Accused

Guilty till proven innocent. That's the motto here, here in South America, well everywhere really, though no one is ever proven innocent. No one has the money, or the connections, well that is unless you have family in the Governing Agency. So as a thirteen year old girl convicted of murder there wasn't much I could do...


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The story is fictional, and any relation to anyone dead or alive is completely unintentional.

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2. Rude Awakening

 

The first thing I remember that Wednesday was a knock at the door. It was early in the morning, so there was only me at home. My dad worked nights and drank lots, due to my mums swift departure to Belgium, with some guy she'd ran off with a few years ago. Living what she called, in the few letters she sent me, ‘a better life.' This of course made my father incapable to look after me and my sister Delilah, who at the time were 10 and 12.   

Delilah, my now 15 year old sister, made me think that she was coping up until she got her licence. We get our licences when we're over 14, the licence entitles you to everything; alcohol, drugs, knives, guns, you name it. This makes her a vulnerable, insecure teenager who needs the support of her family. Support which she could only get from me, her younger sister, not her mum or dad.   She had vanished off out last night with no indication of when she would return, if ever. She's threatened to leave before and got as far as the end of the road before collapsing after too much drink. Once or twice she's arrived home high as anything, scaring me, making me think I might lose her. So this was not unusual in the slightest.

  I pulled myself out of my, slowly falling apart bed. Or pile of pillows and blankets arranged on the floor, would describe it better. Everything in the, small, one bedroom house was the same: Old, breaking or completely dilapidated. We can't replace any of it, dad doesn't earn enough. He barely earns enough to buy food, after he's bought himself drink. I hoped that Delilah would get a job to help with the costs. She did but spends all her money on drink and occasionally drugs. So it was then up to me to work, since I was 12 I've had a job only a small one. I have to work Saturdays and every day after school for an hour, at the local shop. I don't get paid much but it covers the food, most weeks.

  I trudged to the door, sleepily searched for the key to unlock it.

"Natalia? Natalia Coates?" A man in uniform asked. I looked up at him; he was a tall man, six foot or there about. Early Thirty's with a head of jet black hair, that made his green eyes stand out, and a small beard trimmed to perfection. He was surprisingly good looking.

"Yes, who's asking?" I replied drowsily, still not fully awake. He looked at me and breathed in.

"Natalia I am arresting you on suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention now something you later rely on in court, anything you do say may be given in evidence."

  "Is this a joke?" I asked confused.

"No Natalia, this is not a joke." He replied. I instantly woke up properly and felt my eyes widen. 

"Who are you!?" I asked, scared. The man pulled out a badge, next to where he kept his badge was a gun. 

    I was startled, not because he had a gun but because of what type it was. Due to the licences and: the consent of the South American Governing Agency, many people had guns. All the guns available to the public though were cheap and inefficient where as his gun was new, efficient and expensive.

"Agent Bradley Dunning, IMS." I looked at the badge. The IMS: Inconclusive Murder Squad. 

"Yeah a likely story." I said, sarcastically.

"Give me one reason why I would lie!" He asked.

"Hmm let me think..." I replied again sarcastically. "You either want to burgle my house or are playing a joke!" He looked at me, expression unchanged. "Anyway no one your age can work for the IMS" I finished. He pushed his badge in front of my face.

"For your information, I am 18, and my father was in the IMS, therefore meaning I have been trained." He said bluntly. "So, I am now arresting you on suspicion of murder. You do not have to say anything but it may harm your defence if you do not mention something you later rely on in court, anything you do say may be given in evidence." I felt words spilling out my mouth:

"Murder!? Me! Never. How could you... Why?" He looked at me for a second then, without warning, grabbed hold of my arm and dragged me out of the door. Taking no care at all to shut it behind him. Thoughts were running through my head; who have I apparently murdered? Why do they think it’s me and most important of all who will look after dad and Delilah.

   Bradley Dunning, by this time had handcuffed me and was currently leading me down the crumbling steps that lead up to the house. He lead me towards a car, it was a black unmarked Vauxhall with the number plate: 1MS-M1Y. I saw clear as day IMS on the number plate, hidden from anyone passing by, not looking for the connection. After walking to the car Bradley opened the car door and shoved me in. I glared at him with utter remorse in my eyes. He didn't seem to care, he showed no emotion. Come to think of it when he was arresting me he didn't show any feelings at all either. I could tell why he got the job.     

He slammed the door shut and went and sat in the driver’s seat.

"Natalia." It was the first time he'd spoken to me since he'd told me his name.  "If you have any questions ask them now. Once we arrive you will have to remain silent and only speak when spoken to." He looked at me in the mirror, waiting for an answer. He wasn't going to get one in a hurry. "OK?" He added, hoping he would get a positive response.

"OK! OK! Yeah sure! Why not I'll play the good little girl who's 'murdered' someone for you, why not?" I then held my tongue, before another huge explosion came pouring out. Again he looked at me through the mirror, this time started the engine before speaking;

"Thank you for that little outburst now any questions before we leave?" He was still as calm and collected as always. I looked away from the mirror and stared out the window. He started the car and prepared to go.

"Wait!" I said forcibly. Bradley stopped the car suddenly and turned to face me, waiting for the question. "Who... Who have I apparently killed?" I managed to ask. He breathed in.

"That is classified information." I felt my eyes widen and rage start to boil inside me. I started to shout: "So you say I can ask any question I want so I do!" He stopped me mid flow. "You need to calm down." He told me, still no emotion.

"All will be explained at HQ."

" Ok then next question?" I asked sarcastically, nodding obviously not noticing the sarcasm. “I’m 13 right?” he nodded.

"Well that’s what your file says."  I looked at him suspiciously. "What!" He asked.

"I have a file!?" I was puzzled and now very alarmed. He nodded slowly. "Everyone has a file, no matter how old, no matter where they live in the world." He said as if I was stupid. I glared at him and started to speak. "Ok whatever, why do the IMS think I murdered someone?"

"Hmm, hard one." He replied. "Maybe because we have evidence you did!" I shook my head in disbelief. "Yeah, but how!?" I asked annoyed.

"If I didn't." He sighed at me.

"The chance of the IMS being wrong is about zero, OK?" Bradley turned to face me. "So if I were you I would learn some manners before we reach HQ. Otherwise we will make the rest of your life hell." He turned away again. "Now can we go?" I nodded as he started the car.

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