Being told that a new Governor had been chosen to replace Joy Masterton hadn’t exactly been the best news he’s received when he’d arrived for work that morning. He’d been sure that he was a shoe in for the Governor’s position. Jim Fenner poured himself an excessive amount of black coffee and fell into the chair by the door, letting out a loud grumble as he did so.
“What’s up with you, late night was it?” Di joked.
“None of your damn business.”
“Well excuse me for showing an interest in a fellow colleague.”
“You’re being a nosy cow….oh and look, here’s another one.”
They both looked up to see Sylvia walk in, her expression mirroring Jim’s.
“Well, is she here yet?” Sylvia asked.
“Late on her first day, good start.”
“I wonder who it is?” Di asked.
“Well whoever it is, according to Stokes she’s highly qualified. She bloody better be, the last thing we need is some do-gooder just out of university.”
“Oh come on Jim, they wouldn’t do that.”
“I wouldn’t bet on that, remember Helen Stewart…she was a right one.”
“Well it’s nice to see I was missed Sylvia.”
They all turned around at the sound of the lone voice to see Helen Stewart standing in behind them, Lou stood beside her, trying to contain her smile as she watched the shock on all their faces.
“You…you’re the new Prison Governor?” Jim stated.
“What’s wrong Fenner, disappointed?”
“I have rounds to do; I’ll leave you to get reacquainted.” Lou smiled, as she walked away.
“So, how are we all?”
“Oh you know the same. Nothing really changes around here.” Di smiled.
“I have to say Ma’am, this is a surprise.”
“Well, you know me Sylvia. I do enjoy a good surprise.”
“Well, I should go and help Lou get the women to breakfast.”
Di got up and walked away. “I should go too,” Sylvia said, rushing after Di.
Helen turned her attentions back to Jim who stood with his arms folded, trying to look superior.
“What’s wrong Fenner, anyone would think you weren’t happy to see me back.
“What the hell are you even doing back here, what’s wrong…things go tits up with your Girlfriend?”
“Oh Jim, you haven’t changed…same prick you always were. As it happens yes, things didn’t work out with Nikki…we wanted different things and so here I am…to make your life a living hell.”
“Give it your best shot….Ma’am.”
The dining area was busy when Helen and Jim arrived; Natalie Buxton looked up and saw the familiar face.
“What the bloody hell’s she doing back ‘ere?”
“She’s alright, a lot better than some of the ones we’ve had.” Bev said.
“Yeah well, she better not bugger my escape up.”
“Jesus, are you still on about that…you’ll never get away with it.” Julie said.
“Yeah, well I can bloody well try. I ain’t spending another 10 years in this hole, no way.”
“You’re off your head.”
“I see nothing much has changed here, all the same faces by the look of it. Buxton’s still here?”
“She was caught dealing drugs to some of the other women, the drugs were tainted and one of them too a severe reaction to it….she died. Buxton got an extra 5 years on her sentence.” Di said.
“Some people never learn do they?”
“Mmmm, like someone else I know.”
“And what’s that supposed to mean Jim?”
“I just don’t get why you’d want to come back here after everything that happened between you and Nikki.”
“I missed the place.”
He watched her walk away towards the women, scowling at her as she introduced herself to some of the newer inmates and catching up with the regulars.
“She won’t last long here, no way. She doesn’t have it in her to be powerful.”
“Maybe we should just give her the benefit of the doubt huh, the last thing these women need is to see the Officers at loggerheads Jim, try and get on with the job at hand okay.” Lou smiled, following Helen.
A few weeks went by and Helen stayed true to her word about giving Jim a hard time, she made sure he was scheduled for all the early shifts, knowing how much he despised them. Giving him extra paperwork to do as well as having him take over the keep fit class that Joy had put in place. Lou walked into Helen’s office just after lunch to see her hard at work.
“Lou, what can I do for you?”
“It’s about this keep fit class.”
“Oh yeah, what seems to be the problem?”
“Jim Fenner is the problem, look I know you want to assert you authority where he’s concerned but it’s not really fair on the women who want to do the class.”
“He’s not handling it well then?”
“He’s the most unfit person on the planet, he smokes, he drinks. All he’s doing is having the women running the perimeter of the gym while he sits on his arse and watches them.”
“I know you want him to suffer a little but to make the women suffer along with him, it’s not very fair. They showed a lot of interest in the class when Joy first set it up and she was a good Teacher.”
“What was she like, Joy I mean?”
“She was touch….but fair. You wouldn’t cross her, I didn’t get on well with her a first I admit but she turned this place around and I’d like to keep it as she left it.”
“Do you still keep in touch?”
You could say that.”
Helen noticed the small smile on Lou’s face when she spoke, giving a little of herself away.
“Oh I see, you and her.”
“It’s new to us, we’re taking it slow.”
“Is that why she left?”
“Partly, the other is her Daughter Stella…she needs to focus in her at the moment.”
“Well, I hope things work out for you both.”
“Thank you, oh and about Jim.”
“Would you take over the class?”
“I’d love too, thanks Helen.”
It was just coming up for 10pm that night when Natalie Buxton unlocked her cell door gently.
“You really shouldn’t do this.” Bev said.
“Will you shut up, I ain’t asking you to come along am I.”
“Where did you get the key?” Phyl asked.
“Copied it didn’t I. Nicked Hollamby’s keys the other day and copied it.”
“Natalie you’re in here for another 10 years, you get caught with this and you’ll be here the rest of your life.”
“No I won’t, I ain’t spending another bloody night in here.”
She carefully opened the door and slid out leaving Bev and Phyl looking on.
“She’s gone mad.” Bev said.
“She’s a bloody fool, come on love…get back to bed.”
Helen was walking along the dark corridors, planning on getting home and soaking in a nice hot bath after such a busy day. She was just coming around the corner when she knocked right into Natalie, sending them both to the ground. Natalie was on her feet in seconds getting ready to run off when she felt Helen’s hand going around her ankle, hauling her back to the ground.
“Get the hell of me bitch.”
“What the hell do you think you’re doing, you can’t get away.”
She kicked Helen in the face with her foot and began to make a run for it, Helen scrambled to the panic button and quickly pressed it, causing the gates to lock down. Natalie turned to Helen as she leaned against the wall, holding her left hand to her face.
“You fucking bitch, you god damn bitch.”
Natalie stormed towards her in a rage, punching her repeatedly until she blacked out.
To Be Continued…