A week later…
“I’m live in front of the courthouse, waiting for author Richard Hitchcock to arrive for day 1 of his trial. He has been charged with at least 10 counts of first-degree murder, this number can go up as FBI continues to search Hitchcock’s mansion with assistance from local enforcement.”
Richard grins as the dark-tinted SUV winds along the downtown streets toward the courthouse. His attorney is sitting beside him, giving him pointers of what to do and not to do during the trial but Richard isn’t listening. He has a plan of his own which will help him avoid prison and he’s going to tell his attorney, just not in the SUV.
“Go around back,” the attorney instructs, “and turn off the damn radio. I don’t need a reporter to tell me what will or won’t happen.” The driver nods stiffly and presses the power button on the radio. At once, the only sound becomes the humming of the engine.
Meanwhile, inside the courthouse…
Abby stares at her reflection in the restroom mirror. Deep breath in, deep breath out, she tells herself. When she got subpoenaed a week ago, requesting her to testify at the trial, she felt nothing but anger. She had spent the last 3 months trying to forget and failed in every way.
She saw her therapist every few days, hoping he would perform hypnosis to help her forget. She climbed mountains. She practiced meditation. Somehow, each time she closed her eyes, she kept picturing herself in that cellar – dark, damp, and cold.
Blowing a final deep breath, Abby exits the restroom and make her way to the courtroom.
In the mean time…
“Look, I’m not going to lie to you.” Richard Hitchcock’s attorney says, “I have little hope that we’re going to beat this.”
“Which is why I think we should plea insanity, that way I get to stay out of prison because I really don’t want to go to prison.” Richard says.
“If you don’t want to go to prison, then why did you murder all those people, dammit? This is murder, not some small petty theft that you can bribe your way. I got you out on bail but I’m not seeing a good outcome for the trial.”
“I didn’t murder them,” Richard says innocently, “I gave them the greatest gift one can ask for. I immortalized them.”
His attorney slams his hands on the table. “They’re still dead!” He shouts through clenched teeth. For a minute, the room becomes quiet. Then he stands back and sighs with resignation. “Here’s how it will go, you will testify. You will answer questions but only use yeses and nos. Is that understood?”
“Understood.” Richard says in a small voice.
Theme: The Mystery of the Millionaire Mansion
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