The book A Prisoner by No Crime of My Own has been professionally edited and will be published this year. To pique interest, I will share tidbits from the manuscript with you some Tuesdays. I hope my story helps you find your story!
Chapter 17 – Murder | A Flip Book
Redmond and I continued our work through the years, and I began to piece the story together. As if writing one of those small books where you put together a different picture, slightly different than the last, and then thumb through it to make an entire story. That’s exactly what I did with my memories.
One evening in my old Craftsman home, I grabbed a bottle of wine and began the journey of putting it all together — everything my body and mind had discovered to this point. I brought it to Redmond in our next appointment and read through it with him.
He said, “Jodie, that’s remarkable what you’ve just done that. It’s very smart of you to put it all together in the timeline as it happened.”
After forty painstaking years, this is the sequential events of the day we murdered.
The month was June of ‘68. I was three, but not for long. I’d turn four the following month. My father and I were driving down a lonely, local interstate highway in a four-door sedan. The car was a silvery blue, with black interior. I learned later from my mother that this was my grandmother’s car but that is no part of my memory. Dad was preoccupied, but he was enjoying the lit cigarette pinched between his fingers.
It was a sunny day, and I was happy to be with him. He was my world. It didn’t matter what he did. He was the power. He took a left off the highway and drove slowly up to an unfamiliar building. He took me out of the car and sat me in a white plastic chair, my little legs extending beyond my summer dress. He disappeared. I looked around, taking in my environment. It seemed something I had learned how to do, to try and keep myself alert, away from harm. Across the highway was a hill topped with railroad tracks. My brother’s toy train made me wonder what a real train flying past might sound like. I was lost in this moment of childish wonder, until I felt a woman with soft, small hands reach out and take my own, ripping me from my thoughts. This moment is one I will guard for eternity.
She was a blonde woman, dainty, pretty, and petite. She tried to speak with me, but my father interrupted abruptly, grabbed my arm, and moved me away from her. I remember wanting her to stay. I pranced on my tip toes to keep up with Dad as he dragged me down the concrete sidewalk past the windows and doors. He was angry and I couldn’t afford any indifference to his need, only compliance. He opened a door to a room with no sunlight. He picked me up by one arm, swatted me, and sternly told me to stay put.
. . .