AN: Prompts will be displayed at the bottom to avoid them potentially giving away things.
~ WARNING: Very brief mention of rape and murder. No details. ~
The Outreach Program
My brothers tell me you were quite a famous criminal, but my mother has never heard of you. You're not famous until my mother has heard of you. Admittedly, I was going to Google you when they allocated you to me, but I decided it would be more exciting to stumble in blind. I mean, you could have used poison on your past lovers, or killed a man with your bare hands, or used a rifle to kill a home intruder. You could truly tell me you did anything and I will believe you.
I nearly didn't do this — stamps are getting more and more expensive these days — but I made the executive decision. I thought that this would be a far more interesting than eating for the next week.
Anyway, I'm not really sure what one writes in these letters, or how much information I really want to give to you. That being said, I should mention that my name is Molly, which is rather plain in comparison to your name. What were your parents thinking? What a harsh way of teaching someone to spell complicated things at a young age. It's pretty unique though, people like things like that these days.
I'm currently taking a home economics class — Gosh saying that feels extremely American — but my teacher doesn't seem to like me. He's a bit of a twit. It is teaching me to be savvy to save money though, which is useful. I also work in a charity shop close to my home; the lady who runs it gives new meaning to "The customer is always right." Do you get to do any activities? (I use the term loosely). If not, what did you do before you went to prison?
I'm going to write some questions at the bottom of the letter. Feel free to answer them, or not, whatever you feel like, and I look forward to receiving a reply from you.
What's the food you miss the most from 'the outside'?
What's your favourite colour? (I know — cliche right?)
Do you like horror films?
I adore that the first thing you decided to write to me was speculation on what I did. Not many are so bold. And for that, I will tease you with a morsel of information, in hope that you will continue to write to me. I am in prison on a murder charge — but not for any of the reasons you stated in your letter.
I will start with the questions you asked, since they are simple enough, and do not make me psycho-analyse myself.
What's the food you miss the most from 'the outside'?
Predominantly, I miss home cooked meals — the food here tastes like sewage. But I have a particular craving for my sister's victoria sponge.
What's your favourite colour? (I know — cliche, right?)
Black — cliche, right?
Do you like horror films?
I adore horror films. They don't often scare me — I rarely get scared, but I do appreciate others reactions. I fondly remember sneaking into horror films underage as a teenager.
In regards to my name, I did have to grow to like it. It's a family tradition to name children after stars in my family — fuck knows why. It never really taught me to spell, however. I used Bella more often than not, which is just as simple as your name Molly.
There are not many activities, so to speak, in prison. I try to keep fit by exercising, but have not been allocated a job. I like to meditate — no one bothers me. Before I was arrested I working in one of those cheesy card shops, the ones that sell banners and balloons and items like that. I loathed it, but my father regularly told me I would never hold down a job with my attitude so I had to prove him wrong. I worked there for three years before I ended up here.
I have one burning question for you: why did you decide to write to a prisoner?
Waiting in anticipation,
Dear Bella (can I call you that?),
I guess I'll do the difficult bit first, and that is answering your question. It's not difficult, so much as it is complicated to explain. I was watching a programme with a friend, where one of the characters is helping an innocent man get off death row. Then we got to talking about those people who write to inmates on death row as a companionship thing. Admittedly, I thought it would be fascinating to get to know the psyche of a criminal. I forgot about it momentarily whilst we ordered food, and then, later that night in bed I started wondering whether there was something vaguely similar here in the UK. I wasn't sleeping anyway — I'm a bit of an insomniac because in mind I could be doing something more proactive — so I decided to do some research.
It's more my own intrigue that triggered me to do it and you were easy to pick as well. I knew I wanted to write to a woman. Not really an interesting story, but there you have it.
You seem like a particularly determined person; we have that in common. I had to prove myself to my parents as well, show them that I was capable of looking after myself — my father was a bit of a misogynist. He prefered my younger brothers to me, and my mother was happy to just go along with it. That being said, I probably could have dealt with the whole 'make it on my own' thing a little more delicately, because now I work two jobs to keep myself going.
I feel like your last two answers where as expected but admittedly I am curious about about your first answer. Did you cook yourself? Or did someone else cook? Does your sister bake often? Just cakes? Or does she make other things?
Hope to hear from you soon,
I'm glad you responded so quickly and were not put off writing to me by me revealing that I have indeed murdered someone.
Your idea to write to me seems somewhat impulsive; I like that. I was almost positive that I would be paired up with some irritating barely-an-adult teenager who would drive me insane. I would have opted out of this programme instantly if that had been the case. You, Molly, are actually interesting. I am also glad that you are a woman; I do think of us as the stronger sex in more ways than one. My father will have been turning in his grave as I wrote those words. You will not be surprised to know that I would write them million times over if it made him uncomfortable.
I have been allocated a new cellmate today. Alecto. Now, you're an intelligent woman. I find Alecto to be the complete opposite of you with some heroin tossed in for good measure. I personally hope she accidentally falls into a pit that leads straight to hell. I don't expect she'll last long anyway — people with sentences like hers never do.
In regards to cooking, I adored to cook for myself. Me and my younger sisters have always been foodies, so to speak. Andy and her husband live on a farm and grow their own food, Cissy was the baker. You might remember her, a few years back she won that baking show on the TV. Extremely talented. I crave her bakes every day; they were to die for.
I hope you are well, Molly. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
This week I can only send you a short letter. I had to pick up an extra shift at work and I am extremely tired because of it.
I love the Bake Off. I started watching it last year, but my plan is to go back and rewatch the older series' later. I think that it's sweet that you and your sisters share a common interest; I always hoped I would have a sister, but no, I ended up with twin brothers instead. They think they're all that — they make me roll my eyes regularly.
I will sign off here before I fall asleep at the kitchen table.
I do hope you are not overworking yourself with those two jobs you do. It would be awful for you to write to me saying you passed out from exhaustion, or something similar.
Upon thinking over a few things, I have decided now is the time for me to come clean about the murder I commited. Molly, it is in important that you understand that I am not remorseful about the crime. If I, or someone I cared about, was wronged in the way my sister was I would not hesitate to do the same thing over again.
Five years ago, my sister Cissy acquired a stalker as a consequence of winning the TV show she took part in. It got worse and worse, until the man broke into her home. He kept her there for two days, raped her, and then eventually, murdered her. I took it upon myself to find the man, thanks to my sister mentioning certain personal details about him previously, I was able to find him. I deemed it only fair to put the man though two days of pain before finally killing him; in my opinion, he didn't deserve to protection of a jail cell. I had nothing to hide; afterwards, I confessed my actions to the police.
I will always feel like I did what needed to be done.
I appreciate that this may change your opinion of me, and honestly, I will truly not blame you if you choose to not to write to me again. I have enjoyed our interactions thoroughly. Awaiting your letters has been quite the highlight of my sentence so far. It has been an honour to get to know you Molly, and I wish you the best of luck.
I'm sorry, but you won't be getting rid of me that easily.
I am truly devastated to hear about the manner in which you lost you sister. I would have liked to meet her; she seems as though she was a truly talented and wonderful woman. You must have loved her very much, and have the strength of a saint to go through both her death as well as how you chose to deal with the man who did those things to her. Whilst I don't believe that is something I could physically do, it is definitely something that I would deliberate, should anyone dare to hurt someone I cared deeply about.
So no, I will continue to write to you, if that is okay. I, too, have greatly been enjoying our exchange, and I am happy to continue to get to know you.
Please write to me and let me know that you're happy with that.
All the best,
I did truly love my sister and I very rarely talk about her to others, but this interface has allowed me to do so. She doesn't deserve people to talk about the way she was tormented in her final days. She deserves people to talk about how beautiful, and intelligent, and talented she was, because to me, to my other sister Andy, that's what she was.
Looking to the future, Molly, I hope that we can continue to write to one another, and I believe that this is the beginning of a wonderful friendship.
Please, tell me how you are coping with your extra shifts, I worry that you might be overdoing it even though we have only been speaking a short while. As always, I look forward to receiving your next letter in the coming week.
Be safe and have a good week,
Comp/Challenge & Prompts:
Femslash February: 32. Bellatrix/Molly
Assignment #3: Arts & Crafts, Task #1, Calligraphy - Write a Penpal!AU.
Scavenger Hunt: 8. Write a letter fic.
Serpent Challenge: 1. Desert death adder - (character) Bellatrix Lestrange
Insane House Challenge: 698. Phrase/Saying - "The customer is always right."
365 Prompts Challenge: 51. Class - Home Economics
Fanfiction Resolutions: 8. Write a story in a style you've not used before.
Writing Club [Character Appreciation]: 20. Write about someone poor
Writing Club [Book Club]: Julie Lawry: (word) poison, (plot point) discovering someone's true colors, (word) information, (object) rifle
Writing Club [Showtime]: 13. Wonderful - (object) Balloons
Writing Club [Jenny's Jovial Quotes]: 14. "You're not famous until my mother has heard of you." - Jay Leno
Word Count: 2010 — not inc. notes, titles, or ANs.