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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Exhale (08/15/13)

TITLE: The Wait
By Chris Brass


James sat on the bench outside of the court room, his fingers intertwined and on his forehead deep in thought about the testimony that he had just given. His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the courtroom door opening, the loud squeak by the old hinges bringing him to the here and now.

“I've given my testimony to what I saw.” The deputy sheriff told him as he closed the door. “He's in there now giving his side of the story.” The deputy pointed to the young mans leg bouncing up and down rapidly, “Are you going to be okay?”

James glanced at his leg, then smiled. “Yea, I do that whenever I'm bored or stressed.” He responded.

The deputy sat on the bench next to him. “Yea, it's pretty boring sitting out here during these courtroom sessions.”

James looked at the peace officer seeing the sarcastic grin on his face. It caused James to chuckle. “Thanks, to be honest, I think I needed that.” He responded.

“Do you care if I ask you what caused you to press charges and to testify?”

“Luke.” Was all the twenty-seven year old could say.

“Luke? who's Luke?”

“Luke, a book in the bible.”

The deputy sheriff leaned back, letting out a loud ah, as if it all made sense to him now. “I Shall put father against son, and son against father. Well clearly it was more than just a passage in the bible to cause you to take it this far.” He offered.

James held back for a moment, trying do decide what to disclose, finally he spoke. “Four years ago he assaulted my aunt, his sister, while at my Grandmothers house but when the cops showed up, Grandma lied because she didn't want him to go to jail.” He took a deep breath before continuing. “He had been abusive often while I was growing up, and that seemed to be the same thing time after time, people would cover for him. When I found out I told him that it was the last time, if I witnessed another incident I would press charges myself. If I didn't witness it, I would do everything in my power to find a witness and convince them to press charges.”

“So two weeks ago he decided to assault you.” The deputy said.

James nodded, then began to chuckle. “The funny part is that I had read that passage in the bible the night before he did it and for some strange reason it just sat their in my mind over and over, I couldn't get it out. It was like a song that you wake up to, and it just plays in your head over and over again.”

“I heard him say in court that you had tried use your brothers to try and contact him since the incident. Is that true?”

James shook his head. “No, it's not true. They contacted me to try and convince me to drop the charges, kept saying 'this is dad you're doing this to, what are you doing', but I told them that my mind was made up and I was following through with it.” He took a deep breath. “Even my mom called and asked me to drop the charges.”

“What did you tell her?”

The strain of the situation began to get to him as his eyes watered up slightly. “I told her 'You do realize that this is the man that you begged us three boys to not tell him where you lived at. The man that threatened to kill you, right?'” He took another deep breath. “So I told her that if she wished me to drop the charges, I would only because she asked me to, so if she wanted me to do it to just say it one more time.” he was silent for a long time. “She didn't say a word, she only hung up the phone.”

Just then the door opened up and the District Attorney poked his head out giving a thumbs up sign to the two men.

James looked at the officer as the officer formed a grin. “Guilty.” He told the young man, slapping him on the knee.

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This article has been read 340 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/22/13
I like the device of using a conversation between your two characters to tell the back story--well done.

You may want to brush up a bit on punctuation and capitalization of dialog. I'll be posting a lesson on that in the forums on this site in the next few weeks--feel free to check it out! It's a small thing, but fixing those errors sometimes make the difference between Beginners and Intermediate.

A touching story with a satisfying ending--I enjoyed reading this.
C D Swanson 08/22/13
I really enjoyed this story, I got so caught up in it...anxious to see the outcome. Good story!

God bless~
Betty Overstreet08/22/13
What a wonderful way to show how important it is to stand up to wrong doers. When I was growing up I saw people allowing wrong to be done to innocent children because the parents would not allow the guilty to be punished.
Mike Newman08/24/13
Great story about an important truth.

Thank you for sharing it.
Danielle King 08/24/13
This is a different take on the topic. I enjoyed reading the story and was pleased to see that telling the truth won out in the end. Nice job.
Jodi Gardner08/26/13
You hooked me in the first sentence. Your imagery is magnificent, the intrigue at the beginning, not knowing exactly where the story would go all tied it into a bundle of excitement. And to pack that much depth into such a short story, is powerful.

I agree the grammar caught my attention now and then; however, I was left wanting to see more of your writing.