Lina’s Prison

Prison cell, Fort Leavenworth.

Image via Wikipedia

Go back in the archives and pick a fiction or nonfiction piece. Perhaps
something you posted on your blog, or an old Red Dress Club prompt? Find
something that you’re proud of, but something you haven’t read for awhile. Do a
complete overhaul. This is a rewrite of The Prison Cell From Hell.

The prison cell was cramped, dark and beige. Just plain beige. Lina lay in the bottom bunk alone with her thoughts. Sheila was gone for laundry duty and Lina took the opportunity to breathe. When her cell mate was there she constantly berated Lina. But right now she could think about more important things.

Lina had hoped the warden would transfer her to another cell after the last incident with Sheila but it never happened. While concentrating on
plans for the future her ears perked at the sound of a cart rolling and voices
murmuring.  She lay there holding her breath whispering, “Don’t let it be her, don’t let it be.” Lina needed more time to think, to remember.

That night was horrible. “Guards! Guards!” Sheila screamed and woke Lina from a dead sleep. She sat straight up in her bunk. The cell door opened. Guards rushed in. Guns drawn. Sheila against the wall and Lina pulled to her feet.

They searched Lina and found drugs hid in her bra.

She had played it over and over again, how did it get there? How did the guards know it was there?

Now she had two and a half years added to her sentence to be locked up with a monster who hated her mere existence. Lina’s thoughts were interrupted when the monster came back. Lina
pretended to be asleep.

“Wake up you sorry lil’ girl!”

Lina lay still.

“Get up! I gotta tell you something.”

Sheila prodded Lina with her foot. “They ain’t never lettin’ you
outta this place lil’ girl.”

Fear gripped Lina as she thought of what was about to happen.

“Did you hear me? I said you gonna be here a long time cause you
gonna mess up again.”

Lina still pretended to be asleep. Sheila bent over her. Feeling
her hot, humid breathe on her left ear Lina quickly rolled over and in one
swift movement knocked her backwards causing her to fall to the floor. While
Sheila was down Lina jumped on top of her and wrapped a rolled up sheet around
her neck then pulled with the strength of a bear.

Sheila’s face turned red as she gasped for air.

“Wha….wha… do ya… want…?” She said while her face changed to
a pale beige color. Just plain beige.



  1. I read this earlier today and it struck me weird. In a good way. There’ a suffocating feel to this. The language not only makes it feel real but it also make it intimate.

    I liked this more the second and third times I read through. Your style really stuck with me.

  2. Yowsa! I definitely feel the intensity, the toll it’s all taking on her. I feel so badly for her. Am I supposed to? Only time {and your words, I hope!} will tell! 🙂

  3. I love how you bookend the beige. It adds to that closed-in feel. I would actually cut the last bit of dialogue and end with beige. It’s chilling, in a good way.

    You build tension throughout so deftly. I can see what has driven her to this point.

  4. I’m not sure murdering her cell mate will allow her out 🙂

    I love the tension and I could feel the frustration Lina felt living with such a horrible cell mate.

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