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Wasn't Mine To Take

by DontStopBelieving


Prologue

As I sat inside the cold, silent court room, I replayed the past few days in my head.

I had a head on collision with another car; it held a mother, a little boy and a baby girl. I remember hitting the car and as I looked up, I watched the windshield shatter into a million pieces. The mother’s face look horrified and I could hear the high pitched scream of the little boy.

“All rise,” the bailiff broke my thoughts and brought me back to reality. The chains that led from my hands to my feet rattled as I stood to face the judge.

Everyone sat back down as I was taken to the stand to testify. The orange jumpsuit was a mocker and a reminder that I took something I can never give back.

“Where were you heading the night of the crash?” The lawyer asked.

“I was heading down town to my cousin’s birthday party.” I replied, looking passed the lawyer and into the bloodshot eyes of the heart broken mother I had hit.

“Is it true you were texting when the crash took place?” The well-dressed man asked another heart stabbing question.

“Y-yes.” I managed to choke out, while I held back the tears that wanted to flood my face.

I stared down at my tanned hands that were restricted by cold, silver hand cuffs. The memory from that Saturday before still played in my mind.

As I was being ejected from the car, I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I could see the mother being put onto a stretcher, and then my eyes decided to close. When I opened my eyes again a few minutes later, I saw the EMTs trying to revive the little boy and girl. Everything went black once again. The third time I opened my eyes, I scanned the crash site for the little boy and girl; all I found was two little white sheets that clearly covered their bodies. My heart stopped, and right then I knew I took something I could never give back.

“Who were you texting?” The lawyer asked, his eyes never leaving mine.

“I was texting my mother to let her know I would be a little late,” the tears welled up in my eyes, threatening to leave, “If I may, I would like to say; I am very sorry. I know I took something I can never give back to you, but I promise I will serve my time and from this day forward I will never forgive myself of what I have done. I am truly sorry.” I watched the mother break down into uncontrollable sobs.

“Amanda Harper, you are sentenced to fourteen years in prison for the death of Daniel Pearson and Lilly Pearson, plus an additional five year probation. Court adjourned.” The judge threw down is gavel and every left.

I scanned the room for my parents, and when I found them, all they did was shake their head at me. They looked like they didn’t want to claim me as their child. Pain filled my heart and reality settled in. I killed two innocent kids.

Never in a million years would I think I’d be the one behind bars. I always told my parents, that cops need to kill the person the same way the killed someone; but now that all seems too harsh.

I was walked to the back of the court room where my parents waited to talk to me.

“What in the world were you thinking that night, Amanda? You didn’t think, you killed two people and now you will be gone for the next fourteen years.” My dad scolded.

Doesn’t he know I feel bad enough? I don’t need this right now, but he doesn’t care. Never has.

“Don’t write your sisters, don’t call your sisters; I will just tell them you ran away.” My dad was never good with telling the truth, or facing it.

“I love you honey.” My mom said, her voice shaking.

“I love you too, both of you.” I smiled a weak smile.

It was time to face the hard, cold truth and spend my time behind bars.

****

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178 Reviews


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Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:33 pm
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Paracosm wrote a review...



Ooooh! A prologue! You don't see these much anymore! How exciting! Okay, my reviews follow a nice, neat little formula. When I give a review, I start with grammar, spelling, syntax, and word choice. After that, I progress to things like setting, character, and theme. Finally, I give my opinion of the piece!

Spelling, Grammar, Syntax, Word Choice

The orange jumpsuit was a mocker and a reminder that I took something I can never give back.
-Hmm... I like this sentence a lot, but I think it would be stronger with some rephrasing. To me, "mocker" sounds a bit funny.There's really nothing wrong with it grammatically, but maybe the sentence would do better with just "reminder" or maybe a synonym to mocker. That's just my opinion, and not really some type of grammar rule.

I replied, looking passed the lawyer and into the bloodshot eyes of the heart broken mother I had hit.
-This little bit is a good chance to throw in some physical description. Talk about her physical wounds to give the reader a better sense of the severity of the situation.

I stared down at my tanned hands that were restricted by cold, silver hand cuffs.
-This is a strong sentence, but word repetition drew me out of it. Maybe instead of "hand cuffs" you could say "cuffs".

from this day forward I will never forgive myself of what I have done.
-I think "of" would sound better if it were "for".

The judge threw down is gavel and every left.
-Everyone

I always told my parents, that cops need to kill the person the same way the killed someone; but now that all seems too harsh.
-I would elaborate on this sentence. It's a strong idea that you can play around with, maybe mention "an eye for an eye".

Okay! As far as grammar and stuff like that goes, you pulled it off real well. The only things that need fixing are minor typos and stuff that sounds funny to me. Good job with that!

Setting, Character, and Theme

Setting, the courtroom. I think it could do for a bit more description. Where is the courtroom? :Most courtrooms have the state seal, that would be a good way to weave that in. What type of people are in the courtroom? Who makes up the jury? What does the courtroom smell like? The judge's aftershave? Clean bleach? What does it sound like? Is someone tapping their feet? Clicking their tongue?

Add in some nice descriptive sentences to give the setting a more organic feeling. Make the reader think, "Hey! I've never been in a courtroom, but I bet this is what it's like!"

You did a good job with the characters. I would just add some description about how Amanda feels physically. If I'd just been sentenced to fourteen years in prison, I'd be sick to my stomach. How long ago was the accident? Does she still have cuts and bruises? Details like this will draw the reader in and make your story feel more lifelike.

Your theme is great! I love the idea behind the story! I'm not sure where it's going, but I'd like to find out. I would definitely keep reading this.

With a story like this, I suggest you prepare yourself for some extensive research. Watch some courtroom dramas, try to get involved in a jury, or talk about it with your family, read every potential resource you can. This will help you to portray your story accurately.

I liked your story! It was a good idea. Keep up the good work, and keep portraying Amanda as well as you do. This is a very interesting idea that would draw in plenty of readers. Good job, and keep writing!

P.S.

I think this should be your first chapter, unless the rest of the story takes place later on. This is a good point for the reader to jump in. A lot of editors don't care for prologues anymore. They were way popular in the 90s, but nowadays, they'd rather have you just weave it in with the rest of the story, or just start off at that point. I like prologues myself!




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Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:07 am
harshita3chaarag wrote a review...



Hey.. So I've come to review like you'd requested.. So the only thing i could point out was the spelling errors.. For e.g. You've 'passed' where it should have been 'past'... Besides that..I can't find anything which is wrong..You have actually written it in a very clear manner...I love the storyline...It great!!
Harshita:)




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Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:15 pm
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thebookworm wrote a review...



It's great. You should check your spelling. You clearly define Amanda's emotions. Defining your character and changing their personality over time will help you make a great book. You also need to remember to put a lot of detail in. This book will run by detail, I'm just saying. Detail is crucial to your story. Over all, it was a great beginning.




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Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:26 am
PatriciaTina says...



Hi! Wow, this was really good. It's a great start, and I find myself wanting to read more. However, I did find a few things I should point out.

I always told my parents, that cops need to kill the person the same way the killed someone


I'm not really sure what you mean by this sentence here.

“Amanda Harper, you are sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for the death of Daniel Pearson and Lilly Pearson, plus an additional five year probation. Court adjourned.”


So, what I wanted to say about this is that the sentence seems a bit high for what she would have been convicted of, which is dangerous/reckless/careless driving causing death. And so, after I looked up what the typical sentence would be I found a page on wikipedia stating that the maximum jail time would be either 10 or 14 years. Typical murder charges usually get 25 years to life, but since it was not premeditated and was an accident, she would not have to serve that much jail time.

Other than that, you've done a really good job with this. I like your writing style, and I look forward to reading the next installments! I'll do my best to keep an eye out for when you post the next part. :D Great job, and keep writing!

~ Patricia Tina

Ps. Please make sure you feel free to PM me or post on my wall if you have any questions or comments about anything I said above! ;)






In the "I always told my parents, that cops needed to kill the person they way they killed someone."
I meant, ex: someone shot somebody in the chest three times and killed them. My character believe the person should be shot the same way they shot someone and be killed.





I think that that is a great thought to add, though you may still want to reword it a bit just so it flows better and doesn't seem even a tad bit awkward or confusing to your reader. Flow is key for keeping your readers interested, nobody wants to have to stop and deconstruct a sentence to understand what you're trying to say. :)



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Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:11 am
ikiru wrote a review...



Woah..... That was good!
I found a typo:

“Don’t write your sister, don’t call your sisters;"

You say sister, then sisterS.


I like how detailed the story is. Ex:

"I stared down at my tanned hands that were restricted by cold, silver hand cuffs."

Very Good.


I can't wait to see what comes next! :-D





May you never steal, lie, or cheat. But if you must steal, then steal away my sorrows. And if you must lie, then lie with me all the nights of your life. And if you must cheat, then please, cheat death.
— An Unknown Bride, Leap Year