Song Title Challenge #54: Not Guilty Anymore by Aaron Keyes

It’s time for this week’s Song Title Challenge.

Write a short piece of fiction, around 300 words, using the song title as your story title but don’t listen to the song.  You can pick your own genre or use the one suggested to me.  Remember to link back to this post so I can find yours.

If you would like to suggest a song title for a future post, you can do so from the challenge page.  You can also leave a suggestion on the Facebook page.

This week’s song is Not Guilty Anymore by Aaron Keyes and was suggested by Chelsea at I’m Trading My Sorrows.  She didn’t supply a genre, so I just went with it.  Let me know what you think.

Not Guilty Anymore

“All rise.”

David watched the black-robed figure shuffle into the bench.

“Please be seated.”

The judge made a great show of shuffling the papers before him, then looked at David. Alan rose beside him and David followed suit. This was it.

“Mr Green, after evaluating your case, including the new evidence recently brought to light, it is the opinion of this court that your original conviction of first degree murder was erroneous. I herewith overturn that verdict and find you not guilty. You are free to go.”

The judge left without another word. David was dimly aware of his lawyer slapping his back.

“Congratulations, Dave.”

“I don’t understand,” said David. “Just like that and I’m not guilty anymore?”

“Just like that. Why? What did you expect?”

“An apology.”

“Apology?” Alan looked genuinely confused.

“Yes,” said David. “For the thirty-two years of my life they’ve stolen, for my wife leaving me, for my daughter growing up without a father, for the stuff I had to do to survive inside…the person I had to become…”

“It won’t help to dwell on that, David. Rather focus on what’s ahead. You have your life back.”

“Ha!” David stared at his lawyer. “What life? I’m sixty-three. My parents are dead. My daughter doesn’t know me…” he gestured at the empty courtroom “…didn’t even show up for the hearing. I have no savings, no pension, no one. What do I do now?”

“One thing at a time, okay? Let me buy you a drink, and then I’ll drop you off at a good halfway house, and tomorrow…”

But David wasn’t listening anymore. He’d been inside too long. It was all he knew. He was finally free and all he wanted was to go back. So, this is what justice is, he thought.

Copyright © 2014 Herman Kok

It’s not often I write a Song Title Challenge that’s such a complete opposite of the song in terms of tone.  I couldn’t find a video of the artist singing the song, so enjoy this video with the lyrics.

2 thoughts on “Song Title Challenge #54: Not Guilty Anymore by Aaron Keyes

    1. Jeffrey Archer actually wrote about it in his prison diaries. Long term prisoners are seriously traumatised by parole or release and many either commit another crime so they can go back or they take their own lives.

      In reality their punishment never ends. Some might argue they deserve it, but I don’t know…


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