Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expert (09/05/13)
TITLE: The Witness
By Karen Milkiewicz
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She sat on an upholstered bench at the end of the lobby, rubbing her feet. She was not used to wearing heels. She was much more comfortable in her trusty Danskos, shoes meant for standing at the lab bench all day. Her legs began to jump restlessly. She resumed her pacing. Eighteen steps from one end of the lobby to the other. She glanced up at the clock for the hundredth time. Surely they’d be ready for her soon. Her stomach clenched. She sent up a silent prayer. “Lord, help me. Please grant me peace.”
She sat again, this time on the bench at the other side of the room. She stared at a mole on her hand as the clock continued its merciless countdown. She should be prepared; they’d gone over the questions countless times already. Never with him there, though. Not in front of a judge and a room full of people. She didn’t belong here. She belonged back in her lab, where data were just data, and the numbers didn’t spell out life or death. She sat again, her hands shaking. Another prayer, this time more desperate than the first.
“Lord, I am no expert. I don’t deserve to have my words responsible for freeing or convicting a man. Please, Lord, take this from me. I give this trial to you. Let your will be done.”
Her pulse slowed and her breathing now came at a more natural pace. God was in control.
At that moment, the heavy paneled doors leading to the courtroom swung open. A stony-faced man in uniform motioned to her.
“They’re ready for you now.”
She stood, smoothed her skirt, and followed him. The doors swung shut behind them, sealing her inside. There was no turning back. As he led her up the aisle, she stared straight ahead, painfully aware of the crowd around her. She could feel their eyes as she made her way to the front of the room. When she drew close to the defendant’s table, she tensed. Focusing on the witness stand ahead of her, she ignored the faces. Faces she hoped she’d never see again. She reached the place where she was told to stand. With the Lord at her side and a Bible under her hand, she declared:
“I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help me God.”
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