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Spinning Wheel

by Delores Wilson 4 months ago in guilty
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You have to look at every angle if you want to not be charged with murder...

Spinning Wheel
Photo by Prophsee Journals on Unsplash

As Madison Montgomery sat in the courtroom, she did her best to not fiddle with her fingers.

Be composed.

Be a person they can sympathize with.

Look concerned.

Look innocent…

But I am innocent! She silently cut in, angrily interrupting herself. I didn’t do what they are accusing me of!

Nervously, she tapped the table before her male attorney gave her a pointed look. Giving him an apologetic smile in return, Madison looked down at the yellow legal pad in front of her, vaguely listening to the DA’s attempt to discredit her as she semi-zoned out.

She thought back to the day her life changed.

It was a year ago.

Her two best friends, Justin Dickerson and Marie Combs, were shot to death during a party and the evidence pointed directly at her—despite her not even attending the gathering.

Now, she was part of what her lawyers were calling: “a high-profiled case” and since she was charged with 1st degree murder, her name was being whispered everywhere she went.

Madison’s eyes watered.

That wasn’t the worst part though.

The worst part was that nobody believed her.

Based on what she’s seen and heard, no one thought that she was innocent and sadly, she believed that her lawyers didn’t either—well, the female one anyway. She wanted her to take a deal when they first met but Madison declined.

She wanted to fight.

Madison then bit her lip. Another thing that probably didn’t help her case was the fact that she was mute and even though one of her defenders could properly read her lips, she felt like it meant nothing.

Their main opinion of her hasn’t changed.

As the courtroom’s sounds faded to the background, Madison took a deep breath before she fully allowed herself to go back to that night.

The last time she had heard from them was through their shared group chat, which suspiciously enough was dismissed as evidence during these proceedings. The two told her that they had “arrived” and were planning on having “a good time”—Marie wanted a fun, boozy night while Justin was mainly there to socialize.

A tear then rolled down Madison’s cheek.

And while they were out, she was at her house…alone, which wasn’t a good alibi to have if someone was planning on framing you for murder. Whoever they were, they did a fabulous job of it too. Her unique tires matched the ones at the scene, her fingerprints were found on the gun and there were also several receipts discovered near the bodies—the items charged on her stolen credit card.

Latex gloves, hosiery, ammunition, a gun…the perfect things to have for the perfect conviction.

Looking around, Madison swallowed hard, coming back to her senses with a little jolt.

When the day was over, she left amongst the clicks of the cameras and the flurry of questions that were being hurled at her by the media, thankful that she was able to go back home instead of a jail cell—though she suspected that that was going to be a limited arrangement.

After fixing the curtains and making sure that all of the doors were locked, Madison slumped into her favorite beat up chair and closed her eyes. She had to do something and it had to be soon because she was running out of options.

They were going to convict her.

She could feel it in her bones.

Tapping her fingers against her thighs, she took a moment before shooting up and reaching for her purse. Peeking through her door’s curtain, she waited until several of the nearby newscasters and people moved away before slipping out and into her car. Ignoring the commotion her action quickly caused when she backed out of her driveway, Madison made her way over to the one person who had been relatively supportive of her.

Though she thought her lawyers were incompetant and often criticized them on a notepad or internally, one of them was actually pretty decent. He was the one who could also read her lips with relative ease.

Barry Fields.

Handsome and incredibly clever, he told her that if she ever needed a shoulder to cry on or if she wanted to blow off some steam, she was always welcomed to visit him at his place, which surprisingly wasn’t too far away.

Being there once before, she drove for thirty minutes before she pulled into an open parking spot across from Mr. Field’s large house. Breathing harshly, Madison’s hands shook when she got out of her vehicle and began making her way over to his front door but when she was almost there, she finally noticed that his car wasn’t.

Scrunching her nose, Madison hesitated before glancing around the property. Nobody else was outside so she decided to use that to her advantage. Flattening herself against the door, she peeked through one of the small windows and, out of habit, touched the long handle but when her fingers involuntarily slipped, she soon discovered that it was unlocked.

Her lips parted in shock.

Surprised, but also very curious, Madison found herself slowly pushing through until she was fully inside. Softly closing the door, she stood near his entrance for a few minutes before she moved forward, her feet taking her past the chilly living room and dining room until she stood near a set of stairs.

She felt compelled to climb them…so she did.

What are you doing?! She thought as she surveyed her surroundings. Sure, let’s add breaking and entering to your rap sheet.

Her heart pounded loudly but she continued to ignore her own warnings. Leaning against the furthest door, she hesitated before she entered into what appeared to be Barry’s bedroom.

Leaving the door open, Madison bit her lip and pressed forward.

Why are you snooping? How are you going to explain this to him if he comes home right now?!

Exhaling, she was going to turn back around when she spotted something. As if drawn to the object, Madison walked over to the dresser, opposite his bed, and nearly buckled at what she saw. Lying flat on its back, was a frame and inside of it…was a picture of Marie.

That’s odd, she thought when she picked it up and looked at the profile of her deceased friend. Why would he have this? He never even knew her…

Suddenly, her blood ran cold when she took in the picture. It looked as if it had been shot from a far away angle—from a spying point of view. Her fingers trembled as newer, darker thoughts began to circulate her mind.

What if…

No, she silently countered. No, don’t go there.

But…what if…

Madison nearly dropped the frame.

Determined to prove herself wrong, she pulled out all of the drawers and searched for something incriminating but she found nothing. Slightly relieved, she decided to wait for Barry outside when her vision fell onto the closet.

Swallowing hard, Madison slowly approached it and when she opened it, she immediately came face-to-face with a large box, which was supported by another stacked beneath it. Plucking it out, she told herself that this was it, but she didn’t know whether she meant that thought for herself or for her snooping.

So, she edited the musing.

After looking inside of this box, she was done.

And that turned out to be the case.

The moment she popped the lid off, she saw more pictures of Marie, some of Justin, various news clippings, tape recordings, journals and a lock of what appeared to be Marie’s hair.

Stunned, Madison tried to keep her composure.

It was him. It’s been him the entire time.

He framed me.

He was my lawyer and he framed me?!

Moving over to his bed, she placed the box down and instantly poured through the contents until she thought she was going to be sick. He was obsessed with Marie. Based on the many journal entries, he wanted her all to himself but he couldn’t because of her “sociable behavior”; “her lust for life”, etc.

Pulling out her phone, she recorded everything before taking solo pictures, but because she was too preoccupied with her findings, she didn’t hear the front door open and close.

She didn’t hear the stairs creak when somebody began climbing them.

And she really didn’t hear someone stop moving, directly behind her, to stand in the doorway.

“What a surprise,” they said, their voice uncharacteristically composed.

Madison jumped but didn’t turn around. Cursing silently, she tried to keep calm as she stealthily slipped her phone into her front jean pocket. Ignoring her bodily instinct to fly, she turned around and fixed Barry with a hard stare.

You used me, she mouthed, knowing for a fact that he’d understand her.

His demeanor was completely different from the one she knew. His eyes appeared more sharp and piercing while his body was both poised and relaxed.

He gave her a wide, unsettling smile when he leaned against the frame. “Of course I did. Your existence gave me an easy target but how long have you known? Did you come here on a hunch? Did you know I wouldn’t be here right away? Or…were you just snooping around? In any case, you’ve certainly made yourself comfortable…”

I didn’t know before today. I came over to talk to you about my case and instead…I found all of this crap!

“Well, aren’t you a little sneak,” he flatly teased. “Since you’ve discovered this much, would you like to hear the whole story?”

Madison inhaled deeply before nodding her head.

“I was in love with her,” he continued, his tone changing into one of sadness. “We met a long time ago, during one of our classes, but she never seemed to notice me. That didn’t matter to me in the beginning though. At that time, I was just happy with following her around and watching her…”

Madison’s breathing hitched.

“...But when I saw her talking to more boys, that’s when I knew I needed more. She had to know me. She had to be mine.” Barry’s eyes hardened. “So, I followed her to the party and when I saw her and…and that boy getting friendly…I lost it.”

What are you talking about?

Barry then tilted his head at her confusion. “You didn’t know? Well, it makes little difference now but, apparently, Marie and Justin were a couple, or were about to become one, because what I saw in that room left little doubt as to their delusional intentions.”

Slightly blindsighted, Madison’s eyes widened. That was news to her. She knew that Marie had feelings for their other friend but she didn’t know that it was reciprocated. Schooling her emotions, she continued to listen to her lawyer’s demented tale.

“I confronted her and told her that she belonged with me, that she and I were meant to be together, but…” he hesitated, his gaze falling to the ground in burning remembrance. “...but she rejected me. She called me a ‘creep’ then demanded that I leave…which I did.” He then smiled as if to comfort himself. “...But then I came back with my kit. One I made in case this very thing should happen…”

Looking back up at her, he continued. “You see, I knew all about you too. Before you ask, we never met but through my observations, I knew how you two were best friends and how you were mute; both of which were extremely valuable to me. Should anything happen to Marie, I always planned on pinning it on you, so, I did some shopping with a card I managed to steal from you, swiped some of your prints off of a coffee mug and personally analyzed and took samples of your tires. Anything I could to make sure that the blame would fall to you, my dear.”

Horrified, Madison shook her head.

“When I went back inside, I returned to that room and put a bullet in them, but not before hearing my Marie beg for her life.” Barry’s eyes then glazed over. “She was so beautiful. She was perfect…but she ruined everything. If she had just agreed—if she had just accepted me—none of this would be happening…at least not to her. Justin, on the other hand, had no chance of leaving that place alive.”

Barry then stared at Madison before he took several steps forward. “Now, what am I going to do with you, Ms. Montgomery? How can I safely procure my client’s life when she knows too much about mine?”

Realizing that she was trapped, Madison lifted her hands into a defensive pose. She had to be smart. She had to clear her name and put the right person behind bars but in order to do that, she needed to survive her new dark situation.

Swallowing hard, she shook her head again, her body trembling.

Lunging forward, Barry suddenly grabbed her outstretched wrists and jerked her towards him before quickly readjusting in order to knock her out with a single punch.

Falling into darkness, Madison felt him digging around in her pockets, a whimper escaping her lips when she felt her phone being removed.

The next thing she knew, she was waking up in an unknown room, her head violently throbbing. Looking around, she jumped off of the bed and turned towards the walls, her eyes quickly falling onto a nearby clock.

8:30AM.

Oh no, she thought. I’ve been out for over a day and the trial started at 8:00AM!

Dread filled her being when she was struck with an obvious realization. He did this on purpose. He trapped me here to make me miss it, ensuring a guilty verdict and a permanent stay in prison!

Sitting down, Madison concentrated. She had to get out. She couldn’t let him get away with this! Her mind spun like a wheel until she realized that she would have to use her surroundings in order to free herself.

Gritting her teeth, she moved over to the door and analyzed the knob before searching her messy hair for a pin. When she found one buried deeply in her tresses, she said a prayer before picking the lock. It took her nearly twenty minutes but when she succeeded in prying it open, she had to fight the urge to not swing the door hard.

Bolting from the room, she made her way back to the area she had originally found the evidence in and nearly yelped when she noticed he had removed everything. Spinning around, Madison nearly succumbed to her frustration when she spotted something under the bed.

Kneeling, she reached for it and after glancing it over…she smiled.

Clutching it tightly, she tumbled down the stairs and left the house, thankful beyond relief that she hadn’t been caged or properly restrained in any way and that he also wasn’t anywhere in sight.

My case is still going on, she thought. He probably believed everything would end swiftly so he could come back to do whatever he has planned for me…

Upon seeing that her car had also been removed, she paused before decisively sprinting into the direction of the courtroom, her legs flying down the streets, then up the stairs, when she managed to get there almost forty minutes later.

Pushing past everybody, Madison was miraculously able to enter the room her case had been assigned to before she practically threw herself wildly at the DA, who regarded her with an incredulous look. When she was in the midst of being tackled by the oncoming bailiff and other surrounding cops, she tossed what she was holding over to him and nearly cried out in happiness when he caught it.

The DA’s eyes hesitated before they skimmed over what appeared to be a journal entry and when he finished, he immediately made his way over to the judge, his eyes pointedly fixed on a fuming Barry, who had begun backing away from his desk.

“You need to see this, Your Honor,” he stated, slipping the paper into the man’s hand.

The judge furrowed his brows but that didn’t stop him from glimpsing over the sheet. His surprised expression fell into one of grave concern; his trained gaze retaining a certain level of intrigue. Snapping his attention up, he then grabbed his gravel and ordered for silence before exchanging looks between Barry and Madison—the latter of which was forcefully being picked up by the surrounding officers, her eyes wide.

“Mr. Fields, can you explain this to me?” he demanded, lifting the incriminating entry up.

Barry breathed deeply when he recognized what the older man was holding. He opened his mouth to respond but his nerves seized and his instincts suddenly took over. Turning around, he faced the female lawyer beside him and pushed her aside, attempting to run around her in order to avoid the fiasco in the middle of the room, but he didn’t get far. He was quickly tackled by the bailiff, who then held him in place against the floor.

Eyes dark, Barry twisted around and caught a still detained Madison’s gaze.

“You bitch!” he shouted angrily, spittle trailing down his chin. “I should’ve done away with you when I had the chance!”

“Cuff him!” the judge shouted, his voice trying to carry over the various cries and sounds the people in the room were now making. “Then put him in a cell immediately!”

Breathing heavily, Madison watched as they dragged her fidgeting and screaming lawyer through a side door, their eyes never leaving one another. When he was gone, she then turned her attention over to the now standing judge and the DA, her pleading gaze scouring over the two men who had since turned their unreadable focus onto her.

.

.

.

A few days later…Madison took a sip of her coffee and for the first time in a long time, gave a genuine smile to nobody in particular as she read the newspaper in her hands.

Reminiscing about what had happened next, she recalled how she was exonerated and her charges were immediately dismissed before Barry was charged with the murders of Marie and Justin, making the already high-profiled case, international. They had reportedly found all of the evidence he had tried to hide in a storage facility—her phone included—and found the gun, her stolen credit card and bloody shoes in the trunk of his car.

Madison Montgomery was free, and finally, believed…but more importantly, her murdered best friends, Justine and Marie, were getting the justice that they so rightfully deserved.

guilty

About the author

Delores Wilson

Hello, guys! Love writing and hoping to finish writing my novel soon!

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