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The steady drip-drip of the water slowly pouring down into the holding cell was infuriating me worse than ever. I could hear the other juveniles threatening their captivators that they’d murder them in their sleep when they were least expecting it. And then the jailers yelling back insults of every kind known to man.
“Having one of those quiet days seems a long way off,” muttered my holding officer. I called him James, Officer James if there was another cop around.
“You bet,” I murmured, voice level, tracing the palm of my hand. To me, that was just the sound of a regular high-security prison. Although, admittedly, most were much quieter than this.
James had the tendency to believe everyone, so when I was placed in the cell he was supposed to be guarding, everyone thought I’d break out for sure. But I didn’t. Not today at least.
It wasn’t that I couldn’t. It was because I had no where to go. Even if I made a new profile for myself, not many were willing to take in eleven year olds without evidence they weren’t a psycho, some kid straight out of a mental hospital.
And besides, the guilt…the crushing pain that wanted me to scream, crouch somewhere alone, just to grasp a hilt of a knife and commit suicide for what I’d done.
“You okay, Taylor?”
Only a moment later did I realize I was lying slantwise across the bed, hands tightly clenched into fists. Opening my eyes slowly, I took in James’ worried face.
A normal juvenile would have pushed him away roughly, most likely trade insults then as well. For starters, I wasn’t a normal juvenile, nor was I normal by anyone’s standards. Not that I bothered to tell them.
Them—the awful courtroom judges and jury. My testimony was far from correct. It had so many flaws that even the audience noticed right away. I hadn’t tried to correct them. There wasn’t any point, anyway. I couldn’t even explain, myself.
So hard, I thought. Why did I choose this?
I was jolted out of the bed, as if an invisible force had yanked me, pushing me, urging me to follow as an echo.
My eyes blazed and for a second I couldn’t see anything. That was just as well, because I would have seen James slowly, but surely drive a knife into his heart.
“It was him, I swear it! James Plunt was my friend, and you’re going to let a killer off easy?”
I stirred slightly. The shouting instantly stopped, but it was only a split second’s worth of silence. I was dragged to my feet, and was met by a tall, burly officer.
“Did you do this?” he shouted. “Did you murder my friend?”
I frowned, and tried to wriggle my way out. His loud voice seemed louder in my ears.
“Let go of the boy,” ordered a voice. “He obviously didn’t do it, unless you can prove how someone unconscious can murder.”
“The last time this boy murdered, he was found unconscious as well!” shouted the guard. “You mean to tell me that’s not true?”