Her dark brown hair fell down her back in shiny waves, covering the back of the bright orange jumpsuit Daisy was forced into. The metal cuffs were cold around her wrists and the chilly air made her shiver. Her uniform was several sizes too big for her so she turned the long sleeves into mittens, covering as much of her skin as she could past the cuffs. The pant legs were folded loosely but luckily her white trainers fit perfectly on her size 3 feet.
Daisy spent most of the journey to the prison asleep, wanting nothing more than to wake up and realise it was all a terrible nightmare. She was occasionally woken by the driver’s bad driving and the numerous bumps in the road. The three prison officers, in the car with her, conversed amongst themselves so she stayed quiet to avoid getting into trouble.
One of them, Dave, was the friendliest out of all of them. He had seen how terrified the little girl was and tried to make small talk. Daisy suspected that he took pity on her because he had a daughter around her age. He told her it was going to be her birthday soon and he had no idea what he was going to get her so he asked Daisy for advice.
“Stop talking to the criminal Dave.” A large burly blonde man scolded from the front seat of the car. “She’s not your daughter and she’s not innocent.” He added quieter.
Dave turned to Daisy and pulled faces, silently mocking the man. She giggled and but then looked down at her covered hands and the metal connecting them together with a sad expression as he realised the man’s words were correct. She was a criminal now.
“Hey.” Dave whispered, nudging her lightly. “You ok?”
She faked a small smile and nodded in response to the ridiculous question. Sitting a little straighter, she tentatively looked out of the window to see if they were there yet. Daisy might’ve asked them if she wasn’t so scared. There weren’t any buildings visible as far as she could see but then again, the bushes hindered her view.
As if Dave heard her thoughts, he said, “We’re almost there.” He glanced at her, looking nervous and worried. “You’ll be fine.” She almost laughed at how unconvinced he sounded of his own words.
The bald driver however, let out a sharp laugh, frightening Daisy a little at the sudden loud noise. “Don’t lie to her. Those guys will eat her alive and who knows how literal that is. Crazy criminals are up to all sorts nowadays.” The man next to him laughed along but Daisy only stared at them in horror and confusion.
“G-guys?” She asked, her voice barely above a whisper.
Dave stayed silent whilst the other men burst into more laughter. “Yeah? You do know which prison you’re going to, right?” The blonde guy said once he finished.
Daisy’s cheeks grew pink in embarrassment. “I-I didn’t really pay attention.” she admitted shyly.
She looked to her left and saw Dave purse his lips together, before saying, “There wasn’t anymore spaces in the women’s prison and your parents didn’t want you to go to another one so far away.” She frowned at his hesitation, not liking where this was going. “Daisy, you’re going to Bluebird Prison... for Men.”
It was like the air was knocked out of her as the last word escaped his lips. Men?! She closed her eyes tightly as her imagination ran wild with thoughts of what could happen to her. She wasn’t unaware of the dangers of the world, even if her parents liked to keep her away from the public. The news told her enough about what she could expect in the next year in prison.
“And, we’re here! Good luck, kid.” The driver interrupted and looked over his shoulder to see Daisy with a more than earful expression on her face. He unhelpfully added, “you’re gonna need it.”
Once they drove up to the large metal gates, the driver reached out of his window to press a button on the side of the wall, making it buzz, before speaking into the intercom. “Hey, mate. Let us in will ya’? Got the new girl with us.”
There was a crackling through the speaker and then the person responded with a laugh, “you’re kidding me! I thought that was just a rumour. Well, come in.”
The metal gates opened, allowing them to drive through and into the compound. She couldn’t help but look behind her and out of the back window where she watched the gates close behind her, locking her into the prison. Her eyes followed the gates and saw that it was connected to large stone walls, surrounding the whole area with large spikes at the top, preventing people from climbing over.
Too distracted, she didn’t notice her door was opened until an arm yanked her out of the car. It was the blonde guy dragging her away without a word, making the metal dig into her wrists. They were already a little too tight so she was sure they were going to leave marks.
The driver drove off once Dave was out of the car too, leaving them in the cold air. She was, again, harshly pulled forward, indicating her to start walking. The cemented path they were walking along was right beside the large yard that was lined with tall metal fences. Daisy was slightly shocked to see it as it looked like something to hold animals in a zoo. There were, however, a few metal benches littered around.
She tried not to look for too long as there were a plethora of people, either wearing the same orange jumpsuits she wore or a grey sweatpants and top, walking around in the grassy yard. Many stopped to look at her and many more chose to shout crude words as soon as they got over the shock of having her there.
Daisy squeezed her eyes tightly shut, willing herself not to cry and to also avoid their hostile eyes. She heard something hitting metal and creating a loud sound so she opened her eyes to see a prison officer hitting a baton on the fence that a crowd of prisoners had formed close to. “Hey! Back up inmates! Back up!” he yelled to them.
She accidentally made eye contact with a heavily pierced man that held a sinister smile and creepy eyes, unmoving from her own. He didn’t seem fazed by the officer yelling at him and only continued to stare at her until he finally looked away and moved from the fence. The hairs on the back of her neck raised and goose bumps formed on her pale skin, only some as a result of the cold.
Finally, they reached inside of the building and was met with a larger man in a suit. His stature held authority so Daisy assumed this the governor, who ran the prison. He gave her a warm smile and held his hand out for a handshake, only to retract it instantly as he saw her chained hands. She gave him an awkward smile in return.
“Hello, Daisy. I’m Governor Jeremy.” He said and looked at the two officers by her side. “I’ll take it from here boys. Thanks.” The tight grip on her arm was released as soon as the governor said the words.
“Yes, sir.” They replied and walked away, not before Dave gave her a small encouraging smile.
“Let’s get going shall we? I’ll show you to your cell.” Daisy almost expected him to say room. She cursed herself for getting distracted by their friendly smiles. She was only a prisoner to them and she shouldn’t forget it.
Surprisingly, he didn’t grab her arm and just walked forward, expecting her to follow, which she did instantly. Daisy realised that he wasn’t worried she would do anything and it wasn’t as if she could escape. Either way, she appreciated the false freedom given to her.
“I understand that this may be difficult, being in a male prison and all, but I don’t tolerate any misconduct between inmates so you shouldn’t be worried. If anything happens, you can tell one of the officers and I’ll deal with the matter personally.” She told her as she looked around curiously, whilst trying to match his steps. His words reassured her slightly, letting her breathe a little easier.
“However,” he continued, “this doesn’t mean you get any special treatment. I will treat you like all of the other inmates here so if you step out of line at all, you will be punished accordingly.” It was understandable but Daisy still shuddered at he thought of enduring any kind of punishment.
She nodded but realised that it could be seen as rude so she cleared her dry throat and croaked out, “yes, sir.”
The governor looked at her in mild astonishment, before nodding to himself. “Good. I like manners. That’s good.” She pitied him. Daisy wouldn’t be surprised if he was treated rudely by the other inmates, despite being fair and respectful. But then again, she shouldn’t judge him so early on, even if it was a positive opinion.
They passed rows and rows of cells until he stopped at one. On the outside, it was identical to all of the others but as she peaked through the metal bars, she could instantly tell it was a little cleaner than some of the ones they passed.
“Open up at thirteen.” Governor Jeremy said into his walkie talkie. There was a buzz, which was followed by the door sliding open. He turned to her and gestured for Daisy to walk in. “Because you came late, you missed dinner and the other inmates will be getting back to their cells soon so I suggest getting some sleep. Your first official day will start tomorrow. An officer will find you to tell you what job you have.” He paused and looked up, probably trying to remember if there was anything else to say. Apparently there was as he said, “there should be a blanket and pillow for you. Your cellmate doesn’t know you are sharing with him so good luck.”
Fear ran through her as soon as the word cellmate was mentioned. She knew that with her luck, it would be someone eager to torture her, most likely the terrifying guy in the yard. Daisy’s bottom lip trembled at the thought.
She saw him reach into his pocket and hold out a key. Assuming it was for her handcuffs, she held her arms up in the same way she did when they were placed on. He unlocked them without a word and with click, her wrists were free from the restraints. Her long sleeves instantly fell over her hands as she rolled her wrists but winced at the pain from them.
“Close at thirteen.” The governor said to his device, locking her cell and trapping her with a loud clang. Without another look, he walked away leaving her all alone with just her thoughts.
She turned to look at the room she was to live in for the next year. Upon closer inspection, it wasn’t as clean as she thought or would’ve hoped. The floor was covered in a thin layer of grime or dirt and the area surrounding the toilet was covered in urine where her cellmate must’ve missed the bowl.
The plain grey walls and ceiling brought Daisy’s mood further down and the limited space in the room made her feel cramped. There was a small desk with some papers littered all over it. Due to her curiosity, she looked at them, carefully as to not move anything, and saw many letters to a person named Owen. She quickly looked away, knowing that she’d be in trouble if she was caught looking at something she shouldn’t and she also would’ve felt a little guilty if she read something personal to her cellmate.
At the side of the room was a bunk bed. Clearly her cellmate had chosen the top bunk as the sheets were, although neatly made, had creases as if someone had slept in it recently. Her bed had a thin mattress with a white cover on top and even thinner pillow. There was a folded up white sheet, which she assumed to blanket given to her.
Daisy held up two corners of the blanket and made it cover her bed. She tried to be as quiet as possible as it felt like if she were any louder than a mouse, someone would come and she wanted to be alone for as long as possible.
Tentatively, she crawled onto her bed, feeling and hearing the springs underneath her. She slid her shoes off and got underneath the covers, leaving her socks on, knowing that her feet would freeze if she didn’t.
She laid there in silence for a few minutes, wondering how she had managed to get herself into this situation, when suddenly, the sound of a bell resonated in the building. A massive commotion followed and unfortunately for Daisy, all of the cell doors slid open. Prisoners walked passed her cell, not noticing the shaking girl hiding underneath the thin blanket. She allowed a small hole to view to entrance of her cell so she wasn’t completely unaware of her surroundings.
Thankfully, nobody seemed to notice but she did hear many remarks about her as people walked by. Eventually, a lanky guy with glasses, probably called Owen, walked into her cell just as they shut.
He didn’t seem to notice her as he rearranged his letters into a large pile. Daisy stayed silent and felt like she couldn’t speak even if she wanted to. She wondered whether she would pass out from how fast her heart was beating.
Only when the guy stood in front of the toilet and began to pull his sweatpants down, did she let out a squeak and covered her eyes. She heard a loud, “oh shit!” and slowly uncovered her eyes.
Owen stood against the opposite wall like he was trying to get as far away from her as possible. Her stared at her in surprise and anger. “What the fuck?” He asked in a yelled whisper.
“I-I-I’m your n-new cell-cellmate.” She whispered back, too afraid to speak any louder.
The guy scoffed and pushed his glasses back up. “Yeah, I can tell. You’ve definitely made your self comfortable haven’t you.” He said sarcastically.
Afraid she did something wrong, she sat up but banged her head on the bed above her. The pain made her rub the top of her head with her hand, although she didn’t let herself fuss over it as she quickly explained herself to her new cellmate.
“Is this not the right bed? I-I’m so sorry. I’ll move r-right away.” She began to get out of the bunk but he held a hand out to stop her.
“No, that’s the right bunk.” He sighed loudly and said, “well, I guess welcome. I’m Owen.”
She chose not to tell him she already knew his name and just introduced herself. “My name is Daisy.”
“Fuck. I can’t believe this is happening to me. You’re the new girl that has got all the guys riled up. You can’t believe what they’d give me to trade cells. You’ve probably just got me killed.” He complained, walking to the bunk bed and then climbed up the small ladder.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered, playing with her fingers guilty.
“Don’t tell me you’re innocent too?” She didn’t say anything, making him curse again and flop on the bed. She lied down and saw a dent in the mattress between the metal bars where he lay. Daisy hoped he wouldn’t fall through and squish her. “I wish you luck then cause I hope you’re not counting on me to protect you. The guys in here will crush you and me into pieces.”
The conversation wasn’t helping her fears but she was thankful that he was nice. It was good to talk to someone in the same situation as her. Maybe not identical, but close enough.
“L-like who?” she asked.
“Seth. I’d stay away from him if I was you. There are other but I’m sure you’ll find out.”
Seth. She noted down the name in her heard and promised herself to avoid to guy at all costs.
“I’m to nervous to pee now so go to sleep so I can go later.” He ordered.
Daisy closed her eyes shut and said quietly, “o-ok. Goodnight.” She didn’t expect him to respond and he didn’t. She willed herself to fall asleep as fast as possible, hoping that when she would wake again, it would be in her warm cosy bed and she’d laugh at how ridiculous her dream was.