Luckily for her, it was indeed the final session, and one of the longest weekends of her life came to an end when the guards started taking out her fellow inmates one by one.