Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: Breaking and Entering
By Shari Armstrong
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Tires screeched around the corner. Headlights blinded him and he froze. The impact of the car threw him against the bus stop. The streetlight above him faded from sight.
The voice cut through the haze. “What happened?” He opened his eyes, forcing them to focus the white, fuzzy image in front of him.
The nurse looked at his chart. “From what they could tell, you were thrown from the car when it crashed going around the corner. The other man was killed on impact.”
”Other man? What other man?” His vision wasn’t the only thing that was blurry.
She moved beside his bed, checking his IV. “The driver.”
He tried to remember what happened, but he just couldn’t figure out how he ended up at the hospital.
“The doctor will be in to check on you in a few moments to see when you’ll be ready to talk to the police.”
”Police?” he echoed, as she left the room.
A kind looking doctor came in, “How are we feeling, Mr. Manning?”
“A little confused and a lot sore.”
“That’s understandable. Can you tell me…”
The doctor was interrupted by a knock at the door. A uniformed officer walked into the room. “Mr. Manning?”
He nodded, “What’s going on?”
“We’re investigating a breaking and entering.”
“Breaking and entering?” He echoed once again.
“An electronics store was broken into earlier, and we found many of the stolen items in the car. Your partner was killed.”
“How do you plead?” the judge asked.
Mr. Manning’s lawyer replied, “We enter a plea of guilty, your honor.”
Mr. Manning’s jaw dropped. He was innocent, and his lawyer was about to just turn him over without a fight.
“You’ve been found guilty of one count breaking and entering and grand theft.”
Mr. Manning stood in silence, unsure how he got there. Even though he couldn’t prove it, he knew he didn’t commit the crime he was being charged with by the court. He didn’t even know the other man that he supposedly was with that night.
“Bailiff, escort the prisoner to his cell.” The gavel pounded, sealing his fate.
He somehow fell asleep on the cot in his cell, despite the fact that a pile of rocks probably would have been more comfortable. His sleep was short-lived though, being disturbed by the cell door clanking open. He sat up as his lawyer entered. “So now what?”
His lawyer smiled. “I have some good news.”
”I’ve just been sentenced to jail, what possible good news could you have?”
”Well, a generous benefactor has taken interest in your case.”
The lawyer handed him a piece of paper. “Read this.”
He took the paper and read it. ”Mr. Manning is hereby released into the custody of his attorney, Mr. Lamb. Reparations have been made for the total amount of the damages that lead to Mr. Manning’s arrest and conviction.” He looked at his lawyer, “Why?”
”I was able to pay the price of the stolen items and the store agreed to drop the charges.” His lawyer sat beside him on the cot. “You are a free man.”
“But, now what? How do I repay you?”
His lawyer shrugged. “You can’t. Just stop by and join my family for dinner sometime.” Mr. Lamb stood and walked to the door. He stopped and faced his client, “Oh, next time, wait for the light to change. Jaywalking’s against the law.” He smiled and walked away.
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