Lisa kissed Samantha goodbye and there were tears in both girls' eyes. She held her tight for several minutes until both young women realised that the time had come and they parted with one last quick but tender kiss. This was the sad part about what was otherwise to be a very happy day. Samantha and Lisa had been best friends for three years, not that they had seen too much of each other during that time, but the last few months had been very precious for both of them and they were to meet again as soon as Samantha was released and could make the journey to Wales where Lisa was headed. She went to be given back her own clothes, taken from her thirty-eight months ago in exchange for prison uniform, and dressed. The touch of them on her skin felt odd after all this time. She noticed that her shoes, once so comfortable, were now too tight. Well, that was hardly surprising, since she had been barefoot for all but three days of her time here and her feet had probably grown a little. She determined to buy a new pair as soon as she got home.
The gate guard shook hands with her before letting her through. She had already shaken hands with governor, the only male in the establishment and a hidebound bureaucrat if ever there was one, though with flashes of humanity now and again. She had bid farewell to the hatchet-faced chief warder who had lusted after her from the first but had dutifully kept her hands to herself all the same - except when punishing her! She took one last look at the low level building under which she had passed much of her sentence and walked through the gate into the waiting car, which took her straight to the airport and back to her old life. Lisa knew she would be missed by many, for she had become a very popular girl in the last few months. But it had not always been thus.
Lisa's troubles had started the first day she had been in this Asian country on a two week holiday. She knew it was a case of mistaken identity and so did her parents and her lawyer and all who knew her. Lisa was incapable of criminal acts and, with a rich and very generous father, had no need to steal. Unfortunately she had come here alone, as the first great adventure of her life. Her parents had been worried, but her father had never been able to say no to his winsome blonde daughter and here she was. Her arrest had come as a total shock and she had made use of her one and only phone call to contact Daddy. Daddy, alas, had been away and it was weeks before he heard of his daughter's plight. She knew it was all a mistake, but the judge had not seen it her way and, three years ago to the day, a leggy slim blonde had been deposited at this prison to begin a three year sentence for theft.
Samantha had taken to her right away and the two had immediately bonded. Lisa had the vacant bed next to Samantha. On Lisa's first full day she had been sent to work in the kitchen in the morning and in the grounds in the afternoon. It was August and very hot, but Lisa had enjoyed being in the open, after the steamy heat of the kitchen.
Lisa had noticed something odd during the day and asked Samantha about it as they were being marched back to their cells. "Why do some of the women not wear shoes, Samantha? It can't be for comfort. Some of those stones are sharp as razors!" She had seen several inmates in this state, as they toiled among the sharp flints in the garden.
Samantha looked at the women in question and her face lost its smile for a second.
"Because those women have all been punished at some time, Lisa, by being sent to solitary confinement. While they are in they are made to undress completely and when they come out of solitary they get their clothes back, minus their footwear. They must remain barefoot for the rest of their sentence. It gives them a bit of status, being marked out as graduates of the isolation block but it's a hard won status, Lisa! Their feet toughen up in time, of course. Some of them have been like that for years now and would probably reject shoes even if they had the chance to wear them, but they go through hell in solitary. I have nightmares about it! Never get sent there, Lisa!"
"But it can't be that bad! I mean, surely it's just a matter of being on your own. Once you get used to being confined you just buckle down to getting through your time there. It can't be that terrible."
"It's not just being locked up, Lisa. It's a very strict regime. You get nothing to read and nobody to talk to. And the cells are so small. They make sure you suffer every second of the time you're in there. They have loads and loads of rules and if you break one you get extra time. If you go back a second time, you lose more clothes when you get out. We had one topless prisoner, but she was released the week before you came. But I don't know of anyone else who went back for more. When a girl gets back after eight weeks in solitary - and that's if she's lucky and manages not to break any rules - she takes months to recover and she's determined never to get sent back. Some of them never do get over it, poor things. I don't know exactly what they do to the segregated prisoners, because they don't like to talk about it once they get out, but believe me, it isn't nice!"
"You mean they can go in there for as long as eight weeks?" Lisa, the archetypical open air girl, was shocked to think of anyone being away from the daylight and fresh air for that long.
"That's the standard time. No one ever gets less. For a second offence you'd get eight weeks plus another eight and they make you serve your first eight all over again before you even start your second stint. It can really mount up at a frightening rate if you keep going back there! And a third offence would get you twenty four plus a repeat of all the time already done. But only one or maybe two girls have ever got more than one stretch and they didn't get sent down deliberately - believe you me!"
Lisa looked around. Out of two hundred or so women she could see, only twelve were barefoot. And she could see what Samantha had meant about some not getting over it. Most of these former solitary inmates looked fine except for their lack of shoes, but three were patently nervous wrecks and in a pitiable condition. Probably claustrophobic, she decided, and the experience had permanently unhinged them. What a cruel place the world could be! But there were only a dozen out of two hundred, so it couldn't be that easy to get sent there. As long as she was careful to do as she was told, she would keep her shoes for the next three years and stay in the fresh air!
And then the first disaster struck, in the form of an older and more well-built girl who jostled Lisa just as they were entering the prison building. It was probably only an accident but Lisa made the mistake of looking round and glaring. This provoked the woman to push her again.
Lisa had led a sheltered life up to this point, but she remembered what her father had once told her elder brother before the lad was sent away to school. She, herself, had been educated at a day school and come home every night to a doting father and mother.
"Never let yourself be pushed around, son," her father had said. Lisa decided that this advice might be said to apply to her in her present situation! She pushed back and was then sent flying. She picked herself up and was punched in the face. What was it that her father had also said?
"Always hit back, son. Never mind if you take a beating, always hit back. It's the only way!"
Deciding that prison was not unlike boarding school and that what applied to boys could also apply to girls, the delicate faced blonde Lisa hit back. The other girl, who was no taller, but much heavier, hit her again, only a lot harder! Lisa licked her cut lip and tasted blood. She hit the other girl again, putting more weight behind this punch. Soon the air was full of the sounds of fists crashing into faces and thudding into bodies as the two stood toe to toe and slugged it out like there was no tomorrow. The other girls were crowding around to get a view of the fight, which was, to put it mildly, not going Lisa's way! Lisa knew that she was being well and truly thumped but refused to back down and was surprising herself by getting in a few good shots as she gained confidence. Her anger at being picked on overcame any fear she might have had. Then the staff came running up and the pair were separated, breathing heavily and, in Lisa's case, bleeding profusely.
"Who started this" shouted a purple faced warder.
Unfortunately, Lisa's father had not had anything to say about prison codes of honor, so when it came to answering this question, Lisa was on her own, without parental wisdom to guide her. And the silly girl spoke the truth, which is a commodity always best doled out in small measures!
"She did, Ma'am. She kept pushing me and then she punched me!"
"Well! You sure got the worst of it. But you'll be Ok. Go and get cleaned up! No need to report sick. And I believe your story!" She seized the other woman, saying, "Come along, you! Back to solitary. Some women never learn! Let's see how you like it this time!"
This was when Lisa saw that her attacker was barefoot. If only she had known that this fracas was going to cost the girl twenty four weeks in solitary, she would have kept her mouth shut. She saw, now, that this was what she ought to have done in any case. At school what she had just done was called sneaking and would result in the guilty party being stripped and made to run a gauntlet of wet towels, having her body flicked until it was raw. She had no doubt that some colorful bit of prison chastisement would come her way after today's offence. At the very least, her name would be mud from now on. The worst part, though, was being so ahamed of herself.
That night Lisa was ostracized in the dormitory and the remorseful, distraught girl felt that she would be willing to do anything to redeem herself in the eyes of the others. Samantha was sympathetic, but reproachful.
"If the two of you had refused to answer, they would most likely have taken no action against either of you. The most you'd both have got would have been a few extra duties and maybe a bit of a caning on that delicious and womanly bottom. But Sandra is a tough girl. She will get through it and we'll have a topless girl on the block! She's got pretty good tits, really, so she won't mind showing them off!"
At work next day, Lisa was attacked again, this time by two girls, who shoved her from behind and called her a filthy little snitch. She was soon engaged in another fight. She fought pretty well, as she brushed off a punch to the eye by replying in kind, knocking the girl down and having just the other woman to deal with while the first slunk off. Neither of these two was as big as Sandra. But she was slightly shaken and bruised by the time they were separated. This time saw exactly what she must do to restore her standing with the others, to say nothing of her own self-esteem. This was her chance!
"Who started this!" said the same warder, looking at Lisa angrily. Fighting was getting to be a habit with this newcomer, who had looked to be relishing the encounter, even if she was getting thumped again. This was a just observation. Lisa was getting to like fighting back and had determined that she would not always be the loser! Her brother had often told her of the scraps he had been in and she had regretted being a girl at times. Now she was finding that she could be a girl AND get into fights. It was quite fun, despite her black eye from today and cut lip from yesterday!
"I did, Ma'am," said Lisa, "and I further admit to having started it yesterday. I was afraid of getting into trouble on my first day and I'm very sorry!"
Hell!, she thought. In eight weeks she would be back with her cell-mates and no longer a pariah. It would be two months in solitary very well spent. Despite this, Lisa had a distinctly queasy feeling in her stomach as she made her admission, but she was still pumped up with adrenalin after the fight. In any case, she knew she was doing the right thing - the only thing she could do. Nothing further happened that day, except that Lisa found herself suddenly very popular with the other girls.
"That was incredibly brave of you, Lisa," said Samantha. "I'd never have had the guts to do that! I just hope you know what you're letting yourself in for! I didn't tell you the half of it when I was talking about solitary yesterday. You'll find out soon enough, though! But you've saved Sandra twenty-four weeks there and you'll only get eight and be barefoot for three years. She'll thank you for that when she comes back! I suppose you'd have soon enough got a spell in the cooler, though! Let's face it, Lisa, that fight would never have got so nasty if you'd not reacted like you did. You're quite a spitfire on the quiet!"
Sandra was sitting on her bed when they all trooped back from the yard and the first thing she did was to shake Lisa's hand and then kiss her.
"Thanks a million, Lisa. After my first stretch there I was sure I'd never last twenty-four weeks. My nerve had completely gone and I'd just about given up hope when they came and let me out. It took a few hours because they needed the governor to operate the door and he was in town for a meeting. I'm sorry about starting that incident. If I'd known you'd hit me back, I'd never have touched you! You've got quite a punch for a young one!"
"Nothing like yours Sandra," said Lisa, rubbing her still swollen jaw. In the morning Lisa was ordered to accompany the guard.
Samantha, Sandra and the others whispered various bits of encouragement. "Best of luck, Lisa. See you in eight weeks! It'll pass in no time and we'll all be thinking about you. Just do as they tell you and keep all the silly rules and you'll soon enough be out, and we'll all have great times together!"
Samantha followed her to the door of the dormitory and added "Just remember, Lisa! No matter how lonely you are you have plenty of friends up here thinking about you!"
Within minutes Lisa was in the Governor's office. The charge sheet was read out to him and he took off his glasses and looked sternly at her.
"This is a very poor start, young lady. I see you are a person of apparently good character - at least before committing the offence which brought you here, but the rules of this prison are quite clear. As I see it, you are guilty of three discrete offences and I shall deal with them as though they had been committed over a period of time rather than all at once. Firstly you started a fight yesterday and then another one today. And we have the third offence of lying about yesterday's incident. Our system of punishments is very simple. You serve eight weeks in isolation for a first offence of this gravity. For a second offence you serve sixteen weeks, and not only that, but you must re-serve the first sentence. For the third offence you serve twenty-four weeks and must first serve all previous time again."
Lisa was quaking in her boots by this time. Her mind tried to work out just how long she would be immured in the dreaded solitary block, which none of the prisoners ever liked to be anywhere near - let alone in. Just what had her chivalrous and spurious admission of guilt got her? Eight plus sixteen plus eight... her head was spinning and she gave up! It was a hell of a long time; that was for sure! Perhaps the governor would explain just how many weeks she was going to serve for offences she had not committed. She thought of retracting her confession, but decided she was in too deep and would only make matters worse by not going through with it now. She would sooner die than lose face with Samantha and Sandra and didn't imagine she could get out of this even if she did change her story. The governor was obviously one of these men whose minds run on rails. She was for it, and there was no point even thinking about getting out of it!
She wished she had more idea about what to expect. She had seen a film once when a female prisoner was sent to "The Hole." It had been a rat-infested pit, awash with stagnant water. She guessed that this was the kind of spot she was to be thrown into to spend the next few months. As far as her total time in solitary was concerned, she had almost worked it out by now and it did nothing for her peace of mind. The governor confirmed her worst fears, but not quite.
"So the position is this. Your first offence of starting a brawl costs you eight weeks, your second of starting on two of your new comrades only hours after your first bit of aggression, sixteen, bringing your total to date to twenty-four and you must serve the first eight weeks again. We are up to thirty-two, already! This thirty-two will be added to the twenty-four for your third offence bringing your total time in solitary to fifty-six weeks. I have also decided that you shall serve the sixteen weeks that your comrade would have served had you not owned up, although not the eight from her first sentence. That makes seventy-two weeks in total. This will not be added to your sentence of three years, but you will lose all remission and serve the entirety of your sentence without any possibility of parole, which you would otherwise have been eligible for after only one year. Your punishment will date from the time the cell door closes on you! Do you accept that you are being fairly dealt with?"
"Yes, Sir. I see the logic of what you say and I accept my punishment as being according to the rules. But are your calculations correct, Sir? By your reasoning I must serve the first thirty-two weeks again before I can start the final tweny-four weeks. That's sixty-four plus twenty-four and then Sandra's sixteen added on top. I am in for one hundred and four weeks, I think you will find."
She had no idea how she was being so calmly matter-of-fact while talking herself into an even deeper hole than the one she was in already! She was to be buried for two years when two months was enough to drive some girls crazy, just because she had blurted out the truth when she ought to have been quiet and taken a caning. And here she was, facing the ordeal of her life, talking as if this were merely an academic exercise in simple mathematics!
The governor did a few quick calculations. This had never come up before since no prisoner had ever been sent to solitary three times as Lisa was, in effect, being. He looked at the rules and they were horribly clear. This was far worse than he had wanted to do to the girl. Even the seventy-two weeks he had thought he was awarding seemed excessive the more he thought about it. He looked again at Rule 42. All prisoners sentenced to a term of strict solitary confinement must first serve again all time previously served, excepting penalty weeks awarded, before commencement of their new sentence. He nodded. One hundred and four weeks it was! She had hoped he might lop off a few weeks in appreciation of her doing his sums for him, but this was not her lucky day!
Inwardly she was thinking that she had little choice but to do as she had, for someone else would spot the governor's error if she failed to point it out. Nevertheless she felt he was interpreting the rules in a very literal manner and missing the whole point, which was that her real offence was the one committed against the prisoner's code of honor. If the man had a gleam of common sense he would surely have seen that and given her the eight weeks that she knew herself to have richly merited and was not only willing but anxious to serve. But at the back of her mind was the realization that she might be seen by the authorities to have been manipulating their rules to enforce the very real but quite illicit prisoner's code. She still thought it a bit thick, all the same.
But another bit of her father's wisdom came to mind. Once, her brother had bitterly complained to his parent about being unjustly caned at school.
"It's not fair, Dad," the angry youth had moaned. Her father had scarcely bothered to drag himself from behind "The Times".
"Life isn't fair, my boy. It's to learn that supremely important lesson that I'm sending you to that rather expensive school in the first place. Nice to be getting value for money at long last!"
Lisa wondered what her loving father would think to know that his sweet little daughter was now learning just that lesson herself, and rather more painfully than brother George, firstly by being unjustly imprisoned and then, perhaps justly and perhaps not, slung into the cooler for two years! She nearly laughed at the thought and there was almost a spring in her step. She had always envied boys for the adventurous lives they seemed to lead, and now she was having a great adventure of her own. Fear was the last thing in her mind as she was led away to serve her period of isolation. She had been framed for the robbery and was still incandescently angry about that, but she was not angry at her impending stretch in solitary, because she knew it was partly, possibly wholly, deserved. She was getting to put things right by paying for a genuine offence to which she had belatedly owned up, and this was the grown up thing to do. She was terrified but had no complaints and certainly no thought of resisting and having to be dragged screaming to her cell.
They escorted her, quite convinced that she had made the most monumental misjudgment of all time but calmly happy that she had done the honorable thing, out of the prison building to a low block near the perimeter. The others watched her being marched off and were impressed by the way she held herself. None of them expected her to be away for more than eight weeks, plus maybe three or four for offences against the strict solitary rules. If they had known of the sheer horror that lay ahead of her, they would have admired her stoical bearing even more and did do when the truth finally became known to them.
On going through the door to this block she saw that a steep flight of steps led down to a landing, maybe twenty feet below. One of the guards unlocked a heavy metal door and they went down three more twenty foot deep flights of stairs before coming to a chamber far underground. Here she was ordered to remove all clothing. She shivered as the air touched her skin. It was colder down here than upstairs and she heard a very faint humming, as of an air conditioning plant. Her clothes were folded up and put into a bag. Then the senior guard told her to get on a table and spread her legs. A disgusting examination of her orifices began.
"This is just a formality really, but we have to do it," said the senior of the two warders. "You'd be amazed at what we find stuffed up these little holes! No hard feelings, I hope."
They shaved her head again, just as her lovely golden hair was beginning to grow back a little. She had looked quite boyish this last few days and Samantha said she liked it that way!
"It'll be lovely and long again by the time they let you out," said the guard with the razor.
Then the same lady, in a formal voice from which all friendliness had disappeared, read out the terms of her confinement.
"Lisa Sara Griffiths, imprisoned for three years for theft from a hotel, You have been awarded a total of eighty-four weeks strictly supervised solitary confinement for fighting and lying and a further sixteen weeks on account of your contemptible attempt to have another prisoner punished for an offence you committed. You will be kept in a small unfurnished cell. There will be a hole in the floor for use both as a toilet and a receptacle for waste. In view of the length of time you are to be here, you will not be on reduced rations. You will be fed twice daily, once at five in the morning and once at nine at night, the food being passed to you through a grille. You must remain quite upright for the whole time between these two meals. You will not at any time commit acts of bodily pollution. You will not use the walls of the cell for support. You will maintain the cell in a clean condition at all times. Failure to do so will result in extra time served, a week for each offence. Once every two weeks, with the evening meal toiletries will be slipped through the grille and you must return non-disposables in the morning, taking care not to leave nail clippings or other materials on the floor. You will consume your meals and place the receptacle on the shelf inside the door within three minutes of its being pushed through the grill. You will never speak or attempt to speak to anyone for the whole time you are in isolation. You will never touch the door except to take and return your meal and receptacles. You must be fully awake and on your feet when your breakfast is delivered. You must have moved your bowels between getting up and having your morning meal or wait until evening. Failure to be on your feet and ready to receive breakfast will result in one extra week for each offence. You will be completely naked for the whole time you are in solitary confinement. No matter how ill you may be, you will receive no medical treatment and there are no - repeat no - exceptions to this rule. The temperature in your cell will be sixteen degrees for the first week, reducing to ten over a period of one month. The cell is automatically hosed down every ten days. The door will be time-locked and cannot be opened by anyone, except the governor, until your time is up. And he will never open the door for you. Never! This is your last chance to speak. Have you any questions?"
She shook her head, horrified at the way she about to be virtually buried alive for two years, and was reprimanded for not answering properly. She guessed she had already copped an extra week before she was even safely locked away!
"I have no questions, Ma'am. My punishment is stern but just and according to rules I was aware of when I committed my offences. I will take my punishment bravely and obey all the rules and willingly take further punishments if I fail in any way to be a good prisoner. And I'd like to walk unaided into my cell. You won't need to force me." And so she spoke for the last time in more than two long years.
The hatchet-faced guard almost smiled at her quiet bravery. She would have ample opportunity over the coming two years to see via CCTV if Lisa made good her resolve. She had a shrewd idea that she would. She had not seen the incidents for which Lisa was being punished, but guessed there was more to it all that met the eye. Nice girls like her simply didn't behave this badly on their first day. But her job was to make sure all the rules were obeyed and the slightest infringement would be penalized. If she as much as brushed the wall with any part of her body, it would be a week extra. And those walls were very close together! She sighed as she looked again at this tall but slender young woman with her delicate features and golden hair, still little more than a child. Well, she had better grow up - and fast! And then she looked again and saw that this she was growing up even as she looked at her.
Then Lisa followed Hatchet-Face to a small door in a corridor leading off from the main hall. The door was opened and she had the first sight of her cell, which was far tinier than she had imagined. She instinctively recoiled, but brought herself quickly under control and walked in, her head held high and her back straight. The guard had time for one last lustful look at that delectable puppy fat which she would only see on screen for the next two and a half years (Lisa was bound to earn herself many extra weeks, poor girl), and the door clanged to behind her. Lisa calculated that it was just after midday. Her meal would be in nine hours and she must stay on her feet all that time, despite having eaten very little for breakfast. Her stomach rumbled. She looked around. So this was to be home for two years - if not longer!
Her cell was certainly minute. She was frightened at the tiny space where she was to be trapped for so long and panic started to rise inside her, threatening to make her scream. As the horror of it began to sink in and her forced bravado in front of Hatchet-Face evaporated, she wanted nothing more than to howl and beat on the door, tearfully begging for mercy. But she knew this was useless. She was here for the next two years at least - probably quite a bit more - and must be brave and, above all, level headed through each and every day they kept her here. Only the strongest of people could survive this ordeal and that meant she must be strong. She looked around her cell again.
It was longer than it was wide, being a doubtful six feet by a little less than four. She would just about be able to lie full length at night without touching the door or the rear wall. The ceiling was high and out of her reach. The walls were smooth, as was the floor, which felt icy cold against her bare and rather tender soles. There was a light, set high up in the ceiling, not enough to read comfortably by, but sufficient to let her see every detail of her cell. In the corner was a hole, into which she supposed she must deposit her bodily wastes. She recalled the injunction to keep her cell tidy at all times. That could only mean not pissing and shitting on the floor! There was no furniture of any kind, just the marble floor, the white ceramic tiled walls and the door at one end. But at least it was clean and she had every intention of keeping it that way!
By the time her evening meal arrived she was faint from hunger and her legs were on fire with pain from being so long on her feet. She had spent a lot of the time pacing up and down the all too short length of her cell. Once, near the end of this first day, she stumbled and only saved herself by steadying herself against the wall. Somehow, she just knew they had spotted this! So she already had two extra weeks here and her first day was not yet over. The evening meal consisted of one pint of water and three thick slices of brown bread, together with a miserably tiny apple. She ate it quickly and the grille soon opened and the remains of the meal were whisked away. Noting some crumbs on the floor she knelt down and licked them up greedily.
Realizing that she must on no account let her body go to seed in the long and lonely months ahead, she did fifty press-ups, feeling herself perspire for the first time in the hours she had been confined. There was a slight draught of cold air coming down from vents in the ceiling and she realized that the primitive cells she had read about in these third world countries and which she had envisaged being confined in when sent down here, might not be as bad as this high tech contraption. This cell was modern and sophisticated, but designed only to torture its occupant, mentally by its tiny size and physically by its cold discomfort. All through the night she kept waking. The floor was hard and her body was still soft. The air was uncomfortably cool. She wondered how she would take the gradual reduction to fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Finally extreme tiredness triumphed over physical discomfort and she slept.
It was fear that made her open her eyes and fear which made her leap to her feet. Had she overslept and got herself another penalty week to add to the two she had already earned? She squatted over the hole in the floor and performed her daily natural functions, noting with some relief, that she had not soiled the floor. Then she stood facing the door and waited for her morning meal, having absolutely no idea what the time was. The low lighting seemed to be quite constant and the only way of marking the passage of time would be the arrival of her two daily meals. In due course she hoped to build her daily routine around these two landmarks, but these were early days and she guessed, all too rightly as it turned out, that she would incur far more than the two extra penalty weeks already earned before she finally mastered the routine. But at least she would go home after three years, even if they were all spent in this tiny, cramped hole.
Luckily or unluckily for Lisa, she had woken up early, and it was three hours before her breakfast arrived. It consisted of two slices of bread, a pint of water and an orange. A single piece of toilet paper and a moist wipe accompanied the food. She wiped her bottom, put the soiled sheet in the hole and cleaned her fingers with the wipe. Then she ate very quickly. It was the orange that gave her most trouble. With only her recently clipped fingernails it took her a long time unpeeling it. She sucked out all the juice, ate all the flesh and put the peel in the steel receptacle. Sadly for her, she had missed one pip. She saw it later in the day, but it was not until evening that she was able to bend down and retrieve it. She put it in the hole in the floor. Had her carelessness been spotted, she asked herself. She was very sure that in these early days, she was being watched very closely. Only less than a day here and she had three weeks added on already! She repeated to herself time and time again that she could not afford any more mistakes. It was no fun up there in the main prison, but it was still vastly preferable to this. She clenched her fist, drew it back as far as she could and hit herself several hard blows in her naked stomach. She promised herself similar self punishment every time she caught herself slipping up. As the weeks went by it was to be the thought of Samantha to whom she had taken such an instant liking that kept her going and kept up her determination to get through this ordeal in time to spend at least some weeks and months with her before she was released and parted from her forever.
On the tenth evening she finished her meal, cut her toe and finger nails with the tiny scissors pushed through to her and set to doing her evening pushups and knee bends. She was quite unprepared for the douche of icy cold water that hit her! She looked up, shielding her face from the downpour and saw that water was running down all four walls and gurgling away down the hole in the floor. The flood stopped as suddenly as it had begun. By the time she came to sleep, the floor was still damp and she was shivering violently. For the first time she began to doubt her ability to survive and then she shook herself literally and figuratively. She was eighteen years old with all her health and strength and a lifetime ahead of her and would not let the setbacks of the past few weeks stop her having that life. She might have to wait three years, all of them in here, but she would get out and she would be a better person when it was all over.
As she reached the end of her twelfth week in solitary Lisa was confident that she had made no mistakes for three weeks. At long last she could start to chip away at the remaining total and not pile up a longer and longer sentence by her silly mistakes. In her first week she had made one slip after another and added eight weeks to her incarceration in as many days. Four more weeks were added in the eight weeks that followed. Now she had been error free for three weeks and she knew that at last she was starting out on her sentence proper. She was totally punctilious now in obeying all the rules. Her legs were strong as iron and would easily support her weight for sixteen hours a day with none of the aching discomfort of her early weeks. Her upper body was in good shape too, thanks to her regime of exercise. The food had seemed totally inadequate in her first few days, but it did appear to be sustaining her.
The prisoner was certainly not gaining weight, but she could look down in the pale light at her eighteen year old body and feel proud. She held her head high. The light shone directly down, throwing two shadows, cast by her breasts, onto the floor. Her trimly firm stomach was hidden in the shadow of her ribcage. She thought it would make a very artistic photo!
The hatchet-faced guard agreed. She was not being disappointed in her favorite prisoner! She chuckled happily at the thought of being able to feast her eyes on those juicy, firm tits and that heavenly bottom for two whole years! She particularly liked seeing Lisa curled up on the floor as she slept and recouped her strength for the boring but tiring day ahead. She knew every curve of that delicious body by this time and she still liked to watch.
It still caused the odd panic attack when Lisa thought how tiny a space she was in and how immensely far under ground she was, away from the sunlight and fresh air she had always loved so passionately. In the first weeks it had seemed that the walls were somehow closing in on her and she knew such terror as she had never known before. It had taken all her will power to stop herself banging on the door. It would not have helped and would have earned her more time here. God help a claustrophobic or any kind of weakling in this place, she thought - not for the first time. They would have no pity on such a person and no doubt many poor girls had been driven quite insane by being in here. As it was, Lisa had been driven to look inwards to find any sort of tolerable existence. Long before the end of her first four weeks she had counted all the tiles several times over. Six hundred and thirty was the total plus seven partial ones. For the rest of her days she would only have to close her eyes and see every vein in the marble floor. In happier times to come she would sometimes amuse herself by drawing a faithful likeness of the pattern on that cold and hard resting place for a body obliged to grow more used to discomfort each and every day.
By this time the temperature was a steady fifty degrees Fahrenheit or ten degrees according to the local usage which she had difficulty getting used to! On this beginning of her thirteenth week she felt her body with the tips of her fingers and realized how the skin texture had altered since she had shed her clothes three months ago, becoming coarser and more leathery. Her hands had lost their softness long ago. She had scrubbed that floor and the tiled walls a dozen times already and would do so many more times before she got out. Her posture also had changed with the loss of clothing and she held herself in a subtly different way, now that her hands had no pockets or other clothing to fiddle with. At first she had tried to hide parts of her body with her hands, but the temptation to cover her breasts and pubic area had quite gone and these three glories were fully exposed to the view of whatever minion was checking on her. Also she very deliberately kept her hands well away from her vagina. She had not quite understood what had been meant by "self-pollution" but guessed that she had better not scratch herself down there no matter how much it itched. Ditto her bumhole which got properly cleaned only every ten days and itched a lot for much of the time.
It was the silence that got to her sometimes. Heaven only knew how thick the door must be, but she had never heard the slightest noise from outside. Sometimes her meal plate would make a slight rattle as it landed on the shelf, but the grille always opened silently. It was no longer a case of waiting for hours in the morning for it to open. She woke up regularly fifteen minutes before five. The evening meal still seemed to take its time arriving, though, as the days dragged out their tedious length and she waited for the chance to eat and lie down on a floor which she could only look at longingly for sixteen hours each day. Never was a soft and comfortable bed eyed as soulfully as a weary Lisa eyed that hard cold floor as the magic hour of nine approached!
After her exercises and before going to sleep she would rub her legs, trying to massage the discomfort out of them. No doubt she would have developed varicose veins long before they let her out! So far, happily, they looked as sleek and healthy as ever. They were awfully hairy, though, although her body hair was all golden and downy soft. If only they would let her have one day in ten lying down! But the rules were very clear and she would avoid breaking any more of them - she hoped!