So Innocent
Laura, Age 13, Easton, CT

The sun was shining high and bright that day as Kate Farmer was preparing for her wedding. She was marrying Evan O’Neil, her first and one true love. She loved him so much. He was funny and smart. He was even handsome, with his tall lean figure and his blonde hair.

Kate and her mother were busy setting tables in the backyard, where the small wedding ceremony was to be held. “Kate,” her mother called out to her, “Katie, dear, we need more napkins. Run up to the attic, I think there are more up there.”

“Yes, Mom,” Kate agreed hurrying past her mom into the house without noticing a man in a black suit watching her. The whole house looked beautiful, all clean for the special occasion. There were flowers everywhere and the whole house was white, as if to scream wedding.

When Kate reached the attic, she slowly pushed open the creaky door and stepped inside. The attic was old and dusty. Kate could not remember if she had ever been up there before. The attic had large wood beams across the ceiling and spider webs occupied every corner. The room smelled of mould and cedar wood. There were books, furniture, even a collection of baseball bats. As she skimmed over the many items that had made their house a home, she came across a tall mirror. Her whole life began to flash before her eyes. She remembered everything, the good, and the bad. She relived her first bike ride, ballet class, and kiss.  She remembered her detentions and parking tickets. She saw her strengths, weaknesses, and flaws, her good decisions and bad. In just a few short hours she would be Mrs. Evan O’Neil.

When she moved on, she found her father’s day planner. The date was 2007, this year.  “He’s probably looking for this,” Kate thought as the book flipped open. It landed on a page filled with the same phone number, 555-9291, John Simon, her friend from high school. What was his phone number doing in there? What would her father want with John Simon?

Immediately, the attic door swung open, her father standing right there. “What are you doing up here?” her father questioned her. Just then the clouds covered the sun, as if to say that the day would go terribly wrong from here.

“I was getting more napkins for…”

“Why are you holding my day planner?” he interrupted as Kate tried to answer. “Haven’t I always taught you to respect people’s privacy?”


“Well, then why are you standing there looking at a page in my day planner?”

“I didn’t think…” Kate tried to explain.

“That’s right, you didn’t think, and now you’re going to pay for what you ‘didn’t think’ about doing.” He continued to point his finger at her as she backed away in terror.

In self-defense, as he grabbed her arm, she grabbed a rusted candlestick and swung it at her father’s head. She fell to the floor, from the impact of the swing, just as he was about to inject her. When she raised her head, she found a huge gash in her father’s head with blood oozing out.

She couldn’t control any of the emotions that filled her head at this moment. She hadn’t meant to hurt him much, just keep him from hurting her. Everything had happened so fast. She never realized her actions could seriously hurt her father, but it was too late for second thoughts now.

He was dead.

She had killed him.

The rain poured hard on the flat roof of the court house in Rockland, Massachusetts on Sunday April 1, 2007. However, this was no April fool’s joke. Kate Farmer was being charged for the murder of her father, Ric Farmer.

In the room sat Kate’s sister, Kristina, who couldn’t bear to see her sister sent to jail. She was her best friend and had taught her everything she knew. Kristina couldn’t lose her big sister. Not now, as she was headed off to college.

Also in the room, a weeping Mrs. Farmer and a disappointed Evan O’Neil. Evan used to describe his fiancée as gentle, now he wasn’t so sure if he knew anything about her. If she could kill her father, imagine what she would do to some one she didn’t know.

Kristina looked around. Everyone who cared about Kate was there except for one, John Simon.

“Court is in session,” the judge announced, and the trial began. Kristina knew that her sister didn’t stand a chance. She was the one in the attic when Ric Farmer was killed. All the evidence pointed straight to Kate.

Before the trial, Kate thought about telling someone about the day planner, and her father’s reaction to her looking through it, but decided that she had killed her father and did not deserve to get off on a self defense excuse.

“Case closed,” the judge concluded at the end of the trial. “Kate Farmer is guilty of killing her father, Ric Farmer, and is sentenced to ten years in jail.” The room fell silent and everyone’s head dropped. No one wanted to see Kate Farmer go to jail.

“Kristina,” Kate whispered to her sister behind her.

“What?”  Kristina asked, leaning forward.

“I don’t think I really killed Dad,” Kate told her sister.

“It’s okay, Kate, we all know it was an accident. You were just acting in self-defense when you swung the candlestick. You just hit Dad’s head too hard.”

“That’s just it, Kristina. When I swung the candlestick, I missed his head. I never hit his head,” Kate explained. But at that moment, Kate was taken out of the court room, leaving Kristina to contemplate what she had just heard.

“What’s up?” Scott asked, walking through the Farmer’s front door, referring to a call Kristina had given him. “You told me it was urgent.”

“My sister didn’t kill my dad,” Kristina announced, turning to face Scott.

“Kristina, um…,” Scott began as he sat down next to her on the couch, “we all know it was an accident…, but she did…she did…kill him.”

“That’s what you think. Now, are you going to help me prove her innocent or not?” Kristina asked.

“All right,” Scott gave in. “Where do we start?”

Kristina and Scott made their way up to the attic, hoping to find some evidence that Kate did not kill her father. When they got there, they began to rummage through the mouldy attic boxes and drawers. They were looking to find something, anything, to prove Kate innocent.

“I can’t find anything. Here, here’s a candlestick like the one she used, and a baseball bat,” Scott complained.

“Keep looking,” Kristina ordered.

“Wait, Kristina look at this. It’s your father’s day planner. It was right here next to the candlestick,” Scott discovered.

“What?” Kristina asked, as she snatched the book out of Scott’s hands and began to flip through it. She opened to a page with the phone number 555-9291 written all over it.

“Whose phone number is that?” Scott asked, peering over her shoulder.

“I don’t know,” Kristina asked worriedly. “Who would my dad be that anxious to call?”

“I don’t know. I think we should find out whose phone number this is,” Scott decided. “I’ll get the phone book.”

“Scott, that’ll take forever,” Kristina complained, pulling Scott back into the room. “I’ll just look through the address books in the house,”

“Where will you start?” Scott asked.

“Kate’s,” Kristina said walking out of the attic.

Kristina returned five minutes later, “John Simon,” she said.

“What?” Scott sat up confused, wiping the ice cream off his mouth. In only five minutes, Scott had managed to find food, typical Scott.

“John Simon, that’s who the phone number belongs to,” Kristina explained.

Scott, still confused asked, “Who is John Simon?”

“John Simon was Kate’s friend through high school, and he was always jealous of Evan,” Kristina explained.

“So why would your dad need to call him that many times?” Scott asked.

“That’s just it, I think John was calling him and it was obviously about something important,” she exclaimed.

Standing in the middle of the attic, Ric Farmer wrote the numbers 555-9291 over and over again in his day planner. “You wanna blackmail me?” he said to himself, “I’ll just blackmail you back.”

“Ric, Ric I need your help down here,” his wife, Lesley, yelled up the stairs.

“I’ll be right there,” he yelled back, closing his book and placing it under a candlestick.

“Kristina, Kristina, Kristina,” Scott yelled as he ran through the door.

“You’ll never guess what I, the assassin of the internet, found.”

“What Scott? Tell me,” Kristina demanded.

“Okay, I hacked into the police records, and found everything, ever recorded, on John Simon,” Scott proudly announced proudly. Scott was a computer genius, always hacking into something. This wasn’t the first time he had gotten into police records. Kristina was surprised he didn’t have a job with the mob at this point.

“And…” Kristina urged him on.

“And what?” Scott asked confused, once again.

“What did you find?” Kristina yelled.

“Oh yeah, well, I found all this basic stuff, mostly parking tickets.”

 “Uhhh,” Kristina sighed in disappointment.

“Don’t be upset, I haven’t told you the best part yet,” Scott announced. Now, Kristina looked eager to hear the rest of what he had to say. “Well, we learn two things from these parking tickets. One, this guy really likes to park in ‘No Parking Zones’. I mean look at all of them…”

“Scott, the important part,” Kristina interrupted.

“Okay, okay, look at this one…” he said bringing John Simon’s most recent parking ticket up on the screen. “Look at the date and time.”

“That was across the street, right before the accident,” Kristina realized.

John Simon drove down the road whistling with the radio. The sun was shining bright, but all John could think of was that today was Kate Farmer’s wedding, and he wasn’t the groom. He wasn’t even invited to the wedding, but he planned on making an appearance anyway. As he pulled onto Kate’s street, he parked in a ‘No Parking Zone’, as he usually does, and walked across the street to the Farmer’s house. He walked to the backyard just in time to hear Lesley Farmer ask her oldest daughter to go get more napkins from the attic. What he didn’t know, was that at the same time, a police car pulled up to ticket his car.

“Once again, my internet abilities have paid off,” Scott announced as he walked back through the Farmer’s front door as he had done many times before.

“How?  What did you find?” Kristina asked anxiously.

“I hacked into this Simon guy’s phone bill records,” Scott said as he opened his computer, “and found that he called your dad’s number about three times a day for a week leading up to the wedding, but your father never called him back.”

“So, what does that mean?” Kristina wondered.

“I think he was probably blackmailing your father,” Scott decided.

“But that still doesn’t prove that John Simon killed my father,” Kristina realized.

“Well, maybe we should act it out. You know re-enact what happened that night,” said Scott, already on his way up to the attic.

“Okay, so I’m about as tall as your father, and you’re about the same height as your sister,” began Scott when they had made their way to the attic. “So you stand there,” he said as he positioned her in the spot where her sister had stood that night, “and I’ll stand in the doorway.”

“Um, I’ll hold this candlestick and now you come towards me,” Kristina continued.

“Okay, I’m coming at you fast, I’m gonna hurt you,” Scott declared as he rushed toward Kristina, “Now, swing the candlestick.”

As he said this, Kristina swung the candlestick toward Scott’s head, but the candlestick was intercepted by Scott’s hand. “Did you see how easy that was?” Scott noticed, “because of the height difference, I’m able to, quite easily, catch the ‘weapon’ as it’s coming toward me. Hold on, try it again, but this time, swing it with all your might.”

They repeated the first act over again, however, Kristina did as Scott said, and swung harder this time. Although it was much harder than before, Scott was still able to catch the candlestick before it hit his head. He fell to the ground from the impact of the hit, but he had still caught it.

“Do you know what this means?” Kristina asked excited as she helped Scott back on his feet.

“Kate’s innocent,” Scott concluded.

John Simon slipped in the house after Kate, and watched her hurry up the stairs. The stairs creaked as he slowly ascended up them. He made his way to the upstairs hallway and heard a voice following him. In a hidden doorway, John watched Ric Farmer scurry down the hallway. Ric was the last person who John wanted to be seen by, for he had been blackmailing him for quite some tome. However, John wasn’t in it for the money, no, he was in it for the girl, Ric’s daughter. Just this morning, Ric had given him a call, threatening to call the police. John knew he had to make his move now.

Once Ric was out of sight, John emerged from the doorway and made his way down the hallway, toward the attic, where he had seen Ric enter.

Once he made his way to the door, he heard Ric yelling at his daughter. John knew he had to move fast. He entered the attic just in time to see Kate swing a candlestick at her father’s head. John then moved in and knocked him on the head with a baseball bat. John made sure no one could trace the murder back to him and made his way out of the house, before any commotion started.

“Guilty,” the judge yelled, but this time these words were pointed toward John Simon, the real murderer of Ric Farmer.

The whole court room seemed to breathe a sigh of relief at those words. Everyone’s sweaty palms dried, and a small smile was visible on Kate Farmer’s face as she ran to thank Kristina and Scott for proving her innocent. That day was the first, since Kate’s first trial, that the sun shone bright, so beautiful, so yellow, so innocent.

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