Four Lives: Part Thirty

This is the final part of a fiction serial, in 867 words.

After serving five years and one month of his nine-year sentence, Lee Fowler was given parole. There were the usual restrictions. He had to report to the local police station, and attend meetings with his probation officer. If he failed to do that, or got into any trouble, he would be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his sentence.

He no longer had his small flat, as he had been unable to pay the rent in prison. His car had also been impounded, as it had not been taxed or insured. Naturally, he had no money to get the car back, and had to accept accommodation at a probation hostel until he could find somewhere to live. He had to leave prison with the clothes he had arrived in, the few pounds on him when he was arrested, and a small prisoner discharge grant to get him started.

The future was potentially bleak. Now having to disclose he was on the Sex Offender’s Register meant there were many jobs he could not apply for. Finding a place of his own with no job would not be easy, and being away for those years meant much had changed out in the real world.

But Lee was remarkably upbeat, and smiling as he walked through the gates to freedom.


Marriage to Michael had been better than Marian had expected. They had both experienced failed marriages in the past, and had learned lessons about compromise, and living with someone else. The honeymoon in Tuscany had been memorable, and her new job was everything she had hoped it would be. Being in charge of her own department allowed her to implement new ideas and changes, and all were well-received by a team of staff who seemed to be delighted to work for her. On their first wedding anniversary, Michael had surpised her with a long weekend in New York, and it had been a thrilling experience.

Ros had to admit that her sister had changed. She liked Michael too, he was really good for Marian. She seemed younger, eager to try new things, and their relationship had blossomed into what Ros had always hoped it could have been. And she had a new man too, the man in charge of all the property at the shopping centre. He oversaw the maintenance of the building, the cleaning, the escalators, and everything to do with the smooth running of a large shopping mall. Nick was a go-getter, and not yet forty. After nine months together, he was talking children in the future, and a nice house in Hatfeld once they had saved the deposit.

The legal advice centre had been such a success, Lyndsey had opened two more offices; one in Manchester, the other in Birmingham. Council grants, donations from concerned individuals, and charitable appeals had made it all possible. There had been no shortage of lawyers wanting to work in them either. So many were disillusioned with the current legal process, she had more applications than vacancies. And volunteers ran the ancillary roles, answering helplines, arranging interviews, anything that was needed. She finally felt that she had discovered her purpose in life.


Amanda had a car now. Nothing fancy, just a little Smart Car. But it was brand new, and she used it to run around to the shops, or anywhere she neded to go locally. The past year had changed her outlook on life completely. Although she still had the cameras, she no longer set the alarms at night, and used just one lock on her door. The fear had not gone completely, but she felt sure it would soon.

No more spending all day in her pyjamas either. Her new short bobbed hairstyle suited her, she thought. The outfits she had bought after losing weight at the gym set off her figure, and she felt whole again, an attractive woman in her prime.

Using the built-in Satnav, she found the prison easily and waited by the gate, staying in the car. She had got up early to get ready, wanting to look her best. When he walked through the gates he looked heavier. Prison food, probably, and lack of exercise. She had known about the scarred face of course, but it was a shock to see the twisted skin on the left side. He smiled as he saw the car, and quickened his pace.

Sending the letters had been cathartic for her. She had washed away the guilt, then rediscovered the love she had felt for him before that fateful night. Looking back, what had been that terrible? Yes, he had pushed her over in the garage, but he had been upset about the watch. Yes, he had hit her head in the car door, but only because he had been drunk. Why not give him a second chance? She had never lost those intiial feelings for him, even during the years when she lived as a shut-in.

As she drove off with him by her side where he belonged, she was already chatting happily.

“I know where they are, all three of them. I will help you make them pay for what they did to you”.

The End.

48 thoughts on “Four Lives: Part Thirty

  1. (1) If he failed to do that, or got into any trouble, he would be returned to prison to serve the remainder of his
    (2) Lee had to leave prison with the few pounds on him when he was arrested. Skinny then. Skinny now.
    (3) Do not confuse:
    SOR – Sex Offender Registry
    ROS – Reliably Obnoxious Sister
    (1) The honeymoon in Tuscany had been memorable.That’s where the moon hit their eye like a big pizza pie. Like they say, “That’s amore!”
    (2) M&M News: Michael & Marian had a thrilling experience in New York. They got mugged in the subway.
    (3) Marian’s relationship with Ros blossomed like a Rose (by any other name).
    (4) After nine months together, Nick talked about children in the future. “The twins are due any minute now, Ros! This afternoon? Tonight? Tomorrow morning?”
    (5) One of Lyndsey’s helpline volunteers was named Sue Himmler.
    (1) Thanks to the gym, Amanda lost weight. And thanks to Jim, her financial advisor, she also gained a few pounds.
    (2) Amanda decided to give Lee a second chance. “I brought you a case of beer to drink. Once you’ve polished it off, let’s go park in that garage again, okay? I want you to push me over a second time, and smash my head in the car door just like you did before. If you do a good job of it, I might even give you a third chance!”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Chilling. Marvelous. I have never gotten any of your big twists even though I have the advantage of expecting them. I once figured out that a kid in the alley on a bike was a loose end but even that time it did not help me solve anything big. You have so many people guessing, I am surprised you elude capture every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Geoff. The kid on the bike was a teaser in the serial ‘The Job’. I offered him up a couple of times, then forgot about him until the last episode. Sometimes the twists have to be more obvious than that, but it is very satisfying when so few readers get them.


  3. Well, I’ve read enough of your fiction to know I’d be disturbed. I didn’t check Amanda as the twist and I’m now going to wait for the other boot to drop while you ponder a sequel. Oh cruel world! Actually, I enjoyed it greatly, so what does that say about me? And I’m now beginning to have sympathy for the management with whom you negotiated in your union years, if that’s how your mind works! Just a tad… Keep it going. You spin a mean yarn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Geoff. During my union years, I was known as ‘Stalin’. That was supposed to be an insult, I naturally took it as a compliment.
      I only had one shop steward mode, and that was ‘Relentless’.
      Best wishes, Pete. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Debbie. I have a feeling that Amanda was disturbed before she ever met Lee. I did hint that it might be her, when I described her guilt feelings. As for a sequel, time will tell. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. oh, no! I knew it would take a dark twist. for some reason, there are often people who align with prisoners, no matter how heinous the crime, seeing them as victims or underdogs, misunderstood by society. scary.

    Liked by 1 person

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