As I sat on the plane with six other prisoners transferring from the regional prison to the high security prison on the outskirts of the city; over six hundred miles away, my thoughts went to how stupid I was. Stupid or just out of luck, both the same I think.
I had held up a bank, which was easier than I thought. I sped off in the car I had stolen from a car park only half an hour before and made my way out of the town. I had only gone over a mile when the car just stopped, right outside the police station where four police officers were waiting.
I had stolen a car with a global positioning device and burglar activation device fitted. All they had to do was track me on a screen, then cut the engine as I neared the police station. The bastards didn't need to walk more that twenty yards, and I was arrested. Their making it harder and harder to steal cars, I had read about this device but never thought I would see one.
Anyway I was given seven years, ten but with parole I should be out in seven. So here I was with a bunch of 'no hopers' like myself leaving this easy going jail for the high security one. We were to make a detour and pick up two others who were being imprisoned, so the journey will take a bit longer than the two hours. In fact the journey was to take double that.
I had a seat by the emergency door, which had a bigger window than the others and I had a better view of the desolate area we were flying over. There was nothing; once leaving the runway after fifteen minutes there was no sign of a human, or any of his buildings, only bush and more bush.
We had been airborne about forty minutes when the two jet engines just stopped. The sudden quietness was deafening. Now all we heard was the sound of the wind and the plane dropping like a brick. The plane was dropping so rapid that my ears started popping, then the nose dropped and we even went faster. A couple of times the engines sounded as if they were to start, but nothing, just the feeling of plunging earthwards.
I could do nothing for I was handcuffed to the seat, so all I could do was get my head down between my knees and pray. Not much good that will do at the speed we were falling. Then I heard the engine take and the nose rise, but at the same time we hit the ground, then everything went black.
I woke to a dim light, lying in a bed. The reason it was dim was the windows had thick curtains and the light only showed around the edges. The room was spartan, bare scrubbed floorboards and only the bed and a hard backed chair in the room. The room was only about eight feet both in width and length, almost as big as a cell.
I felt bruised all over and when I went to move my arms and legs they felt stiff and painful. At least I was alive and wondered where I was, for the handcuffs and leg irons were off, but this was no prison hospital. I could hear sheep, hundreds of them and voices away in the distance, and the sound of a diesel engine thumping away outside. The engine was a static one for the pitch never changed, so it was driving something.
Just then the door opened and in came a rough looking woman, but I heard a key first turn in the lock before she came in. I would say she was in her early fifties, with her hair tied back tight and in a bun. The woman was wearing jeans and a thick shirt without sleeves tucked into the jeans, held up by a thick leather belt. Here was some fit woman; I could tell by the way she walked into the room. Also I doubt if she had an ounce of fat on her, but she sure was top-heavy and I doubt if she even wore a bra by the way her breasts bounced.
"Where am I?" I asked trying to sit up, but the pain in my stomach drove me back.
"Chrissie, he's awake at last," she shouted over her shoulder.
Then another woman entered almost the same age and dressed the same. "Hell, Betty I was wondering when he would surface," she said smiling down at me, or was it a smile.
"It doesn't matter where you are, we found you by the wrecked plane, well what was left of it. You were thrown clear still attached to your seat," Betty answered abruptly.
"Hasn't anyone visited the crash site?" I asked.
"Yes and gone, there were no survivors, all burnt to a cinder, everyone," Chrissie added.
"Was I the only one to get out of the crash, why haven't they taken me back into protection?" I again asked.
"Sorry you died in the crash too, Frank Wendell, isn't it?" Betty said with a leer on her face, not a smile.
"Surely they counted the bodies," I enquired.
"They sure did, but the plane landed on top of an itinerate worker who had been having a quiet drink. The crash people made a body count they included him as well and were happy with the count, so you are dead Frank. We know all about you Frank, you made a cock-up of getting away didn't you," Betty again sneered.
"What do you want me for then, I have done nothing to you," I said now getting worried.
"Once the shearers leave tomorrow, you will be doing something for us, I can assure you Frank, but this is now your cell until we can trust you," she said.
Both of them left all smiles. I heard the key turn in the lock and then a bar dropping into place on the other side of the door. Bloody hell the cows have locked and barred the door. I struggled and got to my feet and made it to the window and pulled back the curtain to find the windows barred and all I could see were bushes in the distance.
Under the bed was an old-fashioned piss-pot, I suppose they wanted me to use that. Then I noticed that I was wearing an old-fashioned nightgown. Hell these women had left me without any dignity at all. I was in a situation worse than it had been in prison.
It took three days before I could walk around without feeling every step was a torture. Twice a day one of them brought me in a meal, which would have fed three men and a large cup of tea three times a day. They never forgot me needing to do a dump for they led me carrying the piss-pot to a toilet next door to the room I was being held in. The toilet was basic, a bowl with a cistern high up on the wall and a chain, a type I thought went out in the nineteen forties. The small mesh covered vent would hardly let a cat through, but at least they let me close the door.
Once I was able to get around with a walking stick they allowed me out into the open-air. It was then I saw the house for the first time, it was standing in the middle of nowhere. Nearby was a shearing shed and pens, but now no sheep, but the smell of sheep was heavy in the air. I slowly turned around looking into the distance, there was nothing; away on the horizons were shadowy hills which could be between ten or a hundred miles away.
"As you can see Frank, better men than you have tried to travel this country light and failed. Resign yourself to the fact that you are stuck here. This evening you can have your meal with us and we will tell you what we want of you, maybe it isn't as bad as you think," Betty said walking away smiling and humming to herself.
What do these women want from me? They know all about the robbery, are they wanting me to commit some crime for them, shit I can't even do it right for myself. Also I could do with some descent clothes; I felt a right Burke dressed in this long nightgown.
As for the clothes I need not have worried, for when I returned to my small room there was a pile of fresh clothing on the bed all neatly stacked and ironed. What I needed was a shower, so I went looking for one of the women. It was Chrissie I met.
"Any chance of getting a shower, before I get changed," I asked.
"Use the shower outside the shearing shed that is the one the shearers use," was all she said.
Returning I saw that a towel and a bar of laundry soap was on the chair. I was certain it wasn't there when I was in the room previously, but there was also an old cut-throat razor beside the soap. I have never used a cut-throat razor in my life, I only hope there is a mirror by the shower.
After showering in rather primitive conditions I got dressed and walked through the house to where I was told to go. Both the women were wearing dresses, not the latest boutique model, but not what I expected them to be wearing. In fact I was surprised to see them so well-dressed and now they had their hair brushed and make up on, they looked passable.
"Well you have had a good look around; you can see we are miles from anywhere. You know you wouldn't last a day out there on foot. At this time of the year with no shade and the temperatures up in the forties, you could never carry enough water to quench your thirst, so you are far better off staying here with us," Betty said smiling.
"You haven't told me why you have gone to all this trouble and deception," I asked looking at them both.
"We are spinsters and have a reputation to uphold, what we want is a man about the place to take care of our physical needs," Chrissie chirped up.
"You said you had shearers here when I arrived, couldn't you have asked one of them to stay?"
"No, it had to be a stranger, someone that wasn't known and you fitted the bill to the tee," Chrissie again said.
"Well what exactly do you want me to do?"
"Fuck us, I could have put it more delicately, but let's call a spade a spade shall we. Tell us a bit about yourself Frank before you say yes or no," Betty said not at all embarrassed. It was me who was taken aback by the statement.
.... There is more of this story ...