The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.
The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.
This month the words were supplied by me right here on this blog.
Next month's words will be supplied by Lee from the Kitchen Connection.
This week's words are:
This week I continue with Chapter Four of last week's story where we learned of Oliver Machenko.
Here is my story:
Jim Macleod placed Oliver's parole application on the pile to be read by the parole board. All applications and files were read early, so any necessary investigations could be made well before the actual hearing. He gathered the files on each man applying for parole and placed them in a pile next to the applications.
On the Friday morning, the members of the parole board met in the conference room next to Jim Macleod's office. A sunny, airy room with a large circular table and a half dozen chairs, (coffee maker plugged in and burbling away, a box of doughnuts and a plate of sandwiches in the fridge) greeted the four members who would be reading applications, discussing various merits or lack of, then viewing the applicants themselves the following Friday.
Chris Smith picked up Oliver's application, read it, then asked to see the file on Oliver.
"Twenty five years ago a very angry young Oliver had been tried and sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of his young pregnant girlfriend and her unborn baby. Margot had been found by him in a dark side street with her belly slashed open and her child laid on her chest to die with her. As he'd held her dead body and become covered in her blood, police responding to an anonymous call could find no evidence to indicate he hadn't been the killer and Oliver's fate was sealed. Oliver swore he hadn't done it, but could give no reason for Margot being in that side street alone at night. With no evidence suggesting anyone else, Oliver went to prison. The murder weapon was never found.
For five years, he took out his rage in many, many prison fights. One on one, gangs against gangs, gangs against a single inmate, Oliver was involved in all of them. Kitchen riots, fires in the cells, Oliver was there too. In those five years, Oliver had been placed in solitary confinement fourteen times, with the longest stretch being two months. He had plenty of time to think, and his final stretch in solitary saw a change in his attitude.
He quietened down, joined the prison library and worked in the voluntary education program, first completing his college education, then helping others learn to read and write. He was astounded at how many of these offenders, young and old, couldn't read or write much beyond signing their names. In the 1980s!
Word spread throughout the prison cells pretty quickly, Oliver was no longer a fighting man. Many of the toughies jeered at him, needling him in the exercise yards, trying to get a rise out of him, but Oliver managed to avoid fighting and after a year, the gang members found others to pick on and make trouble with.
Prison officers noted this and worked towards getting him transferred to a different cell in a less violent section of the prison.
He was put to work in the kitchen and quickly showed an aptitude for cooking, which eventually led to him running a small kitchen in a minimum security facility, teaching others how to make coffee etc.
Now, twenty five years later, behaving himself and ready to be back in the real world, Oliver was reported to be looking forward to his Parole Board meeting."
Chris Smith set aside the file and the discussion on Oliver Machenko began.
***confession time: these last two chapters on Oliver Machenko were something I wrote long ago, without any word prompts, soon after Words for Wednesday was begun. All I did was randomly select words from paragraphs already written***
Mackay Botanic Gardens, Queensland
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