Mary huddles against Lyn. “Tell me again! Why are we here?”
“We’re here for family day.” Lyn whispers.
“Whose family? I don’t have family here!”
Oliver brushes a hand through his hair and glances toward Cuddles, Nibbie and Hampy who aren’t happy about being tied a tree in the yard.
Sharon peruses the notice to visitors. “It says here prisoners are only allowed three visitors at one time! There are six of us!”
Kelly holds up several white sheets. “Jeff’s cellmate Mikey said we could come and use his visitor passes. He’ll have to stay with us though during the visit to make it legal.”
Lyn, Mary, Sharon, Oliver and Kelly step through the arch but when Patsy steps through the metal detector, the instrument bleeps.
“Ma’am,” the prison guard says. “Step to the line and raise your arms.”
Patsy rolls her eyes and glares, but does as he says. The guard takes a hand-held metal detector and swirls it over her body. He pauses at her waistline and grins.
“Just the metal snap on your jeans.” He motions her through.
Lyn wipes perspiration from her brow. “I thought you were a goner for sure.”
They follow the guard down a short hallway to a locked door. When all the visitors are gathered close, he unlocks the door and waves them forward. To their right, behind a huge window, they can see prisoners walking in a circle.
Mary presses her nose against the glass. “What are they doing?”
“Exercising.” Kelly chuckles. “Sometimes, that’s all the exercise they get.”
Several loud beeps ring through the room. A heavy metal door swings open and a line of men in orange jumpsuits enter the room.
“Over here!” Kelly waves her arms. “That’s my cousin, Jeff. He’s innocent you know! You all need to read his memoirs. I have them at home.”
The visitors and prisoners converge on each other. Hugs, kisses, squeals of joy resound through the large room as the families unite.
Several prisoners approach a makeshift podium. One picks up a guitar, another seats himself at a set of drums and another positions himself in front of a keyboard. The guitar player moves to the front where a microphone is stationed.
Mary’s eyes round. “Are they going to play?”
“Yep!” Kelly leads them to a long table. “The prison band tries to make it seem more hospitable for the visitors. Music to soothe the soul.”
“I must admit to needing some soothing right now.” Sharon nervously sits down. “Are we safe here?”
“Probably more safe than on the outside,” Lyn says with confidence, but seats herself between Sharon and Oliver with Mary to the left. Jeff, Kelly and Patsy sit down on the opposite bench. A huge prisoner, shaved head and a multitude of black tattoos, plunks down on the bench next to Patsy. The threesome levitate as his weight jars the bench.
“I’m Mikey.” He extends a hand the size of a bear paw. “Glad to meet you.”
Patsy winces as he crushes her fingers. “Owww!”
“Uh, sorry,” he apologizes. “Don’t know my own strength.”
With a few clangs of warm-up notes, the band begins playing. Jail House Rock rocking the room. Prisoners and families cheer. Several couples jump to their feet and start dancing.
“This is more like it,” Shaton laughs. “Only thing missing is Elvis.”
“Food is on the patio.” Jeff points the way. “Not much to pick from but we made a special dish we all like here. Cooked in the microwave Ramen noodles with tuna fish, and then we add hot sauce. Not too bad. Better than the regular fare. We all pooled our money and ordered in some brats and cheese for the kiddies.” He points to the wall, beaming happily. “There’s an ice cream machine and we can get dessert!”
Kelly picks up a glass of apple juice. “We can pretend this is Miller Lite.”
“Mine’s going to be Pabst,” Patsy chimes in grabbing a cup.
Mary takes a sip. “I’m pretending mine’s Old Milwaukee.”
Lyn gulps hers down. “Of course I’m having English mead.”
Sharon takes a ladylike sip. “I, of course, am drinking champagne.”
Mikey roll his hips, swaying to the music. “I need me a partner.” The huge paw latches onto Sharon. “You’ll do.”
“Wha….?” Sharon chokes but follows him to the dance floor.
“This is a great party!” Kelly takes Jeff’s arm and disappears into the crowd.
Mary, Lyn and Patsy gaze at the happy crowd.
“Looks like it’s just us again.” Oliver extends his arm. “Come on, ladies, let’s dance!”#
It was one of the most sensational murder cases in U.S. history. Lawrencia "Bambi" Bembenek, a former Playboy waitress and ex-Milwaukee police officer, was arguably railroaded and convicted of murder. When all hope of proving her innocence seemed lost, she planned a daring escape from prison, and together with her lover they slipped into Canada under assumed names. Now, nearly twenty years after the escape, Dominic Gugliatto wants to set the record straight. The man who laid it all on the line tells a different tale — one of deception and betrayal. For the first time, Gugliatto speaks out about the lies and secrets long buried. That Bembenek knew more about the murder than she professed, and that the prison escape involved co-conspirators, including a retired Milwaukee police officer. The truth is coming, told by the only man who knows it all.
Kelly Moran is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she resides with her husband, Darren, three sons, Logan, Evan, & Ethan, and her black lab, Willow. A good portion of her family lives in the Carolinas so she spends time there, as well. She attributes her success to her family and friends.
She began her writing career in the Indie market, having self-published five novels and becoming the recipient of an Editor's Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1993, inducted into the Who's Who Book of Americans in 2006, a Finalist in the 2008 Best Books Award, and a Finalist in the 2009 Indie Excellence Book Awards before moving into the traditional market.
Nowadays she a respected book reviewer for Bookpleasures, interviews authors on her blog, and is a Romance Writer's of America member. Her children's book was featured in GRAND MAGAZINE, as "Kids Book Author of the Week," and her new romance was a "top reviewer pick" at Night Owl Reviews and LASR.
Kelly's hobbies include: reading, crafts, movies, cooking, gardening, card games, spending time with loved ones, and sleeping when she can. She is a closet caffeine junkie and chocoholic, but don't tell anyone. She is also a practicing Catholic and works part time in the healthcare field. www.authorkellymoran.com
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Contest ends tomorrow and everyone who comments is elligible.