Short Story : Condemned



AN : Hello, this is a short story I submitted when I joined a short story competition in my campus. Okay, hope you enjoy it. It didn't come as the winner, so it probably didn't really good. However, I still want to post it here. Hope you like it (sorry if you don't)


A dim light from a small window lightened the small dirty chamber. A small figure in orange uniform, lost in his daydreaming at the corner. His older and bigger roommates, or should he say cellmates, were laying on the hard floor with a small bundle of clothes they called pillow. It wasn’t a pillow, mind you. It was just a bundle of clothes, tied together to support their heads when they are sleeping on the hard floor.

The figure, a small boy around ten years old with black skin, blinked away the sleepiness. His small head turned to the strong sticks that standing proudly in the front of his room, trapping him inside and away from the outside world. The people in police uniform called them bars. For him, it was like a cage. Maybe cages were similar with bars.

He stood up and walked slowly to the bars. He touched them. Cold. He looked up when shadows fell on his small form. Two police officers were looking at him curiously. He had not seen them the other day when he was brought here. Maybe these men were new officers.

“What’s a boy doing here? This is jail for adult not a kid,” the taller man with high cheekbones asked. He read the name tag on the officer’s chest. Jason Heart. He titled his head. Did this officer have a heart? Of course he did. He would die if he didn’t, but did this man really have a “heart”?

“I don’t know,” The shorter officer said. The shorter officer knelt in front of him. The officer looked kind enough for him. His blue eyes were staring into Adam’s black ones directly.

“What’s your name?” The officer asked, “My name is Officer Blake. What’s yours?”

He didn’t answer. Instead, he looked at the name tag on his chest. John Blake. This officer didn’t lie, so he would not lie to him.

“Adam” he said.

“Hi Adam, may I know what are your doing here? Did you do something terrible?” He asked kindly. Adam shook his head.

“No? Then why are you here?” Adam shook his head.

“I don’t know why I am here. I didn’t do anything wrong. I was helping a man when I went home but then few people came and dragged me here.” He said. Officer Blake looked at his friend. Both of them looked at each other before turning their attention back to the small boy.

“How old are you?” Adam watched as Officer Blake’s eyes wandered her small form.

“Ten,” he said proudly. Ten was a good age. The fat officer in same uniform said that ten years old was an adult old because at that age, someone was enough to know what was good and what was bad.  That was why he was here. That was why the officer said he would have to share a room with some adult. He was an adult, or so the officer said.

“Blake, Heart! Come here! Ignore that black-skinned punk!” The two officers turned around and walked away. Adam’s eyes followed them. He felt kind of lonely when they were gone. They were the only one who talked to him. The adults in the room with him, or cellmates like the fat officer said, weren’t nice to him. They didn’t talk to him. They didn’t even ask for his name. They pretended that he didn’t exist.

Adam yawned and walked back to his place, the corner of the room. He wrapped both his arms around his knees and buried his head between them. Slowly, he embraced a new world called dream.

Adam jolted awake when someone roughly grabbed his hand. He blinked his sleepy eyes and noticed that he was dragged by an officer out the cell. Adam felt fear began to crawl inside him. Where were they going? What were they going to do to him?

Adam groaned when his back hit a cold rough wall. His eyes swept the bright room and they lighted up when he saw a handsome man in a black penguin suits walked fast to him. He was carrying a bag in his left hand and a top hat in his right hand. He has similar facial features with the old man he knew, from the green eyes to the facial hair around his mouth and chin, a beard Adam believed. He just looked much younger and taller.
“Hello, Sir!” he greeted the man hugged him. The man looked at him with worried look in his tired eyes.
“Are you okay, son?” He asked gently. His eyes were checking out his small frame. Adam nodded.

“Your... roommates didn’t do anything bad to you, do they?” Adam shook his head. 

“They did hit and say bad words at me when I first joined them, but now they don’t do it anymore,” The man sighed in relief and nodded.

“Have you eaten yet?” He asked, pulling out two large cheese breads from the big box in his left hand. Adam eyed the breads hungrily and took them into his mouth, making the man chuckled.

“What’s your name?” 

“Adam,” he said without bothering to shallow the food in his mouth first. 

“Hi Adam, I’m Lorry. Jonathan Lorry.” 

“It's nice to meet you, Mr. Lorry,” Mr. Lorry just smiled and patted his black hair.

“Adam?”

“Yea?”
“I want to thank you for helping my father. I promise I will get you out of here as soon as possible. You did nothing wrong. You’re a hero for my father. All of this is just a misunderstanding. You will be able to get out soon,” Adam looked into Mr. Lorry’s eyes. He could sense that this man would not lie or break his promise, so he nodded.

“All I want you to do is waiting. Everything is going to be alright. When you’re brought into a large room fills with people and you’re asked what happened that day, tell the truth, okay!” Adam nodded.

“Of course I will tell the truth, Mr. Lorry. Why wouldn’t I be?” He asked in his small voice. Mr. Lorry smiled once again and Adam smiled back. This man is a good man, just like those two police officers he met yesterday.

“I heard you were dragged here roughly by a group of men. One of them also hit you every time you were about to speak. The men will be there, Adam, I just afraid that you’re suddenly afraid and refused to tell the truth” 

“I was afraid but not anymore. I will tell the truth, Mr. Lorry.” Mr. Lorry smiled and patted his curly black hair. Adam looked at him with a small smile before went back to his bread.

What Mr. Lorry said was true. Adam found himself admiring a very large room filled with people in many age. A group of man and woman, in expensive yet weird suits Adam had never seen before, sat in a neat row and a bald old fat man, with the largest white beard Adam had ever seen, sat in the middle of them. He looked out of place among the young people around him. His hands gripped something similar to a hammer. Maybe it was a hammer. But it was from made from wood. Strange.

“What’s your name, boy?” the old fat man asked. Adam looked at him curiously.

“Adam, Sir,” he said.

“Adam who?” he asked again. Adam could see him frowned. Adam shook his head.

“Just Adam.”

“Well, where do you live, Adam?” the fat man asked again. 

“I lived under the biggest bridge in this city, Sir. You know, the Golden String. It was an awesome place to live. You could see fishes swim under where you are sleeping almost all the time. Sometimes, you will find some fruits and vegetables and-“

“Shut up!” the fat man shouted. Adam immediately held his tongue.

“Boy, tell me what happen when you were crossing an old house seven days ago! Tell me what you’ve done to that man!” The fat man asked. Adam looked at where his fat finger was pointing and smiled when he saw Mr. Lorry sat beside the old man he helped days ago. A handsome man in expensive suits sat beside them. Adam saw Mr. Lorry nodded at him. He frowned. Mr. Lorry said something to him when he visited him.

“Tell the truth”

“Ah...” he exclaimed. 

“Well?” the fat man asked. Adam looked at him in the eyes and spoke.

Seven days ago

A small boy in a rotten black jacket and torn jeans was walking slowly, trying to balance the hard logs in his shoulder. He was tired but he couldn’t stop. If he stopped, he would not arrive on time and the man who asked him to bring these logs for Baseball bats would use him as experience to know the strength of the bats. He didn’t want that. His body would be black and blue in the morning and it was hurt.

Adam took a deep breath when he finally saw the house. A big blue house was stood proudly behind a very old house. Many people said it was a haunted house. He didn’t believe them. If this old house was haunted then the man who lived in blue house behind it would run away. He didn’t run away, so this house wasn’t haunted.

Adam continued walking. However, a strange sound was heard from the house. It sounded like someone was being beaten. Adam, unsure of himself, slowly walked to the house and searched for something to peep on. He didn’t see anything. 

Adam frowned and began to circle the house. He stopped on his track when he saw three young men were beating an old man in an expensive suit with a large piece of wood. The old man was lying on the ground and bleeding. There was a bag in his arms. He was protecting it. Adam gasped when he saw some money fell down on the ground from the torn bag. These men were trying to rob him. The old man stirred and his eyes were on Adam. Hopeless could be seen very clearly in his eyes and his mouth moved, mouthed “help”. 

Adam looked at the men and then at the two logs soon-to-be-bats. He had a weapon. He looked at the scene in front of him again and his eyed widen when one of the men held up a large wood and was ready to slam it onto the poor old man’s head. Without thinking, Adam ran with the log in his hands.
Adam swung the log in his hands to the two men like crazy. He closed his eyes every time the log made contact with the men’s forearms, legs, backs and heads. He saw them tried to get onto their feet before he hit their backs again. One of the men managed to stand up. His predatory eyes were on Adam. Adam gripped his log tighter. The man jumped on him and tried to take the log away. Desperately, Adam kicked his stomach and hit him hard on the head. Blood was coming from his head.
“RUN!” Someone roared. Adam opened his eyes and saw a man with brown pony-tail was standing rather far from them. Both of the robbers ran to him.

“Maybe he was their boss” Adam mumbled. Adam felt a pride grew inside his chest when he watched all three of them ran away and disappeared from his sight.

“K-Kid...” a fragile voice called him. Adam turned around and found the old man was trying to sit. Adam knelt in front of him.

“Are you okay, Sir?” The old man nodded. Adam tried to help him but the old man slapped his hands every time he touched him.

“K-Kid... thanks you...” he shuttered. Adam nodded. His eyes were eyeing the blood on the old man’s head, face and arms. Adam winced and hugged his log. He wasn’t really fond of blood.

“What’s going on here?” The new rough voice ran through the silence between the old man and Adam. It startled the old man and caused him to fall down. 

Adam felt hands on him as many villagers ran to them. A man grabbed his arm and observed him.
“This kid is beating the man to a pulp!” he said. 

Adam frowned. What did that man mean? What was a pulp? He was helping this old man! The man grabbed the log in his arms and looked at it.

“It has blood in it. Bring this kid to the police office! This punk has to take a responsibility on what he has done” He said. Some men grabbed him roughly. Adam cried in pain when he felt his arms were twisted in a strange way. He didn’t know what to do. Why did these men take him to the police office? He was just helping the old man. He didn’t do anything wrong!

End flashback

Adam titled his head as he saw the fat man’s face changed from an annoyed look to an understanding one as soon as he finished his story. The fat man narrowed his eyes glanced at the papers in front of him. He seemed to be in deep thought.

Adam turned his head to see Mr. Lorry smiled at him. He smiled back and looked at Mr. Lorry’s father. He looked exhausted but smiled at him too. Adam waved his hand at him and the old man he had helped waved back. Adam smiled wider.

“Call the witness!” The fat man commanded. 

Adam titled his head when two police officers walked out of the room and came back with a handsome long-brown-haired man in white shirt behind them. Adam suddenly felt afraid. The man was looking at him with some smug and scornful expression on his handsome at once. There was something familiar about this man beside the fact that he was one of the men who dragged him here and hit him every time Adam tried to speak, but Adam couldn’t put his finger to it.

“Name?”

“Dagget, Sir. Alexander Dagget.” The man answered with a very calm and confident voice. Wow, even his voice was very familiar. He had heard it once before he was dragged away, but.... when exactly?

“May I know where you were when the accident happened, Mr. Dagget?” A man in expensive suit asked.

“I was walking around the area to search for my friends, Mr. Lawyer. Then I saw this kid was standing above the unconscious old man with a log in his hand.” Mr. Dagget said. 

“So, you accused this boy immediately?”

“Of course, I did. The boy was the only one in the area beside the unconscious man, not to mention he had a log covered in blood in his hand.” 

“That wasn’t Mr. Lorry’s father’s blood. It was the robbers’ blood” Adam yelled. He didn’t want to be accused for something he didn’t do.

“There weren’t robbers anywhere.” Mr. Dagget yelled back.

“There were!”

“There were NOT!” Mr. Dagget roared.

“SILENT!” A loud sound of wooden hammer hit the table was heard. Adam winced.

“Call the victim!” The fat man said. Adam watched as Mr. Lorry helped his father to sit on the same chair where Mr. Dagget sat few moments ago. He looked healthy despite the cane he had to use and a bandage around his head and left forearm.

“Name?”

“Lorry, Sir. John Lorry” Mr. Lorry’s father said. Adam’s eyes didn’t leave the old man.

“Mr. Lorry, could you please tell me what happened to you seven days ago?” Adam watched a man in expensive black suit walked to Mr. John Lorry with calm and full of confident in his voice. Adam didn’t know who the man was, but it seemed he was smart. Maybe this man could help him and Mr. John Lorry. Adam grinned.

“I was walking home from a bank when few men stopped me. They wanted the money in my bag. I refused, of course, and they beat me up.”

“What did they do to you?” Mr. Lorry’s eyed met the man’s.

“I just told you they beat me up. They hit me with a log, a very hard one.” The man pointed his hand to Adam, who was sitting calmly on his chair.

“Did this boy come?” Mr. John Lorry’s eyes went to him. Adam offered him a small smiled which he returned. 

“Yes, he did. He saved me. He was my hero” Mr. John said. Adam grinned. Hero. Mr. Lorry said he was his father’s hero. Wow, Adam never felt so happy in his life. He was called a hero.

“So you said that what Mr. Dagget said wasn’t true?”

“No, it is not. Even though I was in an old man and in very weak condition, I was still aware of my surrounding. I knew what happened around me.” Mr. John Lorry said. 

“Your Highness, I think everything is clear now. We don’t need anything else now, would we? Mr. Lorry himself had said that the boy, named Adam, was his savior against a robbery. He didn’t beat him. He didn’t try to rob him, like people believed. Furthermore, despite what people think of the child’s situation and condition, he is a good your boy and it was shown when he told the true and it didn’t waver even though he received a threat from Mr. Dagget, who told the wrong story yet firm with it,” The man in expensive suit, whom Mr. Dagget called Mr. Lawyer earlier, stood in front of Adam. Unconsciously, Adam nodded his head in agreement of the man’s words. 

Adam raised both his eyebrows when the fat man, whom was just called Your Highness, looked at him with thoughtful expression on his face. Adam could see conflicts in his eyes like the man wasn’t sure what really he had to do with him. He nodded several times before he took the wooden hammer Adam found strange earlier.

“Alright, Mr. Adam here is sentenced free of all the accusations. Mr. Adam is sentenced not guilty!” 

Adam grinned. Free. One word that he was sure said he was out of the cages or like the policemen said, bars or jail.

Adam hopped off his chair and immediately hugged by Mr. Lorry. Mr. Lorry’s father, John Lorry, was standing behind them with a small smile on his face.

“Thank you, Mr. Lorry,” he said as he hugged the man back.

“No, thank you for saving my father and I’m so sorry you have to spend your nights in the jail,” Mr. Lorry said. Adam shook his head.

“It’s okay. The jail wasn’t so bad. It was warm. Warmer than where I lived. The men there beat me up at first but them they left me alone, an-“

“Shit!” Adam turned his head when he heard someone cursed few feet of him. He frowned when he met with a pairs of eyes that belonged to Mr. Dagget. That voice... That face... that long hair.... where-
Realization hit him like ton of bricks. He knew this man! He was the one who-

“He’s one of them!!” Adam shouted. His finger was pointed to the surprised Mr. Dagget.

“Adam?” Mr. Lorry called.

“He was the one who yelled “Run!” to the robbers when I hit them. He was watching from far! He has the same long brown hair! He was one of them.” Adam said. 

Mr. Dagget’s eyes widen in fear and suddenly he ran from the building as fast as he could. Adam was shoved into Mr. Lorry’s arms when few police officers ran past him. Adam heard a scream.

“The police officers caught him” Mr. Lorry said. Adam looked up at him 

“Really?”

“Yes and once again, Adam, you become a hero. You caught one of the robbers”

“The police officers caught him” Adam said as he saw Mr. Dagget was struggling on the ground, his hands were in handcuffs. 

“But you were the one who told them, were you not? So you’re still a hero” Adam grinned widely. His eyes locked with Mr. Lorry’s before a question came out of his small mouth.

“Why did he bother to be a witness, Mr. Lorry?” 

“He wanted you to be put in jail. He made sure no one listening to you so the police would not try to find the real culprits.”

“Oh,” Adam nodded. His eyes were still on the scene in front of him.

“Adam?” Adam looked up. His eyes followed Mr. Lorry as he slowly knelt down in front of him. 

“Do you want to come with me, Adam?” Mr. Lorry asked. Adam’s eyes widen in surprise.

“Come with you?”

“Yes, live with me and my wife. You will live in a big warm house, go to school, and eat breakfast, lunch and dinner-“

“I will go to school?” his eyes shone. Mr. Lorry nodded.

“Yes.”

“Then I will come with you, Mr. Lorry,” Mr. Lorry smiled and took his hand before led him out of the room.
Adam smiled. He didn’t know if he would really go to school or not but Mr. Lorry was a good man. He trusted Mr. Lorry and he could help but hope that what Mr. Lorry had told him would come true.

The End
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