Harsh Consequences

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Chapter 23

Mitch wandered into the lunch room feeling refreshed after a vigorous weight session in the gym. His workout caused him to arrive a little later than normal, so he stood well back in the queue, but it was moving quickly.

By the time he wandered into the seating area carrying his tray, available seats were at a minimum. He looked for and found Scoob and his mates sitting in their usual position, off to the side, towards the rear of the lunch room.

There was one free chair at their table. Scoob and his mates always sat on the same side of the table. They faced the room, with their backs to the wall. Mitch placed his tray on the table and slid into the chair opposite the ‘Three Stooges’.

Mitch developed a solid appetite from his gym workout, so he enjoyed his lunch. Even the lack of conversation from his new mates was not an issue for him.

As Mitch took a sip from his juice, someone forcefully bumped him from his left, causing his juice to spill down the front of his white t-shirt.

An inmate standing behind Mitch had deliberately pushed Mitch aside to reach across the table to grab the sauce bottle in front of Mitch.

’This is my sauce bottle,’ the inmate grunted.

The inmate lifted the plastic sauce bottle then swept it horizontally from right to left, squirting heavy spurts of tomato sauce over Scoob, Coop and Irish.

’Oops. Sorry ‘bout that…’ the inmate said. He chuckled to himself as he returned to his seat, located on the same table about four seats down from Mitch.

Mitch watched the inmate return to his seat. His focus returned to his sauce covered mates. Scoob, Coop and Irish were stunned. Their hands were lifted as they examined their sauce covered clothes and those of their mates seated beside them. It was your typical juvenile school yard bullying all over again.

The three guys were clearly intimidated by this type of aggression shown towards them. Mitch glanced down to the aggressor. He and his mates found continued humour in the sauce covered victims.

‘You three girls get ya periods…?’ one of the inmates yelled. All in the vicinity laughed loudly.

Another yelled, ‘You should go see the nurse…get some tampons…’ Again churlish laughter followed.

Mitch eyed his intimidated mates. Each sat with their shoulders hunched and their heads down. They clearly didn’t want to make eye contact with the inmates down the table.

Mitch shook a disappointed head. If he lets this bloke get away with it, this type of behaviour would certainly continue and probably escalate.

Fitzy’s words about not letting idiots in here think he’s a soft touch resonated with him. He recalled how Fitzy mentioned that if you get that sort of soft reputation in here, they’ll never leave you alone.

Right now, all four of them would be viewed by onlookers as weak, if he didn’t retaliate. Mitch promised himself he wouldn’t go looking for trouble. Now, he had no choice. The time he had remaining in here would be judged by what he did next. He sighed heavily as he pushed himself away from the table and stood.

The inmate who squirted the sauce was older than Mitch; in his late forties. He was solidly built with heavily tattooed arms. His hair was closely shaved and he wore a greying moustache and goatee. He was loud and offensive. The large swastika tattoos on his neck suggested he may have been a white supremacist.

Mitch took a second deep breath then did what he had to do. The inmate didn’t see Mitch approaching. Mitch leaned heavily on the back of the inmate’s head, forcing the man’s chin down to his own chest, as he reached across the table and grabbed the sauce bottle. As he stepped back Mitch squirted a healthy spurt of sauce over the same inmate’s lap.

’Oops, sorry ‘bout that...’ Mitch said.

Before Mitch could turn to walk away, the inmate leapt from his seat and grabbed Mitch in a headlock. He wrenched down on Mitch’s head as he aggressively dragged Mitch away from the table.

The headlock was tight, but nothing new to Mitch. As an exponent of BJJ, Mitch was well trained in defending himself against bigger, stronger and heavier assailants by using leverage techniques to take the fight to the ground. It was on the ground where the BJJ expert excelled by applying debilitating joint locks or chokeholds.

Mitch had practiced this headlock situation hundreds of times. His only concern was whether another inmate may try and offer assistance while he was in this vulnerable position. He didn’t have a lot of time. His training kicked in.

He turned his head to protect his neck. In what took only seconds to accomplish, Mitch forcefully struck the man up and under his groin. When the inmate’s grip released slightly, Mitch reached up and grabbed the man under his chin and aggressively and quickly dragged him backwards to the ground.

Both Mitch and the other inmate crashed to the floor. The impact caused the man to release his head lock. In less than a second Mitch threw his legs over the man’s chest and head and applied and joint-wrenching straight arm bar.

The man screamed abuse at Mitch. The force Mitch applied would have caused intense pain to the man’s elbow joint and there was not a thing the man could do to stop it.

He had to end it and get up off the floor quickly. It would most likely amount to suicide if he simply released the man’s arm and stood. Mitch had to send a firm message, not only to this man, but to all his friends watching on.

While applying firm pressure to the man’s elbow, which in itself would have been excruciating, Mitch pulled down further on the man’s arm, levering it back against the joint. The elbow gave way to a muffled snap as the elbow popped from its joint. The man screamed in agony.

Mitch was a little surprised at how easily the elbow broke. Through all his years of training he had applied hundreds of arm bars, many of which were close to breaking point, but he had never actually broken an elbow, accidentally or intentionally.

The man’s screams of agony filled the tea room. Mitch quickly jumped to his feet with his fists up, in readiness for any potential attacker. No one moved. They all stared open-mouthed, in stunned silence at the screaming man writhing on the ground.

Mitch waved a finger to each of the man’s friends at the table as he said, ‘I have no beef with any of you…’ He held their collective glares. ’Unless you want to take it further…’ Mitch gestured to the screaming inmate on the floor. ‘He started it… and I finished it. Do any of you have a problem with that…?’ He hoped like hell there were no heroes. There weren’t.

There were plenty of sneers, but no one moved. No one responded. His bluff worked.

With no counter attack from any other inmates apparent, Mitch returned to his seat. Scoob, Coop and Irish held the same stunned, open mouth stare at Mitch as he approached. He realised right then that he had become their Fitzy.

As Mitch gathered his tray to return it to the kitchen, two Guards grabbed him and escorted him away to a small interview room, similar to the one he previously met his lawyer in.

The Guards left Mitch sitting in the room on his own for several minutes. Mitch scanned the small room. He wiped his perspiring hands down his thighs. How did they punish inmates for fighting? His Hollywood influenced mind worked overtime. Do they throw them into the hole? Do they even have a hole in here?

After a wait that went on forever, the door burst open. Three guards walked in. One of the Guards sat at the table opposite Mitch. The other two stood at the closed door with their arms crossed. Mitch assumed the one who was seated was a senior Guard.

As the Guard slid into his seat Mitch spoke first. He jabbed a finger towards the kitchen. ‘He attacked me first…he grabbed me in a head lock…I had no — ’

The seated Guard held up a hand. Mitch stopped talking. The seated Guard leaned on his elbows. ‘It’s OK. I’ve spoken to these Guards on duty in the Tea Room…’ he jabbed a thumb at the two guards behind him. ‘Both of them witnessed the other inmate grab you in a head lock. It is their belief your actions were in self-defence, OK.’

Mitch sat with his hands clasped on the table. ‘OK…’ He glanced up to the standing Guards. ‘So what happens now?’

‘I am the Security Supervisor here at the prison, so I am just making inquiries into what happened before I speak to the other inmate involved. After that I will submit a report.’

After Mitch had given his version of the incident, the Supervisor said, ‘At this stage I will be recommending disciplinary action against the other inmate. Do you want to make a complaint for assault?’

‘I wasn’t injured…’

‘That doesn’t matter. You were still assaulted.’

Mitch firmly shook his head. ‘No. Shit no. I’ve been here long enough to know that you don’t make complaints against fellow inmates.’ Mitch eyed all three Guards.

‘This is not the first time you have been attacked, though. I understand that you were hospitalised previously after a violent attack.’

‘That’s correct.’

‘And you’re on remand, is that right?’

‘Correct.’

‘I can make arrangements to move you to the protection unit, if you believe your safety is at risk.’

Mitch shook his head. ‘That won’t be necessary. But thank you for the offer. I do not want to be moved to Protection.’

‘Fair enough then,’ the seated Guard said. He pushed himself from the table and stood. He glanced down at Mitch. ‘You will be returned to general population. I suggest though that you keep your wits about you.’ The Guard nodded once at Mitch.

The two Guards standing at the door separated and the senior Guard exited the room.

One of the guards gestured at Mitch to stand. ‘Let’s go,’ he said.

As they strolled one of the Guards said to Mitch, ‘That was pretty intense back there in the tea room. What was that? Some form of Martial Arts...?’

Mitch nodded. ‘Brazilian Jiu Jitzu…It specialises in joint locks and chokes as a form of self-defence.’

‘Did you break his arm, or just pop it from its joint?’

Mitch shrugged with indifference. ‘No, it broke.’

The Guard’s face screwed up. ‘That’s gotta hurt.’

‘Oh yeah…I believe it does.’ Mitch said. ‘I didn’t mean to break it…’ Of course he lied to the Guard. ’He fought against it too hard. But it might teach him to pull his head in next time...

The guard grinned at Mitch’s comment.


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