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Crime Historical Fiction Romance

Advisory: Themes of crime, criminal insensitivity, and victims’ impact.

“If your emotions flicker by the slightest degree. He has you. You’re done.”

The saying was among the coached words of Warren’s legal counselor, Richard Attenborough. After the noon break, the defendant, who faced the death penalty, would endure more grilling by the district’s assistant prosecutor, Nod Beacons. It was after a lengthy city-wide search that most citizens concluded the body was expertly disposed of, mafia-styled.

The months-long investigation never steered far from a prime suspect linked to underground offenses such as bootlegging and racketeering. Of course, the time spent in the jailhouse was no blessing for undisciplined Warren, who was a slow poke for redemption. Beacons took advantage of his tainted scorecard, gaining little leverage for his successive legal win.

Attenborough acknowledged, “Thus far, Beacons hasn’t snapped you like he sent so many into the dungeon’s dark pits.”

Nonetheless, that late morning session was, at that point, Warren’s highest challenge. It was more complex than the faultless planning and execution of his former rival, Banjo McNiff. The man hindered his accessing illegal wealth and his beloved Nancy. Beacons had masterfully presented ample evidence to snip his opponent’s nerves and topple Warren.


“Thanks to you, I escaped every trap he built and each corner Beacons tried to block me.”

“Mr. Hoist, you have steel-tight composure and conviction,” Richard replied. “Keep to it; Nod’s a safe crack artiste who loves carting last-minute surprises. Be alert and ready.”


Warren accepted the revised preparation as the colossal clock faced him from the opposite marble wall above the courtroom doors. They observed people returning; some granted him prolonged expressions of examination, scorn, baffling, or questionable glances. A few must have been surprised by the defendant’s survival.


“And you’ll claim more believers,” confirmed the lawyer. “The jury remains in doubt; I can see it. You can win vindication, freedom, and your bride claim.”


The glass, circular, dome-cased timepiece ticked twelve forty-seven. An audience began sitting in the pews. Furniture that resembled the seating rows inside Nancy’s favored church, perfect for a victorious wedding. He anticipated their relocation afterward to erase the bitter experience and far distance the family’s disapproval of Warren. 

Ingoing the court, Nancy lingered, smiled, and blew a kiss to her beloved devotee. He felt her sweetened breath, exported by lusty, blushed lips, penetrate and channel through his body’s arteries and veins. Via secondary reactions, the young woman’s mother and siblings hurried her from Warren’s besotted view of this beautiful being. They can’t keep her from me without Banjo. All I have to do is bypass this pig-piled, hard-hitting phase.

“And then,” Warren thought. “Nancy and I withstand the Great Depression to await President Roosevelt’s rescue. We’ll be okay.”


******


“Explain to our listeners again. How is it a man known for hating his girlfriend’s father, aware the victim damaged his livelihood, not be connected to Mr. McNiff’s disappearance?” Asked Beacon. “Since much, the indication points at you.”

Richard Attenborough commenced standing as Nod finished the statement with his arm raised and finger pointed upward. “Objection, your honor.”

“The question leads the defendant’s response by the assumption he intended harm because of hatred and revenge,” Richard explained. “Those motivations are unseen in the evidence.”

“True, objection upheld,” Judge Dodd agreed. “Counsel, your record abounds you not to practice such inquiries, be careful.”

Gently, Beacons raised his hands as an admittance. “I apologize to the court and Mr. Hoist.”


The prosecutor’s approach softened, contrasting the witness stand’s unforgiving wood chair in comfort. Warren sensed the prior overnight doom settled as a low tide on Jones Beach. How silly were the beads of sweat moistening his pajamas the night before? Mr. Beacons probably conceded to conclude. It was time to relish the courtroom observation, for sure, Nancy’s blessed expression like next to her on the Steeplechase Ferris Wheel at Coney Island—an arm around her shoulder. And the imagination of Mr. Hoist’s proboscis wafting the female’s floral—infused perfume.


Unheard by others, he bellowed within his interiors, “This moment I shall savor eluding God’s decree despite the Almighty’s witnessing my depraved acts.” 

Warren confirmed. Like Job complained about men like me, I’ll enjoy my wickedness before I age in mortality, satisfied with her and life.

It shouldn’t be an unusual sign; Nancy changed her seat to the end pew, somewhat disposed to leave it. She kept on and off to site her wristwatch. Maybe she was apprehensive for the end and would have her dream man embraced in her arms.


“The prosecution may retire your honor.” Said Nob, who bowed his head in disappointment. “Before the city’s conclusion, I request to call a final witness to the stand.”

Beacons lifted his chin and rotated to make eye contact with Nancy. She stood, eyebrows slanted in antagonism, grinned at her fiancé, and blew him a smooch with a missile collision without affection.

The fledgling, slender lady entered the middle aisle and strolled to the double doors. The police officers opened for her to welcome a 50-ish man with bandages over his head crown and left arm in a tourniquet. In elated tears, Nancy gave her father an authentic cheek kiss, whom she supported on his right to approach the court.


“For his protection, the DA concealed the victim from his potential murderers.” Said Nod. “The McNiff family cooperated.”


His face reddened and surprisedly dismayed, Richard shot from his chair. “Your honor, can you see this scheme is unjust and illegal against my client?” The defense shouted.

“Can you uphold why Counsel Attenborough? And monitor your volume inside my courtroom,” Dodd replied.

The judge addressed Warren, who was iced on his chair, eyes wide exposed, mouth gapping, paralyzed in dread. The perspiration encored. Fingers clasped the manchette arms.


******


Hoist re-winded the Ferris wheel recollection; a ride had taken him heavenward with his girl. It circled the bottom to its conclusion, and next was Nancy’s treat, a corn dog; his a greasy, mustard-coated sausage in a bun with onions.

Nonetheless, it was, too, the unpleasant moment he dished. When the boyish amusement park attendant unlatched the compartment and said to him, “Sorry, Bud, they were waiting for you."

’They’ were district attorney's officers who arrived at the ride platform with Beacons to arrest Warren on suspicion of murder. Hoist failed to discern how swiftly Linda muttered to Nod while the handcuffs were being snapped. Nah, my gal was fighting for me and gave Beacons some mouthy gripe. She ain’t a backstabber.

"What a malarkey; the Ferris wheel brings you to a cloud-nine panorama and back down to earth to face reality rut.” Warren’s inner-talking was heard in the courtroom.


******


“Mr. Hoist, you may leave the stand. Please yield to the defense table,” stated Dodd.

Warren misfired; his internal thoughts continued aloud. “God is a god of no tricks; I’m deceived.”

An audience member yelled at Warren to wake up, and a police officer directed the individual to the exit.

“It is not the Lord, monster!” Nancy aced conclusive words for the defendant. “It wasn’t me, Dad, or Mr. Beacons. A fellow all too familiar is your worst enemy of disgrace and self-destruction.” 

“Ms. McNiff, please be seated.” Dodd stated, “Let the people hear a warning; I don’t bear disruptions here.”

A sibling cometh to guide Nancy to her seat while Mister Beacons aided Mr. McNiff toward an armchair at the prosecution table.

Nonetheless, the defendant uttered. “Why did the Almighty fool –”

The judge interrupted, “– Mr. Hoist, leave the witness stand.” He waived for a guard’s assistance, gesturing at Warren.

He found himself implacable. The perpetrator paused, “God is the divinity of no guiles. Why have you misled…?”


- End-



February 22, 2024 02:16

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