Court room gavel
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This is a fictional story based around several aspects of my personal story. Asked to pick five things that would typify me if I were a character in a novel, I chose the following:

  • Music by Prince
  • Water – I always carry it with me
  • My love of spending time on my own
  • Fear of being imprisoned
  • The standing joke I have with myself, that I spend 10 minutes every morning putting on make-up so that I look like I’m not wearing any make-up.

The story below was a 10-minute write, based on the above, put into a fictional setting.


The courtroom fell silent, twelve pairs of eyes on my every move. I could feel them boring into my brain, wondering if I was lying, whether I really did it.

I didn’t do it, just so you know.

Prince’s Kiss was going round in my head and I so wished it wasn’t that track—my least favourite of all.

Gavel in hand, the magistrate began summing up. My throat was a gritty desert but I didn’t dare clear it. Where was my ever-present bottle of water when I need it? Tears began to fall, my perfectly made-up face washed away to once again reveal plain-Jane.

“Guilty”, the magistrate announced.

Guilty? Yes, I longed to be alone, but not like this.

I swear I didn’t do it, I swear.

Janice Cumberlidge

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