Cool Hand Dawn.By Dave Turner.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or ‘Cool Hand Luke’, which was directed by Stuart Rosenberg and written by Donn Pearce and Frank Pierson. I write these stories for fun not profit.
Crossover: BtVS with the classic 1967 movie ‘Cool Hand Luke’.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.
Timeline: Set at least five years after Season 6 BtVS.
Words: 18 Chapters of 3000+ words.
Warnings: Dark Fic
, warnings for violence and brutality, minor femslash.
Summary: ‘Cool Hand Luke’ xover: After being sentenced to two years hard labour for destroying municipal property. Dawn uncovers a horrifying truth; she must serve a demon or die. Violence, brutality and minor femslash ensue.0=0=0=0 When I left my home and my family
I was no more than a girl
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station running scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know
Simon and Garfunkel, ‘The Boxer’ (Dave’s feminised version).0=0=0=0
Sensing the van coming to a halt, Dawn shifted on her hard metal seat and opened her eyes. Throughout the long, hot journey she’d pretended to be asleep so that she wouldn’t have to deal with the three other women in the back of the van with her. Looking around the dark interior, Dawn had just enough time to register the fearful looks on the other women’s faces as footsteps approached the back of the vehicle. After a short pause, pregnant with possibilities, Dawn heard a key being inserted into the lock that secured the van’s doors, moments later sunlight flooded into the compartment and she became aware of a figure holding a rifle or shotgun standing just outside on a dusty parking lot.
“Out!” Ordered the voice, a woman’s voice, hard and unforgiving.
Sighing to herself, Dawn climbed stiffly from the back of the van, the female guard pointed to a spot on the gravel covered yard and Dawn obediently went to stand there. Turning she found herself facing a clapboard, single story house that had once been painted white but was now a dirty grey; Dawn took the time to look around. Trees, a high chain-link fence with a couple of long low, dirty white huts behind it; dry grass, low guard towers and something that looked like a wooden telephone booth. All these things were quickly imprinted on her mind and eye. Turning her head at the sound of a dog barking, she saw a woman in prison fatigues petting a large hound of some kind.
“All right,” ordered the guard her shotgun held loosely in her hand, “you women get lined up here,” she turned to call over her shoulder as the other women came to stand next to Dawn, “Dog-Woman! You shut those dogs up, y’hear?”
“They’re just smellin’ the new-meat, Boss,” called the woman; Dawn just knew she was going to love her…not!
“Wait here,” ordered the guard as she took a large brown envelope from the male van driver and turned to walk slowly towards the house.
Dawn didn’t know whether to be happy or not about there being female guards, from what she’d seen so far, she guessed that nearly all the guards were women the others, of course, men. This could be good or bad, it depended on the man in charge; in her experience women guards could be just as big bastards as male ones, sometimes worse. They knew all the right places to hit to inflict the maximum pain.
The house had a deep veranda running around it, which made a dark shadow that was difficult to see into from out on the sunny parking lot; Dawn needn’t have worried at what might be hiding in those dark shadows though. A short man in a white shirt, khaki pants and a straw hat moved out of the shadow and stood at the top of the stairs leading down onto the parking lot. The female guard handed him the envelope.
“What they bring us today?” He asked rhetorically and started to take sheets of official forms out of the envelope. “Gibson 507, Manslaughter,” the man read out. “Good for a two spot.”
The guard walked from the house to stand behind the prisoner at the opposite end of the line from Dawn.
“It was an accident,” Gibson called, she was a blonde and looked like she’d been someone’s secretary, “I’ve never been in trouble with the law.”
“You call the Captain, Captain,” the guard informed her ignoring anything she might have to say.
“Potter, 302, and resisting arrest,” the Captain continued as if no one had spoken, “one year.”
“I was trying to keep outta the rain,” Potter, who stood next to Dawn explained.
The guard whacked Potter across the back of her legs with a cane; she jumped in surprise and yelped in pain.
“Get the wax outta your ears,” the guard told her, “and call the Captain, Captain.”
“Yes ma’am,” Potter replied, chastened, as she rubbed the sore spots on her legs.
“And you call the rest of us ‘Boss’, y’hear?” the guard informed Potter and everyone else.
“Yes, Boss,” Potter agreed rapidly.
“Pratt,” the Captain went on reading from the forms, “Breaking, entering and assault, five years.”
Pratt, a red haired woman, wisely said not a word.
“Summers,” the Captain finally got to Dawn.
“Here Captain,” Dawn said lifting her hand slightly.
“Maliciously destroying municipal property whilst under the influence,” the Captain intoned his face getting more puzzled as he read, “What was that?”
“Cutting the heads off of parking meters, Captain,” Dawn replied with a shrug.
“We ain’t never had one of those before,” the Captain scratched the back of his head; Dawn could tell that the Captain didn’t know what to make of her, “where’d you think that was gonna get you?”
“I guess you could say I wasn’t totally thinking straight, Captain,” Dawn replied keeping her expression neutral.
“It says here that you’re educated an’ everything,” the Captain gestured to the form, “you should be in college not here, girl.”
“That’s the way the cards fell, Captain,” Dawn shrugged at a loss at what more she could say.
“Well,” the Captain looked at her over the top of the forms, “you got y’self two years to think it over, Summers.”
Putting the forms back into their envelope, the Captain prepared to make the same speech that he made to all new prisoners.
“We got a couple of women here doin’ twenty years,” he told the newcomers, “we’ve even got one doin’ life, we’ve got them all here and you’re gonna fit in real good. Good behaviour and hard work will be rewarded and you could find yourself transferred to a more relaxed facility. Bad behaviour will be punished,” the Captain looked at each woman in turn, “believe me when I tell you I will come down on wrong doers like the wrath of The Lord!”
The Captain let that sink in for a little before speaking again.
“Of course if you get to feeling like you wanna go home,” the Captain smiled indulgently, “we will
bring you back; you will
get some bonus time added to your sentence plus a set of fancy leg-irons so as to slow you down…a fashion accessory you will not enjoy.”
Pausing again the Captain looked along the short line of prisoners as if he was looking for something. When he came to Dawn his eyes seemed to linger on her a little longer than they had on the other women. It was as if he saw something in her that the other women lacked. Not wanting to meet his eye, Dawn kept her head down, she knew the score she’d been locked up once before back when she was about seventeen. Having been arrested for burglary she’d spent six months in a juvenile facility up in New York State, it’d been an education in more ways than one.
That was a good three years ago now, but the memories and lessons she’d learnt there were burnt deep into her memory. They told her to keep her head down, don’t draw attention to herself and do whatever she was told without complaint…and stay away from any guard who couldn’t keep his dick zipped up tight.
“You’ll learn the rules,” the Captain told them, “an’ if you stick to them your time here will be tolerable, it’s really all up to you.” The Captain removed his hat and ran his hand through his sparse hair, “I can be a nice guy, or I can be one mean son-of-a-bitch…it’s all up to you.”
The Captain turned away from the prisoners and disappeared back into the dark shadows under the veranda.
“Turn to your left,” ordered the female guard, “follow me.”
Leading the way along a concrete path the guard led them towards a gate in the chain-link fence that surrounded the little prison compound. As they walked, Dawn took the opportunity to look around some more. The compound was surrounded by trees on three sides, the side facing the road being clear. There were two large wooden huts, one was obviously a barracks the other doubtless contained such things as the kitchen and laundry. There were several smaller huts the purpose of which Dawn couldn’t fathom, she suspected she’d find out what they were for later.
The perimeter fence was maybe eight feet high with a couple of strands of rusty barbed wire decorating the top. Obviously the Captain and his guards didn’t expect the prisoners to try and break out; in fact from what she’d seen security appeared pretty lax, she’d seen precisely two guards to guard them and the few prisoners that were doing work around the compound. The one guard tower that she could see was empty and although both the guards had nice, shiny, new, pump action shotguns they didn’t carry them particularly aggressively. No, it all seemed pretty relaxed, Dawn wondered why. A childhood spent growing up in Sunnydale (even if all her memories where false, put there by the monks who’d made her) had taught her to be suspicious of everything. They got to the gate and Dawn looked up to read the sign above it; ‘Division of Corrections’, the sign read, ‘Road Prison 36’. Shrugging her shoulders resignedly, Dawn marched through the gate and into her new home.0=0=0=0
When Willow had brought Buffy back from the dead, Dawn had been so happy it was like being brought back from the grave herself. Having missed her sister so badly, Dawn had been overjoyed to have a second chance at getting to know her. However, it didn’t take long for her to realise that Buffy didn’t want to be back in the world of the living. Either consciously or unconsciously, she seemed to be doing all that she could to get herself killed so she could once again experience the peace that she had felt when she’d been dead.
Slowly over a period of months, Dawn found herself rejected by her sister, she became increasingly bitter about the tears she’d shed over Buffy’s death. To her it seemed that Buffy didn’t care, that everything was just too much trouble and she’d be happier dead or, failing that, if Dawn just wasn’t there anymore…that she’d never existed. The final straw came when Willow and Tara broke up. The two witches had been the one solid thing left in her life that Dawn could anchor herself to; Tara had been like a mother to her and Willow had been more of a sister to her than Buffy had been recently.
Once that relationship was torn asunder, Dawn felt she had no one and nothing left to stay for. The very next day after Tara had left, instead of going to school, Dawn had gone to the bank, drawn out all her meagre saving and bought a train ticket heading east. Having some vague idea of starting a new life for herself on the east coast, Dawn found her dreams of independence and supporting herself quickly dashed. Drifting from waitress job to waitress job and one poky little room to another, Dawn soon had her romantic notions of a life on the road crushed.
After her money ran out and when she couldn’t even find a job waitressing, Dawn found herself on the street having to steal to keep her belly full. The one thing she was proud of, however, was in all that time was she never turned to prostitution to support herself; not that she hadn’t had offers. She’d had some that had sounded pretty tempting at the time, but she’d always told herself; that was what Buffy probably expected her to do. So, she’d always refused and run if the offers became too persistent. Okay, so she’d shacked up with guys here and there, just to have someone to look after her once in awhile, but she always told herself that it wasn’t like real prostitution. It was like going into partnership with someone with each partner bringing something to the table. In the case of the guy, he’d bring her food, shelter and security. In Dawn’s case she’d bring her body.
As time passed, Dawn became tougher and wiser in the ways of the sub-culture that lay behind the facade of American society. Soon she found people looking to her for advice in dealing with the things that prayed on them in the night. Knowing something about the things that lurked in the shadows of every American city had finally come in useful. Soon people were saying that if you did what Dawn told you, you had a chance of surviving when the things that roamed the night came for you.
At the age of twenty, Dawn decided that she couldn’t face another New York winter and headed south. Maybe it was the prospect of her twentieth-first birthday looming on the horizon or maybe she couldn’t face the cold anymore. Whatever the reason she hitched rides or rode the bus until she came to some anonymous little town in the Deep South where everything looked as if it was stuck back in the 50’s or 60’s. One night, after a particularly successful session playing poker, she’d gone out to cerebrate. Foolishly she’d drunk too much and taken it into her head to cut the heads off a row of parking meters. They’d been staring at her all night and she’d convinced herself that they were some sort of weird, metal, demons.
When the patrol car had come up beside her, Dawn had been sitting on the sidewalk opening another bottle of beer. The cop had walked up to her, hooked his thumbs into his gun-belt and asked her, quite politely as it happened, what she thought she was doing. Not having a good answer for this rather world weary cop, Dawn suggested that he better arrest her. Going quietly, almost eagerly, she soon found herself in front of the local judge and sentenced to two years hard labour; Dawn remembered she’d been surprised that ‘hard labour’ still existed. After a day or two in the sheriff’s cells she found herself loaded into the back of a prison van with three other women and driven out to Road Prison 36.0=0=0=0
After a tepid shower and a body search carried out by a so-called paramedic; who Dawn was convinced was actually the local vet as he’d pushed his fingers so far up her ass, she received her prison uniform. Surprised that it wasn’t the same stylish day-glow orange that she’d worn in New York, she put on the denim jeans and shirt over the cotton t-shirt and panties she’d been given. Next came socks and big heavy work boots that were a little too large for her, but she didn’t complain. The woman called Gibson did and received a whack across the back of her legs from a guard’s cane for her trouble. Of course, Dawn knew better than to complain and followed her own rule of not drawing attention to herself until she knew how this place worked.
Next she and her companions in penal servitude where introduced to Carla. Carla was a white woman in her early thirties; she called herself the ‘Floor Walker’. Although she was a prisoner it was her job to keep order in the barracks and make sure everyone kept to the rules. One of the most important rules was that everyone should only use things, or wear things, that had their personal number on it. Dawn’s number was thirty-seven. It was written in indelible ink on all her clothes. It was engraved on her spoon, which appeared to be the only eating utensil allowed; she would sleep on a bunk marked with that number under blankets and sheets with that number printed on them. Failure to follow these simple rules (which to be honest Dawn could see the point of as they’d help cut down on petty theft between the inmates) would result in a night spent in ‘The Box’.
There was also a long list of other misdemeanours that would end up with a prisoner spending a night in ‘The Box’. Anything from smoking in the prone position while in bed to sitting on your bunk in dirty clothes, they could all end up with a trip to ‘The Box’. Putting two and two together, Dawn worked out what the box was; it must’ve been that strange telephone booth shaped hut out near the perimeter wire. It looked as if it was so designed to prevent an inmate from lying down. The best that anyone locked in the box could do, would be to remain standing all night or crouch on the floor, neither position would be conducive to a good nights sleep. Suspecting that sleep was going to be important to her continuing well-being, Dawn promised to keep her visits to the box to a bare minimum. After Carla had explained the rules of the house, she asked if anyone had any questions. Wincing, Dawn watched as Gibson put up her hand, there always had to be one, she told herself.
“What’s this box thing?” Gibson asked in all innocence.
“Boss?” Carla turned to look at the male guard who’d been standing quietly in the corner watching as Carla did her ‘Prison 101’ lecture.
“Come with me, 36,” the guard grinned as he pushed open the door, “an’ I’ll give you the guided tour…anyone else wanna see?”
Shaking her head, Dawn joined the others in watching Gibson being led away; she’d be surprised if she saw the blonde girl again before tomorrow morning. After the guard had taken Gibson away, Carla told them to find their bunks and square away their gear in the lockers provided. Walking along the line of double bunks, twelve on one side of the hut and thirteen on the other, Dawn found her bunk. Smiling she put her stuff on the mattress, it was a top bunk, in most jails people would fight over the possession of a top bunk. Top bunks gave you status and a chance of a better night’s sleep. While she was quite willing and able to fight for ownership of a top bunk, Dawn was just as happy to have one assigned to her.
As she made up her bed, Dawn took the opportunity to take a closer look at the barracks. The hut was just wide enough to accommodate the two rows of bunks and a narrow passageway between them. Lengthwise the hut allowed for the space taken by each bunk plus maybe two feet between each bed. At the end furthest from her bunk was the washroom; showers, sinks and toilets and a fenced off area where a guard sat at night or when there were inmates in the hut. Next to this guard station was one of the two doors in or out of the hut. The guard had a door in his little section so he or she could lock the main door from outside. There were large windows down each side of the hut covered with heavy wire mesh. In foul weather wooden shutters could be lowered over the windows to prevent the rain getting in. The place looked well swept, it didn’t stink and quite honestly Dawn could think of a lot worse places she could spend the next two years of her life. After making her bunk and stowing her gear, Dawn was just in time to see the gate in the perimeter fence open to admit her fellow prisoners. Wondering what they’d be like she went and sat on her bunk and watched and waited.0=0=0=0