The Cage

The Cage.
by Angharad

Copyright © 2013 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.

The noise levels showed there was something going down. “Collins get down here, she’s done it again,” called Senior officer Martin, Brenda Martin, our shift leader. I started to run, my rubber soled boots squeaking on the tiled floors.

By the time I got to Wiggins’ cell they were cutting her down. She had a nasty bruise on her neck, it would match the other one. I was the duty first aider and I quickly checked for pulse and airway, her heart was still beating and she was breathing–just. Bloody trannies.

Ever since we’d been stuck with her, she’d been done for GBH and malicious wounding–she stuck a glass in some bloke’s face who called her a fairy–we’ve had problems. She’s post op, I believe–never checked–don’t want to, she’s been trying to kill herself. The shrinks don’t know what to do with her–and me–if she succeeds, I hope it’s on someone else’s shift, not mine.

This is the third time she’s managed to find some sort of string–normally we’re trying to prevent them getting their paws on sharp objects–we get quite a few stabbings and slashings and this is a women’s nick. Forget all you’ve heard about the fairer sex–this nature red in tooth and claw and it’s all female, including our now groaning inmate.

Ah, here comes the doctor–no, not The Doctor, as in Dr Who, but the duty physician, Dr Wearing–he’s a nice enough bloke, could quite fancy him, except he’s gay–or so they say. But then he’d never look at a screw, would he?

The paramedics weren’t called this time as she was still breathing–last time she nearly succeeded and has been on pretty well continuous observation ever since. Thank goodness I wasn’t on that duty today–it’s so boring, and once they know they’re being watched, they play you up–not much else to do, so why not, and time is something they’ve got lots of.

We’ve got four, no three trannies here now. One was released the other day. Another basket case; in here for fraud, pinching credit cards that sort of thing. She’d transitioned later than Wiggins, so wasn’t as convincing and she told me she couldn’t get work, hence the crime. I don’t know how much I believe that, there’s always work it’s just some people don’t want to do it–and they’re not all gender swappers. Mind you a criminal record won’t help for future reference except it might get her help from Nacro (National Association for the care and resettlement of offenders) or one of the other ex con charities.

Over the years I’ve seen probably a dozen or more–at least they get sent to women’s prison’s now, years ago they were sent to the men’s ones. If they were post op and into sex, they might have had a good time, though I doubt it. Drugs and violence abound despite our efforts to stop it–and the do gooders who just get in the bloody way but hamper us no end, interfering all the time.

Of course, everyone of the inmates–all five hundred odd, are innocent, convicted by a biased legal system. Sure they are, so how come we have so many here who even the prison officers are scared of? Big Bertha is one and she scares the poo out of me. A Glaswegian woman who weighs in at over twenty stone, tattoos in places I wouldn’t like to look, and a vicious temper only matched by her physical strength. Sometimes we have to get some male officers to restrain her she is so strong. She broke my arm a couple of years ago but I try not to show the fear. She’s a cokehead amongst other things and is here because she killed her supplier when he wanted to put the price up. She’s doing life.

Ah, Wiggins is sitting up and the doc is examining her, I stand out by the door. I was telling you about the other trannies: mostly they get done for fraud, theft, receiving stolen goods or prostitution. Seems they get themselves a fanny and decide to road test it–a case of if you got it flaunt it, I suppose. Dunno, never thought it about myself–mind you with the way pensions are going, I might have to reassess things. Nah, only joking–I couldn’t do that if you paid me–joke, pay me geddit?

I now have to escort Wiggins to the hospital wing, as if I didn’t have enough to do. She’s okay, I suppose–some might even consider pretty–well until she started her own form of cervical traction, that hasn’t helped her. I suspect she’s very depressed and like half of them in here, in need of psychotherapy–except resources are very limited. Yeah, half of them are mad rather than bad, some were unlucky and some are bloody evil–like Big Bertha. She gets a look in her eye and you know she’s giving you the same regard as she would a fly she was going to swat. Only last week, I got one of my boobs badly bruised after she flung another prisoner at me. She hit something soft–me–I hit the wall with a hundred and forty pounds of shoplifter on top of me.

“Why d’you keep doing this, Wiggins?” I asked as we walked across to the examination room.

“As if you care?” she said rubbing her neck gingerly.

“Course I care–think of all the paperwork if you succeed.”

“D’you know what it’s like being in here?” she said pointing to herself.

“What d’ya mean, in here?” I pointed to the building, HMP Fairside, “or in here?” I pointed to her body.

“Both. I’ve had it hard all my bloody life and then that bastid called me a fairy, I just lost it and whacked him in the face–I still had a glass in my hand.”

“So how did he know–you make quite a presentable female?”

“He’s known me all my life. Bloody pervert–I’m glad he lost an eye.”

“That’s not very nice, Wiggins, you want out you need to show some remorse.”

“What d’ya think this is?” she pointed to her neck.

“Well, if it isn’t attention seeking then I suspect it’s self pity. Look, do your time and keep your nose clean and you’ll be out on parole no time.”

“I can’t go back to teaching though, can I?”

What d’you say to that? “I dunno, Wiggins, that isn’t for me to decide.”

“Are you lezzie, Collins?” she suddenly fired at me.

“What gave you that impression?” I was genuinely concerned.

“Just something about you–you’re different to the rest of the screws.”

“Perhaps I care about the people in here–somebody has to.”

“Perhaps that’s it–but are you?”

“No, Wiggins, I’m not.” I opened the door to the examination room and pushed her inside. We’re not supposed to give away information to the prisoners–they like to play mind games, and women are better at it than men. But she was right. I am different–I’m one of only a handful of transsexual women prison officers in the country–I just hope she never finds out, or any of the others for that matter.

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This story is 1301 words long.