A timely and terrifying story written with compassion and an unflinching grasp of motive and character.
- The hammer falls (pt. 1)
The hammer fell and John left the courthouse a free man, but vindication was a distant prospect. The victory was a hollow one, and part of him almost wished he’d been sent down; that it would have been safer for him inside.
His accuser didn’t even have the decency to look embarrassed when the not-guilty verdict was read out, instead swept away by paroxysms of outrage punctuated by snot and hiccoughed tears.
She was escorted to the court’s dedicated safe space by female security staff murmuring soothing platitudes. Sympathetic and heartfelt, but platitudes nonetheless.
Mired in a daze of relief mingled with terror, he barely registered as his counsel pumped his hand and clapped him on the shoulder, so transfixed was he by the pointed malevolent stares – only half imagined – directed at him from the public gallery. He was reminded of high…
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