Miss Fisher had crossed paths with Wendy before ever knowing her name or story. Wendy was a frequent guest in the cave, as was Miss Fisher until she became concerned that infractions leading to solitary could affect her chances of getting parole far, far down the road when Miss Fisher, a serial killer, would actually be up for parole.
Wendy was tall, thin, and pale, and made no attempt to control her curly, ash blonde hair. She walked like a tiger, on alert for prey, but also like a gazelle, alert for life threats. In other words, she was internally disjointed and externally unpredictable.
Mostly, Miss Fisher observed, she was angry. As a retired teacher, she recognized anger, its sources, and its consequences.
When Wendy transferred to Miss Fisher’s section, they immediately recognized each other as cave dwellers. This created a certain familiarity and affinity.
Wendy had never told her story to anyone, but Miss Fisher heard it. When she did, she was angry too.
It was the usual, in women’s prison, story of neglect, abuse, dismissal and isolation. But because it was a particularly bloody crime, prosecutors scored a big win.
“I had nothing else to fight with,” Wendy told Miss Fisher. “It was just a knife. It was on the counter. He had a gun. Yes, I stabbed him more than once. I was afraid he would get up again.”
The prosecution showed the jury many photographs of the crime scene. So very much blood.
Wendy’s aggravated assaults often sent her to the cave. But unlike Miss Fisher, she did not enjoy solitary confinement. It made her more angry and afraid. So they formed a kind of nightmarish alliance. Ex-school teacher multiple murderer and young damaged man-killer.
Miss Fisher decided she would make things right. As she always did.