As she was admitted to the prison, as she was stripped of what dignity she had left, as she sat on the hard bunk in her cell, as she sat cursing the judge, the jury, the prison service, as she broke down and cried, she was saved. Her saviour looked more like an angel than a convict to the new inmate. As she looked up at the angel, or Inmate 54 as it said on her badge, the new addition to the crowded prison, or Inmate 67, as she was now called, felt a strange sense of calm washing over her, almost as if the angel had made her feel this way, almost as if she were toying with her emotions, as if this angel was somehow magical. More so than the Mickey mouse of her childhood, the fairy that stood atop the Christmas tree each year, or the stars, or the moon, or the fact that ever since childhood, she had had the most privileged upbringing of all the children in her neighbourhood.
67 sat staring at the clock on the wall, willing the hand to move, and then realising that it wouldn't. 54 saw her looking at it and shrugged.
"Time doesn't mean anything now, not to us anyway. Day turns to night, night turns to day. That's how it works here. The day, the month, the year, it means nothing now. Not to me, not to you. Not for inmates 1 through 1000. That's how it works. Time stops. Like a time warp. Nothing matters anymore."
Time shifted slowly that day, as it did everyday. Dawn to dusk, dusk to dawn. Neither of them moving, neither of them talking. Watching. Just watching. When the metal grille over the door hatch scraped open, they both jumped. Noise. A silent cell, a noisy prison. Two silent cell mates, one noisy guard. Two inside, staring outside, one standing outside, with a plate of what looked like mush with a small plank of charred wood.
"Breakfast;" he sneered, "Enjoy," he added with a smirk playing on his lips "It's all you're getting."
The two inmates sat and looked at their breakfast. 54 started eating immediately.
"It's no good, but it really is all you're going to get," she told 67 "But if you're not going to eat it, can I have it?"
67 looked at the plate. She pulled the toast out from under the scrambled eggs, and pushed the eggs to 54.
"Have it." she said sourly.
Dawn turned to dusk, and the two cell mates had still not held a proper conversation. 54 was obviously curious about what her so young, so well known, and so rich and influential cell mate had done to land herself in jail, and she was also eager to share her own story. Three dawns had passed since 67 arrived, and she had only said three words to 54. 67 was also curious about what the angel had done to end up in jail, but was too shy to ask. Five dawns and four dusks had now passed since 67 arrived. And finally, 54 spoke;
"Would you like to hear how I ended up here?" she asked "It's a depressing tale, and you'll probably hate me by the end of it, but whose story in this sorry place is any different?"
67 looked at the angel in front of her, and again wondered how someone so perfect could have done something to end up in a place such as this, a place full of misery and despair. Curiousness won, and she nodded.
"I was born to an Amish family, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio. I was brought up thinking that all I was going to be when I was older was a wife and a mother, perhaps doing some weaving to bring in a little extra money. We lived in the 1600's, we made our own clothes, we made our own food and we made our living by farming. We rarely interacted with people outside of the Amish community. We had our own shops, our own schools, our own tradesmen; we did not need the outside world. We basically lived in a time warp," she paused, recalling the events of her childhood, "When the younger generation turn 15, just before they're married, they're given a period of time to experience the outside world. We call this rum springa. On my rum springa five years ago, I went to the mall for the first time. Now, we were always told that the mall was a place for sinners, and none of the girls in there were happy. I went into the mall, and I was amazed. There were so many shops, with things I had never imagined existed, such as contact lenses. That was one of the first times I felt really and truly happy, being able to snap my glasses in two and drop them in the trash. I read books, and I watched movies, and in the end I truly gave up on Amish life," The angel sighed, lost in her memories of time past, a sad smile playing around her lips, "The community shunned me of course, I knew that that was going to happen. But as so often happens in a time warp, modern laws are disregarded, or paid no heed. Although everyone in my community adhered to the Ten Commandments as laws, rather than the laws of the U.S., "Thou shalt not kill" was played around with rather, especially by my two elder brothers, Jacob and Samuel. They decided that it was acceptable to kill me, as it would be protecting the honour of the family. I suppose that you could call it an honour killing of sorts. Well, in true 17th century fashion, I was caught one night walking back to my flat after a night out with friends. I was bound and gagged, and then beaten up. After about 15 minutes they though I was dead. The night passed slowly that night, like it does here. 95436 seconds after I had been left," she caught 67's expression and smiled "Yes, I counted the seconds. There was nothing else to do. Well, 95436 seconds later a friend of mine came along. She bent down to look at me, and realised that I was still alive. Well, she called an ambulance, and after a few days, I went home. When I was fully recovered, all I could consciously think about was revenge. I wanted revenge on my brothers, and on my entire family. I borrowed an angel costume from the downtown costume shop, and painted my skin a slightly luminous pearly pink colour. If I do say so myself, I looked beautiful, yet also terrifying. I took it slow, one family member a day. First I killed my Mother, then my Father, the two most influential people in my killing, besides my killers. I left my sisters, they were innocent. Then my grandfather, and my uncles. By this time a week had passed. My two brothers were terrified. I went for Jacob first. I killed him by strangling him with my gold rope belt. He went quickly. Of course, now Samuel was terrified. I left a month or two before killing him, just to make him relax a little. When I appeared through the door, in my angel outfit, He looked so terrified," the angel smiled evilly, showing sharp pointed teeth, "I drew it out. I bound him, with silk handkerchiefs, then I strangled him, slowly, oh so slowly, with my belt rope like all the others. Then I went and handed myself into the police. No-one in the Amish community had reported it. They don't like the police. As you can see, they like to take justice into their own hands. But I wanted true recognition. And now, just as before, I have lost time again. Time means nothing to me, and never will. I have 8 life sentences, with no hope of parole. Time is nothing."
Another 12 dawns came and went, before 67 spoke to the angel.
"What's your name?" she asked, "You never said."
The angel looked at her long and hard, and another 6 dawns came and went before she answered.
"Gabrielle," she whispered "My name is Gabrielle"
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