Life Means Life - Original Writing

Life Means Life - Original Writing

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Life Means Life - Original Writing

The sly shoves and kicks from policemen didn't bother me. It was the
look on their faces. They turned up their noses as if the smell of me
was too foul to endure. Their eyes seemed to darken at the sight of
me.

The first time it really hit me that I was going to spend the rest of
my life in prison was only when they took away my personal belongings.
Everything that gave me a sense of identity, of individuality was
carefully listed and placed into that blue plastic box - a Mars bar
which I have loved since I was a little lad; my keys that never worked
first time you twisted them in the lock; my worn and familiar clothes
that I refused to throw out just because they were old, and my wallet
with the picture of - my girlfriend who says she no longer loves me.
These small insignificant things that made me an individual were
stripped away literally and all that was left was me. Me. It made me
break down right there in the room while they were removing the laces
from my shoes. "We don't want any hangings tonight do we?" said the
surly officer. A humiliating, brutal and invasive search of my naked
body followed amid sniggers and crude comments from the men in blue
before being marched to my cell. By this point I was beyond caring. A
switch in my mind was flicked and I stared straight ahead, silently
following the instructions of the uniformed guards neither flinching
nor responding to anything anyone said or did.

The door slammed shut and I surveyed my new home with its hard bed and
a bucket in a corner. I was placed in solitary confinement `for my own
security' which meant I didn't have to face the other inmates
immediately although I realised at some point that I would have to.
Solitary confinement - time to give me think about the weeks and
months leading up to this point and the crime they say I committed.

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As
far as I was concerned it was a `fit-up' the whole thing; a set- up by
the police, the bastards! Hours seemed like days, days seemed like
weeks. An entire lifetime seemed to pass. Whenever I was given a meal
the screw would spit in it or knock it all over the floor. I would
have refused to eat it but eating seemed to make the day go faster.
You cannot understand what it's like being caged up with nothing to do
or no one to talk to. It's enough to make you crazy. When it was time
to leave my cell and join the other inmates I was almost happy until I
realised what would be lying in wait for me when I got there.

My footsteps were as heavy as lead and even though the prison was
alive with sound, all I could hear were my regulation shoes thudding
against the hard stone floor. Mr Briggs the governor trudged me
through seemingly endless corridors toward the recreation room with
doors being opened before me and then locked behind me. Every second
seemed an age and the noises from the inmates were now filling my
head. Briggs seemed to be muttering something to me but all I could
think about were those voices. Just before we turned the corner Briggs
stopped me and reality came flooding back. "Look here" he said. "If I
were you I would keep a low profile, don't go trying to make friends
here because no one will want you. Do you here me?" We turned the
corner and I saw them. Men of every background, race and stature were
in that room but to me they all seemed to merge into one redoubtable
being. They were formidable and cruel but yet seemingly light hearted.
The final door was opened and I couldn't move. I just stood there
watching them. "Get a move on boy." I was brought to my senses with a
violent dig in the ribs. I lumbered into the room. A bald man looked
up from his paper and his face turned from surprise and alarm to
disgust and revulsion.

He turned to the man sitting next to him who then stood up and knocked
his cup to the floor. I watched it roll across the floor until it came
to stop but I couldn't look up. When I did, his stare hit me like a
fist. I found it hard to breathe. Other men were noticing that
something was going on and more and more of them were eyeing me with
hatred. Silence. The tension was building inside me with dark feelings
of self pity and anticipation. I felt like a cornered animal waiting
for the first strike but it wouldn't come. I just wanted something to
break the silence. Anything. I was shaking head to foot and I peered
round at the men that were brewing with deep hatred. These men were
murderers and rapists with evil tendencies but I was scum even to
them. I wanted to run but if I did where would I go?

FILTHY PERVERT! The shout had come from a middle aged balding man that
was clutching the back a chair so hard that his knuckles had turned
white. The other men were taken aback for a second and then the wave
of hatred and insults hit me. It knocked the wind out of my lungs. I
clamped by arms across my chest to protect my heart from the pain and
I shut my eyes but the sight of them would never leave me. They
started to close in on me. At first it was just a shove and the odd
person spitting on me but then all at once they pounced. I was pushed
to the floor and repeatedly hit over the head with tin cups and kicked
in the stomach. I'm not a weak man and I have been in a few fights but
I couldn't even defend myself against one of these men. After what
seemed like forever whistles were blown and the men were pulled off
me. I could feel the blood running down my forehead going down my nose
and over my mouth.

The taste of it wouldn't leave me for days. I was half dragged to the
medical room where my wounds were dressed. Briggs was there
overlooking the write up of the incident. I thanked him for saving my
life. He waited until the medic had left the room and dropped his pen.
He strode towards me and bent down right to my ear. His voice was so
sharp with hatred that it seemed to cut into my brain. "The reason I
had them pulled off you was not because I thought they were going to
kill you, I had them pulled off so that they could do the same
horrible things every day you're in here." I could feel his spittle in
my ear. "Death is too good for you and I'm going to see you rot in
here for the rest of your pathetic life if it's the last god damn
thing I do." He straightened up, adjusted his tie and strolled out of
the room as if nothing had happened.

My mind was filled with the events off the weeks, days, hours and
minutes leading to this point: Arguments raged within myself pain
welled up inside me every time I returned to my cell even though it
was the only place I was safe, it was also the only place where I was
alone with myself and my thoughts. I was innocent. Why wouldn't anyone
believe me? I didn't mean to. I wasn't thinking straight and everyone
makes mistakes. Whatever I did doesn't even compare to what I had to
go through every day and what I will go through for the rest of my
life. Does anybody really deserve this treatment whatever their past?
Everyone I love now has disowned me. I can't talk to anyone or tell
them how I feel. My own mother says she would like to see me hanged. I
have lost everything. I have nothing. No future, only the past.

Life carried on. People came and went but the attitude of every one of
them was the same. The endless cycle where days and weeks seemed to be
one long struggle to keep my sanity. Every day I went to the library
and kept my head down. Every day I ate the same food alone at the same
corner of the room, every night I tried not to listen to what the
inmates were shouting and every night I would cry myself to sleep. At
the same time every day, the bell would ring and I would return to the
same four walls. I would walk down the same corridor and get the same
look from the junior officer. I would walk into the room and turn
around to hear the familiar sounds. The same sound of the door
slamming shut; the same sound of the key in the lock; the same sound
of the inspection hatch sliding closed with the same black lettering
spelling the name that brought out such deep feelings of hate of
everyone in this jail, everyone in this land, the name Ian Huntley.
Pity gone.
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