"Can you please tell the jury what you
The words didn't register. Esrey Leah pressed
her nails into the palm of her hand, speechless. There were eyes
in the room, unfriendly eyes. Scouring her, scrubbing her body
red raw. She blinks away the images. The sounds, the colours. The
flashing blues and reds of an approaching police
"Miss." The man below her hissed quietly at
her, although his words echoed and resonated around the mahogony
courtroom. Esrey let her eyes fall, she searched his face
quickly, something registered in the back of her mind. She makes
a quick, effortless connection, something clicks and then its
gone again. The countours of his face are beset with dark
shadows, he looked exhausted. She stared, in turn, at the
selection of people in the court. Her lawyer sat in the first
row, a slender woman with an odd countenance. The Minutes sat
behind her, hurriedly scrawling down the length of time that this
silent tension had gone on for. Then there were the others, the
ones that stared at her.
"Miss Leah, you will have to tell the jury
what you saw please, otherwise charges of concealed information
will be - "
"He had no face."
There was silence in the courtroom. Her words
cut his phrase, cut the tension in the room. One slick carve of
blade, her tongue was sharp, but she regretted it instantly.
There was an outbreak of a huried murmur amongst the stands. This
was hushed quickly withan order for silence.
Now that she had started, Esrey found it
difficult to stop. Within moments, she had held the courtroom
spellbound. The seated sat on the edge of their seats. The
standing had heard nothing like this before.
"He had no face." She had repeated. "He turned
to look at me, with nothing. Perhaps he wore a mask to hide his
The seated nodded in unison. The Minute's hand
"Please continue, Miss
She touched the side of the box for support.
"I didn't know what to do. He ran away. I had to walk that way
home, so I continued and then I found the body -
"Okay, we understand this part. You attempted
to follow this 'faceless person'?" The man in the suit asked her,
fixing his tie smugly as he awaited the growing murmur to begin
from behind him in the stands.
"No." Esrey said. "The body was found in the
Avenue. I had to walk home because of the snow, no busses were
"So it is pure coincidence that he ran
towards your home."
Esrey frowned. "No, he didn't run towards my
home. I don't know where he ran to, but it was in the same
direction that I needed to go."
"Okay." He said, and then quickly glanced
Esrey's slender lawyer who had remained silent for a long period
of time. "Can you give any further description of this 'faceless
person', any physical demeanors?"
"He was tall. He had dark hair and was wearing
a blue duffel coat. But it was dark, so I couldn't see much
"It was dark, and yet you could determine that
he had no features?"
"It was quite dark, yes, but not that dark."
Esrey answered and then bit the top of her bottom
"So, what happened when you first saw him?
What was he doing, what was his reaction to you?"
"I walked around the corner, into the avenue,"
Esrey began, her voice slowly breaking down, "He was crouched
over something. I thought someone was hurt, maybe slipped in the
snow. I walked towards them, hoping I could offer some help,
phone an ambulance or something. Then he looked up -
"How could he look up? You describe him as
faceless, explain the action of 'looking' without
Esrey fidgeted on her seat. Her lawyer spoke
for her. She was tall and slender, and stood gracefully, rising
effortlessly from her chair.
"To look up, can also mean to face. That
question is irrelevant. He faced her, imitating the action to
look at her and that was when you realised, Esrey, that he had no
"Yes," Esrey answered, her lawyer returned to
her seat, having giving her a new wave of confidence. "So I was
scared and wanted to turn back, but he just got up and ran
"And then what?" He asked, his voice
"I found the body." Her voice broke quickly.
But she tried to remain calm.
"Describe this please. Positioning, obvious
cause of death." He paused and added a slow.
Esrey let out an involuntary whimper. "The
body. It was just lying there. She was half naked in the
The Minutes continued to
Esrey glanced at her lawyer who gave her a
quick nod. Esrey breathed slowly. She brushed away a
"She had been strangled. It was a little girl.
The little girl from next door."