Out of Control
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by Arline Chase
Description: by Arline Chase A woman, on trial for shooting her live-in lover, must face him in court where he testifies against her. ISBN 1-59431-881-6 Romance, Mystery, court, legal, contemporary
eBook Publisher: ebooksonthe.net/ebooksonthe.net, 1985 magazine
eBookwise Release Date: March 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [44 KB]
Reading time: 26-36 min.
"I solemnly affirm that I will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," I swore, and prepared to lie my head off. I lowered my right hand, took a seat on the witness stand, and stated my name, "Iris Baker."
The charge was attempted murder and I was facing maybe twenty years in prison. Not exactly the best day of my life. My lawyer, Donna Watson, a young, blonde with hardly any trial experience, is court-appointed. At first I wasn't too happy to have a white lawyer, especially a white woman lawyer who looked like she still ought to be in high school.
We couldn't have been more different. Even when I was in high school, I didn't look like a kid. "I am black and I am beautiful," as the Bible says. I was fourteen before I heard that phrase or spent much time in church. As a young child I had been taught to trust no one and to hate all whites, but I thought I'd gotten over my prejudice years ago. Some part of it must have still been there, because I had hated Donna on sight. She looked so clueless. Over the past few weeks, I had overcome that and learned that clueless was just the way she looked, now how she was. I tried to trust her. I knew she was trying to help me, even though mine is a pretty hopeless case.
"Yes, I shot Paco Valerian, but it didn't exactly happen the way he told it when he was up here on the stand." Paco had testified that he remembered me pointing the gun right at him and so I shot him, but Donna'd had his number when she cross-examined him. He had sworn he was sure, though. He knew it was me. Remembered me standing over him with the gun in my hand, pointing it straight at him. My words sounded hollow in the almost-empty courtroom. Sunlight shone through the high-arched windows and slanted in rays across the wooden benches that curved like church pews. The judge looked half asleep. Nobody seemed to care much that my whole life would be decided here today.
"You see, it was self-defense. I was fighting for my life," I testified.