A sudden change in lifestyle.

Blair Gowrie By Blair Gowrie, 19th Aug 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Martin didn't know or understand why, all of a sudden, from being a free man he became a prison inmate.

Freedom can be lost very quickly.

It was about four-thirty in the afternoon and Martin was sitting in the garden in front of his house and enjoying his first drink of the day. The weather was warm, and Martin felt relaxed and contented as he watched the pedestrians and cars passing by on the road outside.

Suddenly, for some reason, a car stopped in front of the house, and, after a few seconds, three casually dressed men got out. They moved quickly through the open gate and walked up to the seated Martin.

One of the men pulled out what appeared to be some kind of official identity card, held it out for Martin to see, then barked –

“I’m a policeman”, and then, “You’re under arrest”.

Martin tried to think of any reason why this should happen. As far as he could remember he had broken no laws nor committed any crime. So he protested, but it was to no avail. And there was no chance of an escape – it was three against one.

“Get in the car”, the same policeman ordered, and Martin, seeing that he had little option, allowed himself to be pushed into the back seat of the vehicle, with a man on each side.

Martin reflected that he had seen this scene countless times in films and on TV, but never imagined that one day the same thing would happen to him.

The car was driven through traffic for about thirty minutes, finally arriving at a large government style seven floor building. Martin was then pulled out, taken to a row of barred cells, and thrust into one of them. Looking through the bars, Martin could see several people standing around, and on enquiring where he was, was told that he was at the district court. One or two of them, whom Martin later understood to be bail-brokers, asked him if he had any assets that could guarantee the bail they would arrange for him, but on learning that he had nothing, showed no further interest in him and drifted away. In any case, the court had already closed for the day, so there was no possibility of an immediate release.

There was no furniture in the cell, so Martin sat down on the floor and pondered his situation. Slowly he felt all the fears, worries, dismay and anger which had been surging through his mind ebbing away, and being replaced by a feeling of total resignation and peace. He was locked up, and there was nothing he could do about it.

A little later, a black police truck drove up. This was of the type used for transporting prisoners, had thick steel mesh on all sides, and a separate partitioned compartment at the rear to house a guard. Martin’s cell was unlocked, he was lead out and forced up the steps into this vehicle, and his left wrist was handcuffed to the right wrist of the only other occupant, a fat young man with a shaven head who was sitting on a side bench reading a comic and showing no interest in what was happening. This young man’s left wrist was already handcuffed to the wire mesh on the side of the truck, so that in the end the truck and the two prisoners were all linked together.

The truck set off with Martin not knowing his final destination, and with all the twists and turns the truck made in the heavy traffic quite unable to establish location or direction. It was now getting dark, and eventually they arrived at a fortress-like building with a massive round-topped wooden door. This swung open, the truck drove in and came to a stop.

When Martin heard the thuds of the heavy doors closing behind him, the grim reality of where he was began to sink in. From being in the hospitable and pleasant surroundings of his house only three hours earlier, he was now in the harsh and forbidding environments of a prison.


Arrest, Bail, Bail-Brokers, Bars, Cell, Change, Court, Fortress, Handcuffs, Life, Lifestyle, Mesh, Police, Policemen, Prison, Steel, Steel-Mesh, Truck, Wagon

Meet the author

author avatar Blair Gowrie
Author of fiction, poetry, musicals and song lyrics.

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