Chapter 1: Blackmoor Memories
Ferguson lay on her bed, arms folded across her chest as she stared up at the ceiling, unable to sleep. “Emotions leads to mistakes,” her father’s voice echoed in her mind. Ferguson has let her guard down, therefore it was easy for the prisoners to mock her. How dare they? Ferguson thought in disgust. Wentworth was her prison, not theirs. Joan tolled over time her side, switched off the light and fell into a restless sleep. As she slept, she found herself dreaming about the first prison she worked in, where people had respect for her and called her the Fixer, and when she first met a certain young prisoner named Jianna…
“Teacher’s pet!” A woman snarled as a young woman passed by her in the cafeteria line. “All right Hartnell, that’s enough. Back in line!” a tall female officer barked at the burly hostile prisoner.
The guard was Joan Ferguson, Fixer of Blackmoor Prison, and the woman she was protecting was a prisoner named Jianna. “Thank you Ms Ferguson,” Jianna mumbled as she stood back in line. But after she got her food, Hartnell appeared again and stood in Jianna’s way, glared at her, and flipped over Jianna’s tray, spilling her food all over the floor.
“Oi! Hartnell, that was your second warning. You’re going to the slot,” Ferguson yelled at her as Jianna whimpered behind her. “With pleasure,” Hartnell said with a hateful look at Jianna as two security guards grabbed hold of her arms and led her out of the canteen.
Ferguson nodded in satisfaction before turning to Jianna. But Jianna was gone.
Chapter 2: Being there for each other
Ferguson encourages Jianna to stand up for herself...
Half an hour later Ferguson called Jianna up to the study area so they could talk on mutual grounds. Jianna day opposite Ferguson in the near empty room. She nervously wiped her eyes with her sleeve- she had been crying over the canteen incident.
“Hey it’s okay,” Ferguson said to her kindly. “It’s okay, I told you Id protect you,” she reminded Jianna. Jianna didn’t smile back. Instead a fresh wave of tears trickled down her face. Jeez, talk about turning on the waterworks, she thought with a sigh. She had to find a happy balance in Jianna- strength so Jianna could fight back, and trust in Joan who would protect her. But first and foremost Jianna did need to toughen herself up. Ferguson would understand it if she was a new prisoner, but she’d been there for six months now, long enough to know the drill. Ferguson peered into Jianna’s eyes and saw nothing but fear In them. “Hartnell really hates me,” she whimpered. “I know,” Ferguson said kindly. “But you have to fight back, Jianna. You have as much right as they have,” she told her. Jianna nodded, sniffing and drying her eyes with her sleeve. Ferguson smiled proudly at her. “That’s my girl,” she said. Then a figure caught her eye. “Go on. Here’s your chance to fight back,” she said, gesturing to one of Hartnell’s crew, nicknamed scar for the long scar she had on her arm.
With determination Joanna nodded and got up to face her enemy. Scar grinned when she saw her. “Well if it isn’t little cry baby,” she sneered. But Jianna was in no mood for names- with Ferguson’s support she meant business.
She reached out an arm, grabbed Scar’s neck and pushed her roughly against the wall. “Tell Hartnell I don’t appreciate having my food knocked over like that,” she hissed to a choking Scar. “If it happens again, I’ll make sure she’ll be sent to the wet cells. Understood?” she asked.
Hartnell continued to choke. “Well?” Jianna demanded as she tightened her hand around her throat. “Y-yes, I understand,” Hartnell managed to wheeze out. Nodding with satisfaction, Jian an let go and Scar dank down to the floor, coughing. “Good. See that she gets the message,” Jianna added before walking back to Ferguson with a hopeful smile on her face.
Ferguson smiled back and winked at her. “You did good, kid,” she told the prisoner who sat opposite her once more. Jianna reaches over and squeezed Ferguson’s hand gently. “I have you to thank, Ms Ferguson. You’re very inspiring to me,” she told her in a quiet tone before letting go. “Nonsense. It was all you. I just gave you a little push,” Ferguson said, smiling proudly back before walking out of the room.
Ferguson rolled over on her back and sighed. Those were the good old days, when she was The Fixer, not the Freak. But that’s what happens when you let your guard down, the master’s voice echoed once more. That’s what enabled them to call her the Freak. Before falling asleep again, Ferguson made a vow. Bea Smith was going to be very sorry that she let people call her the Freak. Very, very sorry indeed.
Chapter 3: Know your enemy
Ferguson gets a surprise visit and support from an unexpected source...
Ferguson arrived back at work the next morning after a restless sleep. She had been trying to think of a revenge plan against Bea, but nothing suitable of satisfactory came to mind. Ferguson sighed in frustration as she swiped her card twice.
Then she entered the building through the check point before making her way to her office. “Know your enemy,” she murmured to herself as she smiled at one of the guards. She decided to look again at Bea’d prison record to see what else she could be hiding.
Ferguson unlocked the door to the office only to see Mr Channing sitting there. “Mr Channing,” she said in surprise. “What brings you here?” she asked as she sat behind her desk. “Joan,” Mr Channing said brightly, “I haven’t got much time so I’m going to get straight to the point. After a few trips to this prison I’ve gathered that the inmates have a nickname for you. Are you aware of this?” he asked.
Joan frowned. “Yes, I believe I am,” she answered. “Well we heard that some of the prisoners, particularly the women on H block refer to you as the ‘freak’, correct?” Mr Channing asked. Ferguson grimaced at the word ‘freak’. “Where are you going with this Mr Channing? Isn’t this my problem?” she pointed out. Mr Channing smiled an infuriating smile again.
“Well the senior staff and I don’t think it’s fair for them to call you that. We’re giving you permission to slot anyone who does. We believe the prisoners need to show respect to the Governor. You deserve their respect Joan. You run this prison,” Mr Channing told a surprised but pleased looking Ferguson. “Well thank you Mr Channing,” she told him gratefully as she stood up and so did he. “Anytime Joan. You really should have told me about this predicament earlier you know. Teach those women to give you some respect. Well good day, Joan. I’ll see you around,” Mr Channing said as he left the office, and leaving Ferguson with a grin on her face.
Today was the last day anyone in the prison would call her freak again.