20 July, 2010

irate man

He glared around the court, eyes red-rimmed and face all haggard. Unkempt hair and prickly beard gave vent to his intense frustration.

"Can the world do any more to me? Can things get any worst? You have no ears, you do not hear, even though I tell you the truth. What hope have I? What care do I have left in this world?" the man shouted irately to the sky. "What more can the world bring me?

"My brother is in another country, being tried for being a Christian. My mother is in hospital, sick and dying, while all my material goods have been seized. My sister is trapped in a bad marriage where her husband abuses her; and my children kidnapped. Held hostage, for goodness sake! My wife was murdered and my in-laws are being terrorised.

"I am a wanted fugitive in my own country, where even my closest friends will not see me - for a crime. A crime I did not commit. A crime I knew nothing about and had but the misfortune to be present at the time. After my startling arrest and during the transfer to another facility - you say I escaped. I will admit that I hoped the escape was real, but no. Do you not know that masked men held me at gun point and bid me do as I was told. What choice had I when both my life and the life of my innocent children were at risk, but to obey? They took me in a car and brought me to the city. I was told to walk down a street and if I refused or tried to run, a gunman would kill my children, one by one, and they would make sure I knew it. There, as I walked was I re-captured. I did not struggle, I made no protest, though I have been treated ill. I looked the officer in the eye and told him where the gunmen stood, before the bullets flew. Yes, there was a gunfight and I was unharmed, make no mistake of that. It was not by my doing, I assure you. I am sorry the fine officers died, more so that not all the gunmen were. Do you not understand? Can you not see that you are being forced to look at me, while away from your watchful eyes, they do their evil deeds? I do not know them. I have not seen their faces uncovered. And now you wish to condemn me to death, to have me leave my children parentless and hostage still. What do you think will become of them? Have you found them? Have you? Have you?

"What else can the world throw at me? I am already a broken man."

And he broke down and wept, while the court shifted uneasily in their seats. It is never easy to see a grown man weep, even one accused of such a heinous crime as this.

The judge cleared his throat. Either this man had been through much or he was truly the world's greatest actor, because even he, the stoic judge of impartial law, was moved by the trials the man bespoke. Yet he had to speak and deliver both verdict and hasty message passed onto him not 10 minutes ago. Poor man, what else could the world throw at him but this?

"Whether you have pleaded guilty or not guilty, the evidence has been laid bare before the court. The jury has found you guilty of the accused crimes and the sentence as such is death. Also, the message that earlier arrived, I am sorry to inform you. Your children have been found. Both dead, left in the rubbish tip. The police believe that their murder had nothing to do with this case, but rather due to the fact that the ransom note delivered your empty home was left unanswered."

Poor man. Poor poor man. He was innocent, of course.

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