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  1. #1
    larry moses
    Guest

    re SNIPPET/WOULD THIS WORK BETTER?


    CHAPTER ONE

    Oliver and Meyers arrived at the Territorial Court located on Centerline Road at 8:45 a.m. While waiting for the judge’s appearance, they went over the burglary report. At 9:00 a.m., the bailiff entered the courtroom.
    “All rise. This court is now in session. The Honorable Judge Marianne Williams presiding.”
    After the bailiff’s proclamation and the judge’s entry, Oliver and Meyers sat, closing the folder from which they were reading. They’d been the arresting officers at the crime scene and had caught the suspect, Manassah Brewster, coming out of the victim’s residence, a laptop computer and a DVD player in his hands. He’d tried to bluff his way out.
    “Hey, officers,” he’d said, when he was surrounded by the two officers. “They send me to get these things from the house. They tell me to take them to the repair shop.”
    “I’ll take these,” Oliver had said, relieving Brewster of the stolen items.
    “Who told you to take them to the repair shop?” Meyers had asked, slapping the handcuffs on Brewster’s wrists. “What’s their name?”
    “Hey, I ain’t do nuttin,” Brewster had protested.
    The owner of the house had driven up and Oliver had followed him into the house. A quick search had shown that no other items had been missing, but the drawers in the bedroom had been ransacked. The thief had gained entrance through a window at the back of the house.
    “Thank God my neighbor saw the burglar and called me,” the owner of the house had said.
    “We came as soon as we received your call,” she’d told him.
    “That was quick,” he’d said.
    She’d left him to secure the window and had joined Meyers outside. Meyers had herded Brewster into the back of the squad car and had read him his rights when they arrived at the station.
    Now sitting next to his shyster attorney, Brewster was staring at Oliver and Meyers, a smug look on his face.
    You’re going down, @!#$, Oliver thought, sending the message to Brewster via mental telepathy. Brewster quickly lowered his head as the Bailiff called the first case on the docket.
    “The Territory versus Manassah Brewster. All parties please come forward.”
    “Manassah Brewster is being charged with breaking and entering, and larceny. Counselors are you ready to proceed with this case?” the judge asked, reading from the folder on her desk.
    The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Melvin Collins answered, “Yes, Your Honor. The Territory is ready.”
    Attorney Roy Pride stood, clearing his throat. “Your Honor, the defense is ready,” he said, hoarsely. “And my client pleads ‘not guilty’. He was only following the instructions of the owner of the house.”
    The judge rolled her eyes. “Save it, Pride. “Do I look like I bought my law degree at K-Mart?”
    Laughter erupted in the room and Pride sat down, his jaw clenched. When the laughter subsided, Lt. Petti Oliver was called to the stand. After Oliver took the oath, attorney Collins asked her to recount the events which led to Brewster’s arrest.
    “On May 22, at approximately 11:00 a.m., we received a call to investigate a burglary in process at 011 Catherine’s Rest. When Lt. Meyers and I arrived at the address mentioned, we observed the defendant, Manassah Brewster leaving the residence with a laptop computer and a DVD player in his possession.”
    She went on to describe what took place when they apprehended Brewster and at the conclusion of her testimony, judge Williams said, “you may cross-examine the witness attorney Pride.”
    “No questions at this time, Your Honor, but I reserve the right to call the witness,” attorney Pride answered.
    When Lt. Meyers was called to the stand and sworn in, he corroborated Oliver’s statement and attorney Pride also declined to cross-examine him.
    “You may step down, Lt. Meyers. Thank you, Lt. Oliver, Lt. Meyers. Attorney Pride,” the judge said, looking over the eyeglasses sitting on the bridge of her nose. “Would your client want to change his plea before we go any further?”
    Before attorney Pride could answer, Brewster sprang to his feet.
    “They lying, Your Honor. I forgot to take the house keys from the people who asked me to get dem things outta the house. That’s why I went through the window.”
    Even attorney Pride joined in the laughter. The judge pounded the gavel for silence.
    When the room was quiet, she said, “attorney Collins, call your next witness.”
    The final witness for the Territory was Samuel Wallace, the owner of the residence which had been burglarized. Wallace identified the stolen property as his. During cross-examination by attorney Pride, he denied asking Brewster to take his laptop and DVD player to be repaired. “I don’t even know the man. The first time I ever saw him was the day he broke my house and thief my thing dem,” he explained.
    After Wallace was excused from the stand, judge Williams instructed attorney Pride to call his first witness. There was a huddled discussion between Pride and Brewster, after which attorney Pride stood and addressed the court.
    “Your Honor, my client no longer wishes to testify on his own behalf, and there are no other witnesses for the defense.”
    “In that event, Mr. Brewster, please stand,’ judge Williams said.
    Brewster stood and judge Williams continued. “Based on the testimony that I have heard here today, I find you guilty as charged; one count of Breaking and Entering, and one count of Larceny. I sentence you to one year in prison and your sentence starts right now!”
    This time it was Oliver who had the smug look on her face when she made eye contact with Brewster.
    “It should be so easy to catch the drug dealers, rapists and murders,” Meyers said walking down the courthouse steps.
    “Yeah,” Oliver replied. “We can only try, Meyers.”
    “It’s lunch time. Where do you want to go?” Meyers asked.
    “We can stop at Paquito’s Restaurant on the way to headquarters.”
    “Good choice,” Meyers said, getting behind the wheel.
    “What do you think about Grantham?” Oliver asked as they drove past Smithen’s Fruit and Vegetable stand about a quarter mile from the courthouse.
    Grantham was a police officer whom the rest of the cops thought was shady.
    “I don’t think anything about him,” Meyers replied.
    “He doesn’t look as if he’s interested in what he’s doing. He’s just performing his tasks by rote. It’s like he only shows up to collect a paycheck and to hell with the rest.”
    “Don’t we all come to collect a paycheck?” Meyers asked turning into the restaurant’s parking lot.
    “Come on, Meyers. You know what I mean. Some of us care about the crime victims. We are dedicated. We work hard trying to bring justice. Grantham is just going through the motions.”
    “I know what you mean, Oliver. But what can we do about Grantham, eh?”
    They entered the already crowded restaurant and stood in line to place their take-out orders. There was a lively discussion going on at table No.5. Oliver sucked her teeth when she heard the present administration mentioned.
    “I tell ju,” a red-faced, Hispanic, obese man said. “Dees administration is de worse in de Virgin Islands. All they doing is wasing money. They bringing contractors from de States, and paying dem thousands of dollars when we have qualified local contractors here.”
    “People like you voted for them,” Oliver muttered under her breath.
    “Come on,” a burly, coffee-colored man said. “The Governor is doing his best. I think he’s doing a damn good job. He’s bringing in investors…”
    “Bull****,” a slim, light-skinned woman with a short hair cut, interjected. “He’s as phony as a four-dollar bill. He aiin’t doing @!#$ for the little people, and I don’t mean dwarfs when I say little people. I’m talking about people like most of us who are suffering because we cannot get our retroactive pay or a salary increase. They crying broke, yet they are still hiring their cronies, creating jobs for them, and giving salary increases to their friends who are sitting in offices doing nothing. Some of them cannot even compose a letter, they can’t spell, and they’re making sixty and seventy thousand dollars for doing nothing.”
    “You tell them, sistah,” Oliver muttered, grinning.
    It was their turn to order and they stepped up to the counter.
    “What’s the special of the day?” Meyers asked the woman behind the counter.
    “It’s on the board,” she replied, jutting out her chin in the direction of the blackboard.
    “Oh, sorry. I didn’t notice it,” Meyers said, reading the menu. “I’ll have stewed goat, seasoned rice, and fried plantains.”
    “Mmmmm. I’ll have the boil fish and fungi,” Oliver said.
    While they waited for their order, Meyers ordered a Brow soda and glanced at Oliver.
    “I’ll have a glass of water from the water cooler at the office,” she told him.
    She noticed that the political discussion ceased when the waitress placed laden dishes on table No. 5.
    Seated in the empty lunchroom at headquarters, they dug into their food with gusto. Oliver couldn’t help thinking about Lt. Grantham. Something about him smelled unscrupulous.



  2. #2
    Dale Day
    Guest

    Re: re SNIPPET/WOULD THIS WORK BETTER?

    Oliver and Meyers arrived at the Territorial Court located on Centerline Road at 8:45 a.m. While waiting for the judge’s appearance, they went over the burglary report. At 9:00 a.m., the bailiff entered the courtroom.
    “All rise. This court is now in session. The Honorable Judge Marianne Williams presiding.”
    After the bailiff’s proclamation and the judge’s entry, Oliver and Meyers sat, closing the folder from which they were reading. They’d been the arresting officers at the crime scene and had caught the suspect, Manassah Brewster, coming out of the victim’s residence, a laptop computer and a DVD player in his hands. He’d tried to bluff his way out.

    IMHO this is dry and doesn't set the scene. You only have a few sentences to get the attention of your reader and you've failed to do it here.
    What did the courthouse look like? What was going on at that time of the morning? What did they do to "go over the burglary report"? What did they look like? Who were they? Was there anything special about the courtroom? The judge? The plaintiff? The DA? What makes this special? Why should I care about this?

    Get the drift?

  3. #3
    larry moses
    Guest

    Re: re SNIPPET/WOULD THIS WORK BETTER?

    and then he sighed....

  4. #4
    L Bea
    Guest

    Re: re SNIPPET/WOULD THIS WORK BETTER?

    What is with all the "had?" "Had" is even showing up in contractions. It's rampant throughout and I can't even get through it all. Seriously, Larry. Clean this up.

    "And then he sighed." Dale Day has valid points. Sigh all you want. This needs work.

    ~Bea

  5. #5
    Battle Angel
    Guest

    Re: re SNIPPET/WOULD THIS WORK BETTER?

    "What is with all the "had?" "Had" is even showing up in contractions. It's rampant throughout and I can't even get through it all. Seriously, Larry. Clean this up."

    I completely agree with you, L Bea. Not being a bestselling author, myself, I'm not allowed to comment.

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