Friday, 30 September 2016

Proof

By: Michael Carta


“There is insufficient evidence or proof of intent; defendant not capable of going to trail. Release after three days for jail time served.” Anna would never forget these words; they were burned into her very being.

The resolving chord of the symphonic work was abruptly cut short by the rash sounding radio commercial spokesperson trying to sell mattresses. Anna could not stand commercials and quickly struck the knob to turn off the radio. She was left with just the ambient sound of the bank’s parking lot; even with her windows down, her own breathing was the most audible distraction. She did her best to slow her breathing and make less noise, but the anxiety of the task at hand began to set in. Using both of her hands simultaneously, she took the keys out of the ignition and removed her seat-belt. She waited for her watch to beep on the hour signifying that it was now 11:00am and began walking towards the bank’s front doors.

Before she could reach for the door, it swung open abruptly, nearly hitting her. A typical business man wearing a suit came barreling out in a flurry of stress and frustration. He must have known she was there, but did not even bother to make eye contact or apologize; her existence was not important. Anna stood for a moment before proceeding in as the door’s pressure hinges fought the ever losing battle of closing. Even the air felt negative to her as it trailed behind the man.

Interestingly, the lobby smelled like a mixture of a wet clothes and bacon. Anna wondered if smelling such things together would lead to her salivating while doing laundry via the associate with bacon. She continued to ponder this and other similarly odd concepts until it was her turn at the third teller’s desk. “Next please” said the teller in a robotic and rehearsed tone. Anna stepped up to the ledge and noted how strangely blue the woman’s eyes were. She had to be over sixty judging by the subtle lines showing around her chin and the white hair, but was very perky with her movements. The skin on her arms resembled a cheese pizza with stretch marks and random dark spots. Anna said to herself; “I keep thinking about food related things, I must be hungry.” Before she could analyze any further, the lady set out a pen and pushed a form to Anna while blurting: “Withdrawal or deposit today honey?” “Actually, neither.” Anna said calmly as she held out an index card ignoring the forms on the counter.

 For an awkward moment the teller stared blankly at her, then slowly reached up and took the card. The women read the card out loud softly to herself; “This is a robbery, please call the police.” “…Is this a joke?” the teller questioned sternly. “No, I am serious, please call the police now” “No, you need to step away from the desk, this is not funny!” “It’s not a joke” “Listen honey, I am going to call Rick in security and you will get into trouble.” “That’s fine, maybe he’ll call the police.” Anna said sarcastically.

At this point, everyone in the lobby was silent and mostly confused. Anna sat down in front of the desk, her knees were tired and all of the commotion was stressful. “Ma’am, you stay right there! I am calling the police!” shouted the teller who was now across the room. “finally…” Anna said to no one as she sat and stared at her hands. They had micro spasms or tremors from time to time; though, she often wondered if it was only in her mind. “The mind is powerful and can make you believe in things that are not there” her brother would say, right before attempting some kind of silly magic trick. She missed him dearly.

                “Where is she?” commanded a voice from behind the corner. It did not take long before the security guard was standing right in front of Anna. She stared at his shinny shoes; she could see the ceiling lights and all sorts of reflections. “Why do they need to be so shinny?” she murmured. “What? Stand up and come with me, the cops are on their way- do you have any weapons? Do you have any weapons!?” looking up at the man, Anna could see that he had a quick temper and very little patience. His broad shoulders and lack of a neck gave him a gorilla like form; there was no doubt that he was strong and took pride in his job. She was halfway through standing up when his stone like hand wrapped around her arm and hoisted her up effortlessly. Though, the grip only tightened as he began to escort her to the lobby bench. Her wrists sent signals of pain and distress as she tried to relax through the handcuffing going on behind her back. The rehearsed motions of the guard were unnecessarily jagged and rough as he continued to pat her down searching for weapons; Anna was not enjoying the experience.

                “Take a seat” his voice was calm now; probably because she was thoroughly searched and handcuffed. It was difficult to sit comfortably with her hands handcuffed behind her back. She tried adjusting angles to make it more tolerable. “Better get used to it; you’ll be in those for a while. What were you thinking anyways, trying to rob the bank?” He was standing awkwardly close to her using his large frame to intimidate and block any chance of escape. After a brief moment he complained; “Fine don’t talk, enjoy your time in the workhouse, you’ll have plenty to say after a night in there.” He now was fidgeting with his belt out of frustration and annoyance, his behavior was strange to her. “I… I need to go to the jail holding cell, but I did not know the way…” Anna confessed while looking at his shinny shoes again. “What? We’ll you’ll be there soon…” Puzzled, the guard relaxed some tension and began anxiously looking out the window for a police car to arrive. “You need to stay here; we will need your statements momentarily, sorry for the inconvenience, its standard operating procedure folks.” announced the guard when he noticed a man walking towards the door.


               Soon Anna would be in the holding cell; soon she would be processed into the general population of the county jail. Soon she would find Chelsea mixed in with the other inmates, not expecting her; soon she would have the proof that she needed, or at least some form of vengeance. The flat razor blade hidden along her bra strap popped into her mind; they always forget to check there, maybe they’re embarrassed or shy. It didn’t matter, she had what she needed. 

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