Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ONEROUS (03/02/17)
- TITLE: Guilty Until...
By Francy Judge
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The first time I saw Julia, she spilled coffee on my shoes. As she mopped up the spill, I noticed red paint in her hair. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Julia’s coffee shop became my favorite—I became a regular and knew her schedule. It took a year of drinking coffee there for me to ask her to dinner.
I pace the cell, counting to a thousand. My mind has consumed too much time reflecting on that night. I have to hold the truth secure as it begins to slip into a foggy memory. The prosecutor is an expert at twisting my words. He could convince me of the reality he wants to prove if I don’t remain strong. So after counting, I pray. I have nothing else. Next to grieving, waiting is the greatest burden to endure.
Julia wore a sleeveless white wedding gown that dusted the sand for our beach ceremony. The sky swirled into the pinks of sherbert and set a golden hue to Julia’s hair. The rhythmic waves sang the melody to the flutes played. Seagulls interrupted the song and brought laughter to our day. We said we’d stay together and love forever. But this other day happened.
If the jury could have seen us together, they might not struggle to decide the truth…unless they believe passionate love can end in a passionate death as the prosecutor attempts to prove. I thought 365 days was enough to wait, but that was only the midpoint of this drawn out process. I fear more days will heap onto more if they can’t decide the truth. And what if I forget the truth as time passes?
We all rise as the honorable judge enters. He looks to the chosen group. “Has the jury reached a decision?”
“We have, your honor.” Their eyes are downward.
I am a monster.
As I exit the courtroom, a stranger hands me a booklet. A sudden breeze flips the pages before I shove it in my pocket.
“…where are they? Has no one accused you?”
“No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
When I look up, the lady is gone. I will have to return and repeat the process of proclaiming my truth to another jury. I will pray they can reach a decision.
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