Posted in Feature Short Story

Unwarranted Testimony

Ryan wipes his sweaty palms on his pants, and breathes deeply. He felt faint about 100 times and wasn’t sure if he’ll be conscious in five minutes.

The ADA notices Ryan’s disposition. “Ryan. Do you want a bottle of water?”

Ryan speaks above a whisper. “Only if it’s filled with vodka. I’ll take a shot of anything right now.”

“It will all be over today. Just relax.”

“That’s easy for you to say.”

The paralegal hands Ryan a bottle of water. Ryan takes the bottle and drinks a little water. The coolness of the water calms him down.

ADA puts his hand on Ryan’s shoulder. “I’ll see you soon.”

The ADA leaves the room.

Fifteen minutes later, a court officer escorts Ryan to the courtroom. Ryan takes the stand and raises his right hand.

The bailiff faces Ryan. “Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?”


The ADA starts his questioning. “Ryan. Where were you January 16, 2016 at 10:00 p.m.?”

“I was leaving work on Main street.”

“That’s right across the street from where Josephine was killed. Did you see what happened?”

“Yes. I witnessed Josephine getting shot.”

The ADA looks at the jury for reactions. “Is the killer in the courtroom?”

Ryan gets dizzy again and remains silent.

The ADA looks at Ryan, then clears his throat. “Ryan, do you see who killed Josephine here?”

Ryan explodes. “Yes! He’s sitting over there!”

Ryan points at the defendant, and the defendant shakes his head in disbelief. Ryan breaks down cries.

“Let the record show Ryan pointed to the defendant. Ryan I know this is hard for you.  Testifying against your brother must be hard on the whole family.”

“It’s causing my mother an unimaginable amount of pain.” Ryan weeps.

Later at home Ryan is sitting with a glass of vodka writing a letter. He puts it in an envelope addressed to the ADA. It read how his brother was innocent and he was the real killer. He then swallowed down a bottle of Vicodin with vodka.