(The following was found amongst the effects of prisoner WA625879-1.6. who died in the prison hospital 25/02/15. It was discovered unfinished, undated and unsigned. It was offered to the intended recipient, but she declined the offer. The letter is now part of the Prison Service Archive)
They tell me I don’t have much longer before this damned cancer takes me. I wish it wasn’t so, but it is so there is no point in whinging about it. At least I’ll be free of this godforsaken hell-hole, sweetie. That will be something at least. I never thought I would end my days here. I always thought that they would let me out eventually. That was not the only thing I got wrong was it?
I was never a religious woman, you know that, but I offered up some sort of prayer that you would relent and come and visit me at some point, but you never did. How could you be so heartless? I know that you were upset over what happened, but that was all so long ago. Why could you not find it in your heart to forgive and forget?
It may come as a surprise to you, Kaitlyn, but I do think about that day often, more often than I like to at times, but as it is the reason I am stuck in this dump I have no way of escaping it. Would telling you that am more sorry about what happened to your brother - Alexander - than you could ever imagine? If he had not done what he did then I would not have done what I did and our lives would have all been very much different. At least I would be able to enjoy my last few days looking at the sun and breathing-in fresh air instead of the rank, foul stink of this place. But there is no point in thinking like that: what's done is done.
I don't get the idea that you are so philosophical about life though, Kaitlyn. If you were more flexible and forgiving we could have rebuilt our relationship, I am sure of it. Your point-blank refusal to come and see me was not the action or behaviour of the young woman I hoped you would grow into. I suspect that your Aunt and Uncle may have played their part in moulding your attitude towards me. I did warn you that your Aunt was not the maternal kind, in spite of your assertions to the contrary in that cruel and brutal letter you wrote all those years ago.
How could you be so... cold? towards me, Kaitlyn? I was - AM - your mother! No matter what I did or how you felt about me I was still deserving of your respect as my daughter. If you had come to visit me as I asked I would have told you as much to your face. Really! That was not the behaviour of the girl I was bringing-up. Again, I feel your Aunt's hand at work.
Is that why you would not come to see me? Because of what I might say to you? Honestly, Kaitlyn, you had nothing to fear from me. All I ever wanted was to be your mother again; to love you like I used to. Was that really so much to ask of you? We had fun, didn't we? We used to laugh and giggle and stuff, just like any other mother and daughter did. We could have been like that again if you had given me the chance, but you never did. You are my only child now and I needed you. The nights I cried myself to sleep missing you! You have no idea.
Your Aunt wrote to me not so long ago, did you know that? No, I'm betting she didn't tell you. Sneaky cow she could be when she put her mind to it, your Aunt. Anyway, she wrote me that you are some sort of hot-shot lawyer and married and also a mummy yourself, which makes me a granny! Learning that I was a grandmother was such wonderful news that I walked around this place the happiest person here for days afterwards. I would still love to see a photograph of my grandchildren. That would make my life complete. Do you think you could find it in your heart to send just one measly photo to a dying woman? Could you do that for me?
Small pleasures are what it's all about here, just finding something to help make it through another day. You could never comprehend hard it has been all this time. Some days I have wanted to die and I even tried to make it out that way more than once. The bastard authorities, though, not only saved my miserable life, but punished me for trying to end it! Can you believe that? While you have been growing up and making a life for yourself and having kids I have been going through hell, day after fucking day. And do you care? No, of course you don't. Selfish little bitch, just like your fucking Aunt.
I cannot believe that I cried so many tears over you. You were not deserving of them. Your father, although he had his faults, was more deserving of my pain and pity than you. HE would not have left me to rot here like you did. No, he would have been here week after week, holding my hand, supporting me and doing whatever he could to help get me OUT OF HERE! What have you done like that? Nothing. There you are, a high-and-mighty high-falutin' lawyer helping others while your own mother rots behind bars. Isn't that the very definition of downright hypocrisy? I am ashamed of you, girl, utterly ashamed.
Well, it's dark now and I'm tired, weary like you would not believe. I ought to get some sleep, but I have things I need to say before I lose the will or the strength. I know that I'm dying and that at times like this there is supposed to be a moment of reflection or introspection or some-such shit. I don't know about that, but what I do know is that I did not deserve to spend more than thirty fucking years of my life caged up like a wild animal. Okay, I screwed-up with your brother. I know that, but, jeez, isn't it long past the time when we all should have got over it and moved on? I can't undo what I did no more than he can -- or you can, for that matter. Why, then, do you keep punishing me like this?
When I was a young girl all I ever wanted was to be a mother. I was so thrilled when Alexander was born, then you, Kaitlyn. I felt that my life was complete and that I could not be any happier. I had a man I loved and who loved me and we had a nice home and money coming in. We were doing well, better than a lot of our neighbours, that's for sure.
Okay, your daddy had his faults, but neither you or your brother were exactly angels, either. If only you had behaved yourselves better your father would not have been so angry so often. Yes, he liked a drink or two and I can admit now that he did other things that were not good for him, like messing with drugs and stuff like that. But even so, that was his choice to make and it didn't matter to him what I said, he did his own thing anyway. That's what we argued about a lot of times. I know it wasn't nice for you and your brother to hear him and to see him beating-up on me, but I didn't mind so much just so long as he wasn't hurting you two. That is how much I loved you. Then your fucking brother went and spoilt it all!
I will never be able to find it in my heart to forgive him for killing your father. He might not have been the best man around, your daddy, but I loved that man with all my heart, just like you probably love your husband, heh? How would you feel if your son or daughter just decided one day to kill him for no good reason? How would that make you feel, Kaitlyn? It would make you mad, really mad, wouldn't it? Of course it would. When I saw what your brother had done I snapped. All I wanted to do was to punish him for being the naughtiest of naughty boys. So that is what I did. I did what any good, responsible parent would have done. And my thanks for being a good mother? Locked up like an animal all these years. Losing my daughter, too, although she needs to be reprimanded, too, for the way she has treated me. If I had been a part of your life all this time you would not have turned out the way you have I can assure you of that.
It's has been - and continues to be - hell for me. You could have helped make it just the tiniest bit more bearable if you had climbed down off your high horse and showed me the respect I fucking deserve as the mother who gave you life! But, no, the ungrateful selfish little bitch that you have grown into just couldn't even fucking do that, could you?
Where do you get off being oh-so high and fucking mighty? Just you mind my words, my girl: you'll get yours one day, sooner or fucking later. Yes, you think you're something special with your fancy education and your fancy job and probably fancy husband and fancy home. It don't count for shit when trouble comes a'callin'. Just you wait and see if I'm not right.
I can't write anymore now. I'm going to try and finish this tomorrow, when it's light. I am so tired. Just a couple more things - important things - I want to say before..."
Author Notes: I never intended the original story to have a sequel, let alone FOUR of them. They were fun to write and I hope you enjoyed them all.