Chapter 25

Dumb As Soup

Fara had arrived at the Detention Centre, just south of the Thames at the old Oval Cricket Ground, for her interview with Jim. She had found the prospect daunting at first but she had agreed because she felt responsible to some extent for having encouraged Jim. At the same time, she knew that she had not controlled him as well as she now knew she might have done.

“It’s just through here, Miss Dangerfield,” a uniformed officer of the Detention and Rehabilitation Service shepherded Fara along a corridor between heavily locked cell doors. “He’s in the interview room at the end here. Anything that’s said is recorded, so if you can get him to say anything we’ll have it on tape. I can come in with you if you want. Otherwise, I can wait outside in the corridor. ”

Fara was feeling determined. The amusements with Bernard the night before had left her feeling that she could succeed with anything she put her mind to.

“I think that will be best.” Fara stopped outside the door to the interview room. She had thought a lot about this moment and the impact it needed to have, if she was to get Jim to start being co-operative. She lowered the big round sunglasses from her forehead over her eyes. It wasn’t that it was bright in the cell block, quite the reverse, it was more about the look she wanted to achieve.

She was wearing a round-necked black dress with short sleeves and a knee-length pencil skirt. A string of pearls around her neck and a pair of pearl earrings were the only items of jewellery. Black sheer hose, low-heeled black shoes and a pair of wrist length black gloves completed her outfit.. “I look,” Fara had thought with satisfaction when she had looked at herself in the mirror after dressing, “a bit like a bitchier version of Audrey Hepburn.” Her mother would have said that Fara looked like a younger version of herself, which was just what Fara intended.

She nodded to the guard to open the door. As she stood in the doorway, Jim looked up, “Phyllis, I….” he began.

“No it’s not Phyllis you half-wit, it’s me.” Fara pulled off her dark glasses.

“Fara. Oh!” Jim looked confused as recognition dawned. “It’s all a big mess. I just wanted to be with you. No I mean, Phyllis. I wrote to you. She told me…”

“She didn’t tell you anything Jim. Anything you think she said, you’ve made up.”

“But the way she looked….”

“What? Didn’t they teach you any history in 10th grade? Men stopped thinking that fifteen years ago. You don’t get the right to decide anything like that. What does it matter how she looked? She wasn’t looking that way for you. If you had any more brains you’d be as dumb as soup. Now, you owe me an apology.” She put the dark glasses back on and adopted a haughty pose, determined to intimidate Jim as far as she could..

“I’m sorry Fara.” Jim’s response was automatic.

“Not like that. Like you mean it. Like you maybe understand just a tiny bit how wrong you’ve been. Like how you apologised after I caught you with that vodka. Only nicer, ‘cos this time you’ve been even more stupid.” Fara was confident about confronting Jim in this way. When she had pantie-gagged him and hung the vodka bottle dangling from his cock, she had known that he was as much affected by his own response to her actions as by anything that she had said. Now, with the benefit of her Kòngzhì Rén training, she knew that Pressure of Humiliation would be an effective tool where Jim was concerned.

“Please, Fara.” Jim looked towards the guard the other side of the open door.

“Do you think she’s going to take your side? Or are you worried what she thinks? If you are you’d better get used to it because from what I hear they’re talking about twenty years and the detention centre guards aren’t as liberal minded about rapists as this lady probably is.”

Jim looked scared as the guard tucked her thumbs into her belt and gave a smile that suggested that any liberal tendencies she had were being sorely tried.

“Now apologise nicely.” Fara put her left leg forward. “Kneel down, face to the floor, tell me how sorry you are and then kiss my foot.”

“Fara, I..”

“Jim, I’m not having a discussion about this.” Fara put her hands on her hips.

Surprised by her determined firmness, intimidated by her manner and embarrassed by the mistake he had made greeting her as her mother, Jim got to his knees. The floor was cold through his thin prison fatigues. “I’m sorry Fara, I really am,” he said with his face to the floor. “I didn’t want to frighten Phyllis, I wouldn’t have hurt her. I couldn’t hurt her. They just said I shouldn’t let her ignore me, shouldn’t let her laugh at me.”

Fara was happy to let him talk.

“But Phyllis isn’t like that is she? She wouldn’t laugh at me? Can I?” He looked up and then glanced back at her foot.

“Yes,” Fara said simply. She stared at Jim. It was obvious that he still hadn’t grasped the position he was in.

Jim pressed his lips to the toe of her shoe. “I’m so sorry.”

“So you say. But, well, whoever gave you those ideas are the ones laughing at you. They think they’ve masterminded a dissident plot and got away with it while you take the blame. Maybe Phyllis is a bit sorry for you, but mainly she’ll be angry at you letting them get away with encouraging rape and kidnap.”

“They shouldn’t laugh at me. I mean that’s not right.”

“No.”

“I mean I sat there in that club in Dean Street and Geoff and Kev and Stevie said they’d help and they got me the bag and the knife and the rubbers and it was going to be easy.”

Fara sat down on the table in the middle of the room and crossed her legs. Jim scurried across on his knees to where he could press his lips to her foot again. “And now they’re sitting in Dean Street laughing,” she said. She shook her head. “Dumb as soup!”

“No, not in Dean Street. They’ve got a room back of the Helen Mirren Theatre. That’s…”

“That’s where you were going to take Phyllis?”

“Yes, I…”

Fara looked up at the guard. She nodded. “That’s all right, Jim. You know if you tell them this it will make it easier.”

Jim looked up at Fara. “Oh, no, I couldn’t. I mean … But between us.”

“Jim, I can’t help you if you won’t talk to them.” Fara shook her head, knowing that everything Jim had said was on tape.. “Dumb as soup,” she said and then called for the guard.