on the edge
melting over the gap
crumbling over the ledge
into the abyss
like i wish i could
it would be so easy
to take that step
to feel the nothingness
beneath my feet
in my ears
as i fall
at my hair
teasing my heart
with every beat
pushing me closer
from my fears
(but what good is life if you live in fear?)
Innocence is... Bliss?
Eleven pairs of eyes fix themselves upon me as I rise from my seat, my fingers trembling. I hear snickers coming from the audience, but they’re quieted as Judge Marbury silences them with a single glare.
He turns to face me, a stony look upon his face, which seems to be sculped from the earth itself. A long, reedy man with a billowing beard that flows over the top of his robes, he looks as though he has been around since the very first murder case. I wouldn’t doubt it.
I bow my head slightly, shuffling where I stand, but I don’t dare sit down. I clear my throat, awkwardly announcing to the room with a squeaky voice, “Um... permission to speak, Your... Judge-ness...?”
The snickers erupt again, and this time, Marbury doesn’t bother to quiet them. He strokes his beard with a single hand, the other clasped around his gavel, but his expression doesn’t change. A deep rumble escapes from his throat as he thinks.
“Miss...” He adjusts his glasses, squinting to read the nametag that’s fastened to my chest. “McKinsley.”
“McKinney,” I interrupt him. My mouth works faster than my brain sometimes, I swear. Biting my tongue, I hope he doesn’t hear me.
His hearing aids must have been turned all the way up, because he hears me perfectly. He raises a silvery eyebrow questioningly. “Excuse me?”
Sweat begins to drip down the nape of my neck, and I resist the urge to wipe it away. I’m sure the back of my blouse is soaked from the stress, but I know it will look worse if I try to fix it. I just can’t call attention to it.
Well, shit. It’s too late for that. I’ve already gotten the entire court’s eyes on me. My fingers fidget at my sides where I have them pinned down, going through the motions. I raise my voice again, trying to hide the stammer.
“You called me Miss McKinsley. It’s McKinney...” I trail off, fighting the temptation to look down at my feet. These heels are absolutely killing me, and all I want to do is go home and take them off, crawling into bed and sleeping the rest of the day away, but it’s too late for that.
If I would have just kept my goddamn mouth shut, I would have been able to leave by now. We were about to call the trial to a vote, but I had to go and ruin it all.
I saw the look in the suspect’s eyes as he sat on the chair, his head hung, his wrists bound in chains. Name’s Mateo Alvarez. A twenty-three year old Hispanic male, he’s on trial for the murder of Charlie Reynolds, who was found dead of numerous stab wounds.
Mateo’s denied killing the seventeen-year-old boy at least ten times now, refusing to plead guilty, saying he wasn’t anywhere near Bronx when it happened. He’s got somewhat of a rap sheet, though, mostly petty things like shoplifting and the occasional drug deal, but it’s enough to make the jury convinced that it was him.
They didn’t know just how wrong they were, blinded by the truth and the power of prejudice. Because of that, I knew I had to make a stand. Even though I had never seen the kid before in my life, I couldn’t just sit by and watch him get thrown in prison for the rest of his life. Those dark eyes were begging for a miracle, but they had already given up on getting one.
There was only thing to do- the right thing.
Marbury looks at me over the top of his glasses, taking in my petite frame from head to toe. He seems unimpressed, as if he’s wondering who chose me for jury duty.
He sighs, setting down his gavel. That’s when I know shit’s about to go down.
Shifting where he stands, he gestures at me with his veiny hands, complete with paper-thin skin, trademark of a near-corpse. I’d know.
“This is certainly... unusual, Miss McKinney,” he puts extra emphasis on my name this time, with a furtive look at me, “but I must say, I am interested to know why you are so convinced that Mr. Alvarez is innocent.”
I swallow. It’s now or never. I raise my voice, my hand drifting into my pocket slowly, gently tracing the outline of what lies inside. “Because he didn’t kill Charlie Reynolds. I did.”
The court breaks out in a panic, the rest of the jury around me flipping over their chairs in an attempt to get away from me, but I stay rooted where I stand. Screams can be heard from every corner of the room, taking me back to that night.
The way my knife glinted under the cover of the streetlamps, the crimson fountain as I buried it up to its hilt, the life leaving Charlie’s eyes as he lay in the gutter, bleeding out like some common homeless man or street rat, getting what he deserved.
No one wolf-whistles at me. That was certainly the first- and last- time he would ever make that mistake.
The security claps me in handcuffs, immediately pulling the knife out of my pocket, still stained with Charlie’s blood. They drop it in an evidence bag, wondering how they had missed it in my first place, and as I try to pull away, I feel the stun gun touch my side.
I drop to the ground, my every muscle convulsing and spasming and generally just hurting like hell, and even as I lay in pain, trying not to throw up from the combination of stimuli and memories, a smile crosses my face.
Because when I look up, I see Mateo’s eyes looking straight into mine. And I know what they’re saying.
Words and Stuff
I usually write my notes on Google Keep. I write a phrase or thought that I think will be good for a poem or possibly a story, enjoy.
Hectic stars and shadows
Spark and glow
Nothingness just goes and goes
I leap and dive toward foul wonderland.
Like books on a shelf
you sit and judge
Little ants on a hill
that seem not to know enough
Blow blue winds,blow
Speak soft page, dream.
Fusing diseal and mental
in horrid tweaks
Building chaos in rough
like pricked roses
SOUTHEAST TEXAS VIBES
Texas is full of slang...most of which, I probably don't realize.
Y'all - of course is the most obvious...I actually would have a hard time having a conversation without using this one.
Coke - Coke means soda of any kind. Here's a conversation example:
"Anybody want a Coke"
"Okay, what kind?"
Hissy Fit - When someone throws a tantrum
If you're going to do your best to make it there -
I'll be there...God willin' and the creek don't rise
Of course, around here there is a lot of what we call Spanglish. A little Mexico and Texas mixed together, that creates it's own language in itself.
The list goes on and on and on....
Lovely Friendships 33
Lovely Friendships 33
Melina needed to go to the market again in Raches To buy ‘anama’ the traditional Ikarian honey. It is known as the best in Greece. Produced by a bush named reiki (‘heather’) and had a thick texture, as opposed to all other honeys.
She asked Agatha if she would like to ride along with her. She told her often there would be little local fruit and vegetable stands in front of many homes.
“Our garden is small for three people. I work in it every day maybe we can find some plants that people thin out then toss to compost. Some people will sell cheap or give away for the taking.” said Agatha excitedly.
They took a small shovel, pruners and extra buckets along with a few sturdy boxes. Off the two went in the big truck with the running board and hand pull. This would be easier for Agatha to enter the truck by herself.
Entering Raches Melina went directly to the Beekeeper. He was just going up the hill to his bees. Melina waved and called:
” Stathis do you have some honey to sell?”
“Melina, Hello you just caught me in time. I was going up to the hives. Oh you have a beautiful lady with you.”
Melina introduced Agatha as her closest neighbor. He bent down and lifted Agatha’s hand to his lips saying :
“Welcome to my bee farm dear lady Agatha.”
He asked Melina how much honey she needed and she said she would take a five gallon bucket. He lifted it into the truck and secured it with rope.
“I brought back the other two gallon jugs for you in case you needed them.”
“My wife sterilizes them and I use them over.” Stathis reached down and shooed the chicken away.
“She is such a pain, aren’t you Buggy Boo. My wife wants to wring her neck and put her in the cooking pot but I can’t deal with that. Buggy Boo still lays eggs and takes care of the six orphaned peeps. I tried to give them away but no one wanted peeps without their mother. I even have the fencing to keep them safe until they grow up.” said Stathis.
By now Agatha was over fussing over Buggy Boo and the six peeps. Melina told Stathis the story of how she bought the property and Agatha came with it as long as she wanted.
“Hah! I think I found a new owner for Buggy Boo and the peeps. What do you think?” said Stathis jovially.
“Why not ask her. Right now she is tending my small spare garden. I brought her with me to see if there are any fruit and vegetable stands that might have some starts for her.”
Stathis asked Agatha if she might like to rescue Buggy Boo and the peeps by taking them home with her. He also had some vegetable thinning to do in his garden. He had a few kaisia (cesium), a type of apricot tree starts his wife had told him to give away.
Agatha’s smile grew wide revealing a mouth full of beautiful straight teeth. “Oh. Yes, I will take Buggy Boo and the peeps and all the starts and trees.”
Stathis’s wife, Hermione came out doors to meet Agatha. The three ladies went to the garden and thinned some of the carrots, onions, beets and garlic. She also had a pot of leeks to give to Agatha.
“Here are three pots of tomatoes. I planted too many and will be happy to share.” said Hermione.
They went back to the truck and Buggy Boo and the peeps were safely secured in a cage with some weeds to peck on. The fencing was rolled up and in the truck.
Hermione asked Melina if she knew anyone that could use some fabric remnants and yarn. Melina told her about the people she knew in Ikaria. They made clothes for the orphanage and knitted socks for the children. Another three boxes were piled onto the truck.
“Well I don’t think we will be stopping at any of the fruit stands on the way home. Agatha wanted to get fruit and vegetables and I wanted to get some jam for Cicero. I have not had the time to make him jam since we moved here.” said Melina.
Hermione told them to wait until she called down the road to see if Petra was selling her jams. After the call she came back and told Melina that Petra still had Blueberry,Apricot and Fig Jam. Lavender Jelly and Lemon Marmalade for sale.
“Her jams are wonderful. She will charge you for the jars and rings but if you bring them back she will give you the money back. It is hard for her to get the jars out here so that’s a deal. I make my own jam but hers are made in heaven and your Cicero will love the taste.” replied Hermione.
Melina thanked her and on the way home bought five jars of sweets from Petra.
When they arrived home Cicero, Kosmas and Moraitis were there to unload the truck and set up the fence.
©Julia A Knaake