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Academy Murders: Calligraphy

Kim reads more mail.

By Skyler SaundersPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
1
 Academy Murders: Calligraphy
Photo by Judith Browne on Unsplash

The courtroom seemed colder than normal. An iciness pervaded the place. Yawquisha hugged her clothes a bit tighter. She wore a suit jacket with gold buttons.

“Miss Hudlin, are you aware of the amount of evidence against the defendant?”

“I’m aware that the shreds of evidence don’t even match up to a paper mache portrait.”

The prosecutor looked at his hand and counted on his fingers.

By Ashley Whitlatch on Unsplash

“In the first case, you had probable motive. The two women didn’t get along.” He ticked off that one. “Miss Jergensen clearly knows how to kill someone as an ex-cop.” He marked his second finger. “And with the murder in the cell, there obviously was a goal orientation to be the top inmate. How do you account for all of that?”

“Firstly, there was no ‘probable motive.’ Kim had been trying to help the deceased woman. She did all she could to motivate and aid the cadet. She obviously committed suicide. And what’s this about being a top inmate? The woman clearly killed herself. There was no reason for the woman’s death. And to coincide with a definite suicide, that just illustrates the guiltlessness of Kim.”

Yawquisha came off the witness stand. She wanted to give a subtle sign that she was in Kim’s corner so she picked up a fist and shook it slightly. A grin curled around Kim’s mouth.

Back in her cell she spoke with Goro.

By Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“Why don’t you sing me something?” He asked.

“I can’t.”

“You can’t or you won’t?”

Kim sighed. “Both. Even if I could sing. This isn’t the time nor place.”

Goro goaded. “C’mon. Just a few notes of “Amazing Grace.”

“Really? The ‘in the public domain' sung at nearly every funeral and inauguration since its inception,that “Amazing Grace”?

“You make it sound so cheap.”

By Jay-Pee Peña 🇵🇭 on Unsplash

“I’m just tired of it all.”

“Well they’re millions of other songs to choose from. That doesn’t have to be your choice.”

The thoughts of belting out a few chords for a CO never crossed her mind. Kim didn’t want to lose her soul for extra reading time or a pint of hooch made from orange juice and cider. She didn’t want to make a scene even though the motivation for a bit more time to smoke herbal cigarettes enticed her.

“No,” it was a solid, cool no. It reverberated around her cell and made Goro step back a bit.

“Okay. I tried to reason with you. You’ll get six seconds in the shower, milk and bran cereal with no sugar or raisins. I’m the boss around here. You won’t even see the warden. Your trial will be forever tainted.”

“I can live with that,” Kim said with a bit of fire like a lit matchstick. “You still can’t stop my mail. I know that much.”

“Oh, yeah? You wanna see?”

“I already know, so….”

Goro’s face turned into a tomato. His fleshy neck turned pink and he rushed to the duty station in the holding center. Kim leaned back and read her mail. The purple calligraphy was like a painting that colored her mind. When she sat back against her pillow, she noted the arrangements of words on the page that gave her every hit of confidence. It was her idea to memorize Yawquisha’s words and to let them resonate in her mind.

The spider crawled out under the cover of the light. Its legs stretched out underneath the fluorescent glow. Kim counted down for when the lights would go off in her cell. When she got to five seconds, she yawned. With her eyes closed, she brushed away a tear.

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Skyler Saunders

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  • Naveed 3 months ago

    I am very happy that I had the opportunity to read this story.

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