Testimony

A twist on the classic tale of 'Robin Hood'. From the viewpoint of the detective trying to stop antagonist; Robin Hood.

“Testimony” 

“Do you swear to tell the truth? The whole truth? And nothing but the truth?”

I swallow my nerves and dab my brow with my sweat-drowned handkerchief before raising my head to the Bailiff. I return these words to him in a stern manner, with fear hiding behind my voice:

“I do.”

The Judge. Decider of fate. Eyes like daggers with a heart of cold steel, Mjolnir is by her side. She gives me my permission. My chance.

“Well Detective, you may begin your testimony.”

*          *          *

My head gradually rose from my desk. My mind attempted to switch on as a vibration channelled through my wounded oak desk, which was stained with cold coffee and flooded with police records. I grabbed the source of the vibration, my phone, with hope in my heart that there was good news; that Robin Hood had been found. However, despair quickly invaded as I realised it was only my alarm. I turned to the window of my desolate, dusty, apartment which begged for a clean and gazed upon the forsaken, robbed, city as tears hammered down from the metal sky. A fellow vibration echoed through my isolated habitat and I turned, inhaling the faded scent of cigarettes that lingered over the dead décor, to see a message. This one felt different. With haste, I snatched the phone. My eyes slowly broke wide open as a beacon of hope rested in my palm. The light at the end of this long tunnel shrouded in darkness had finally appeared. Would this nightmare-case finally come to an end? Would this anarchist be brought before the judge? The sheer thought of his acts disgust me; breaking into peaceful, wealthy, homes and slaughtering those who live in them, stealing their various luxuries. This monster ripped the happiness from my life; it ruined my beautiful home, it snatched my precious possessions, and it took the love of my life away from me. I had the choice to stay home with her, and protect her. But instead, I made my work a priority and left her to the clutches of that demented thief. I thought what I was doing was the right thing, that choosing my work would make the city safer and my love proud. I had never been so wrong. This city doesn’t need my help. But I will stop this hell-spawn even if it kills me. After years of butchering and robbing from the rich, giving only a small portion back to the poor, had I finally been given my chance to stop this injustice? I grabbed my coat, strapped my sidearm to my hip, pocketed my badge, and shot to my car as an unfamiliar excitement churned inside me. As I drove of I murmured to myself:

“Time to hunt a false hero.”

It was time. Hood was just ahead in the deserted corpse of a building. A myriad of officers circled and guarded the site like slavering mongrels on tight chains. The icy breath of the drenched street caused my body to tremor and the lampposts blinked frantically as I stepped into the jaws of the marked, yet unknown territory…

My mind raced and burned with queries, questions, and scenarios yet my posture kept firm as my heart pounded with an intense nerve. As I cautiously moved into the depths of the den, the dirtied grey wallpaper tried to latch onto me as it decayed accompanied by a sinister silence that slithered around the building.

I kept my pistol straight; my torch broke through the wall of the dusty fog and I turned into a room with a lonely lurker at the opposite wall, staring me down as if I were trash. I exclaimed to him:

“It’s time to come in thief! It’s over!”

My hands started to tremble. My aim became severely doubtful.
”Never! You are just as bad as the rest of the upper-class filth!”

He snarled and within an instant he fired towards me. The nerves had taken over, causing me to miss, allowing him a fighting chance to flee. He crushed me into the doorframe and began his daring escape.

I scavenged whatever strength my body was able to spare and bolted after him. I could tell he aimed for the roof; his sleek, young, physique gifted him with the upper-hand. My lungs ached. Legs trembled. Vision blurred, my hand shattered from the recoil of the previous misfire. My heart cried for help as it endured the pain and adrenaline yet I continued to chase him, my will stayed strong. I continued to hunt the hunter.

Finally, I crashed through the door onto the peak of the building greeted again with a glare as he stood on the edge. I was not ready to give in however my body was failing to keep me up after that game of cat and mouse. My gun was once more ready to fire and I hoped my body would not betray me. He yelled down to me:

“I’d rather die than be clawed up by corruption like you!”

Was he telling the truth? Would he sacrifice his own life? Or would he attempt a second escape? He was in the perfect position to do either one and the condition of my body provided a significant handicap.

“You don’t have to kill yourself, Hood! And don’t try running!”

My mouth was never able to spit out that monster’s real name. I was still uncertain if I could hit in this condition; I was barely able to stand as the nerves and stress devoured me from the inside, my mind too strained to predict the outcome. If he fell. If he ran. Anger and fear both struck me as either result would haunt me for eternity. Hood made his choice; I pulled the trigger.

*          *          *

I come to a halt as I choke on the memory.

“Detective?” The judge calmly called. “Are you read to continue?”

I briefly nod, reassuring myself, calming my body and firmly reply:

“Yes. Your Honour.”

I look up towards the Judge to give the outcome. To finish my testimony...

The End

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