Corporal Idaho – excerpt Chapter 1, published by Writers Press, Lincoln
The PDA squelched and clicked, the LCD readout blanked, and Cameron put on his game face as he shoved the black rectangle into its holster. Lt. Gaylin Vasily held up her hand, and Cpl. Cindy Munger brought the line of prisoners to a halt right in front of Cameron. He leaned over, grabbed hold of the console’s outer edges and glared down like a Baptist minister in the pulpit.
“How can I help you, lieutenant?”
She climbed toward him as she fanned herself with a manila folder. Her eyes were slate blue, and her brown hair swept back to a tight bun at the crown of her head. Blue uniform trousers snugged muscled thighs and round buttocks, and her loose tunic bulged at the front over full breasts divided by a black Sam Brown belt.
“Here are your orders, sergeant.”
“Thank you, ma’am.”
He flipped open the folder and pretended to read what he had already seen on the computer. The lieutenant turned and watched Cpl. Munger push the six new prisoners around to face the console. Their wrists were cuffed together at the front and secured to waist belts that locked behind their backs, and a steel chain linked the prisoners together a meter apart.
A fifty-something Nordic woman led the parade and stood at Cameron’s right, her brown and gray hair hanging down the back of the green prison dress in a long plait. Next to her quivered a twenty-year-old Rasana waif with sweat-damp strands of black hair plastered to her wide forehead. There were pockmarks on her cheeks, and she sniffled while she squirmed, and wiped snot on her shoulder. Beside her, shoulders back, long neck erect, stood a thirty-something Shoshone, snow-white teeth glistening as she sneered at Cameron. The next woman, another Shoshone, younger by a dozen years, shorter by a head than the other, and with smooth, round cheeks, nudged her with an elbow. She stared at the floor and glanced up at her cousin, who sighed and bowed her head. The woman beside the Shoshones whimpered and bit her lip. A tear dripped from the corner of her almond-shaped eye and she smeared it off on her arm. The ends of her silky black hair tangled in the folds of the prison dress that bunched around her neck. Another Nordic woman stood at the left end of the line. Short blonde hair spiked like a porcupine, and her wide buttocks stretched the prison dress. She grunted softly and shuffled her extra-large prison-issue sandals.
Cameron cleared his throat. “Welcome to hell, ladies.”
Munger chuckled when the chained women, except for the eldest, whimpered. The corporal frowned and looked away when Cameron glared at her, then he turned to the prisoners.
“You have been convicted of crimes against the Republic of Ida-Regon, and will serve terms as specified at sentencing. Any reduction in term will depend on your good behavior and attention to the re-education provided by this facility. Bad behavior and inattention will result in discipline, and we are well equipped for discipline.” Cameron stepped from behind the console and unhooked the paddle from his belt. “All of the guards have these.” He paced in front of the line and tapped his thigh with the heavy leather. “And they are authorized to use them anytime you give them trouble.”
The waif sobbed and wiped her nose again while the gray-haired woman watched with sorrowful eyes. Cameron turned, reached behind one of the chairs and plucked tissues from a metal box welded to its back. He thrust the wad of paper into the waif’s hand and then held her arm as she doubled over to wipe her face and blow her nose.
The older woman nodded. “That’s very good of you, sergeant, to….”
He jerked his head. “Shut the fuck up.”
The corporal whisked the paddle from her belt and whacked hard, and the woman’s skirt billowed as she squealed. Cameron smiled and re-hooked his own paddle while she stared at him.
“That’s rule number one. If you have to speak to anyone in a blue uniform, raise your hand and wait for him or her, usually her, to ask what you want. Rule number two, if anyone in a blue uniform says something to you, you’d better answer up quick or she’ll think you didn’t hear, and smack your ass to get your attention.” He pursed his lips and paced. “We have a lot of rules, but not that many more than on the outside. It’s just that here the rules are printed on paper, posted in your cell, listed on your PDA, and enforced, as if the people in the blue uniforms have nothing better to do, which we don’t. You fucked up on the outside and maybe you got away with it for a while, but if you fuck up here you come see me, and you really don’t want to come see me. Does anyone want to know why?”
Cameron surveyed the bowed heads and then focused on the woman at the head of the line. He took one step and laid a gentle hand on her arm.
“Don’t you want to know?”
The woman shifted and straightened her spine. “I assume you are the chief torturer.” Her brown eyes shot fire.
He chuckled. “Torture is illegal in the Republic of Ida-Regon. But physical discipline isn’t. What I am is the chief disciplinarian, and I’m more than expert at my job. That’s why you don’t want to come see me.”
She held his steely gaze as long as she could, then looked down and he clapped his hands.
“All right then. As criminals remanded to Correctional Unit 102, you are entitled to pre-sentence indoctrination. Lieutenant, if you would please?”
Vasily rolled her eyes and dug a key from her breast pocket. She unfastened cuffs from belts and removed the chains that linked them, and Munger led the prisoners to the chairs. One by one, Cameron raised chair-back halves, and smiled as he helped the women kneel on the seats and bend forward. They whimpered as he secured their waists and cinched their calves with the web belts. The Rasana sobbed and snatched tissue from the box while the older woman patted her arm and thumbed damp hair off her forehead. The lieutenant grinned and grabbed Cameron’s arm as she whispered in his ear.
“Try not to drag this out, sweetie. I didn’t have breakfast yet.”
He nodded and squeezed her bottom, and Vasily winced and glanced at the corporal. Munger bit her lip as she lifted the prisoners’ skirts and tucked the material between their backs and the tops of the padded stocks. All the women wore green cotton boxer underpants. The loose shorts draped the backsides of the Rasana, the two Shoshones and the Asian, and stretched taut across the ample behinds of the Nordic women. Twelve flat-soled black shoes twitched and twisted, and the prisoners coughed and wriggled as they craned their necks to look at Cameron. He smiled, and the pelican hook clicked as he once more unsnapped the paddle from his belt.
“Besides the rules, the most important thing you will learn is that there are no gangs in this facility.” He fanned his face with the paddle as he sauntered down the line. “Gang members get caned.” The older Nordic woman gasped when he wrenched the drawers down her thighs, then he leaned over to gaze into her wet eyes. “You see that A-frame? That’s where I cane gangsters, and they don’t sit real comfortable for a long time. Membership has its penalties, so take a good look.”
The woman nodded and sniffed. He yanked the Rasana’s pants to her knees, then clamped the paddle under his arm and quickly bared the rest of the bottoms. A low moan burbled from the spiky blonde’s throat, and burst in a squeal when he whacked her full, pale cheeks hard. He slapped again, and the tough, springy leather left mottled red blotches on the plump crowns. The woman screeched, moaned, and grabbed tissues.
Cameron backed two paces, reached high, and quickly smacked the tight round Asian bottom twice. The young woman squeaked and gasped but Cameron didn’t stop to listen. He dealt out two on each behind, and then started again with two more at the other end of the line, and the older Nordic woman shrieked when she got four sharp stingers in a row. He gave them twenty apiece, and as the last paddle-crack and feminine shriek echoed against the ceiling, he stomped up the risers to the open shelves. The red-bottomed women sniffled and stared as he grabbed a three-foot, quarter-inch dowel stick. It clanked when he tapped the shelf with it, then he turned to glower.
“There is no bullshit here. You do what you’re told, you say yes ma’am and yes sir, or you deal with me. And that’s never pleasant.”
He trotted down the risers and whisked the stick through the air. Vasily smiled and Munger bit her lip, and they backed off to give Cameron room to swing. The older woman screamed when the cane whisped her soft buttocks; the Rasana howled as a pink line crossed her slender behind; the tall Shoshone squirmed and then gasped as a hot red line blossomed at the base of her firm bottom; her cousin shrieked and kicked when the cane stung bare cheeks; and the Asian woman blinked and her calf muscles clenched, but her round backside barely moved when the stick cracked. Cameron flicked his wrist and popped a serious welt across the broad beam of the blonde at the end of the line, and she screeched and jerked her hips hard against the cushions. He leaned over and pressed more tissues into the woman’s hand, then stared straight at the woman on the other end of the line.
“You don’t want two or three dozen like that, do you, ladies?” They moaned and shook their heads, and he nodded and climbed to stand beside the A-frame. “You’d be surprised how often I have to use this.” He whacked the padded crosspiece and the cane struck like a pistol shot, then he bounded up the second riser and slapped the dowel on top of a stool.
“The more you fuck up, the worse it gets.” Wet eyes followed the motion as he pulled the PDA from his belt and held it up. “You will learn how to use these gadgets, and learn quickly. Every time you’re disciplined, it goes in your record and you can check to see just how bad off you are. Don’t ever lose this thing, and it’s not likely you will because you have to show it to somebody about every ten minutes. You’ll need it when you go to chow, when you get up in the morning, when you go to bed at night, when you report for work detail. You can’t take a piss without it. It can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. That’s up to you.”
Sandpaper shushed when he sat down. “These are officially known as detention stools. In the cellblock they’re called ass grinders. I won’t say anymore, but you’ll hear stories. Don’t believe them. The truth is a lot worse, because the women who tell you those stories most likely never actually sat on one. The women who have had a turn don’t like to talk about it. So read the rules and make special note of the infractions that will get you stool time, and also be advised that enough minor fuck-ups will eventually get you the same thing. And it’s not worth it. Welcome to hell.”
He smirked, tossed the cane at the shelf and stalked offstage into his office, and Vasily and Munger released the women. They moaned as they got to their feet and struggled with cuffed hands to pull up their underpants. When their clothes were more or less in place, Munger put the women in a line like dominoes and re-chained them, and then led them through the corridor and up a steel staircase to the cellblocks.