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Dec 15, 2020

Crime Sad Fiction

Fifteen-year-old Amanda Thrift was in her dorm, waiting for the day to get over. She was slumped on a couch, magazines piled up beside her in a messed heap. Darkness had replaced day. Amanda loved the dark. Her college-mates made fun of her, saying she was a cat herself, not a human being. Amanda ignored them. Ever since she’d shown up, she despised everything there, from its dimly lit corridors to the cafeteria.

Amanda had never fit in. She didn’t want to.

She flipped through a mystery book. One she had leafed through around a million times before, but never got bored of. She would sometimes weave her own stories in her head.

The only thing she enjoyed in this dreary existence was reading detective stories, full of suspense and darkness.

* * *

“Miss Thrift!” a sharp voice hit Amanda’s ears. Amanda, now twenty-three, scowled at the door.

“Who is it?”

“Inspector Mason.” The voice was bold and unwavering, “Open the door.”

Amanda’s scowl deepened, but she dare not disobey the order. She flung open the door. Outside stood a lofty officer, grim-faced and glowering down at her.

“What now?” The young woman said with all the contempt she could throw in her voice.

“I suppose you have heard of the murder of the late professor next door?”

Amanda clutched at the door handle, “Yes?” she looked almost as if she’d known it well already.

“Well, the assassinator is still at large. We’re trying our best to track them down, but the thing is,” he gave a pause, “we don’t know yet, who it could be. It could be anyone. Do you have any guesses?”

Amanda didn’t utter a word. Was the inspector trying to hint at something? What would she know, anyway?

He sighed, “I’m fed up with beating around the bush.” He pulled out something metallic: a handcuff, “Now, let’s get this over with quickly. Follow me to the police station.”

Amanda’s face lost color.

He had come to arrest her. To accuse her of being the murderer of the old professor. Someone she barely saw around.

* * *

“Miss Amanda Thrift,” read out the judge, “has been assumed responsible for the murder of the retired professor, D.E.D. Any objections?”

Amanda didn’t look up from the ground. No one said a word in the courtroom. There was no one to speak up for her. Because she’d always been alone.

“I take the silence.” The judge said, “An assassination of someone is not a trivial matter. Here is my decree: Miss Amanda Thrift shall be sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment.”

His words knocked around in Amanda’s ears. She clutched the sides of the chair she was sitting on. No, the world wasn’t spinning. It was her. All her problem.

And now, she was to spend the rest of her life locked up in a dark cell.

This was the last chance for her to speak out and say something to defend herself. Anything that came to her mind. But she had lost the ability to communicate. She was speechless.

Her lips quivered as the guards came to take her away.

* * *

Amanda Thrift spent her next birthday in a prison cell, with a few other prisoners for company. The guards laughed amongst themselves that Amanda was lucky to have life imprisonment. According to them, such murders deserved the death penalty, and the young woman had eluded that.

Days turned into months, and months turned into years. Amanda learned to live her life as a convict. As a jailed criminal. She tried to while away time as much as she could. The inmates on either side talked about how they were waiting to be released. Only she knew there was going to be no release for her.

Their family members came to visit every so often, but Amanda had no family.

Slowly, the other prisoners started leaving after their prison term, and unfamiliar faces replaced them. Amanda looked at every one of them. Soon, they would be gone, too. Only she would remain here until the end of her days.

No one came to bail her out. No one cared.

A life. Amanda had had a life in front of her. A life she could have lived to her content.

It had been snatched away from her. Forever.

Winter came early that year. A blanket of snow coated the countryside, fresh and soft. It was only November, but the temperatures soared below minus. The convicts were forced to do with measly sweaters and worn-out blankets. They could view the outside only once in two months. Harsh, yes, but they had to make do with it.

The last time they had taken Amanda out, it was all she could do from reaching forward and trying to become one among the snowflakes. At least they didn’t have to stay cooped up inside a musty cell for the rest of eternity. At least they had what people called ‘freedom’.

Instead, she gathered herself and took a cursory glance at everything around. Why did she hope to be outside again, anyway? Where no one cared for her?

Amanda was now in her sixties. Ironic, yes, but that was how fast time had flown in the jail. Her yearning to be unrestricted and unchained once again was nearly dead. Once, she would’ve screamed at the guards to let her out. To give her back what liberty she had been denied all these years. Wasn’t it enough? Wasn’t it enough that they had spoilt her entire life like this?

But now, she didn’t do all that. She had learned to accept the bitter truth. That there was most probably no chance for her to see the outside world again.

* * *

On New Year’s Eve, a new inspector, James, superseded the last. He was younger than most, but people said he was a keen young man, precise to the details. He came a few times on rounds to check on the prisoners.

The first time he saw Amanda in her cell, something about her struck him as unusual. Not the bare fact of catching sight of such a harmless old woman branded as a ‘murderer’, but seeing her so composed, so accepting and so mild.

“Good evening.” He had greeted her cordially, “I’m inspector James. May I know, Miss Thrift, what you did, to land up in here?” he was aware of that already, of course, but he wanted to see how Amanda would react.

“I murdered a well-known professor.” She replied, cool and emotionless. Her voice was weathered down and faint. Very submissive.

Inspector James, to be honest, had expected to see a human tornado, filled with fire and vengeance for justice. Not someone who had resigned herself to the reality.

“Are you certain?” he asked her, filled with empathy for this person, who reminded him so much of someone close to him.

“That doesn’t matter.” She said, “The court thinks that way, so it must be it.”

There’s something more to her, James told himself. He felt something was off. He had met no one like her. Perhaps they had been too hasty while arresting her?

He needed to have a deeper look at this court case.

* * *

“Inspector!” James burst into the head inspector’s room four weeks later, “I have some astounding news.”

The head inspector looked up.

“Inspector, do you remember the case regarding the murder of Professor D.E.D?” James’s tone was rising, “The one where the accused, Miss Amanda Thrift, was sentenced to a lifetime of imprisonment?”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well,” said James, almost bursting, “I did a bit of investigation, and believe it or not, Amanda was not the murderer! She is innocent!”

The head inspector did a double-take.

“Yes.” James said, “She is innocent. She always was.” He pitied this Amanda Thrift who had been living in a prison cell like a criminal while all the while, she was not one. He imagined how it would’ve been for her, condemned to her own thoughts nagging at her, with people around humiliating her for something she had not done.

The head inspector had a thorough look at the sheaf of papers James had gathered on this subject, and he was blown off his seat.

“Blimey,” he said, “Blimey James, you are right after all!”

“I demand her immediate release.” James said, standing his ground firmly, “She has been suffering enough all these years. And she doesn’t need to, for another minute.”

The head inspector got up, “I shall summon guards to release her from the cell.” He supported justice and righteousness as much as the next person.

A few minutes later saw James waiting near the entrance for the guards to bring Miss Amanda Thrift out into the open for the first time in several years. A smile had lit his solemn face. He couldn’t help thinking how pleased she would be at this news. How she could enjoy the rest of what life she had.

However, pretty soon, his smile turned into a look of dismay when he saw that the guards had returned empty-handed.

“What happened?” he demanded, “Where is Miss Thrift?”

The guards exchanged a silent look, almost mournful.

“She was already very old.” Said the first guard, his voice a distant echo, “Heading into her seventies.”

“She’s there no more.” Said the second.

James’s hopes plunged into an abyss. He couldn’t believe it. Freedom had been so close to her, almost moments away. Why did this happen? Poor Amanda Thrift. Denied what meant most to human beings. Spending her last moments believing she was guilty of a heinous crime.

She was gone. Gone with the snowflakes. Just like she had wanted to.

“We shall remember her.” Said James, “We will not forget her. Never.” This was all he could do for her sake.

The world looked exceptionally sad and beautiful that day.

A world without Amanda Thrift.


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93 comments

16:31 Dec 15, 2020

Hi everyone, I hope you're having a great week! I don't usually put comments after submitting a story, but I'd like to state a few things: 1. If there's anyone with the same names as the characters, please don't think I meant that character to be you. Any character names are purely fictional. 2. This is the first time I'm writing crime fiction, so there may be a few errors. If you spot any, do tell them to me in the comments. I'm always welcome to any suggestions, feedback, or critique! That's all for now. I hope you have a great day/night/...

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Roger Crane
00:48 Dec 23, 2020

P.S. I hope you read your story carefully, because I made changes, as I said I would, in the text, to go along with my comments.

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17:04 Dec 17, 2020

Aaaaah the perfect sad story! It was amazing, and I couldn't stop reading!

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09:10 Dec 18, 2020

Thank you so much, Saph! 😊

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18:58 Dec 18, 2020

aww np!

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07:21 Dec 19, 2020

:)

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Roger Crane
00:45 Dec 23, 2020

You wanted the grammatical (and I assume, style) critique, so here it is, Ahshaya. I'm trying something new here, a Word review method. It may not work. I changed some words, as if editing, and wrote comments in the margin to go with the lines, but they didn't come through. I'll try again at the end. Hope you can match up the comments. Fifteen-year-old Amanda Thrift was in her dorm, waiting for the day to get over. She was slumped on a couch, magazines piled up beside her in a messy heap. Darkness had replaced day. Amanda loved the dark. ...

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13:06 Dec 23, 2020

Thank you very much for the edits and comments, Roger! I can see now, where I've made those errors. I will certainly keep this in mind so I will not repeat it again. I had initially written it as Amanda being a college student, and I suppose I missed making the changes when I decided to make her a fifteen-year-old. I would have expanded more on the backstory, but I was worried about the word count, and I agree there are more short sentences than necessary. Your edits made the story flow more smoothly when I went over to read it. I made her a...

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21:37 Dec 22, 2020

You are amazing! Your bio said you were only 13, but you write like someone with a writing degree! Great work! The ending brings tears to my eyes, I can't wait to see more!

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13:13 Dec 23, 2020

Thank you very much, Emmie! I'm glad you liked reading my story. I will continue to write many more in the future! :)

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15:38 Dec 23, 2020

Please do! They're great! Could you check out some of my work? I've been writing since I was nine, and I've finally found my style!

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02:52 Dec 25, 2020

Certainly, I will read your stories! That will be my pleasure :)

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15:44 Dec 25, 2020

I'll look for you there!

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Hi Akshaya! New story out!

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13:12 Dec 23, 2020

Sure! Will read it!

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Roger Crane
06:37 Dec 22, 2020

First, I don't believe that you are only 13 years old. If you are, then you are what they call a prodigy--or close. Second, your name (if that is your name) is beautiful, and so it's fitting that you write so well. You certainly captured a powerful current of feeling, and your descriptions were the biggest part of it. But also what you did with the story. Some stories do have sad endings, and that's often because they are a commentary. I'd say this is a commentary on some justice systems, although you did not present an entirely adequate set...

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07:54 Dec 22, 2020

Thank you so, so much, Roger! I'm honored by your words! :) Yes, that is my real name, and thanks! I agree I do give a lot of importance to the descriptions while writing, definitely more than I give to the dialogue. I suppose that is because when I was younger, I always wanted to write better descriptions for descriptive essays in school. I did not include the details (about the justice system, time, and country) because I was not certain which country's system was like that. I agree a few things were choppy. If you don't mind, could you pl...

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Roger Crane
23:11 Dec 22, 2020

Ok, Ahshaya, I will go to your story and add some comments about the grammar. But let me say here that if you were not sure about the system of justice in your story, perhaps you could have let the reader know it was a fantasy story (that is, about a made up world and its system). Anything is possible that way. Just make sure that it is consistent--that's very important.

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NoOoOoO Great story! But...nOoOoOoO not amanda! love this! Likex1 billion!!!!

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15:32 Dec 16, 2020

Thank you so much, Carolina! 😊 I agree. I want to say noooo for Amanda, too, but poor her, I suppose this was necessary. Thanks again!!

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Ofc! It is totally necessary, as an author one of my general rules is someone has to die. (geez i hope no one takes that out of context lol)

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16:28 Dec 16, 2020

Lol yes. That's needed sometimes. A story can't always be happy, after all. Like you said, someone has to die.

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Hi Akshaya! Aww, so sad! Beautiful story! I like the title, but I think you might have hit a nerve with "Gone With The Snowflakes". THe reason is that people usually have an "oooo" moment when the same phrase appears in the story, but that's just personal preference. Once again, great job :) Sythe

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13:41 Dec 16, 2020

Hi Sythe! Thank you so much! I'm glad it didn't feel too rushed towards the end. :) Do you think it would be better if I changed the title to 'Gone with the Snowflakes'? It's actually a great idea.

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Akshaya!!! Amazing, wow... didn't expect the ending. Super mysterious but so sad as well! Made me emotional. Keep the good work up:)

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02:57 Dec 16, 2020

Hi Varsha! Thanks so much! I feel sad for Amanda as well, though I decided what happened to her. Probably this was needed because it would mean the officers wouldn't be so hasty again. You could say they'll never do it again :)

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Yup, I agree. A lesson well learned:)

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04:47 Dec 16, 2020

:)

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NOOoooOo Sad... But I liked it!

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02:54 Dec 16, 2020

Thank you Celeste! I wrote this sad ending because I've never really tried writing one and I wanted to experiment a bit :)

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05:02 Dec 16, 2020

By the way, I'm a Harry Potter fan, too :)

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06:06 Dec 16, 2020

Yes! :)

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19:55 Dec 15, 2020

A well-written crime fiction, especially considering that this is your first attempt, Akshaya! My heart went out for Amanda! How I wished she got the justice she deserved! Will there be sequel where they find and catch the criminal, Akshaya?

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02:53 Dec 16, 2020

Thank you so much, Akshaya! Yes, I might just about add a sequel to this. In fact, I hadn't thought of it before, but now after your comment, I'm certain I can do one if the right prompt is given. (Thank you!)

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04:21 Dec 16, 2020

My pleasure, Akshaya! Happy to help! :)

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05:01 Dec 17, 2020

Thanks! :)

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08:32 Dec 19, 2020

My pleasure! :D

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13:32 Dec 19, 2020

:D Is that your sketch? It looks amazing! You've drawn it really well :)

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03:20 Apr 25, 2021

Good story.

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