Crack In The Mirror

I hope you enjoy reading my submission for the 500 word synopsis NaNoWriMo writing contest.

Criminal defense attorney, James Myers, sat and watched his new client Sara Brown pace up and down the room muttering to herself. He eyed this beautiful, petite woman as she nervously played with her long red hair. He wondered what had brought her to this point — on trial for the murder of her second husband — and he wondered what lurked inside this young woman with the thousand-yard stare.

As Sara takes James on a journey of her life, he learns of the many assaults and rapes she had suffered at the hands of her husband, Aaron Brown, who according to Sara was abusive and made her life a living hell. She stated that she killed him in self-defense. She recounted how he had hurt her many times before that fateful night, and he was about to hurt her again. It was her life or his. She couldn't take it anymore, and she shot him.

As she begins to let down her protective wall to James, she unveils the story of how she lost the love of her life, her first husband Sam, who was tragically killed during a robbery. He learned how life had cruelly taken away her only child, Emma, in a freak accident. Then when life had taken so much, it callously threw Sara into the hands of her second husband, Aaron Brown.

James, who had worked with other domestic violence victims, knew it was common and even normal for them to have no evidence. It was a crime that often went on behind closed doors and in secret. However in Sara’s case, she seemed to have evidence, pictures of deep, dark bruises and injuries she said her husband had previously inflicted and yet these events were never reported. . What surprised James was how she appeared to have no difficulty in recounting the events with great clarity. Something told him everything was not as it seemed.

The pictures were very powerful, so powerful and compelling that most people just accepted Sara’s story. This should have made James Myers happy, as it made his life easier. While the nagging doubt in his head made him want to look deeper, convincing the jury and the public of Sara’s innocence was easy.

At her trial, a jury of eight women and four men heard how Aaron Brown had battered his wife mercilessly and had threatened her with death if she tried to leave him. Their verdict: not guilty by reason of temporary insanity. James Myers should have been ecstatic with his victory, so then why did he find it hard to convince himself he had done the right thing?

James felt compelled to find out more about this woman he had helped walk free. What seemed at first to be a simple, cut and dried case was suddenly a mystery. And what of the photographic evidence she had? A picture may be worth a thousand words, but as it turns out, it may tell more than just one story.

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