This story was originally posted at TUGStories.com (link) on 2020-07-20. It placed third in the November 2020 story contest, which had the prompt: “He/she wasn’t like that the last time we met.“
Interviewing Darren Peterson
To the Parole Board
RE: Darren Michael Peterson (DOB: 15/06/1998)
What follows is an account of the first of two serious incidents of a similar nature, involving Darren Peterson. This incident took place on the 17th of November 2020 during my regular assessment visits with Darren Peterson.
“Good afternoon, Dr. Grey. Come for your weekly session with Peterson, eh?”
I nodded at Sam as he waved me through the security check at HMP Wandsworth. “That’s right. We’re close to finishing our pre-trial assessment of Mr Peterson, though, so I might not be visiting you guys again for a while. Oh, by the way, how’s your eye?”
“Still a bit fuzzy, but the pills the eye doctor gave me are startin’ to work,” Sam replied. “Thanks for asking. Yeah, Peterson’s a funny one, isn’t he? Comes over all friendly like when he wants something off yous, but gives you the cold shoulder when he don’t. Except this morning – usually he’s got nothing to say to me when I take him to the office, but today it’s like I’m his best friend or summat. ‘So glad to see you! To see you!’ and smiling to himself, like. Anyway… here we are. You need me, just gimme a shout.” I watched Sam amble down the corridor to the break room. I waited for a moment, gathering my thoughts, then pushed the door open and stepped inside.
Peterson looked up at me as I entered. Twenty-two, unusually pale skin, a thin face with ice-blue eyes, dark-haired. Sam had once remarked on how similar Peterson and I looked, although I was almost thirty and wasn’t quite as fit as Peterson, not that you could tell at the moment with the prison-issue blue shirt, grey sweater and trousers that he was wearing. He was relaxed and smiling, though the smile didn’t quite reach his eyes. I hadn’t seen him like this before. He wasn’t like that the last time we met – last week he’d been cold and dismissive, giving me perfunctory answers as I probed his mental state at the time of his arrest. Sometimes he’d say nothing in response to my questions, instead just sitting there staring at me. Sizing me up.
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