Duster, part 3


Sandra Yunez knocked on Dr. William’s door, reporting to as ordered. The woman opened the door and asked her to be seated.


“Why am I here Dr. Williams?”


“It’s routine Officer Yunez. After a serious accident, duty officers are required to see me for several weeks as a precaution,” she explained.


“Oh. I’m fine Doctor. Just a broken leg.”


“And what about Preston? He died and you didn’t. For many, that would cause much distress.”


Sandra sighed, pouring out her thoughts without stopping to the understanding listener.


Several hours later, Dr. Williams refilled Sandra’s coffee cup and asked something unexpected.


“Have you ever considered trying a new profession? Possibly psychology?”


“I beg your pardon?”


“Debra Michaels. For the last seven years, I have tried to get more than a grunt and attitude out of her. For seven years, I have failed miserably. You spend twenty minutes with her and suddenly she is the most talkative woman I have ever met. I can’t shut her up!”


Sandra blushed, wondering how much the doctor knew.


“Don’t worry about it dear. Debra needed a good swift kick to the rear for years, but I wasn’t tough enough to deliver it. And yes, I know what you told her. Bravo! In fact, she has given me permission to speak to you and you alone about her therapy. Anything you want to know, I will tell you…but it stays in this room and is not to be discussed with anyone else. Is that clear?”


“Yes. Doctor, I am a bit worried…a LOT worried in fact. If she is doing this for me, well…”


“My dear, she is doing it for both of you. Yes, she does indeed want to make you proud, but you know what? I think she just needed someone to believe in her. You issued her a challenge of sorts. But by walking away from her, you gave her tough love. She either pulls herself up by the bootstraps or remains alone for the rest of her life. A lesser woman probably would have given up, but you spurred her on.


“She admires you. Did you know that? She told me that the day you knocked her on her ass, she fell in love with you. In all honesty, I would have predicted that she’d have become vengeful. After all, you embarrassed her in front of the other gangs. On top of that, the abuse she suffered as a child…well, in spite of that, she couldn’t help but think you were one tough cookie and loved you for it. She couldn’t push you around!” the doctor grinned.


“Anyway, I wanted to catch you up to date on her progress. Believe it or not, she doesn’t really need me to do anything but listen most of the time. She’s been thinking a great deal and has set her own goals without my prodding. Oh, and her parole hearing has been rescheduled for next week. Perhaps you’d like to arrange to attend?”



Duster sat down in the chair set several yards from the long table. Behind it, five people sat, shuffling the paperwork and looking bored. The board consisted of four men and one woman, all cynical from the many hours spent listening to prisoners hoping to get out early.


The chairman read aloud the case number, her prisoner number, etc to be placed into the records and sat back.


“Ms. Michaels, tell the board why you believe you are a good prospect for parole?” he asked, bored.


“I’m not.”


The group stirred, confused. “Would you care to explain yourself?”


Duster took a deep breath and began. “I’m not ready, nor was I the last eleven years. I needed a good kick to the keester and didn’t get until a few weeks ago. I only just started therapy a short time ago, and I realize I have a long ways to go. I also had to take some hard looks at reality. I never graduated from high school, I have no job skills. If I left the prison system now, I’d just end up back in prison within a month. No one would hire someone like me fresh from prison and uneducated,” she admitted freely.


The board sat back, actually warming to the brash young woman. The lone woman on the board spoke up. “Ms. Michaels, after all this time, why have you finally come to realize these facts? Actually, you don’t have to answer since you’ve turned down parole, but I am curious.”


Duster smiled warmly, looking towards the seated guard at the edge of the room. “I fell in love,” she said softly. Duster didn’t see her own face at that moment, but the board did. For the first time in years, they were touched.


One of the other men spoke up after clearing the lump from his throat. “Ms. Michaels, I hope by this time next year, you will have earned your GED and have taken some sort of training to enter the outside work force. If you have, and the board approves your parole, I will guarantee you a position in my factory. It will be entry level, but honest work,” the man told her, holding out a business card to the guard to pass to her. She thanked him warmly and stood, thanking the other board members for their time.


Sandra got to her feet and followed Debra and the officer from the room.


“Jim, could I have a minute alone with her? Please?” He hesitated but agreed, walking to the end of the hall, still within sight but far enough to speak freely.


They stood there, staring at one another. Neither really knew what to say.


“I…” Sandra gave up and just leaned forward, resting her cheek against Debra’s chest. Manacled, all the prisoner could do was touch her shirt with her fingers and place her cheek on top of Sandra’s dark hair. They stood that way for several minutes until Sandra slowly moved away.


“Next year, will you go out with me?” Duster asked.


“Yeah, next year. My treat, but you gotta be good,” she grinned.


The End


What? Muse, what happened? Nooooooooo


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But leave my name out of it! I didn’t so it, really! And by the way Muse, what happened to the naughty sex scenes, huh? Sheesh, some people’s Muses…Humph