Golden Hill Street Courtroom B


Detective Nathan Chambers was a tall and muscular man, with deep set light blue eyes beneath a high forehead, with a layer of close cropped military style hair cut which was just beginning to recede. He was running toward the Golden Hill Street courtroom B, gliding down the second floor corridor toward the sentencing of a young man who murdered his family. His shoulders and hips were pushing forward in slow, locomotive fashion. that drama was still lingering on his mind, but he promised Detective Laura Kimber that he would meet her at the sentencing of Jesus Ayala.

He walked into the courtroom B and quickly sat next to Kimber and Detective Peter O’Brien. Jesus Ayala’s face didn’t break from his unsettling stare, a gaze all the more unnerving because of the crime he has committed. Ayala was a part-time drug dealer and second career was armed robbery. Finally getting him off the street was a small satisfaction, but it was no satisfaction to the other family members who sat at the side of the courtroom sobbing and sniffling.

The sentencing was delivered swiftly, but it didn’t have a bite. The judge gave Jesus Ayala two life sentences and because of his age he avoided the death penalty. By and large, the evil that sat at the defendant’s table in a Bridgeport circuit court rarely seemed at first glance to be sufficient for a person who caused destruction to human lives. Even after hearing the double life sentence still something in the hearts of every detective that sat there in the courtroom registered disappointment.

Some of the older family members tossed themselves on the floor screaming uncontrollably for either the sentence, or another lost family member. The entire scene was like something out of a surreal nightmare.

Chambers thought about the evil criminals sitting in death row and the fact that those evil elements aren’t monsters in appearance. They resemble nothing more sinister than the counter workers at fast food establishments, line cooks, some alcoholics, drug attics, borderline mental cases, and adolescent youths trying to portray video games and movie heroes, or gangsters. They aren’t the most visually threatening crew ever assembled. But what they did have in common was the fact that they have murdered, slaughtered and destroyed human life. Each murder came in different variations, yet that act alone made them terribly lonely, facing their own demons.

The judge issued the sentence in a low rumble to his voice and giving Jesus Ayala that 500 yard stare, which added something to the melodrama that engulfed the courtroom. There was no pity in the voice, but the isolation of the stare must have caused genuine curiosity about the murders.

Detective Laura Kimber was the first at the scene and she expected a monster to shoot out of the closet and she expected an attack. Instead, she found the boy’s mother slaughtered in the kitchen and the boy’s sister butchered in the bedroom. She looked around for the evil monster, but only found him cradled in a fetal position in the bathtub. Huddled in what appeared to be fear and remorse. Jesus Ayala was responsible for an extraordinary act of evil and after it was done, he coward.

Detective Peter O’Brien who sat next to Laura Kimber in a silent presence just watched on and didn’t even voice an opinion. But he somehow realized that the men and women hired to protect and serve were somehow connected to all the evil that men do. The thoughts that ran through his mind were unnaturally quiet, haunted and perhaps even dead. Kimber looked over at Chambers and then back to O’Brien. She too felt that evil lived inside her, breathed with her, and shared her darkness.

And now they were silent.

© 2014 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 38 comments

tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, you take us on a journey into the darker side of life, you have the ability to make us see what some people must deal with on a daily basis and how it can affect them. Great writing as always.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

How sad it is that bad things influence good people so much. The evil seeping into the very people upholding the good. Through the chills I was feeling I appreciated the depth and truth in what you've written.

Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

I guess when you deal with evil, you experience some of it in your soul. I also suppose that people become hardened to it, just as doctors have to become hardened to terrible injury and death.

You have a talent of delving into the depths of a soul, of creating an atmosphere so that we're right in the middle of your scenes, in the core of your characters. Spine-chillingly brilliant! Ann

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

You always bring out the the worst in me Frank, lol. I just wonder why we don't just off all these murderers instead of supporting them in style for the rest of their lives in a place they can get all the drugs, etc they could want. What a waste.

Guess you do a wonderful job bringing out this feelings in us, huh? lol


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow Frank this was a shocker! I could almost see Detective Chambers running ( hips pushing forward in slow locomotive fashion ) I know i shouldn't be feeling sorry for Jesus, but i do. He must have had a horrible life, or had a bad trip on drugs. Great story and written so well.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Always Exploring, Tobusiness, Annart, Jackie and Tilson for reading my Golden Hill Street flash drama.. bless you all

MsDora profile image

MsDora 2 years ago from The Caribbean

My goodness, this ending accuses us all. Instead of condemning Jesus, we should be grateful for the power of the Jesus above to help us control the evil within us. Wonderful!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you MsDora for the visit and the comment.. I agree :)

tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Your ending twists are poignant in so many ways. Excelling writing as usual.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you tireless

Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 2 years ago from United States

Wow Frank...this was poignant yet scary at many points of this story. Well written once again :)

sharing this across!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Hi Dear Frank,

Another excellent write here to bring chills to one's spine for sure! I believe I like that Detective Chambers from your detailed description there at the beginning.

Yes, when constantly surrounded by evil, I am sure the minds of those who are dealing with such on a daily basis, some of it can penetrate through even the best of us.

I was going to comment here on my lunch hour, but I ran out of time, but I am here now.


Up and more and sharing.

Have a lovely evening,

Faith Reaper

mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

Surprising where this ended up. You went to a very dark place to bring this realization to the surface.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Mylindaelliot and Ruchira for reading my courtroom B.. and thank you Faith for coming back after lunch.. bless you girl :).. bless you all

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

A good read as always Frank. You portray the mind set of detectives and criminals very well Frank, as well as how the public reacts to the crimes. In this case how we view corporal punishment as opposed to life in prison. The ending leaves us "hanging" so to speak. Well done.

thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 2 years ago from West Virginia

Frank, caught a fresh release. Very few stories can I read and my mind be thrown into the pot per say. Every single time I've read your stories, my mind is picturing every detail, I even have the sense of smell. That's powerful Frank, no one quite like you pal. Awesome as always!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Jodah for your input and Thelyricwriter really good to see you again my friend hope all is well :)

savvydating profile image

savvydating 2 years ago

It sounds like Jesus was a product of his environment. A psychopath is calculated, and would have felt no remorse. No fetal positions for them. But it's interesting how evil affects us. A very few times, I have felt bits of this presence around me. It made me feel dirty. I just wanted to get away. But what about those who live it and learn it, day in and day out. It's such a sad thing; they become our future juvenile delinquents.

And it's no wonder that those in charge of convicting these people must feel jaded. Evil is like a poisonous liquid spill...contaminating everything.

Once again, you've written a wonderful story. Your writing is always fascinating, Frank.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much savvycommenting..:)

DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Great thinking here and a surprise in your thoughts.

btrbell profile image

btrbell 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

You have the uncanny ability to say so much in your short tales! Love them! Thank you, Frank Up+

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you DDE and btrbell :)

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

So well done Frank! I am struck by the sense of evil --the possibility of it perhaps--that lies within all of us--you make us think!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thanks Audrey :)

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Wow, this is fabulous in its detailed description of the characters and their setting, and I really like the dark turn. We like to see this world as black and white, wherein we are incapable of evil. Ain't so.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

anyway, Flourish thank you so much for your constant support bless you

FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

You are a very good writer, Frank. One day we'll say we knew you when you posted stuff on-line for like, virtually, free.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you, but anyway.. Flourish you're being too kind ..

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

A story about our inner demons. Wow very powerful indeed. I loved your character description of the detective. Well done!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Nadine May :)

Ariel-Cal profile image

Ariel-Cal 2 years ago from Bridgeport, CT

Frank you write wonderfully!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you Ariel glad you liked the picture

Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

The question of guilt and what part of the surrounding darkness that may harbor in the soul by virtue of a routine association lingers only the minds of those with conscience. It separates those who protect and serve from the murderers sitting the other side of the courtroom. Assuming he wasn’t a sociopath, the association that Jesus experienced (interesting name, Frank) that drove him to such a horrific act was not only routine, it was inescapable and all he knew.

Fascinating story, Frank, that explores questions that we rarely ask ourselves or consider. You always cause us to think beyond the comfort zone, which is one of the reasons I am such a fan of your stories. Voted way up and shared.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

Genna you are way too kind bless you :)

ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Sad news all over. We have many Ayalas all over the world lurking in the shadows to wreck havoc. The simple way you tailored the story begs for a standing ovation.

Good job!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you uban :)

LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 2 years ago from Somewhere in the West

As always when a murder is committed it don't be the person themselves doing it, but a spirit that possess them. That's why as soon as they are finish and the spirit leaves them they get back to reality and regret bitterly what they have done. Anger, arrogance, lack of temperament all contributes to a person's short fuse.

I guess it was too late for Ayala to have had regrets because he was caught red handed. Thanks for sharing another Nathan Chambers series :) LOL.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Lady :)

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