There was an electric nervous energy buzzing around the wentworth women’s maximum prison. No one was talking, not even Miles was snitching as she always predictably did at some point with an offer of cash and other favours here and there. In fact Ms. Miles wasn’t even interacting with anyone of her usual ‘cash cows’ benefactors as was her regular MO. She seemed to be avoiding them like they had caught some kind of a plague which had broken inside the prison walls and was afraid to catch it or something. Both Kaz and Marie had tried to corner and interrogate her on what was going on unsuccessfully. As if she had some kind of a third eye at the back of her head or her sixth sense was just pinging endlessly whenever the two inmates were near her, Miles had conveniently happened to either be accompanied by another officer while on the hallways or be on the other side of a locked door where none of prisoners could reach her without an officer’s escort. And so the day had come and gone and no one was any wiser on what was actually going on within the prison walls. All prisoners were on high alert and it was never a good thing as that nervous energy could almost always guarantee to translate into chaos. Kaz wasn’t equipped lately to handle the crazy of this prison. Times like this she had wished Bea was still alive so that she could apologize and work with her. She will forever regret treating Bea Smith the way she did since she came to wentworth, but that’s her cross to bear for the rest of her life.
Mr Jackson on the other hand as always was tight lipped and unfortunately for the bribers, he was never one to take bribes in exchange for anything. So the prisoners knew better not to even try with him, he was useless to them. Jake was conveniently off duty that day, between him and Miles the prisoners always almost got what they wanted or needed for a price.
Governor Vera, well aware of the corruption between her officers, especially Jake and Miles, with the prisoners. She had made sure what was happening wasn’t going to be spilled to the prisoners before she was ready herself to deliver the information. She had called Jake that morning and agreed for him to finally take the week off which he had begged for several times already before until that morning. She was still in shock as everyone else who knew what the governor knows.
The night before had been one of the craziest nights of her professional life. Even though Vera had learned long time ago, prison was one place you should expect the unexpected. But as it happened no one had given her a manual of “what to do when ghosts reappear” no one was ever prepared for that shit. The governor and her second in command Jackson, had received a handful of prisoners at wentworth that night. She had almost went into labour due to the shock she had experienced. Luckily Jackson had been close by and had broken the fainting fall that Vera had almost suffered. Even as Jackson tried to keep the governor upright, he himself was going through his own ghostly shivers as he openly stared unbelievably at the one prisoner in particular with his jaw still hanging open.
“Hello Vera! Jackson. Oh and Jackson, you may wanna close your mouth. Don’t willingly invite the bugs in” The prisoner had offered with a wink
Polite hellos, a wink and a few words are all the two senior officers had received from the ghost. She walked in with her shoulders squared and her back straight up right past them and into the green bowels of the dreaded prison walls.
She knew the process and she didn’t need any directions from the newly employed young female officers in the dressing room. She’s been here before and she’d already done a couple of the undressing and checking before, even though it seemed like a million years ago, she was back now and still familiar with the whole routine of bend, turn, spread your butt cheeks, cough, hair, behind ears, tongue up and down and so forth. The new officers in the room with this particular prisoner didn’t even open their mouths after the prisoner started reciting the whole process for them while performing the said routine at the same time. The much younger one actually caught the giggles when the prisoner did the routine while reciting the steps like a trained personnel.
While outside the main gate, after a temporary recovery Jackson and Vera followed the last of the prisoners inside.
“Jackson?” Glancing at her even paler colleague, Vera could only utter Jackson’s name questioningly, who seemed to be helplessly trying to handle his visible shock with every ounce of dignity he was still grasping in front of their junior officers. Fortunately for them all of the officers on duty with them that night were pretty new to the prison and were mostly unaware of the discomfort in their seniors.
“Yeah” is all Jackson could say nodding his head as if to convince himself that the ghost appearance in their lives again was not some kind of a sick joke someone was pulling on them.
Jackson had never craved the white powder which he used to loose himself into oblivion once upon a time in his life as he did at that very moment. This shit sounded like the stories his grandfather used to tell him but he never once believed the old man. He can’t deal with this, not when he was sober several years after losing Meg. He needed a distraction and Rose was who he thought about as he rode his bike unsteadily towards his girlfriends house. He was surprised he didn’t get into an accident as he found himself letting himself in his girlfriend’s condominium.
Now that it was the next day after the weird night had come and gone with no much drama, he was relieved to say the least. Though his mind was still stuck on a loop, replaying the events of the night before, he was able to put back his usual professional mask back on quite easily than he had expected.
The two senior officers had had a meeting with their officers that morning to brief them on a need to know basis. Miles was pulled aside and issued a stern warning if anything was leaked out she was getting the blame for it as none of the other officers knew about the new ghost prisoner’s real name except her, Jackson, Vera and Matt. The prisoner’s paperwork had been delivered directly to the governor and there was no need of the usual processing expected for her of new arrivals.
Miles was also asked to make sure none of the officers she was supervising talked to inmates about the handful of newbies they received the night before. The inmates had all been processed and dumped in protection units for awhile. Miles was still spooked and wasn’t in a mood to anger the walking dead, she will adhere to the rules. No amount of cash was worth a haunted nightmare.
“Officer Miles, if any of this goes out to the prisoners before I have the chance to tell them myself, you will be demoted with immediate effect. Do I make myself clear?” Vera asked sternly
“Yes governor.” Miles knew Vera followed up her threats and she wasn’t doing anything to earn a demotion.
Vera knew Miles to be flakey when it came to obeying orders so she had to make sure she hit Miles where it counted. Miles had almost been a model officer since she got a raise and a promotion as a supervisor. The governor knew she would think twice before she opened her mouth for a couple of bucks as opposed to a few thousand addition to her annual salary. She wasn’t that stupid to go for a temporary fix of her gambling problems and lose even bigger if she snitched to prisoners who could mostly only afford a few tens or fifty for information. And she knew her every movement was being watched by Vera and Will closely. Miles was many things but stupid wasn’t one of them, she wasn’t going to jeopardize her meal ticket for anything. And so she had hidden from Kaz and Marie at every turn knowing they were the hard ones to say no to.
Meanwhile after the count, the whole of H Block kept buzzing.
There was an air of restlessness permeating through the hallways and corridors and even Liz couldn’t help but be nosey and eventually asking Kaz what was going on. Normally the older blonde tried to keep away from politics of the prison as much as she humanly possibly could within the walls of the prison, ironic one might say. But since her once upon snitching and consequently punishment, she had tried to keep her nose as clean as she could as she only had another three years of her sentence to go and didn’t want to jeopardize her parole.
“Hey love, is there something you want or need to share with us?” Liz directed the question to Kaz who was laying on the couch in their common area, while the rest played cards on the table.
“I’m afraid I got nothing to tell Liz” Kaz sighed and closed her eyes in deep thought and worried “The screws aren’t talking, even Miles has been running away from me as if I caught on some infectious virus or something.” Kaz wondered loudly
“That doesn’t sound good.” Boomer echoed confusedly
“It sure doesn’t Suzanne.” Agreed Sonia thoughtfully, nodding to herself
“It maybe nothing ladies. Let’s worry when we know what it is that we need to worry about.” Maxine always calm and the voice of reason offered
“We’ll be alright girls. Stop worrying yourselves sick. You got your boxing champion right here!” Ruby boasted with her ever available cheeky smile, showing her guns “I’ll knock anyone’s head off who attempts to mess with y’all.”
“Yeah!” Boomer chirped in “I’ll punch some tits if anyone comes to try anyfing witchu ” They all nodded and smiled but some of their smiles never reached their eyes
Whatever was happening they just hoped it was not some ghosts coming back to haunt all of them, all the women’s thoughts turned erringly similar at that point. Everyone had a different reaction.
Liz was contemplating her future at wentworth and how it will be directly affected by what was going on.
Boomer was half excited but also somewhat scared of the unknown.
Sonia shook her head as if to chase away the thoughts of the ghosts from her past and present. She had her own ghosts which still keep her awake at night, both her dead husband and best friend still made haunting visits into her dreams every so often. She sure didn’t need anyone else’s coming back and adding to her already stressed out existing self.
Maxine was calm and collected. She didn’t like changes but she was one of the only adaptable inmate in the room. She always followed her gut and flowed with the tide.
Kaz was maybe more affected by that thought but she tamed her reactions. Meanwhile a shiver ran down her spine and at that moment she knew whatever it was, could be the worst thing that has ever happened to her and wentworth or the best thing. She had to keep it together as the top dog. She was going to be strong for her new family, whatever it was they will handle it together as a family.