Chapter 6

Written by: Kalli Deschamps

A cloud, like a wooly paper bag descended over Jenna’s conscience. She still sat in the courtroom. Her mind was dead to the world around her. She drifted back in time. As voices floated around her, memories flooded her cocooned mind.  Always the roller-coaster ride with her mother was her favorite. There was her dad throwing her in the air. She almost giggled until she remembered where she was and what she had done. Who was Uncle Nick? She remembered him loving her and caressing her. What had gone wrong? She had always thought her parents had the perfect marriage. Then came the vision of her mother’s face being held down on the open flame. She screamed!

            Jenna woke on a bed in the emergency room of a hospital. Her mother was seated on a chair near her side.  Her hands were manacled. She tried to move. She was somehow tied to the bed. Unbidden tears streamed from her eyes. “Mother!” she sobbed. “What happened to me?”

            Her mother leaned over and caressed her face. “You cried out and then fainted in the courtroom. A guard picked you up and carried you to the judge’s office. You came to crying and thrashing your arms trying to hit anyone who came near you. We couldn’t calm you down. The guard finally hit you hard enough to knock you out. A sedative would have been nice but nobody had one. They moved you here. The trial has been suspended until you can return to the courtroom.”

Jenna hiccoughed. “Why am I tied?”                                                      

            “Because no one knew what you would be like when you woke up.”

            “Who is Uncle Nick?” The air tensed.  Silence filtered through the room like a misty shadow. “Mother?”

            “I don’t know what to tell you.”

            “When I was a kid I used to love him. He was so much fun; played with me; brought me presents.” She shuddered. “Then I looked at him on the witness stand.  His black eyes pierced right through me. I felt like he wanted to kill me!”

            Her mother sighed. “He would never do that,” she murmured.

            “I’m afraid of him. I didn’t want to hear what he would say so I did what I used to do when I was a kid. I tuned him out and tried to think of nice things.”

            “What happened?”

            Jenna tried to move her manacled hands. She cried out in frustration. “Can’t you take these things off me?”

           "I don’t have a key. I’ll go see if I can find some help. Are you going to be okay?”

            “Of course. There’s nothing wrong with me. I just want out of here!”

            “They gave you something to calm you down. Maybe they’ll let us go now. Back in a minute.” She softly closed the door as she left the room.

            It opened again a minute later. Reflected in the brilliant hall light stood Nick, holding a 9mm revolver pointed at Jenna’s head.