Teaser Eleven – Counting Them Back In

Teaser number eleven from my prison officer book that I have slowly been writing.  It’s been a while (again) since my last teaser.  This chapter didn’t take very long to write at all.  Even though it has been nearly 15 years since I left the prison service, I can still recall some the emotions I felt during this event.

“Is that everyone, Mr O’Sullivan?”, I thought they were joking.

“I think so”, I replied.

“What do you mean, you think so, how many have you counted back in?”

“I’ve got the same number as you’ve got”, I replied, still believing that it was just a formality that the wing role call was complete.

“I’ve still got two showing as not on the wing…Hayes and Marshall. Did you count them in?”

I could feel my stomach turn over and my face begin to warm as my pulse began to pound around the veins now probably precluding from the temples of my head.

“I’m not sure to be honest, I can’t say for sure”, I was trying desperately not to shout and be heard by any other offenders or officers. The desk officer, Officer Atkin was not somebody I knew very well and I was not sure how this conversation was going to end. Some desk officers would simply give it another 5 minutes and then just simply called Hayes and Marshall to the desk hoping that they in fact were already on the wing. But my worst fears started to play out as S.O. Edwards arrived.

“Is everyone back, Lee?” he asked, fully expecting me to reply with an affirmative response. He was certainly not expecting me to reply with what came out of my mouth.

“I’m not sure, sir…I’ve lost count.”. S.O. Edwards stopped in his tracks between myself and the desk officer.  “Is everyone back or not, Mr Atkin?”

“Sorry sir, we seem to have an unconfirmed tally at the moment.”

*Please forgive any spelling or grammar mistakes in any of my teasers on this web site.  These teasers are very much in their 1st draft states.


Teaser Number 10 – Grubs Up

Teaser number ten from my prison officer book that I have been writing.  It’s been a while since my last teaser.  This has been a difficult chapter to write.  Not emotionally, I just found it difficult to explain they way the meal times were managed and carried out.

* Serving the breakfast, lunch or evening meals was just like they used to do it at school. One long line of offenders queuing towards the serving hatches. There would be six offenders serving from the hatches, each with a large serving spoon in their hands. As the offenders passed the hatch, offender Spence would look at his clipboard with everyone’s name on and shout out their meal choice.

“Smith : Chicken pie, mash and beans, custard”.
“Gower : Chicken pie, mash, no beans, jelly”.
“Laverty : Veggie Pie, mash, beans, custard”.

 I would watch the tray of beans get lower and lower.  I would pray that they would be enough to go around the whole wing.  My heart would be pounding in my chest worrying about the lack of beans in the tray running out.  This would go on until everyone got their meal.    I dreaded anybody disputing their meal choices.

There would be no way to check whether they were bullshitting or not.  It would be just as easy to wait until everyone had been served and then let them take whatever was left.  Nine times out of ten there would have to be a compromise and everyone left happy.

But on the rare occasion that someone went away empty handed, I couldn’t give a shit. There was nothing I could do about it. By the time serving had finished, the kitchen would be shut so it was either take what was left or go hungry. I gave them an option if they didn’t take it, tough shit…I had done my job.

Once the meals were served, the shutters were down and all the kitchen tools were accounted for, I was done. It was always a relief to get the meal served without incident. Getting through a morning working with the cleaners and the kitchen staff made the rest of the day an absolute breeze to be honest. There was no other role that I found more stressful than cleaners. I would rather stand up for 3 hours in the visitors hall than worry about meals, supplies and semen in the rice.

*Please forgive and spelling of grammar mistakes in any of my teasers on this web site.  These teasers are very much in their 1st draft states.


You’re Not the Officer We Are Looking For

This is teaser number 9 from my first book I’m currently writing.  This teaser takes place during the prison officer training course.  Please forgive and spelling of grammar mistakes in any of my teasers on this web site.  These teasers are very much in their 1st draft states.

Officer Pilbeam was first to rise from his chair. As he stood, he took off his glasses. That was unusual. I remember thinking that he had never taken his glasses off at all so far. He looked everyone in the eye before he spoke. I felt uncomfortable in my chair. I noticed a few other confused looking faces around me. There was nobody missing, so he wasn’t about to tell us that somebody had died.

“I thought we made ourselves perfectly clear at the start of this course that we expect everyone to follow our rules. We don’t have many rules, but the rules we do have, we expect you to follow”. Both Maple and Guthrie nodded in unison to show their agreement. “All we ask is for your attention and co-operation when we require it. That way we all get along and things go as smoothly as possible. Wouldn’t you agree Officer Maple?”, he asked without turning around. Pilbeam kept his eyes on us, trying to get as many people to make eye contact with him as possible.
“Absolutely, Mr Pilbeam, it’s one of the most important things we ask as instructors”, came Maple’s sturn reply.
“Mr Guthrie, can you remind me of one of the rules that we specifically asked everybody to obey. One of those rules that if were to be broken was punishable by being expelled from the course all together”.
“Would it be not to park in the staff car park under any circumstances, Mr Pilbeam?”
“Precisely that. Thank you, Mr Guthrie.” Pilbeam made his way back to his chair and Gutherie and Maple both stood to join him on their feet. They were lined up together in a show of unity. “So you can imagine my disappointment when I received a call from the Governor this morning to inform me that some of our trainee officer’s were seen using the staff car park”.

Shit, I thought, how the fuck did the Governor find out. I glanced over to Alan. He was oblivious to my stare towards him. Mick was the same…they both had amazing poker faces. They didn’t show any sign of surprise or guilt.
“Now, we appreciate that there is no need for everybody to be here to listen to us deliver the punishment”, explained Pilbeam. “So if you believe you are not the culprits from this morning, you may leave the classroom and help yourself to another cup of coffee”. Nobody said a word as they stood up and made their way towards the classroom door.

I remained seated. Unfortunately, my two other partners in crime decided NOT to remain with me and headed off out of the classroom. I got no eye contact from either of them. As the classroom emptied I was left seated. But not alone. Also remaining seated were Claire and Rachel. 2 of only 3 female trainee officers on the course. They both had their heads down. I thought that Rachel was nearly in tears. Officer Pilbeam walked slowly over towards me. He bent down and whispered in my face “Well, what have you got to say for yourself, OSullivan?”

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Lee OSullivan Teaser 8 – The Find

Here’s my latest teaser from the book I’m currently writing. This *chapter was initially meant to be much shorter than it has turned out to be.  I’m really looking forward to going back to edit this chapter.  I think it’s one of my favourites so far.

*This excerpt is a first draft, unedited version. May include grammar and spelling mistakes.

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As the last screw was laid down, the back of the T.V. fell off with no force whatsoever. “And what do we have here?” exclaimed Officer Randall, pulling out a wrapped up plastic bag from inside the T.V. “No wonder he doesn’t watch the bloody T.V., half of the insides are missing to make room for this”. Randall laid the plastic bag down onto the mattress like it was an injured bird.
“Mr OSullivan…would you like to do the honours?”
“What do you mean”?
“Open the bag, knobhead. I’ll let you take the credit for this find”.
“This was your idea, Lurch. You open it.”
“Absolutely not. If you hadn’t made the twat cry his eyes out, I wouldn’t of suspected a thing. Go on, open the fucking bag”. I shrugged my shoulders. Fuck it I thought. I’ll take this one then. It would be satisfying to get a find under my belt. The bag was sealed with plenty of sellotape. It was wrapped in such a way that it reminded me of my Christmas present wrapping technique. I use so much sellotape that it’s hard for the recipient to actually get into it.
“Why was it wrapped like this?”, I asked, searching for an opening.
“It’s probably been up an arse or two before making it’s way into the back of the TV”.
“This is too big to fit up someone’s arse”.
“Oh, you’d be surprised what I’ve seen pop out of an anal passage during my 15 years here. Mobile phones weren’t always as small as they are these days”, explained Randall, raising his two grey bushy eyebrows.
“Grim”, I replied.
“Come on hurry up.  Use your teeth.”
“Fuck off”. I began to search for the end of the seal.
“Christ, we’ll be hear all poxy night…use your keys”. Suggested the ever increasingly impatient Officer Randall. I pulled my keys from my pocket and hacked away that the sellotape.

I’m hoping to have more teasers coming soon.


Teaser Number Seven – NITRO

Here’s the seventh teaser from a book that I am currently writing.  This chapter that this excerpt is taken from was difficult to write.  It goes deep into my feelings at the time of being a prison officer and the confliction that was going on in my mind.

“OK, do you think Endstall is in danger of harming himself?”, asked S.O. Mallard. A question that I dreaded. Saying no meant worrying whether he would be found hanging from the ceiling of his cell the next morning.

“I’ve not made my mind up about that yet, sir”, I replied, buying myself a bit of time.

“We’ve got another 90 minutes before we lockup for the night, so check on him a few times before bang up and we’ll re-evaluate again before we go home”, suggested S.O. Mallard before taking a large mouthful of coffee.

“No problem”, I replied. Satisfied with that advise I went to leave his office.

“Lee…have you read his file yet?”

“No, sir…I’ve just got him into his cell”.

“A word of advice, young Lee…before you collect a prisoner from reception…”, he said as he picked up Endstall’s green offender file from in front of him and gently threw it at me to catch. I caught it.“..always read their file. You’re now his personal officer”.

Appointing me as Endstall’s personal officer forced me into reading his file ASAP and arranging an interview with him on the wing for the next day. I took a walk up to the 3’s landing office to read Endstall’s file.

Endstall, known to the police as Nitro, had been sentenced to life in prison for crushing * ***** **** ****** ****, using his own body weight and ****** ******* ***** into the eye of a prostitute.

Reading the details of his horrendous crime, again, doubted my ability to remain impartial and fair to all offender’s on this wing. During the training, the instructors would use a phrase “Offenders were sent to prison as punishment, and not to be punished further.” It wasn’t the job of a prison officer to further punish offenders by denying their rights or treating them inhumanly.

That made sense to me during my time at training. We were also told that it was OK to feel empathy towards offenders, but not sympathy. But I was now struggling to come to terms with my own judgement of character.

I had felt a degree of empathy towards Endstall after meeting him for less than 30 minutes. Had he played me? I felt like a complete bell-end. I had been trying my best to be myself as a prison officer. Not to put on some false persona. But this experience had made me question whether that was the right thing to do.

*This excerpt is a first draft, unedited version. May include grammar and spelling mistakes.

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Teaser Number Six – The Fish Out of Water

Sorry for the delay, but I’ve been struggling to finish an important chapter of my book.  I really had to get it right before continuing with a new chapter.  I felt that I couldn’t just leave it and go back to it another day.  If I did, I’ll be continuously thinking about it whilst trying to write a new chapter.

Here’s a short excerpt from a chapter that is currently called The Fish Out of Water.  I think it will be changed before I actually publish the book.

My stomach turned over with butterflies as I inhaled as much air as I could through my nose. Fucking hell, I thought, was a whole morning in a heath and safety refresher course better than being on the wings?

My palms began to sweat. I suddenly felt like the proverbial fish out of water. Way out of my depth. I haven’t even been on a wing yet for a full day and I was regretting being there. My only positive thought was that I don’t remember Danny being the toughest or brightest of kids at school.

Maybe he hated the job as much as I didn’t actually want to do it. Perhaps his version of ‘a bit rough’ was different to mine. I just had to remind myself that I just had to survive 5 days for now and then it was back to the comfort of another 6 weeks of training before coming back here again.

Coffee break ended…it was time to face the music.

*This excerpt is a first draft, unedited version.

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Lee OSullivan Book Teaser Five – Accused

This is a 350 word teaser from a chapter called, Accused.  Writing this first draft gave me goosebumps trying to recall my feelings and emotions during this encounter…

As we approached her cell Billy and I discussed the cell searching protocol.  As I seemed to know the procedure better than he did, he agreed to let me take the lead when we got into the cell.  Teresa, a posh speaking slender women in her late 30’s let us into her cell with no problem. I was half expecting her to be a difficult offender to deal with. Thinking about all the scenarios that they could throw at us during cell searching training, the obvious one to me would have been an offender not giving us access to their cell.

Billy and I stood side by side in her cell and explained that we were carrying out a random cell search. I asked if she had anything in her cell that she shouldn’t have, and she happily announced that she didn’t. So far, so good. Billy and I both put on our blue latex gloves as though we were both about to perform an internal examination rather than a simple cell search.

Just as we were about start the search, there was a knock on the outside of the cell door. Billy Warren opened the door to Officer Guthrie, who asked if Billy could step out for a quick chat. Without asking why, Billy left me to conduct the cell by myself.

With just myself and Teresa alone in the cell, I was about to ask her to leave so I could carry out the search when she started to scream as loudly as she possibly could.  Her eyes tightly shut, and her fist’s clenched.  Shit, this doesn’t feel like a role play scenario, she was having a full on melt down right in from of me. It was when she started to shout “get off me, don’t touch me.  Somebody help me”.  I froze, as if playing musical statues like a 5 year old at a birthday party. Standing in the exact position that I was before she started to call for help, I was hoping that this position would prove my innocence…that should stand up in a court of law, surely.

*This excerpt is a first draft, unedited version.

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Lee’s Book Writing Journey – Episode One

Here’s my first episode in my new YouTube series.  I explain how the first few mouths have panned out during my book writing journey.

I’m hoping to upload a new episode one or twice a month, depending on how the writing process is going.

In this first episode of Lee’s Book Writing Journey, I give a small insight into my thoughts and feelings on how my first book writing experience is coming along.

Doing my best to record my video and walk the dog at the same time was a little difficult walking through the fields of Aylesham, Kent.

Please feel free to subscribe to my channel and give the video a thumbs up! Cheers.


Teaser Number 5 – Get in Line

This excerpt is from a chapter called Get in Line.  It takes place on the first day of a five day work placement after the first 5 weeks of prison officer training.

*A tall Jamaican offender strutted into the dining hall. Tall, thin, long dreadlocks, and wearing dark sunglasses indoors. He was wearing the baggy, plain, light grey, prison regulation tracksuit. He walked straight in and placed himself into the middle of the queue and nobody gave a fuck. Officer Marks looked at me. “You must of seen that. Go on. Go and send him back to the end on the queue”. I had approximately 10 strides between myself and the dreadlocked, thin, sunglass wearing Jamaican. I needed to think fast.

Excuse me”, fuck me. I actually said excuse me. “You need to get to the back of the queue”, sure, politeness was going to work. That was my plan. Just be a polite prison officer and everything would turn out rosey. The Jamaican don’t move a muscle. He just kept his body still, face forward. He didn’t acknowledge my existence. Bloody hell, how am I going to get out of this one. I really didn’t want to touch him. From the corner of my eye I could see other offenders starting to watch me struggle.

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*This excerpt is a first draft, unedited version.


The Fourth Teaser from Lee’s Writing a Book

A short excerpt from a chapter I finished writing some weeks ago.  It’s currently an untitled chapter.

I was tasked with unlocking the 2’s landing ready for breakfast. Everybody gets unlocked for breakfast. So unlocking the whole wing at the same time could be a frantic affair. Some offenders would be ready and waiting by their door and would bolt out as soon as it was opened. Others would remain in bed and wait for the breakfast commotion to settle down before making their way down to the canteen area.

As I approached cell 213, I knew that Haliday would of probably finished shaving his head and be in no rush to get out of his cell for breakfast. As soon as I unlocked his door, he flew out almost knocked me over. He was screaming with his head covered in blood. It was running down his forehead all the way down to his chin.

* this is an unedited first draft excerpt.

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