Our Version of Events – Part 1
The Judge stares me over once again, looking deep into my soul, searching for that special answer that can end this process immediately, make life a whole lot easier. Scrutinizing me like those of a primary bully. In the process of fixing her black-overalls she raises her head, in some way infuriated Oma Christian bangs down roughly via; her gavel. Her attempt to senate the order goes by plan, all eyes move off me, back to her.
“Silence in the court!” She barks.
Her attention is drawn to me, we sit face to face, too me she is the victor, the one who has but too options, save me, or put me away; for life. Come to the decision of where my fate lies. To her I am helpless, I will cave in once the court commences in its proper way.
“Kristen Jones, you have been accused with seven accounts of murder, one account of manslaughter, kidnap, trespassing, and racism. How do you plead?” She asks, in disgust.
“Remember how we rehearsed, Guilty. It’s all you have; unless you ever want to see daylight again, for god sakes Kristen you must plead guilty!” I replay Leonie DeLuca’s words over in my head. But at the same time, the opposition slips from my mouth.
“Not guilty, your honour.”
It was the night my very existence would never endure to its original way.
The night I would finally come to terms. One day make peace with myself and just maybe realise a faultless life is never simply ‘handed’ to you on a plate.
The night I would endlessly be known as ‘The singed girl’.
I examine the room, corner to corner…Why I am here? What happened to that girl who played sports, her company were non-more than comforting. Eye’s like dotted stars…a natural form of beauty. Is she completely gone? Or is their fragments of her soul thrown out to each individual she comes across, have they changed her once and for all?
“What’s bugging you, it’s meant to be a new year?” Katherine Cater asks, solemnly her glass begins to rise, a toast to the new year she proposes, but I deny, it’s a tradition found throughout my country. Yet to me it’s what we want, that we can’t have. We need a new year with fresh starts. So why is it repeated year after year of self-regret, what if I phoned my mum and just maybe chatted for those few eager minutes, maybe I could have fulfilled an ambition; and stuck to it. But it would never happen; because luck isn’t something that just stride’s down my path, in fact it’s the opposite. And I’m talking about bad luck.
“Boring Bastards” Kathy swears under her breath, I could sympathize her efforts, as I examine my table clustered with women who fell pregnant at the age of sixteen I begin wondering, supposedly I’m not the only one suffering with this vulgar mood It wouldn’t surprise me as the freshly discovered victim was only found early hours in the new year’s eve, engorged into the foggy pinewoods, these killings were two things; Simple and distressing. I am starting to grow fearful of wondering the streets alone, what if it’s me next? I wonder day after day. I thrive to know the killer’s identity, we have all been deprived of someone nearby and I don’t find it ‘fair’ in the slightest. I hear the news and read the print, watch as divine lives’ our ripped away from our bear hands, will it ever be brought to an end?
I may come across as ‘needy’ or even ‘depressed’. But I assure you I am perfectly content with being confined to myself, let’s say it’s something I’m used to, could you ever call it a life skill? Or was I born this way? It’s all the usual with all the girls I mosey around with. ‘Get rid of him girl; he’s useless you want a real man’. I treasured Marcus once, my respect for him was unexplainable, and alas this was long ago. It is impossible for me to tell where my feeling lie towards him right now. I talk of my boyfriend, Marcus Jones. A man beautiful in his simplicity, but a chunk long-gone from his soul, and just maybe you can have too much simplicity, I feel alone, like in his eye’s I cease to walk the earth, why is it impossible for him to walk out the door, mingle a little and sit back and enjoy the wonders of life?
“Are use bloody death?” I decided I would at least attempt to make a worthy night out of things; we all needed to overlook the past and put the future in front of us. In exactly sixty minutes it would be a new year, and I was determined to make it one to remember.
“Nice one, Kristy!” Kathy gently taps me on the back, in some way surprised I spoke in the evening. She names me ‘Kristy’ my common name to these ‘people’. But my existent name is Kristen, and always will be. I couldn’t be concerned in any way what people call me, or in fact ‘say’ about me. I see myself as one who strides through life, in spite of this I also look at myself as a respectable, caring being who can throw a good punch when she needs to. You know self-defence; in every category.
“Just shut up you two, you’re giving me a banging headache!” Stacey hisses, head buried in hands, her usual Kenyan smile wiped clean from her face. If you can have a best-friend, well she sits facing me. A strong robust woman, yet only in the brain.
“Where are you going love?” I march out in front of her, blocking the exit by spreading both arms out. Do I want her to stay and have a good night? Or walk the streets alone only to be discarded, like the rest of the victims.
“Move out me way Krist I’m not in the mood.” Several times she had a go at plunging past me, but I am too sturdy for her petite ways.
“You’re not going out there alone, its time like this us girls have to stay together what If your taken like the rest, how could I live with myself knowing I had let you walk straight out of those doors, at least let me call you a taxi?” I try to embrace her into a friendly hug; this is when she callously smacks me across the face. I rise to my feet, my ear drums buzzing and my cheeks with a tingling sensation, in a painful way. I am incensed now, irritated at myself for wanting to help this woman, and even keep her safe. The locals gawk, longing for some action or a ‘cat fight’, thinking ‘who will throw the next punch’? But I’m not like that in fact I find arguing an unnatural way to smooth things over. So I clasp my fists together and swing directing the punch at Stace. I must have hit her; I need to hit her, to know that I’ve won.
“Too far Kristen…” Kathy shakes her head in disgust, her mid-sixties curls flourishing. By calling me Kristen, she is annoyed with me. I can sense an unwanted vibe hanging in the air and it’s making me sick.
“Why don’t you shut the fuck up you fat ignorant cow?” I yell in her face, in all honestly I hadn’t had a clue what came over me, I feel possessed, like some unknown rage is controlling me.
“You cheeky little shit!” Kathy treads forward, her chubby feet looking almost inhuman in those heals. Stacey holds out a hand, signalling for her to be quite, I examine the tears that run down her foundation caked cheeks. ‘Fake’ is all I can see.
“Leave it out Kath, and you Kristen let’s have a good night yea?”
At that moment I feel nothing but an urge to spit in her face, Stacey is meaningless to me now, I amble back to the bar sensing hundreds of eyes on my back.
“Double vodka.” I force a smile, it’s compulsory that I don’t cause any more bother, so for now I put my head down, defeated.
“What happened over there ey?” He nods to the spot where just second ago I was clasped by Stacey; I don’t bother to reply instead I sigh. He places my drink on the wood, where whiffs of stale lager fill my nostrils I am quick in gulping the beverage down my neck, I don’t flinch nor scrunch my face for I’m used to it, drinking alcohol.
The cry of distress and anxiety don’t concern me as I am plastered, consuming way above my units. I assume it would be another bar row, but then I see the flames, like reflections in my eyes.
They are travelling rapidly from the cellar, someone somehow somewhere has produced it, this can be no accident, I stagger backwards almost sprinting for the door, when I twist the nob I am shoved to this side by one of many who are eager to escape. Selfishness can kill. I step back allowing the crowd to die down. But what I am unaware off is the debris from the top floor falls in, leaving one person trapped behind left to bubble and boil; me! I suddenly snap out of my drunkenness and realise the reality of the situation, get out now or die! I think of exits that could save me from the deadly inferno that grows by the seconds, I catch my name faintly being screamed by a cluster of women outside, safe from what lies here inside. Every exit is congested; I am finally left with one option…the roof.
The door that would usually lead me to the roof is locked, to my extent weakly. I position my foot and on the fourth boot its swings open, screws hurl in all directions and then I turn to see where the flames are at. They have begun a journey up the stairs, straight in my direction. The thick enriched smoke cinder’s the walls, wallpaper peels and at that split-second I stagger over, slamming the door behind me.
On the balcony I ascent onto the roof, whatever is left-over from December makes my struggle three times worse, I raise my arms waving my arms, unable to scream I am hopeless, what has this smoke done to me?
“There she is, it’s Kristen on the roof!” Kathy point’s at me, the fireman retreat from the door to place a ladder, to finally save my life. Then it happens, a sort of short-term whistle. Followed by an explosion, I am thrown through the air, my ankles snap, dust and debris bruise me like a soft peach, howls of disarray shriek from corner to corner, but that doesn’t matter…because now, I’m going to die.