This story has been floating about in my head for what feels like forever and a day. It's based off one of my favourite episodes Hellfire.
I'm not 100% happy with this chapter but hopefully it will become a much stronger story as it progresses. That's the plan anyway, and I think we all know it doesn't always work that way :)
The sun shone through the small window, lighting up a narrow strip of the dull, stained, grey carpet, making the specks of dust that were streaked through it glint almost magically; like tiny shards of gold.
Greg Martin stretched out his long legs, staring at said patch almost complacently, before examining the rest of the room he'd called his home for the last eighteen months now. It was small and dingy without a doubt - a far cry from the luxury he'd been raised in - but it was most certainly a step up from his previous abode. He glanced over to the window, no bars for one thing he noted, not that the view was really anything to behold.
His mouth twisted, his fingers flexing into his palms and then out again. Twelve years he'd been locked away, caged like some sort of animal; but that was all about to change.
Long, and what had at one point been elegant fingers flicked through the pile of letters that lay on his lap. He paused when he got to the middle of the pile, where he'd placed the letters he'd written to Jackie all those years ago, when he'd first been incarcerated. As his fingertip ran across the words 'return to sender' scrawled across the now faded envelope, his expression settled into a grimace. He'd poured his heart out in that letter, proclaimed his undying love and she'd returned it to him - unopened.
It was with well practised ease that he thumbed through the remainder of the stack. After the first letter had been returned he'd simply thought that it was too soon, that her emotions were simply too raw for her to hear him out. So he'd waited a month before trying again, only to receive the exact same response in return. It had become a ritual of sorts, every month he would write, and every month his letter was returned. This sequence of events had continued until finally after almost two years, the nineteenth letter was returned with 'no longer at this address' written across it in unfamiliar writing.
He could have had his cousin track her down, find out where she was now - after all that was how he'd gotten her real address in the first place - but he hadn't. Instead a new plan began to form in his mind, the reason that his letters hadn't achieved the desired outcome was because what he needed to do was explain face to face. The events that had transpired were far too momentous to explain on paper, and he simply wasn't willing to let it go. Wasn't willing to abandon hope just yet, or ever in fact.
Love had never been an emotion he'd experienced or even understood before, but now he could feel it so closely within his reach he wasn't about to just let it go. He could still remember the way he'd felt when she'd ran for him, ignoring his calls for her to come back, decided he couldn't just let her go. So he plotted and planned, had discovered that exercise helped him focus and as result his narrower, almost rangy frame had bulked up, his hands becoming calloused. He'd always been relatively strong, but now he was even stronger and undeniably focussed on what he knew without a shadow of a doubt he wanted.
As a result of this, a plan had eventually began to form and take shape, with today being it's culmination. Today he would once again taste freedom.
The low click of his door being unlocked signified that that day had truly begun.
His plan had in all reality not taken long to design, the time consuming part had been it's preparation and execution, after all he only had one shot at this. It was better to wait and get it right, rather than fail and lose all hope. First off he realised that he needed to be trusted, and as a result this had resulted in him recently being downgraded - or dependent on the way you looked at it, upgraded - and transferred out of the category A prison he'd previously resided in, where he'd only been allowed out his cell for one hour per day. That had not been a necessary part of his plan, but it had a rather unexpected bonus.
No, the really crucial part was that he had gained the trust of those tasked with watching over him, and over the years he had achieved that.
Once he had that, he'd began to complain of headaches, they'd started small and over the period of a few weeks had apparently became crippling. He'd even claimed they'd affected his vision.
So as expected he'd been examined by the prison doctor, then had his eyes tested before being referred back again when they had - unsurprisingly - found absolutely nothing wrong with his sight. This was followed by countless blood tests, by which time he'd added the inability to eat to his repertoire - after all a few lost meals was a small price to pay in comparison to finally being a free man.
Then finally he'd got what he'd wanted all along, a referral for a CT scan at the nearest hospital. After all he thought as he got to his feet, he was honest and trustworthy, why would they suspect - even for the slightest moment - that he was faking all of it.
"Bloody waste of taxpayer's money if you ask me," Simkins snorted as he helped a handcuffed Greg into the back of the prison van. Simkins was one of the older officers, who clung firmly onto his old fashioned, more right wing views of how prisoners should be treated.
Patterson, a younger and much more approachable officer, shot his colleague a wry grin as he followed him into the van and dropped onto the bench opposite. "Well it's a good thing we didn't ask you then, isn't it?" he retorted cheekily.
Greg offered the older of the pair a wane smile, as he told him quietly, "In my defence I paid more than my fair share of taxes when I was on the outside."
"Aye, but we all know you could have avoided the inheritance tax if you'd been so inclined," the older man returned shortly.
Patterson cleared his throat, a warning for him to drop the subject, and quickly. After all it was never a good idea to get a lag started on the topic of just why they had been incarcerated - it was never pretty. Although in all fairness, Greg simply did not rise to the bait, merely tilting his head, his face taking on a more pained expression.
Slightly concerned by this look, Patterson asked lowly, "You take your painkillers this morning?"
"Of course," he replied, giving a slow nod. Not that it would have made any difference if he hadn't. Still the officer wasn't to know that that the pained look had been caused by Greg's bitter reflection on the fact that he'd been caught and imprisoned, instead of one caused by an agonizing headache that he'd complained of recently.
As the van lurched to a start, Greg let his gaze drift away from the two men who had now swiftly moved onto discussing the old firm match that had taken place the previous night.
Greg's eyes glazed over slightly as he ran over his plan once more. He forced back what he knew would be a triumphant grin, by this time tomorrow he'd be free and he'd have Jackie back by his side. Life was sweet once more.
"Right!" Simkins slapped his thighs decisively only five minutes after they'd sat down in the waiting room. "I'll get the coffees and grab us a bacon roll, canteen's a bit of a trek but I shouldn't be more than about twenty minutes."
Patterson nodded, calling after him, "Milk 'n three sugars."
Neither offered Greg anything, not that he cared, this was what he'd been waiting for. It was like the bulk of the prisoner's knew, the officers lived on coffee, and whenever they were required to wait anywhere it was one of the first things they dealt with. He was however slightly surprised that Simkins had went though, as normally it was the younger of the two who volunteered - not that it really mattered.
His eyes fixed on the clock, he waited only a few more minutes before he told Patterson, "Need the gents."
The younger man's mouth twisted in annoyance. "Can't you wait?"
Greg shook his head, "Afraid not, think it's the nerves."
He nodded. "Fair enough," he conceded after a moment's pause. "S'ppose we've got another half hour till your appointment, so you're not likely to miss it."
He shepherd Greg out into the long, quiet corridor, leading him into the gent's toilets. Greg suppressed another grin when he saw they were empty; perfect.
They stopped in front of the urinal and he gestured at his cuffed wrists with a nod of his head. "I don't suppose…"
Patterson pulled a face. "It's not really allowed," he mumbled, rubbing at the back of his head, lips drawn into a thin line.
"Well you're going to need to lend a hand then," Greg returned blandly.
His face paled and he fumbled slightly with the keys as he replied, "I suppose just the once…considering the circumstance 'n all."
Greg smiled gratefully. "Thanks, I appreciate it," he replied smoothly.
As the cuffs clicked open, he flexed his wrists, fingers moving to the button on his jeans. He saw the young prison officer avert his gaze, giving him the most amount of privacy he possibly could in the circumstances.
It was then he struck, he moved quickly, catching him off guard and slamming Patterson's head into the solid white tiling. He crumpled instantly to the ground, the tiles smeared with blood.
Greg stood for a brief second, simply to ensure that Patterson wouldn't be getting back up again, and that he was in fact unconscious. Then his lips curled into a smile, and turning on his heel he slipped out into the corridor and headed for freedom.