So, here's the last of my series. Sad, really. Never fear, I'll certainly write more Chicago fics. Also, I'm assuming that since Katalin was appealing her sentence and Velma came to prison before Mona, Mona must still be waiting to go on trial, unlike the other Cell Block girls who've already been sentenced.

Disclaimer: don't own anything except the speculation, and even that only vaguely.


Mona had been in jail for eight weeks, six days, twelve hours and forty-five minutes. She had already counted all the windows in the dining hall (six); the number of cigarettes smoked on average by her fellow inmates every day (fifteen per person, except for Murderess Row where figures doubled) and the amount of money Mama collected on her rounds. In short, Mona was bored.

There wasn't much to do in Cook County Jail, and Mona's superior powers of deduction quickly concluded that this must be the reason for her boredom. She announced this discovery at dinner one evening, and was answered by several precariously raised eyebrows.

"Bored?" June said, incredulous. "Bored? Honey, you ain't seen nothin' yet."

Mona sneered and turned her attention back to what passed for food in Cook County Jail. Twelve peas on her plate, she counted. A girl flicked another one at her. Thirteen. She hated the number thirteen, so unnatural, so uneven. Mona never wanted to be unnatural again.

Her family was now wealthy, thanks to that well-known godfather Al Capone and a sugarcane plantation needed for the bootlegging trade. It wasn't always that way. Mona's family had at first been typical, drugstore owners and small-time crims. But two years into Prohibition cheap grog was going scarce, so a strategic call to Mona's uncle in Tennessee about exclusive ethanol and their future was secure. Goodbye, ill-dressed, cringing Mona! Hello, Mona of the future, flapper with some unusual attributes.

She was nervous at first, but a shade or two of tawny could be overlooked by the fashionable Chicago sets if that tawny hand clutched a fifty-dollar bill. Mona spent like a demon, shouting drinks, taxis, dresses, anything that would stop people thinking she was beneath them. The comments continued behind her back; there was nothing that could be done about them, but if the choice came between coloured skin and money to spend, the money usually won out. Mona had wised up to this right from the start, and spent all her savings on jazz garters and a dress of carmine velvet. It was really red, but Mona's mother said that when you were talking about velvet you called red carmine, and we must call things by their proper names now, dear. Cinderella was off to the ball.

Mona's father raised a glass of home-brewed moonshine and toasted Prohibition. "It's made us what we are, make no mistake. Prohibition's helped run this town." Mona could see him now, pale teeth flashing in a coal-black face, smiling indulgently at her mother while she poured him another glass, smoothing his white shirt-front and finishing the whole display with a demonstrative burp. Mona's mother would be wearing something red, possibly spangled, with her hair tied into a low bun ornamented with wildflowers. Nothing changed.

Mona lived in a dream world then, she knew. She went to clubs and danced the Charleston and the foxtrot, crammed her hair under a pitch-black cloche and tripped over countless speakeasy stairwells. She saw Velma Kelly once with her sister, singing like a siren, and when she came to jail Mona recognised Annie from a party. She barely knew them in so much grey.

She counted the ladders in her stockings (five, undoubtedly) and slipped a few bucks to Mama for new ones. The second time she did so she got a laugh and a slap on the thigh as well. Mona winced, gripping the cell bars to stop herself from saying anything stupid. Mama went along the row and, Mona noticed, slapped Liz and Annie along with their cigarettes. Annie didn't react and Liz only sneered, unusual for both of them. Well, well. Mona gave herself a mental pat on the back. So that's how things work here. Good observation. Mona was always good at watching things.

She watched as Al Lipschitz stumbled into the room, his face smeared with coral lipstick- he didn't even bother to hide it, the bastard- and she counted the time it took him to die. Who knew a belt would prove so effective in snuffing someone out?

His corpse hit the floor, minutes before midnight. The clock struck in time to the police siren and her party dress was swapped for a prison sack. Mona's fairytale had ended.

They always ended at midnight.