The Twinbrook women’s penitentiary is hidden amongst the hills as far away from the normal population as possible. After committing murder in front of many witnesses, all of them guests at my own wedding, there was no escaping my fate.
The first person to greet me in my new home was the Warden. She instructed me to call her Warden Finch, but I learned that most of the inmates just called her by her last name. She was exactly as one would expect a warden to be. Tough, no sense of humor, a stickler for rules and order. I listened as she detailed what I needed to know as a new inmate.
“…and most of all, there will be no contraband smuggled into this facility! Do you hear me, Fields?” I’d reverted to my real name since I was no longer hidden from my family. What good would it be to use an alias? I’d killed my sister’s fiancée, and my mother was famous. Everyone knew what I had done.
I’d been locked up before. I’d been picked up here and there while doing my duties for the Pirates. But, I’d never been held for longer than one night. This was different. I sized up my situation and knew immediately that I’d need to get to know the other inmates. I’d have to impress them with my crime and make sure that they knew I was no one to interfere with. Really, in my state of mind, I sort of wanted one of them to make a try at me. I’d show her who was the badass in this place.
Unfortunately, I quickly realized that Finch ran a tight ship. The other girls were pretty well controlled. None of them messed with me. This was no Shawshank!
Actually, the Pen was more like summer camp. I sat in the back row of the theatre room on my first night while the other girls watched Disney movies. I was disgusted. I was a friggin’ murder for Sim’s sake!
Eventually, a few of the other ladies approached me. The typical questions were asked: What are you in for? Did you do it? How long is your sentence?
So I told them. I explained that I was in for murder, which earned me a few gasps. Apparently I had committed the worst crime in the place. Most of the others were in for things like larceny, theft, embezzlement and the like. I told them I did do it. Why lie? But then I added that it was self defense. I was going to have to stick to that story. Everyone had seen the bitch slap me. I was just defending myself.
When they found out that I hadn’t been sentenced yet, they were all jealous. I told them that I worked for the Pirates, earning another gasp. These women had heard of the criminal organization. It was like a myth. I was the first employee that they had met.
“I’m sure the Pirates will be able to get me out of here soon. It was self defense. Everyone who saw it knows that she slapped me.” I went on to describe the scene. I’d been practicing my story. I’d need to be convincing if I was to get out of here.
Unfortunately, the Pirates weren’t able to spring me right away. It was nearly 2 months before I even went to trial. And in the end, they weren’t able to even get me off and have the charges dropped. I served an entire year and then got off for good behavior!
Sims! I had to become the most popular person in the prison. My initial assessment that it was like summer camp was horribly accurate. Luckily, with my past I was able to keep everyone relatively entertained.
The only person I didn’t fool was Finch. But there was nothing she could do when I got released.
“If it were up to me, you’d face life, Fields. You’re ruthless, but your employers” she sneered that word, “believe that you can be rehabilitated. You’ll be released tomorrow.”
“It’s been fun, Finch,” I said deliberately leaving off her title. “I can’t wait to leave you here with all the other campers. You should all sit around and sing Kumbya when I’m gone. Maybe you should roast marshmallows and make s’mores in my honor.”
“Go clean your cell, Fields. I better not find one spec or you’ll be sticking around to clean it.”
I knew that was an empty threat. She wanted to pick a fight with me so that I’d lose my parole and be forced to stay here longer. I just gave her a sickeningly sweet smile and sauntered off to my bunk. There I ignored her orders and read one of the contraband magazines that Royce and JP had smuggled into me. I didn’t even bother to hide it.
One minute I was watching my sister get married to the boy who lived next up to us growing up, and the next I was watching my lover get murdered, and my murdering sister get taken away by the police.
I knew Candice was a criminal, but what had made her do such a heinous thing? From what I’d read about her, she wasn’t a murderer. She’d never killed, or so the reports I’d found indicated. She was used for muscle. Why had she done this to me? To Sunny? My beautiful Sunny?!
The hardest thing I had to do was go home and tell Lila and Keenan what had happened. I couldn’t trust it to a phone call, so they didn’t know until I’d returned from Barnacle Bay. My biggest fear was that they’d find out before I got home.
Lila gave Keenan a huge hug when I broke the terrible news. They were both crying and I found myself hugging them as well. We stayed together like that for an eternity, it seemed.
Although I was nearly overwhelmed with the pain of Sunny’s loss, I had to be there for Keenan, who’d lost his parents and his sister. He was now a true orphan. Lila and I were his only family.
I also had to inform Sunny’s colleagues at the Salon. Everyone was sympathetic, but I still broke down every time I had to explain what happened.
Everyone came to Sunny’s funeral service and wake afterwards. I was most surprised to see John-Paul. I didn’t blame him for what Candy had done, but I was still shocked that he’d come all the way to Twinbrook to express his condolences.
“Of course John-Paul came to support you, Glenna,” my mom reassured me. “He grew up with you both. He didn’t know what Candice would do. He said himself that she’d been acting oddly before the wedding.”
“Candice is at the Penitentiary where she’s getting the help that she needs as well as paying for her actions,” John-Paul reassured me. Unfortunately that did little to ease my mind. I couldn’t imagine my sister in prison. Even though I’d never forgive her for what she’d done, I didn’t want her to suffer.
John-Paul stayed after all the other guests had gone. He really was feeling guilty for what Candice had done to Sunny.
“You just let me know if there is anything I can do to help you, Glenna,” he almost begged. “Anything at all.”
“I’ll be ok, John-Paul. I just need time, so that the memory is not so painful.”
“There is one thing I can do to help you with your pain,” he said, “but you may not want to do it…”
I looked into his eyes. He seemed sincere and I just wanted to forget. To numb myself to everything so I didn’t have to remember that I’d lost the only person that I had loved.
“Give me your wrist.”
I held it out and waited. I knew he was going to bite me. I didn’t expect a vampire bite to feel exactly like it did. It hurt, yes, but it was followed by a sort of euphoria. I would have almost called it sexual, and perhaps if I wasn’t grieving from the loss of my lover, it might have been. Instead that euphoria spread like a balm up my arm until I did feel the numbness to pain that John-Paul had promised.
I nodded as he licked his lips. I barely registered that it was my blood he was licking off.
As I walked away from John-Paul, I felt better than I had since his wedding. I hadn’t forgotten my sorrow, but it was not weighing on me anymore. If this is what a vampire bite felt like, I’d volunteer to be bitten more often.
Royce was the one who brought me home when I was released. I arrived back in Barnacle Bay and realized that little had changed. I found Malcolm and JP sitting at the table discussing finances over cans of plasma juice.
“So you convince everyone to donate a dollar, promising that they’ll earn 10 times that amount as they bring in more investments. That’s brilliant, dad.” Great, JP was teaching him how to be a con.
JP and Malcolm both hugged me as soon as I came in the door, but I could think of nothing more than getting into a shower and washing the prison stink off me.
Then I found myself wandering into the nursery where my other son was babbling in his crib to a doll I’d never seen before. He looked at me through eyes that reminded me of Royce’s. He was so big! I picked him up and sat down with him to see if he even remembered me.
“Mommy’s home from prison,” I said.
“Pwison.” Julian laughed like I’d made a big joke.
From behind me JP said, “I made sure that he wouldn’t forget you. I told him stories about where you were. I might have made prison sound like a far off kingdom.”
“The kingdom of cons and campfire girls,” I muttered.
Later, in our room, JP helped me get into my night clothes. I felt odd in the silk lingerie that I used to wear. He pulled me close. “I missed you so much.”
I’d missed him, too, but I was still mad at him. “I don’t want to have sex, JP. I just want to go to bed.”
“I wasn’t thinking of sex,” JP pulled back and gave me the look I knew so well. I tried to avoid that gaze, but I couldn’t. His eyes ensnared me. Then he went for my neck.
Only this time his bite was different. I can’t really describe it. It was like the world went dark and then began to spin except I could feel JP’s pulling at my vein and his hand on my head. Those were my anchors. Eventually the darkness cleared, but there was a red haze surrounding us.
He pulled away from me but the red haze stayed for just a bit. An eternity.
“You, my sweet murdering wife, will make a fine vampire now,” JP said. He stood near the bed and gloated as I tried to recover. My skin felt like it was on fire.
“Why now?” I managed to grate out. I wanted to rip my throat out: the skin around the bite was burning and throbbing with the beat of my heart.
“You are ready now. Come to bed. Sex will help you deal with the pain. I’ll be rough so you can think about something besides the bite.” I tried to decline again, but this only seemed to spur JP on.
He was brutal in his lust and I fought him, giving as good I was able since I’m weaker than him. But in the end he was right. The viciousness of the sex made me forget that I was slowly dying from a fire that was burning me up from the inside.
It takes three days to fully die from vampirism. After the first night when I thought I would rip my skin off to stop the burning, I got used to the constant tingling and itching in my body. I was able to behave like nothing was wrong.
I decided to try to make things as normal as possible. The first thing I did was add the dye back into my hair. I had taken it out for the wedding, but now that it was over, I wanted my colorful look back.
The second thing I did was resume my affair with Royce. Truthfully, I didn’t want him, but there was no way in hell I was going to let anyone else have him. Before my wedding I may have wanted him and JP to focus on other women, but now that I was back and my plan was ruined, I was not going to be so generous.
I may not be a snack anymore, but I was still a good fuck. The only one they’d have again!
The truth is that as the fire of vampirism consumed me, I couldn’t get enough sex. I had to have it. Both men knew it and took great delight in meeting my desires. I wanted it hard. I wanted it rough. I wanted everything. And I was going to get it!
When my transformation was complete, I felt full. Powerful. Strong. This was a day I’d been waiting for since my Granpa Mickey died. I was not going to grow old. I would not die. I could do anything.
But when I looked in the mirror, I experienced only sadness. I was strong, powerful, and eternal, but I was no longer a twin.
Author’s note: The prison that I ended up using was not something I designed. I couldn’t get it right, so I went to the Exchange and found Villa County Jail. I created the inmates myself, but they’re just randomly generated, so I won’t upload them.