Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Trials

By Heather Simone

As I looked around the bare one room courthouse, built specially to house my hearing and the others that were surely to follow, I couldn’t help but to be reminded of the Salem Witch Trials. It had been a long journey up to this point. My lawyer had promised he would have me out in a matter of days when I was first arrested. Arrested on charges of sorcery. In this day and age I would never have thought that possible. But it had happened. To me and eleven others.

They were calling us “The Witchy Dozen.” A play on words of the old movie “The Dirty Dozen.” It was a horrible, silly name if you asked me. But no one ever asked me anything. No, people were afraid of me. Strange things had been happening in our little town and soon people began talking. Stories ran amuck that witches were in town and before long fear ran everyone’s thought process. So much so, that I had been rounded up with others who were not mainstream and dubbed a witch. We were charged with using sorcery.

There was even an emergency vote against sorcery nationwide. It was now a crime to use any type of sorcery. I, like the others, was placed in a white padded cell that was claimed to be a “sorcery free” zone. They tried us together in the first trial. It was soon decided that was a bad idea. All electronics in the building went haywire. People claiming to be experts insisted that we were separated and sent back to our cells. We were proclaimed guilty without the trial taking place.

Now, a year and a half after I was first arrested we were in a one-room, electronic-free, wooden courthouse in the middle of a corn field in Middle America. My lawyer had been successful in getting me a retrial. This place was built just for this occasion. I hoped he was as good a lawyer as he seemed.

“Your honor the defendant pleads, not guilty.” My lawyer was standing next to me sweating like a pitcher of lemonade in a Texas July. Funny. It was only in the mid-seventies today. The windows were open and a light breeze was floating through the windows to my right and exiting the ones on my left.

“Your honor if we may? I would like to have an expert examine the defendant before we proceed. I would like to make sure no one in the court is at danger.” Nice, the prosecutor was already beginning to place doubt in the minds of the jurors. They looked just as nervous as my lawyer.

“Denied. The defendant was already inspected before being transported to the court. The prosecution will begin their opening comments.” The judge looked nervously between the prosecutor and me.

Clearly, things were not going to go well for me. It was going to take a miracle for me to escape this. Or perhaps a little “sorcery.” …

All rights reserved. © Heather H. Simone 6/10/2010

This Short story was written for a contest with Writer's Digest. http://blog.writersdigest.com/promptly/Charlaine+Harris+The+Author+Behind+True+Blood+Offers+An+Exclusive+Writing+Prompt.aspx

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