Four Lives: Part Twenty-Eight

This is the twenty-eighth part of a fiction serial, in 762 words.

Lee fowler considered himself to be a tough guy, but he soon found out that life in prison was tougher than he had ever imagined. For one thing, the other inmates were not women, and Lee had only ever brutalised and intimidated women. For another, he was a sex offender, a convicted rapist guilty by his own admission. Neither the guards nor the other prisoners cared what happened to him, and he would have no friends inside, not one.

His only option was to apply for Rule 45. That would mean he would be confined in segregation with other sex offenders. Those even worse than him. The paedophiles, those who had committed incest with their own children, the baby rapists, and assorted other nut-jobs and crazies. If he didn’t do that his food would be spat in, or worse, and he could be attacked at will, or raped, with the guards turning a blind eye. If he wanted to get out unscathed, and alive, he had to apply.

He was told that he had to show good behaviour. Being involved in any trouble in prison would say goodbye to being paroled, and he would have to serve the full nine. As well as that, he could be charged for additional offences committed in prison, and get more time added on.

So he set about being a model prisoner.

A surprising benefit of being in segregation was that he quickly learned a great deal. The Stalkers told him how to stalk someone. Other more accomplished serial rapists told him how to find good targets once he was on the outside. Those who had been out before and were back in for repeat offences told him how to behave on the outside, and how to avoid attracting the attention of the police once he was released.

It was a veritable college for perverts.

And despite not being allowed Internet access or mobile phones, the prison was full of them, hidden in the most ingenious places. Lee received lessons in how to track people from their Facebook posts, or photos publshed on Twitter and Instagram. He discovered how to do basic hacking to find mobile phone numbers that had been changed, even names that had been changed. You could find out when a house or flat had been sold, and how much it had sold for.

Social media was a marvellous tool, because people were so careless.

Online Friends and contacts were like skeleton keys into a life. Find the friends, look at the lists of contacts, and sooner or later you would find the person. Photos of parties at work, photos of weekend breaks and holidays. They put it all out there, seemingly oblivious to the potential dangers. Lee was like a greedy child in a sweet shop, eager to take it all in, and learning fast.

There were more lessons to learn. How to avoid leaving behind any DNA evidence. What kind of clothing did not shed fibres easily, get your hair cropped or shave your head so there would be less chance of hair samples. Use plastic shoe-covers that left no footprints. Not only was Lee becoming a trouble-free, model prisoner, he was also one of the best students. He studied at the feet of the masters, conveniently overlooking the fact that those self-styled experts had all been caught and convicted.


Marian’s boss Michael had been good to his word. She settled back into work slowly, eventually finding her old self in a mind jumbled by trauma. After almost a year, he told her to call him Michael, and then invited her out for dinner. She knew he was divorced, and had never thought of him that way, but she accepted graciously.

Away from work, Michael was a revelation. He was funny, great company, well-travelled, and generous to a fault.

The dinner date led to a few more dates, and six months later, a weekend away in Dublin. He had been to the city many times, and showed her the sights like a native. In the office, they had maintained the working relationship, but everyone knew they had become an item.

Biding his time, Michael left it another year before suggesting they move in together. They could pool their resources and buy a nice flat, maybe even a small house. Despite paying for the upkeep of his sixteen year-old son, that wouldn’t last forever, and dividing time between her Hackney flat and his place in Barnet seemed pointless.

When she agreed to discuss that plan, he told her he was in love with her.

33 thoughts on “Four Lives: Part Twenty-Eight

  1. So now Lee is actually better off, learning while in prison, reading himself for life after his release. Terrible. And, good for Marian and Michael. I’m not feeling easy at all…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Lee Fowler is a tough guy. But is he as tough as Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas? #ToughGuys
    (2) I wonder if Baby Face Nelson started out as a baby rapist. And if so, what kind of weak adult woman would allow herself to be victimized by a diapered desperado?
    (3) Lee set out to be a model prisoner. The guards set up a runway for him, and the prisoners created fashionable clothes for him to wear.
    (4) Did you hear about the veritable college of perverts? The fraternities not only conducted monthly panty raids but also drilled peep holes through the women’s restroom walls. (But at least they exhibited model behavior in their college classes.)
    (5a) Lee’s favorite book was “Papillon” by Henri Charrière.
    (5b) Had the mobile phone been invented in the 1930’s, Papillon would have hidden it where the sun doesn’t shine.
    (6) Diabetics are sour on sweet shops.
    (7) Lee studied at the feet of the masters, but he didn’t necessarily grovel. (Had the masters worn boots, he might have licked them, though.)
    (8) Dates lead to revelations, and revelations can lead to knowing someone in the biblical sense.
    (9) Virgins are generous to a fault, but even more generous to a volcano.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Developments! It is disconcerting to think of sexual predators turning into monsters and then being let loose. Marian will be thinking it’s all behind her…..can’t wait for the denouement!

    Liked by 1 person

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