New chapter, guys! Fun, fun.

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There was something about loneliness, Velma realised. You could ignore it during the day, talking to people who passed for friends, reading magazines, pretending to be interested in yet another story. You could argue, laugh, steal a drink here or there. You might even pretend you were happy.

All that went away at night.

At night there were no magazines, no drinks, no casual acquaintances ready to be forgotten when or if she ever got out of jail. There was just Velma Kelly, in her prison smock and stockings, huddled on her bed, alone. She hadn't been alone in a good, long while.

Not that she regretted killing Charlie. It wasn't as if she missed him, oh no, Velma Kelly never regretted her actions. The night just felt so… empty, suddenly. Even though they'd argued about room, even though he stole her blankets and didn't give them back until she battered him with a pillow; waking up beside someone was, well, nice. It made her feel like she would never be lonely.

Not now.

Velma pulled the blanket tighter around her shoulders, listening to the noises of the prison around her. A prison was never silent, not even at this ungodly hour. She listened every night, until the sounds were forever tattooed onto her memory. Drops falling from a leaky tap. Footfalls and yawns from drowsy nightwatchmen. The sighs and heavy breathing of the inmates.

She rolled onto her back, deciding to give up on sleep for the moment. The blanket was rough and raggedy, not at all like the heavy quilt at her last hotel. Cicero. Velma made a mental note to bargain a better blanket from Mama.

Someone on the row coughed and Velma turned her head, trying to identify the girls from the night-time sounds. The person tossing in their bed would be either Liz or Mona; both of them were notoriously restless sleepers. Those snuffles and coughs were probably June; she'd developed a cold that week. Annie's unmistakable voice rang out into the uneasy quiet, yelling at June to shut up. Velma chuckled; it was so typical of Annie. Another voice, gruff and sleepy, shouted something incomprehensible in return. That would have to be either Liz or June, Velma decided. No, it was definitely Liz; June's voice was lower.

A guard hissed a command at both of them, Annie tittered and they fell silent once more. A girl was whimpering a few cells down, and Velma wondered who it was. The Hunyak, maybe, or that new girl. What was her name again? Roxie?

She sighed. Twisted. An empty bed. A single spotlight. Solo act. This was her goddamn solo act, with no one to watch her or even care that she was all alone.

Funny, that.