Monday, February 28, 2011
Four hours had past, my breakfast plate sat cold on my night stand. Funny no one woke me about lunch. I gingerly limped to my door, and heard nothing but the faint sound of a sander in the garage. The need for a cigarette was driving me to get myself dressed for the day.
I stole a glance at my crusted streaks, 30 lashes.
I didn't even know how to begin to imagine the gravity of my mistakes.
" At least they didn't need stitching." I minimised, gliding my shirt on as painlessly as possible. Flashbacks ....
'i cant believe that you'd twist his triumph into torment. How could you destroy ..."
I said something like that I think... but what for? I didn't even know what happened? I was just so angry at the thought of him being called out. I thought she went psycho. I thought....
As I set my foot tenderly on the second step attempting to go down, came a word to my senses. "No" There was a nervous trimmer, an incredulous giggle, and an other attempt. "No"
"Bullshit." I snort to the ceiling. " I am loosing my mind. It's guilt talking." And a third attempt. "So help me Jerry, I am warning you. Do not make me call home."
I tripped stepping back, lost my balance and landed on my ass, sending shock waves of pain and grimacing up my back, haste was made to my banishment.
"oh gawd ... oh my farkin gawd" I paced pulling at my hair ....
she is my reformer too...
I was so happy George was back. He asked me if I wanted to help him work on his car. Basically I kept him in cold drinks, fitting tools, and spend my time thinking about my future.
The war was entering a round of peace talks, border disputes. I wondered where my father's unit was. Once I tried to convince Mistress that I ought to be given an exception to the rule of no familial contact during reformation. But she asked me if I thought I was the only prisoner to ever irrevocably lose opportunity due to their mistakes. What made my case special?
That was like a stab in the heart. Since then I have been wondering if there was a way to find and get away with contacting my sister. And the only one who might have a clue how is pulling dents on the side of the car. I smiled at him flirtatiously all afternoon.(insert C)
" What do you think it would be like to be a reformer?" He asked me, as he dropped the front tire. "I never thought about it. I think it would maybe be stressful. Its like intense baby sitting only I have to do what your parents couldn't. " I said. George wagged his head. " See that's how you would see it because your mad at authority. But the classic veiw of reformation is to induce self respect, and guide the prisoner toward self mastery." He explained.
"Why do they have to send us away to do that? Why do we have to be punished and live by strict rules. Rules don't work. I mean if they did that all the free people under laws and stuff would be reformed and crime would end. So no more reformers needed. " Yeah George agreed, continuing " But we have free choice... or maybe the whole world is the prison and inside reformation is the way out. Reformers always needed. I mean we learn to look at ourselves out of context. I think being a reformer would be a terribly powerful thing. Having freedom to utterly mind fuck someone to have them unlearn the pressures the world outside of this house put on them. Pressures that led us to what ever law we broke to get us in here. " he paused a while to assess the next step of the repair job. and went on. " So that means, when we have so called "reformed" we will have a different training. If we are trained to be true to ourselves and etc and all good and noble ideals then find you have made a better citizen. But if you yourself are an ego infested fool, then how terrible the trainings you could induce."
We made banter about the reform school and reforming. And we shared humor... if you did that then I'd do this to you and there was laughing and instead of just being drink barrier I actually got to work on the car.
By evening he was applying the finial coat of shine and we wrapped up. Mistress had been home for hours but told us she'd take care of supper we should get the job finished.
An agonizing four more hours passed which I spend filling my waste basket with crumpled death warrants. I quivered when the front door closed my heart whooshed in my ears.
Nothing happened. I began to relax, and stare at a blank sheet of paper.
If I had a joint I'd be able to write this thing. If I had a cigarette I'd be able to calm down hell if I had some food I might be able to get this stupi ... no....
Damn it... I slammed my fist down on the table and got a splinter for it. And meandered myself to the bathroom for the first aid kit.
My friend looked rough indeed. Reformer made a casserole and I brought it too him. I asked her for a little mercy for my sake and could I bring him a cigarette and eat dinner with him and she allowed.
" I don't know what I am going to say." He whines relieved for mother nicotine. I press my lips together because I didn't have an answer either.
" Jerry, maybe it is simple. Like ' mistress i screwed up i am sorry.' You do tend to make everything a major event Jerry."
"I feel so hurt that I challenged her. I completely questioned her authority in front of Diana. I respect her and I lost my mind at her how did I do that?" He begged.
"Maybe... it was, complacency."
One the second night of Jerry's banishment Mistress Carol had been called out to the school directly after supper. G and I where fairly bored, there wasn't much to talk about except to wonder how Jerry would pull through. We sat at the kitchen table, he with a book about Reformation Law, and I glancing curiously on as I wound a new unruly yarn ball. I thought that George would be bragging or even pensive over his best friend being in his own mental Carol induced hell.
But he just sat there, every now and then donning a sly questioning grin toward the ceiling. I tried not to notice but, it was that very familiar face that Mistress makes when she is handing out judgments. It was very uncomfortable.
"George you look a freak, what are you thinking about?" I said. He cocked his head toward me, looking sure of himself. " I am pretty sure I know how to help you with your little dilema, D. And we won't get caught. " bantered he. After a moment of stilled wonder, I cocked my head incredulously in return. "Not possible." as I shrugged returning to the winding yarn.
"Why do you think so?" he questioned. I set the yarn down in my lap. " Well, lets see. Go to the phone and try to call for pizza." He sat back and giggled knowing full well that the phone only calls Emergency, Mistress's School office, and the salve abuse hotline. I really didn't question why I suppose I assumed that because it was a reformer's house the lines where rigged by the system. But George found out one night.
It was the second day he was here that he wanted to call a Gardner, see if he could get some pay later or trade deal going. He had it all worked out too. He was going to tell the garner about his great marketing skills and promised that if the gardener would come do the work George would teach him how to increase his business. It would be like getting paid by five others for free work for education. So after Mistress left that morning, more precisely just as soon as the shop opened, he picked up the phone and dialed.
A young man answered. "You have reached the secretary at the desk of your Mistress Carol. The Commandant is not in at the moment but does suggest that you do not try calling out again, do your own work." Click. and his face blanched as the reciever termbled onto the phone. After standing stunned a moment George regained his humor and sat on the couch. "ok" he knodded outloud.
No doubt he was sitting at this table remembering that moment also, so I joined him in laughing. Then he again regained his humor. " No D, I got it this time."
Then in grand demonstration he walked over to the kitchen door and turned the handle, which didn't surprise me when it did not open. "See I mocked, and remember every time we swear "somehow" we get injured." I continue knowing everything there was to know about this shit cell.
"Yes, all signs of intelligent design. What was the name of the house again?" George questioned me....but he wasnt looking at me he was thinking to the ceiling. and started to snap his fingers going on" ummm Tom,.... Dick... Harry? you got a Harry dick.....Oh yeah Peter!" He announced with athority. The sound f him saying the name of th ehosue made my heart stammer and i felt really paranoid and watched.
George kept his hand on the door handle and spoke. "Sometimes it is about letting reformees make their own mistakes, and sometimes it is about minding your own business, and sometimes, Sir, it is about wanting to know if your student will have known that I ever left the house." and then he steped away and bowed his head toward the door.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
"Well Dang Nab It Jerry, you went and Fucked with a whip carrier didn't you?"
Was an unusual way to be awaken, I jerked and twisted, four scabs split open and there was groaning. George apologized rushing to help me attempt comfort again. My gut hardened and I didn't know if I was angry or happy or if I was an absolute idiot to be sitting here cut up and George was let off his punishment instead. Eons of silent reaction passed between us despite liberties.
" I know what your thinking Jerry, and it was not for nothing, believe me I got punished. In fact I think I also got me in for another four years."
" What... but, are you in real trouble?"
"Not yet." He was gleefully snotty, I relaxed but was even more intrigued. "Then what ?" I demanded. His face went red, his knee to bouncing and he took every moment to get his words out. " Well um..."
"It's like this you see ... well ... Jerry ... i-I am gonna be a whip carrier."
But he could not keep his thrill down, he farging squealed like a girl...but there's more.
"Not just any ole whip-carrier that's too boring for me... but an undercover whip- carrier."
I jerked forward to pace and process the bomb detonated but found the action quite painfully inappropriate. Which only hastened my gut reaction.
"So George, you have actualised my worst fears about you. I am disappointed.
How will you tell your uncle that you are a confirmed career criminal?"
" I'll tell him I am a Reform Slave instead."
Our glee was short lived, he made a face of empathy saying it was time for him to get to work he wanted to know what I wanted for breakfast. When he left I laid back down and cried shamefully.
She just reformed my friend... and I... probably just revoked my parole.
I mean WHAT was I thinking? what I do all that for? I know so much better than to rush in, not kneel, and start out...."i got something i need to get off my chest."
What was I thinking?
What am I thinking? Mistress Carol wants an explanation and apology and I only got three days to come up with it. Where do I begin?
My mind was swelled with agitation and at some point I passed out.
Peter contacted me again in dream. He didn't have much to offer about how I was supposed to deal with my punishment. It was his memory of meeting carol in civics class.
" Days passed... class went back to normal routine, except that Miss Anderson was oftin absent for days at a time. In class she was sometimes interactive but most oftin distracted and quiet, typically on days before and after she was absent. I had taken to note these these patterns for evidence of my suspicions.
On this day as we had been reviewing the criminal justice system I produced the question."What is the intent of the Law?"
" To maintain social order." One said.
" To punish criminals." Quothe another.
" NO- to prevent crime." Corrected he that other.
" To help guide Citizens toward command of themselves." Carol ruled. I smiled impressed by her answer and tested the depth of her consideration of the subject.
"Then what is the purpose of reformation?" Carol's eyes shined as she customarily rose to address me.
" To personally assist citizens to realignment with the law and to encourage their strongest qualities of freedom upon which our laws are fashioned to endow."
I studied her, my brow made inquiry and my body rose politely to address her.
"Very impressive answer MsWies. And you call prisoners, slaves, reformees... 'citizens', why? Isn't the very notion of reform, to strip the prisoner of citizentry and worth for their crimes?"
"Their mistakes, Sir. They are people, people get confused and take miserable paths. They deserve the respect that the reform system is meant to provide to truly help them find their better way. And should be given their dignity, in the process of their punishment so they can come out all the better."
Before I could comment a boy, John Lancaster yelled venomously
"THEY ARE ANIMALS. Would you call my mother's rapist a citizen Carol? Because I sure don't!"
"Yes I do, John." She passionately answered him. " The rapist is a person who really did wrong and I guarantee is paying dearly for it right this moment." and the boy sad down angrily.
" So Carol, " I inserted. "What do you feel about the way we socially set the "people" apart, to include uniforms and scapegoating?"
"It is wrong Mister Gregg. I think that ... If I broke the law and had to pay by serving reformation and also had to endure the abuse of people like John because he thinks I am of the same stalk as his mother's rapist; when I personally would be doing my level best to improve myself ... well it is just plain wrong, cruel and for many a determent to the whole idea of a reform process in the first place." She gasped for air. I mused, she must be Lanel's best friend. I wondered if they have to flip a coin to see who gets to talk each night. I absently chuckled out loud.
"MsWies, remind me never to ask you what you really feel." All laughed. I continued." Channel your efforts into less as well as more powerful words. Are you thinking about a career in the field?"
" Yes Sir, since I was little." I winked at her. "Well good luck with that, but here is a hint, the best reformers don't have to say a word."
The room ebbed and swelled with passionate side conversations Carol rejoined the group argument. During which I presided over my own brood of reformees. Each of them be equally voiced and opinionated. Mine did not ware uniforms. And being on the cusp of release I had them join my class to prepare them for reassuming citizenship. Then addressed John.
" John, if not for a uniform would you be able to tell a prisoner from a citizen?" he thought a moment." No uniform, no customary deference either I guess? I think I could."
"How?" quizzed I. "Their criminal or guilt natures will show."
"Doen't it indeed, John. You are an example of the prejudice that leads to crime."
Saturday, February 26, 2011
As customary at some appropriate moment those bearing guilt are dealt with.
"George, you are required to met with me down stairs."
He was clearly puzzled but compliantly frisking himself for his notepad and pen, Jerry became agitated and Diana just carried on relieved I didn't announce her as well. I dismissed them to their leisure and joined George, inviting him to my table.
"Why are you here?"
As he searched himself for an answer desperation arose to panic and he wrote asking me if he was responsible for the accident. I assured him that it was mutual fault, his irises flexed with this information. Synapses fired within he thought ' then why no arrangement for me to pay.'
"Slaves don't pay free citizen's bills, George they are too busy paying their own debts. Do you know what else slaves don't have the privilege of doing? Arguing with free citizens. George, what is it that you are especially not allowed to do?
Agitation flared in his nostril, his eyes hardened, and the wrote, "communicate, Reformer?"
I struck him and pronounced " 'No Plotting'. What business was it of yours what that man said or did or how the outcome would go? Did you think you'd be in trouble for an accident? Did you fear your embarrassment? None of this is your responsibility, I believe that you argued out of impulse, George and I mean to teach you that your mindfulness needs to improve. " I let him ponder, while I smoked. As the dawn of understanding embered, I continued. "You did do well, don't get me wrong. I am pleased with your understanding and acceptance of fault, and the observations, and all that you are proud of also.
But there is a valuable lesson deeper than these." Iris's flicker, we both sit back and ponder, another cigarette. Followed by moderate administration of a twase to George's bare posterior.
During the middle of punishment he whimpered "wait reformer", and abashedly thought 'please stop'. I did, he turned himself to face me and I nodded approval, he lowered his cloth as I laid the twase on the bench and gave him breathing room.
" I accuse you of unfairly exercising your authority on the free citizen Reformer. If we are at fault why is his disregarding me cause for you to make him pay for both our vehicles?"
"What do you suggest then George?" He answered that he felt he owed the man service in return, he had auto body skills to trade for the payments.
"Doesn't that work out to your being paid for labor George? Wouldn't that be an abuse of your slave authority to your advantage? So we either keep the bargain the man agreed with, or we confess to the man and let it go. Because what sense is there is you paying for him and him paying for you? So we make some other arrangement, such as you fix his and yours or you press charges on me. I am fairly sure it is not as consequential as reporting brainwashing, starvation, torment, and rape but if you wish to use the phone it is your right." He absorbed my reason and answered back.
"You think my valuable purpose is undercover reformation investigations, don't you?" I let my approval show.
" Yes George I very much believe you have expert potential. You are, much to Jerry's nightmarish chagrin, unbreakable. And you are in desperate need of training and proper education before you become poisoned entirely by megalomania. And though I know your sentence is up in a matter of months, I would like you to consider career training at my school. And yes we have stale-mate again.
Let me encourage you to remember that I am still your reformer and hope to be for quite a long while, do not abuse your privileges again. Do not doubt that I am capable to taking your privilege of communication next time." His ego glazed eyes, returned to surrender, and he waited for me to dismiss him.
I rejoined Diana in the living room, Jerry followed his habit of retreat when he can't monitor my handling of his best friend property, and George retired to his room, she was excited to see George's liberation from silence but her mind milled and churned.
"You may ask what you wish Diana."
"It's... well Mistress I thought....." She blushed to herself, being taken charge with a side of reasoning she was ill practiced with. "If you meant to honer him why didn't you share that moment with us? We miss him too, and suffered with him."
" I didn't mean to honer him. I mean to intensify his reformation and for that he needs to be able to speak." 'oh' is all she could thoughtfully respond.
I turned the tv station and watched a game show called "do you know this song?"
Jerry was high again, and had himself worked up outrageously that I was unjustified in punishing George. Diana had started to try to tell him that as far as she had understood George's meeting with me was only an interview. But I gave her a sternly amused 'hush' look. And she observantly knitted while Jerry laid out his indigence.
"I mean, Mistress that George did everything you instructed him to do and you STILL took him down stairs?" and he paused, to let me get a breath in.
"You have become quite judgmental as of late Jerry, haven't you? First let me say this. Obedience, is not surrender. The second ritual of breaking.
And this, you have just earned yourself a trip downstairs boy."
Where I made no pretence or lecture, I whipped him and sent him to his room and bade him to write out his reconsideration of his accusations due in three days.
Friday, February 25, 2011
"What are the 5 positions?" Diana asked at dinner tonight. She and MsC has been chatty all evening about the school. I was in a tired daze, occasionally giggling when Diana fantasied too heroically.
Oh sure little miss cant stand authority is gonna suddenly blossom once she in the service. Oh She'll have her change.... what a crock. My eyes float around the table and connected with momentary flash of Mistress's less than pleasant "pity" look. My appetite shrunk, and I knew I was in for it tonight. I spend the rest of the meal trying to figure out what for and what to say about myself if she asked "that" question, tried to behave myself.
"Well Diana when I first attended there only 4 positions, and they where pretty clear cut. 1- wall time or unusual detail. 2-moderate to sever thrashing 3- moderate to sever flogging and 4- Lashes. " She answers. "And Mistress where did position five come from?" Diana asks. " It's an interesting story."
As Carol started to explain. George and I exchanged realisation that Diana changed what she calls Ms C. George's mask could barely hide his perplexing sad and eager grin, I could almost hear him thinking.....
' well lost another one to the enemy,maybe it's not too late.'
"Do you remember Officer Tweed? He was incarcerated when I was new. Peter was my high school Professor and he helped me emancipate myself from my parents at age 17 by taking me as an apprentice RIT, but until I had sufficiently passed advanced high school I was a safe house reformee. Mike Tweed was a prisoner reformee he was serving four years for rape.
"Mind you I was even shorter than I am now and he was 6 foot broad. We had security together for a spell. He kept sexually harassing and intimidating me. And I made him back down by threatening to tell. But after a while he challenged me that I was hardly as tough as think I am and he wasn't backing down.
I possessed a dominate glare and said "ok Mike, we will see. If you attack me I will see to it that you go through all the positions. But to have you never disrespecting another woman again I will not only go thru all four in one day, but I will invent a fifth. He went ashen and said we had a deal."
MsC went mysteriously silent and retired to the living room and we took our cue to clean up from dinner. George was especially intrigued and I could feel him burn with desire to 'discuss amongst ourselves' Diana chattered about the encounters and curiosities of her day and I was pensive and when I was not playing along with the random suggestions about how MsC got in trouble I was growing more nauseous over why I was in trouble.
George tossed me a 'clumsy' glare and I nodded. It was one of our silent cues when we needed a break from a reformer. We became so obnoxious about being in the way that we are dismissed and it worked like a charm on Diana who gruffly volunteered to finish the job by herself. We ducked out the back door and to the garage. He proudly demonstrated his custom modifications and flailed his arms about as if to knock down my abject shock. " Does Mistress know about this?" he smiled triumphantly. "Oh damn it George I must know what......tell me...whisper. No one will know." He solemnly grinned but had presented a detailed scribbling for me to get caught up by.
Something unsettled me about his story but I could not quite understand it. I thought I'd have to have a smoke about it later on. And being bemused with his apparent victories I offered him a stealthy confession when he joined me for a cigarette in my car. His equal shock asked me the same question. " I don't know." I shrugged. "she must; but doesn't say anything, so I guess it doesn't matter." Now he was visibly unsettled about me. I simply nodded with a sigh and laid the seat back.
( insert A)
"George, I am going to chamber tonight." I whisper dreadfully, watching the cruels of smoke fill our space. He let his head fall back and then wrote, "Why don't you just talk to her honestly? Why are you hiding this, even from me?" And my gut knots up, because I simply don't know.
" I don't know George. Maybe cause I am not suppose to. I mean She implied, no said I could smoke. Seriously, we sat in this car and she said something about addiction management lesson. And... " George rolled his eyes and smacked my forehead...."Yeah yeah, I know... I guess I am not doing much managing huh?" There was a thought fulled pause " Well what ever...what about you, George? How do you wreck the car and smell like a rose? Kept your mouth shut huh?
We finished the joint slowly, we talked for a while, when I suddenly asked him when he started speaking. And he wrote He hasn't said a word... he just listened.
"That's it isn't it? She reads our minds....she is like, tuned in, like....well I swear I heard you talking, man. But I been thinking that pot might just have a valid use. I just feel bad about how I am getting it. I mean I feel like, guilty, even though I have permission. George's eyes became intrigued by my proposal as he leaned forward. No, I don't think she is permanently high, but that it helps tune us in.... no wait that don't ..never mind George, I hate it when you fuck me up." (end a)
We rejoined the others in the living room, once settled George rolls his arms over themselves to coax MsC to continue, drawing related chirps from the rest of us.
" Well the next morning I was quite rudely late for morning assembly. Peter gave me position one, I had to stand thru the assembly at the door and when he signaled me was to shrill ding ding ding ding ding. And do this for each bell for the rest of the day.
"Oh about lunch time, as we lined up by the cafeteria I screamed out "It's POISONED don't eat." MsC paused to recover her thrill and repose." If you can imagine, the students where already conditioned to respond to me yelling something so several of them panicked. Peter's office is was right across the hall, he had me by the arm in seconds whisking me behind closed doors.
'I cant believe what has gotten into you Carol Anne Wise. What is the meaning of this outrageous behaviour!' He demanded.'Professor, i was curious.' i defiantly shrugged and he twisted his face at me terrifically.' Ms Carol i hope position two helps you grow out of that quickly.' And he bade me over his desk and thrashed me severely. I had never been stricken before, never mind by paddle, or belt.
" Naturally I began to rethink the wisdom of what I was doing, but " she paused blushing." There is a part I neglected to tell you. Mike's end of the bargain, if I could not keep my word, I had to have sex with him. And I knew I had to keep that information away from Peter. My motive was to figure out how to make sure what I did got me to the next level. Damn the Torpedoes.
" Took two more classes before the throbbing burn went down, and I had my plan. Thankfully I was on standing by the door details. At the finial bell I destroyed my text book. Each class room is attended by an RIT who quickly had custody of my person and was escorting me to his officer when we crossed paths with Peter.
"I might have expected something like this. Release her she is already in my charge." Once we where in his office he had me sit at the desk. Behind me keys jingled a door unlocked and steps receded. I felt frozen to my chair and did not stare back. Another jingle , a smaller door, steps advancing, he takes his seat, we watch each other.
"Now, try to tell me your curious, " He laid a cat of nine tails whip between us." about vandalism." There was a pause, but I could not answer, my voice was frozen too. " I expect a reasonable explanation for your actions Carol. I understand you to be a woman of purpose and not prone to rebellion.
"Professor, I don't feel that it is appropriate for me to be trained as a reformer without first understanding crime." He reflected over my offering. He didn't seem totally on Board.
" 'Carol you are hiding information and I will ferret it out. But for now I strongly encourage you to end your morbidity here. The next level, is even less pleasant and will render you immobile for several days and scarred for life. There isn't must to be gained for your studies unless you wish to learn what it is like have your apprenticeship revoked. ' He warned, then I was lead and bound to the whipping post in his chamber.
"He didn't let me go off to my room, when he was finished with me it was nearly dinner bell and I had to preform my detail. Mike was among the early crowd and his respect grew with each grimacing step I took to take a place in the line. " MsC paused again, relief and dread washing over her eyes." Peter really had shaken me up. I had to make a decision.
" There was a dull murmur in the cafeteria that evening. Huddlings about the bet had no doubt been gleaned by my dear professor who began to observe we two more carefully. Mike could not stay away, he sat at our table with Peter's other two personal reformees. There was intensity that evening.
"As the pressure mounted, and with sorrow in my eyes I connected with Peter, and flung a spoonful of mashed potatoes at him. Silence, and the sound of my spoon hitting the floor, followed by my knees. "office" he said.
"You have one breath to explain why I wont be sending you home right now."
" Master, permit me more than one breath. I have put myself in this situation to win a change in Mike Tweed."
" Carol, most reformers to not win authority by acts of submission. You are not a reformer, and you are not authorised to practice law. That in itself is worthy of Whipping and Revoke. Had you considered the other results of your actions today? It is not just Mike that will have been changed by you. Your wild behaviour might have gotten you just want you plotted, but that is not the only thing it did. Most reformers are very careful about the various results of their actions so that they might have a strategy in place when confrontation arises.
Had you even considered your integrity with me or the rapport we had developed over the year? Seems to me that you took it upon yourself to play reformer. why?'
I explained the whole story (save the neglected part) to him and he continued his lecture.
" You have the whole school buzzing your fame. And I have to save face in this situation. I can admire what you have tried, I cannot feel justified in permanently punishing your instinctive act. And I feel that it is an honorable detail for me to hone your natural talents and build a master reformer out of you. But I did not expect you to test me by such an extreme, Carol. Let the students believe you where whipped for disrespecting me simply because they don't know you are a RIT yet. But between you and me, never practice law again until you are licenced. Am I clear?"
And MsC went silent again, and clicked on the tv. "to be continued after these messages" where the first lines on the tv.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Complacency, an abode we often find ourselves to be unaware of.
I lay, waking in the morning light of my bedroom, casually admiring the glint of sun as it cascades over flecks of dust.
*i wonder with whom complacency's fault lay* The taunt of my ceiling begins, bringing life to my skin. I argue, amused by his attempt, strategic waiting is not the same as mindlessness. But he counters me by asking what I intend to do with Diana.
To inspire I say, rising now donning my Reformatory uniform. I intend, sir ceiling, to have her witness a prisoner induction assembly at Our school. Her time hasn't come, I imagine that she should not have been sent to me.
* don't allow an other's error to prevent you from inspiring well, darling. Partial reformations are dangerous, as you are aware.*
Somberly charged, our day was underway.
Jerry is still reluctant to confess his re-lapse, or ask me about any of his experiences. I believe critical mass is coming.
George is no doubt looking forward; I grin; to his dealings in town today.
And Diana has finally completed both her room and her first knitting project. I am pleased with her self esteem and her ownership of goals. Pity the rebellion, though. I believe something will spark well with her today.
My fingers ache, my knees are rough, but my room... not to shabby. At the risk of death by lack of good ventilation I stained my sanded floors a rich mahogany and over the last few months there appeared the reflection of my resentment for all things well behaved. All black and purple lace and such the only odd piece to my theme was the multicolored zig-zaggy patterned knitted afghan.
Madam said she wanted me to have a break from the house so I was so go with her to work today. Oh yippee. I wanted to sit in my finished room and vegetate all day..that was the reward I was looking for..... but I figured better not argue. So I went...
Melinda had tried to impress on me how big the reformatory was, but she didn't tell me about a sports stadium, gymnasium or that there where roughly 700 residents, and guest quarters.
Madam looked positively frightening in her black wool skirt suit, the only spot of color or personality on the jacket was the school shield. I was not impressed really, seen my daddy all snazzy a million times.
She parked, already the entire school and staff where bustling. over in the right distance there where groups of people doing calenstetics, and as far out as you can see, past the other two buildings, was the morning activity of a farm, and over to the left of that there where out buildings.... but their purpose was obscured to me because of the huge looming very school like three story mass of the main reform school building.
We entered thru a glass corridor, just inside the main hall on the right were a security station and two guards who had jumped up and yelled 'Commandant'..and all within hearing distance knelt. "Carry on" She said and the bustling resumed.
The yeller was a red haired 10 year old girl and the other was a scruffy blond 15 year old boy, whose arms were stretched out along a straight bar across his shoulders, it had fallen to him to present Madam with the nightly report, awkwardly.
"How much longer on your sentence?" She asks. "Three days Mistress."
"When and where is your group rotating?" She inquires." Tomorrow, home farm Mistress Carol." She quietly studies him, he stands appearing as humble as he knows how.
"Come see me at 2 pm, Franklin" He curtsy's and she dismisses them as the day security pair take over. I follow puzzled observing a large common room on the right side of the wide front hall, and a large theater style assembly room, past eh stairs on the left side, and madam's office/ infirmary with the cafeteria and dinning hall on the right. There was a turn to the left but we went to the office.
"What do you think of my school so far, Diana?"
"Seems like allot to take care of Madam. You have reformees running security, and farms?"
"They are carefully organised with trustees and reformer students. You will learn more about how I run things at the assembly later."
I mock flattery and joke about an assembly for little ole me, how kind. She told me she had a bit of business to take care of but I could wonder around and enjoy the facilities until the assembly bell. I was halfway across the side lawn when it occurred to me I don't know the assembly bell from a cow bell, and sat in a shady spot.
The peaceful bliss of not scrubbing anything was rudely interrupted by a barking voice. "You get up, what do you think you are doing there?" It gruffed as I scrambled to my feet wiping myself off disinterestedly stammering and had barely flicked dirt when the man's voice changed into a hand that grabbed me by my chin.
"Don't you obey any protocol, reformee?" and the hand guided my body to my knees, and he stepped back. I saw his uniform now, it was green and less severe with the lack of personality than was Madam's. "Sir, I did not see you or know who you where." He stared at me incredulously. "Did you know that was the bell for the first class?" "No sir, " I suppressed a giggle but not a smirk " I am Madam Carol's reformee." He returned my smirk. "Ah then you do know the protocol of kneeling when addressed by a free-citizen?" " Yes sir, but how could I know you where free, this is my first visit here." For a moment he was exasperated, stopped himself from pointing at his uniform again and muttered ' carry on'. I interrupted his attempt to scurry by having him demonstrate the assembly bell toll so I would not miss it.
I settled back into my shady spot .... yup he must be a reformer student.
After several hours a Police Transport van arrived and four escort officers lead a group of 17 prisoners into the assembly hall. I joined them when the buzz tolled.
The prisoners peppered themselves randomly on the right side of the auditorium, and on the left side where 8 residents in Blue uniforms and 8 in green , and 8 in casual attire, waring red arm bands each bearing a letter a-h. The uniformed ones wore corresponding letter assignments in lapel pin form.
Carol enters stage right and anyone who knew better knelt or saluted, those who did not, stuttered ,followed suit and looked on. The lead officer steps out and hands Carol 17 files, two prisoners knelt. Carol opens and spread them out on the podium and calls everyone to sit.
" Good afternoon students, Welcome to Peter Gregg's Academy of Reformation." She paused and smiled briefly. " Now I am sure you will hear many colorful acronyms perhaps even make up a few new ones, but generally we refer to the school as PGAR. I am Commandant, Reform Master Carol Wise and I have only three rules for you. You will assume the proper position when you enter or exit and room where I am, and you will also stand and kneel when I enter a room where you are. My Second rule is that you will address me as Master, Madam, Mistress or Ma'am. My third rule is that you will do anything I tell you to do or not to do." She paused as a mute wave of reaction flowed over the crowd.
" The School, on the other hand has many other rules for you. If you will reach into the side pocket of your seat you will find a Operation Protocol Manual. Study it students, there in you will find Peter's seven rule policy, which now applies to the other three Reform Masters who ware uniforms like mine.
This school is not only a respected reformatory but we are also a Training Post for Reformer Students, or RS's " She motions three of the uniformed examples to the stage." There are five ranks of RS. Those in blue are reform student practitioners, if they ware a gold arm band they are officers. RSP's and RSPO's have disciplinary authority over students and are authorised to deliver positions 1-3 of the schools disciplinary policy. Only RM's exercise position 4 and 5. You will find that information on page 2 of your OPM
There was murmuring and turning of pages.
I was now thoroughly bored of it.... only lingered on to learn they called the green uniforms RITO or RIT, and that the RITS ; who where first stage students; only had white arm bands. There where also trustees who where reformees in charge and wore red bands. I flipped thru the alphabet soup of a manual and drifted into remembering my father again.
When I was little and he had seminars and we had to sit through them, trying to be quietly entertained. I remember sitting on the floor near him playfully chasing toy cars around his feet. I remember also being scolded for disturbing. I felt my lip snarl resentfully.
Madam was rapping up her debriefing by explaining how there where ten student groups with their own duties and 24 hour schedule, to include grade appropriate education. The school had a policy of self sufficiency and prisoners also maintained vehicles, kept the grounds, run Administration, Housekeeping and Kitchen. She also spoke of two elite groups, not represented in assembly I, Currier service and J, school journalism. The only way to get those positions was progressive self improvement.
I found that I was quite seduced by the reformatory by the end of the show. But not everyone felt the same.
"take your school and shove it up your ass. " there was burst of shock and amusement then five voices chanting SIUA SIUA SIUA.
I clutched the book, fearfully relieved, it was not for me that she donned her calm amused smirk. It was almost musical how the five chanters went flat as one word entered the microphone. "dismissed" Everyone but the stunned five poured out of the rows, their files had been sorted as Madam lectured, and the RS's lead their people away.
The boys where confused, sweat beaded on the ringleaders brow, " Why cant I move?" he said, and as suddenly she was on his face about rule two and three. " Because I am your reformer Stewart."
She casually turned to the remaining RSP and RIT " I believe we can restore school honer by showing these noobs position 3 before they settle in, what say you?" and she dismissed everyone.
"Mistress, why couldn't he move?" I slurred cautiously.
"Authority, Diana. He had none."
"But he has four people who joined him."
"He did not have respect."