Shackels: The Beginning

Sin is a curious thing. It can cause one person to ruin a lifetime of happiness. Sin can hold a person captive, and keep a heart from experiencing all of the joy that God created in this world. Now, I am paying for my sins. I am no longer trapped simply within the walls of a metaphorical prison, but also behind the gate of a literal prison. They accused me of killing my ex-wife. How could I do such a horrible thing? Our relationship was not the greatest of relationships, but I could never commit murder. However, I cannot say that the thought never crossed my mind.

Now I sit, in this concrete room, awaiting my trial: the trial that seems to be working against me. All of the evidence seems to also work against me. In fact, the only thing that seems to take my side is my own memory. Perhaps, if I examine my own life, I will be able to find something that will prove my innocence. It will be difficult to conduct my own investigation from the inside of a cage, but that is the only way I may be able to prove anything.

I still have one week until my trial begins,


“Excuse me officer, could I possibly get a notebook and a pen? I wish to record my final thoughts.”


One week later…


“How do we presume to solve a case in which there is no conclusive evidence and no primary witnesses? Do we rely simply on our prejudice and our desire to remove evil from the streets in America? What if we are not entirely sure that the one person we are persecuting is guilty even in the most simplistic circumstance? Will we sentence an innocent man so that we will be provided with a certain false security that a murderer is no longer roaming the streets? What if we have been wrong in our investigation thus far? How can we know when the evidence we have gathered is not even remotely conclusive? Curtis Samuel Payton claims innocence,” the attorney defending the accused walked over to the desk that was located in the left side of the courtroom. He retrieved a notebook in which Curtis Payton had recorded everything that he remembered that was connected to the current case. He flipped through the pages, of which there were about one hundred, and held it up for the jury to see. “In the past week, Mr. Payton has contrived, within these pages, the things which he remembers about his connection with the case. He gave this notebook to me yesterday evening when I visited his cell. This is Mr. Payton’s plea of innocence. So, how do we solve a case in which there is no conclusive evidence? The only way is to use the memories and the testimony of the person on trial. Mr. Payton knows that if any contradictions are found within his story, he will be sentenced accordingly. We, as upholders of the law, must not place an innocent man in prison, and in doing so allow a guilty man or woman to walk the streets around our families.”

Curtis Payton sat at the desk where his defending attorney had previously retrieved the notebook. His face was cast downward. He had been clean-shaven and awarded shower time just before this trial had started. His attorney had told him beforehand that the notebook he presented would have to be authenticated. The forensic lab, which helped with the investigation, would have to send a graphologist to insure that the handwriting was authentic. Curtis hoped that his defense attorney was able to find her the night before. Otherwise, he might not have had a chance at a chance for an acquittal.

The judge that was overseeing the case knew beforehand that Cutis’ attorney would be presenting such an account, and so did the prosecuting attorney. The judge held out her hand from the judgment seat, “Allow me to gander Mr. Halomo.” Mr. Halomo, the defense attorney (whose name sounded much like the name of the fortress in which the sovereign Texas made their final stand against the Mexican government mainly because the ‘H’ was never pronounced), handed the worn notebook to the judge for examination.

“Did you have this verified by a graphologist?” asked the judge skeptically.

“Not as of yet your honor. I received the notebook yesterday and have not had a chance to meet with miss Hervey,” replied the defending attorney.

The judge squinted as she shifted her gaze toward Curtis Payton, “This will need to be verified before it can be read, and it will not be viable as evidence, only testimony.”

The prosecuting attorney petitioned to resume the case on a later date. He wanted more time to procure convincing evidence. This would give Mr. Halomo an opportunity to visit the lab in which miss Hervey worked, so that he could have Curtis’ written testimony verified.

“Very well Mr. Plank, we will resume tomorrow morning at 10,” the judge hit the table in front of her with the gavel she held in her right hand.

Curtis Payton was led back to his cell where he would spend the night.




This story should appear in a future book. In fact, this may be my next book, after Rebellion.


Please let me know what you think.


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