"Nor Iron Bars a Cage" Soundtrack

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Custodi eos qui carcerati sunt ab inimico,
et solve ligatos quos divina vis salvare vult.

(Guard all those who have been imprisoned by the Enemy,
and release the fettered whom Divine Power wishes to save)

from O ignis spiritus, written by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen
Found on the album "A Feather on the Breath of God", performed by Gothic Voices
as featured on the TBAA ep of the same name

Nor Iron Bars a Cage

by Jenni


A group of Dyelanders were gathered in the greenroom off the Roseate Theatre.  As the second annual Commemoration of the Murder Trial that Wasn't neared, they’d come together to plan a musical extravaganza.  Because there was nothing like celebrating the TBAA episode that never was and reveling in that they’d never really had to be exposed to the trauma that an arrest of the *real* Andrew would cause.  So as JenniAnn took notes, they discussed what songs would be performed.

“Well, I think Elvis’ ‘Jailhouse Rock’ is an obvious choice and wouldn’t be difficult to stage.  We use PVC pipe to make jail bars, get some of that scaffolding left over from last year’s ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and we’re set!”  Daisy suggested.

“Great.  And speaking of JCS we could always use ‘Could We Start Again, Please?’.  That’s pretty low-budget.  And definitely something from ‘Chicago’.  ‘Razzle-Dazzle’ may be?”  JenniAnn asked.

“Definitely!  Adam would make a great Billy Flynn!” Jess said enthusiastically.

“Hey, didn’t Andrew say he’d perform one number?”  Margherita asked.

JenniAnn nodded.  “Yeah, he did.  Anyone seen ‘Les Mis’?  There’s gotta be a jail song in that doesn’t there?” 

“Wait, what about ‘Close Every Door’ from ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’?  It’s pretty and soulful,” Daisy offered.

“No!” JenniAnn cried and everyone looked at her in surprise.

“Well, why not?”  Daisy asked.

JenniAnn mumbled something.

“Done in a coin toss?  What are you saying?” Daisy asked prompting JenniAnn just to mumble again.

“JenniAnn, seriously speak up.  That just sounded like gibberish.  Ton of join sloth???”  Jess suggested, bewildered.

“IT’S SUNG IN A LOIN CLOTH!” JenniAnn practically yelled in exasperation.

Margherita shot the group a wicked grin.  “Well, hey that settles it for me right there!  Andrew’s singing ‘Close Every Door.’  In the customary wardrobe.”

“We can’t ask him to do that!”  JenniAnn cried. 

“Oh yeah we can and we will!” someone else in the group cried.

“Well I’m bloody well not!  It’s embarrassing!  ‘Hey Andrew, please wear this bit of cloth.’  Uh huh… no way.”  JenniAnn protested.

“But you’re the director!”

There was a cacophony of words then as people debated who should approach Andrew about this, apparently, delicate subject.  But it stopped when everyone heard the library door open and Adam entered.

“Oh Adam!  Thank goodness you’re here.  Tell them we can’t ask…  Adam, what’s wrong?”  JenniAnn asked the angel, noting his long face.

“Andrew.  He’s been arrested.  For murder,” Adam announced gravely.

“Ha ha.  Very funny.  Take a seat and help us plan this murder trial musical thing.  Hey would you sing ‘Razzle Dazzle’?”  Margherita asked.

“I’m not joking.” Adam stressed.

“My God… I don’t think he is,” Margherita said quietly.  Silence fell upon them all.


Saturday night in a jail, a small town in the U.S.

“Well, my friend, this isn’t exactly top-notch accommodations but at least you got yourself out of singing Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes sans clothing!” Adam said with a grin after the police officer showed him into the jail visiting area.

Andrew looked at him with an arched eye brow. 

“Anyway…  How ya holding up?”

“Oh just great.  There’s nothing I like better than watching paint peel.  And I think this orange jumpsuit really becomes me, don’t you?” Andrew asked sarcastically.

Adam looked at his fellow angel of death with surprise.  “Hey if you’re not in the mood for visitors I’ll just leave and tell the girls to do the same.”

Andrew sighed.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t mean to be rude and I do appreciate your coming.  This is all just so… confusing.  But… the girls?”

“Yeah, turns out JenniAnn’s grandparents own a cabin only a few miles from here.  I couldn’t keep them away.  They want to support you.  Jess is organizing a protest as we speak.  Daisy’s helping Tess with the legal aspects.  Margherita, Audrey, and a couple others have taken to doing some detective work to find the real killer.”

Andrew tensed and started to protest. 

“Don’t worry, I made them take Cliff with them.  They’re aware that the real murderer is still out there,” Adam answered, predicting his friend’s complaint.  Andrew settled back down.  “Oh and Monica’s on the case, too.  She’s reporting on the story for the local paper.  She has to stay objective, of course, but I think you’ll see she’s making a point of stressing the girls’ efforts.  Here, take a look.” Adam held a newspaper out to Andrew.

Andrew read it quietly, a bit of a relieved, amused smile forming.

“FAN?” he laughed.

“Convenient isn’t it?”

“I bet JenniAnn’s in seventh heaven.  Out there in her bell bottoms and tie-dye.  She always wanted to be in a real demonstration.  I’m really touched they’re going to all this trouble for me.” 

“What can I say?  They love ya.  But… JenniAnn’s not actually out there.  Not yet anyway.  She’s been cooking and baking and cleaning up a storm at the cabin.  Darn good hostess, that one.  She declined to come with us now, said to give you her best,” Adam relayed.  His own surprise at having to deliver the message was matched by Andrew’s surprise that the same girl who'd spent a week camped on his front porch had opted out of visiting him.  Not knowing what else to say on the matter, Adam excused himself.  “I should really give the others a chance to see you before visiting hours are up.  Don’t get discouraged, we’ll get you out of here soon.”

“I hope so.  Thanks for stopping by Adam.”

“It was no problem, buddy.  I’ll stop in here and the courthouse as often as I can.  Remember, you’re not alone,” Adam encouraged.

“I know.” Andrew smiled after his friend as he left the room.  


Andrew lay down wearily on the worn cot that would be passing for a bed that night.  He was grateful to have had the chance to talk with some of his friends, angel and human.  The Dyeland contingent had been very emotional, crying and heaping good wishes and compliments on him.  It had been a welcome distraction but not long after the last had left, the loneliness set in. 

“Father, I know You’re here with me but… I still feel alone.  I can’t hear Your voice as I usually do.  I don’t understand why I’m still here.  I got through to Jacob, I brought him Home, I thought my assignment was through,” Andrew prayed softly, not wanting to draw the attention of the nearby guard.  “I’m not sure what Your will is in keeping me here.  Bless my friends who are fighting for me, each in their own way.  Bless all who are and will be effected by this.  And please Father, give me the strength to face whatever comes.”  Andrew finished, he felt a bit calmer after speaking to God but still a tear fell down his face. 

He thought he was hearing things.  Surely he was.  Music.  Very quiet, he doubted even the guard would be able to hear it.  It seemed to be coming… from the floor?  It was music he recognized.  Gloria had made him listen to it a couple years ago.  As he walked a labyrinth outside a church.  He’d listened to it many times since.  And just like all the previous times, it calmed his spirit. 


On Tuesday the trial began.  Andrew was in much better spirits when he was escorted into the courtroom than he’d been that first day.  Tess was waiting for him and he noticed Monica all ready stationed at the rear of the gallery, notebook in hand.  They nodded briefly at each other.

“Well, there you are, Angel Boy!  How ya holding up?”  Tess asked her friend and, for the time being, client after he’d been lead to his seat and the guard departed.

Andrew smiled brightly.  “Y’know, I’m actually doing pretty good.  I’ll admit, that first night was tough but being able to see my friends has really helped.  Also the last three nights I heard…”

Andrew was interrupted when the doors to the room flew open.  A procession of Dyelanders proceeded in, each wearing a T-shirt or at least a pin with “Free Andrew Now!” emblazoned on it.  Andrew smiled proudly at them as they filled two whole rows of the courtroom.  Each gave him a little wave, some shooting the thumbs up sign, and others all ready beginning to size up the prosecuting attorney who had just taken his seat. 

“Well, baby, these circumstances may not be ones of your choosing but ya gotta appreciate the show of support and love it’s bringing out,” Tess whispered.

“I do,” Andrew responded, still smiling fondly at his own personal section of supporters.

Just then the jury was led in.  Andrew looked away, not wanting them to think he was trying to intimidate them by staring.  He heard someone gasp and turned around.  JenniAnn looked stricken and was staring over at the jury box.  He followed her gaze. 

“Eben…” he moaned as the demon took the foreman’s seat.

Tess frowned and shook her head.  “I’d never seen him, I just didn’t make the connection.  But Andrew, you’ve faced him before and triumphed, you will again,” she encouraged.

Andrew nodded.  Just then the judge entered and Andrew turned away from the troubling figure and stood.  The trial was about to begin.


Adam stopped reading aloud and set down the paper, returning his attention to the plate in front of him.

“Well Jess, that’s gotta be going into your scrapbook.  Not every day you get scolded by a judge,” JenniAnn said with a grin then turned to Adam.  “Can I get you more chicken?”

The angel of death readily shook his head.  He felt like he’d done nothing but eat since he’d walked into the cabin.  “No JenniAnn, it was delicious but I am stuffed.”

“But there’s still the apple pie and the brownies!  Just lemme go get em!” She stood up but was yanked back down by Daisy.

“Just sit, please.  You’ve done nothing but buzz around this cabin cleaning and cooking since we got here.  Dessert can wait.”

“And after you’ve rested a bit, if you’ve still not got whatever this is out of your system, I’m sure Andrew would enjoy some of the leftovers.  Those guards wouldn’t make a peep.  I think they feel half-guilty having him there.  Plus, the food up there isn’t very appealing.  I’d be happy to drive you,” Adam offered.

“Did you still want to get up to the jail to interview Andrew for the Dyeland paper?” JenniAnn asked Jess who sat across from her.

“Sure, I think those who couldn’t come here would at least like to be kept informed and know how Andrew’s holding up.  Adam, if it’s okay may be I could tag along?”

“Not a problem.”

“Great then Adam and Jess, I’ll pack a bag of food and then if you could just get it to Andrew and…”

“You’re not going?  But you’re the only one that hasn’t visited!” Jess interrupted her, surprised that JenniAnn seemed to have no intention of visiting their friend at his time of need.

“I have to press the skirt I want to wear tomorrow.  But now, if you’ll excuse me I feel very well-rested and have a dinner to pack up,” JenniAnn answered, smiled coolly, and left.

“It’s like watching ‘The Stepford Wives’…” Cliff whispered. 

“It is very disconcerting,” Daisy agreed.

Margherita grinned wickedly.  “I have a theory.  May be she offed Stroyker and feels too guilty visiting Andrew who is being blamed for it.”

Audrey laughed at the thought of the former princess turned cold-blooded murderer.  “Naw, whomever it was was a guy.  I asked Andrew if he’d seen the real murderer.  He wouldn’t elaborate but said yes.  He’d seen *him*.” 

“Geez… it must be tough.  I mean not only knowing you’re innocent but knowing who wasn’t and not being able to say.  Why can’t he Adam?” Jess questioned.

Adam shrugged.  “I’m not sure.  May be whomever it is needs to come to terms with their own guilt.  That could take time.”

“I hope not much time.” Daisy sighed.

“I miss his regular clothes.  His jeans… his tool belt.”  Margherita giggled but then looked wistful.

“I miss going to Monica’s Café with him for orange juice and ginger ale,” Adam added.

Someone sniffled and Lulu, Andrew’s dog, poked her head out from under the table where everyone had been feeding her scraps.  Audrey picked the basset hound up.

“I know, you miss him, too, girl.”

Everyone looked sympathetically at the dog and silently prayed that the whole ordeal would come to a swift end.


Wednesday was spent largely in the courtroom.  About eight witnesses were called.  The prosecutor called some faculty members from the college Andrew had been working at.  They all testified to occasionally overhearing an indignant sounding Andrew telling Jacob he needed to start being kinder and reaching out to those he’d harmed in the past.  Some also recalled Jacob decrying the professor openly in front of students.  The prosecutor harped on those incidents in his push to establish motive.

For her part, Tess called several of Andrew’s students who stressed the patience and warmth their professor had shown them.  And his fortitude in dealing with the deceased.  She also called forth one of the custodians who had seen Jacob take a swing at Andrew one night when he'd seen them both at a bar. 

“Andrew just stood there.  Didn’t flinch, didn’t move to strike back.  Just stared.  It was almost eerie how calm he was.  And he coulda all-out beat Jacob to a bloody pulp and, I’m sorry to say now, not a one of us woulda stopped him,” the man related.

“So you wouldn’t think Andrew here was a violent person?” Tess asked.

Sinclair shot up.  “Objection!  She’s asking the witness to make a conjecture.  He saw one incident.  He’s not able to make a character judgment, he barely knows Ellis.”

“Don’t worry, your honor.  The question is withdrawn.  I’ll let Mr. Sinclair cross-examine and then I’ll call someone who can speak to the decency of Andrew’s character,” Tess deferred and went back to her seat, first shooting the prosecutor a Look.

Sinclair’s cross-examination was short and to the point.  In only a few moments, Tess called the next witness.  The Dyeland contingent smiled as Gloria made her way to the stand.  She took the oath and then looked expectantly at Tess.

“Gloria, you’re a friend of the defendant’s, correct?”

“Oh yes.” Gloria shot Andrew a warm smile which he quickly returned.

“Could you share with us some of what you know about your friend?” Tess requested.

“I’d love to!  One thing I’ll say is Andrew’s is *not* a violent person.” Gloria clucked her tongue.  “I didn’t know him when this happened but another mutual friend, she told me once Andrew came face-to-face with a man who lured a girl to his apartment.  Andrew and the poor girl’s family burst in.  The man actually tried to hit Andrew with a baseball bat.  Well, Andrew got a hold of it and he just busted the computer up.  Didn’t try to harm that man at all.  He let the police do their job.  Just like you should.  Ooh and once…” Gloria blushed.  “Well, see I didn’t know what Ecstasy was and I took one and…”

Tess glared at her.  They’d gone through this.  Gloria had said nothing about that particular incident.  She heard Eben chuckling as the angel sat undoing her own credibility.

“Anyhow, he helped me through it,” Gloria finished sheepishly.

“Thank you… for that… Gloria,” Tess managed to get out.  She took a deep breath and asked her next question.  “Gloria, when your friend, Andrew, does get upset, do you know how he deals with those feelings?”

“I know he prays.  Oh and I taught him about labyrinths.  Y’know, how in the Middle Ages when people couldn’t afford or make pilgrimages for safety reasons they’d walk labyrinths.  I know he uses the one in Dy…  This one not far from his house a lot,”  Gloria corrected.  “I believe he deals with his problems very constructively.”

“Thank you Gloria for your input.  All of it.  Prosecutor?” Tess went back to her seat.  “Honestly, did she have to bring up the Ecstasy?” she whispered tensely to Andrew.

Andrew couldn’t help but be amused.  “It’s okay, Tess.  That won’t make or break the case,” he consoled and then looked back to the front of the courtroom for the cross-examination.

“Miss, how long have you know the defendant?”

“Since I was born actually.  So about four…”

Adam, who sat with the Dyelanders in the gallery, coughed loudly which alerted Gloria to her second near-slip.  For a moment she looked panicked but then smiled serenely.

“Well, never mind that.  A lady doesn’t reveal her age, of course,” she covered and looked gratefully at Adam. 

The rest of Gloria’s testimony came off brilliantly and shortly afterward the session wrapped for the day.


At 10:00 AM sharp the next day, the judge reconvened the court.  That Wednesday would be the biggest day of all.  Andrew would be testifying.  But first a ballistics expert gave her two cents.  She was proceeded by the man who had first tipped off police after hearing the shots.  He recounted the events of the morning in question.  Officer Calhoun described the scene he and his partner had come upon Saturday night and the coroner detailed exactly how Jacob Stroyker had met his end.  During that stage, a few times Andrew caught himself glancing anxiously at the jury foreman. When he’d first seen Eben, Andrew had worried he’d try to hassle one of the ladies.  But he’d been assured none of them had heard a peep from the demon.  In Andrew’s mind, that meant only one thing.  Eben’s purpose was to try and persuade the jury to find him guilty.  Once Andrew caught JenniAnn also staring at Eben, her face grave.  Andrew looked sympathetically at her but when she noticed she looked hastily back down to the socks she was darning.  He knew she still felt guilty for unwittingly inviting the demon to stay in Dyeland two years ago.
After the afternoon recess, it was Andrew’s turn to take the stand.  Even the few Dyelanders who had, on previous days, stayed outside to get the word out about their cause entered the gallery.  Andrew glanced back at the rows of people who he knew were rooting for him.  Tess squeezed his hand.  “You just tell the truth, baby, and I’ll do everything I can for you.”  He smiled appreciatively then walked to the stand, took the oath, and sat down. 

After the judge gave her the okay, Tess began her questions.

“Andrew, according to the testimony we heard from Officer Calhoun, you were on the scene when the police arrived.  Why?”

“Though I’d only met him a few weeks ago, I considered Jacob a friend.  Not the easiest friend in the world to get along with but a friend nonetheless.” Andrew smiled ruefully.  “That night I sensed Jacob needed help.  He’d mentioned earlier that that night he was going to take a walk, to clear his head.  He was really starting to straighten his life out and I figured he needed some time to think.  I knew the path he took.  So I went, hoping I could help him,” Andrew answered.

“And what did you find?”

Andrew’s expression grew very sad.  Each Dyelander felt themselves leaning forward in their chairs, wishing they could comfort him.  “He was laying on the ground.  Gasping for breath, he could barely speak.”

Tess patted his hand and then continued.  “So you didn’t actually see the murder take place?”

“No, I didn’t.  I heard the shots and arrived only moments after the murderer finished, though.”

“In your initial deposition with the police you said there was someone else on the trail with you when you found Jacob.  Is this true?”

Andrew nodded.

“Speak up please,” the judge urged.

“Sorry.  Yes, I couldn’t make out features but as I approached I heard a man’s voice and I could have sworn I saw the outline of someone against the trees.”

“Thank you for clarifying,” Tess gave him an encouraging smile.  “Let’s go back a bit further if that’s okay.  The prosecution has presented us with several witnesses to you and the victim in heated conversations.  Can you give the jury some insight into the dynamics of your friendship with Jacob?”

“Jacob’s office at the college was near mine.  Often we shared lunch breaks, it was during one I approached him.  He was abrasive, it was difficult to talk to him.  But I felt compelled to reach out to him.  There were several people Jacob had disrespected.  And hurt.  I tried to make him see that he needed to do right by them.  That line of speaking didn’t always make me popular with him.  We had some disagreements, yes, that's true,” Andrew admitted.

Tess asked a few more questions along the same lines and then stepped down to allow Sinclair to question Andrew.

“Dr. Ellis, are you a psychic?”

Andrew looked at him in surprise.  “No…”

“Well, you said you ‘sensed’ trouble and that’s why you went to the trail.  I’m trying to establish how you came upon this knowledge that brought you to the scene of a murder you claim you did not commit.  Please clarify this for us,” Sinclair asked, a bit smug.

“I prayed.  God answered,” Andrew answered simply.

Sinclair was taken aback and it took a moment to get his bearings back.  “Umm… does God always answer your prayers so quickly?”

“No, not always.  And sometimes He answers no.  Like when I asked Him if He’d spring me from my jail cell He said no,” Andrew jested, getting a much welcome chuckle from the courtroom.  The moment of levity only put Sinclair further on edge.

“Andrew, if you insist you’re not the murderer then you must believe the real murderer is still out there, correct?”

“I do, yes.”

“Why do you suppose he… or she… hasn’t come forward?”

“I suspect he is dealing with some issues of his own but hope, for his own sake, he comes clean.”  Andrew looked directly at the prosecutor as he spoke these words. 

The man was clearly unnerved but soldiered on.  “How do you explain why police, searching the scene, found no trace of this second person you say was on the scene?”

“It was a walking trail.  The police can’t be expected to examine every last footprint there.  And since no weapons were found on the scene, I would assume the perpetrator took the gun with him.”

“How do we know you didn’t just stash the gun somewhere and make up this story of a second party?”

“I suppose you don’t know.  I only ask that people listen to me.” 

With those words, Sinclair felt the jury turning away from him.  He had nothing more to say and so stepped down.  The judge called a second recess and people hurriedly filed out for a much-needed break after the afternoon’s heavy material.

The jury was ushered out but before they left, JenniAnn glanced over to the box.  She felt a chill run down her spine as she caught Eben staring at Andrew and grinning.  Andrew had all ready been led away but she rushed to Tess.

“Tess!  Eben, he’s plotting something I know it.  The look on his face!” she cried.  Tess looked over to the jury box herself but all ready it was emptied.


David Sinclair wasted no time in leaving the courthouse.  He knew he’d made a poor showing inside.  He ambled through the courtyard, listening to the cries of “Free Andrew Now!” from the steps.  But then suddenly there was another voice.  A woman was screaming at what the judge had termed “the mini-mob”. 
“Shut up!  All of you!  Have you no respect?  Your Andrew murdered a man!” she screamed.

“If you can call Jacob Stroyker a man!” a local citizen who was passing by shouted back.

“He was turning his life around!” she shot back angrily.

“Ma’am, I’m sorry for your pain but I swear to you Andrew did not do this.” Margherita stepped towards the woman with a kind smile. 

The woman’s eyes burned with anger.  She glanced around the crowd and her eyes met Sinclair’s.  “You!  You’re the prosecutor!  Help me!” she begged, running over to the attorney and grabbing his sleeve.  Sinclair looked at the woman with surprise but nodded.  He escorted her across the street to a café. 

“What the heck was that all about?” Jess questioned.

“I have no idea…  But, I fear…  Oh no…”  JenniAnn looked up to a window in the court house.  Eben was staring down at them, looking very pleased.


Judge Bellamy was relishing his last few moments of peace in his chambers when David Sinclair pounded on the door and rushed in before getting an answer.

“Sinclair, there better be a darn good reason for your bursting in here like this.”

The attorney was breathless from his dash from the café.  “I have a new witness.  Paul, this could break this case wide open.  We need to hear her.”
Bellamy sighed.  “Get Tess in here.”


Bellamy made his decision quickly.  He’d allow the woman to testify.  Violence was uncommon in the small town and he just wanted peace restored.  He didn’t want the small town gossips catching wind of the woman’s appearance and accusing him of hushing her up.  It may make the trial run a day or so longer but that was better than years of people second-guessing the proceedings.  The court was abuzz when he re-entered but soon order returned.  Sinclair called the witness.



The scene at the cabin was a sober one.  The Dyelanders had made a habit of trying to decipher the jurors expressions as they left the courtroom.  Prior to the introduction of the latest witness, all were confident they believed Andrew was innocent.  And surely Eben couldn’t change the opinions of 11 people, especially when the prosecution’s case was so weak.  But when they’d exited the jury box, some looked with new suspicion at Andrew.  A couple were so moved by Stella’s feigned outburst that they brushed away tears.  That it was feigned those assembled around the dining room table were sure of now.  Margherita had had to be restrained when she saw Eben and Stella drive by the jail, laughing. 

“I hate this.  I hate knowing Stella outright lied today.  She probably never even met Jacob and now that jury’s sympathizing with her and her lost love.  And we can’t say bloody anything with out looking like religious nuts,” Margherita shouted, interrupting the silence and nearly knocking over her bowl of chicken soup.

JenniAnn picked at her grilled cheese sandwich.  “I guess now we know something of what Andrew feels like,” she mused, not looking up.

“Well, look on the bright side…  If Andrew is found guilty at least then we’ll always know where he is,” Audrey attempted a joke but no one seemed ready to laugh.

“I’m going to bed.  See you all in the morning, there’s some muffins in the pantry if anyone gets hungry,” JenniAnn excused herself, patting Lulu’s head as she passed the dog curled up on the window seat.

“He’ll be found innocent.  He has to be.  What’s it going to look like when the guards at the jail grow older and retire.  And Andrew just stays exactly the same, day in and day out?  If he’s sentenced, it just can’t be for very long,” Jess pointed out, trying to assure herself and the others. 

“I suppose that’s true.  Comforting thought!” Daisy smiled at Jess.  And on that note, everyone went to their own rooms for the night, needing rest for tomorrow’s big day of closing statements.


No one could fault Tess if Andrew were eventually found guilty.  Her closing statement, stressing Andrew’s strength of character, concern for others, and kindness in the face of adversity drew many a tear from those who knew him.  But what of those who didn’t know him?  For his part, David Sinclair stressed the promise of Jacob Stroyker’s last couple weeks.  He portrayed the victim as a man trying to make amends and Andrew as the merciless killer who had cut his efforts short.  The only peace Andrew’s friends got from that was that the attorney seemed unsure of himself as he spoke.  His words were well planned out but there was no emotion behind them.  As if, somehow, he too knew it was all lies but couldn’t admit it to himself or the jury.  As always, everyone focused on the jury as they were ushered out to begin their deliberations.

That evening Andrew got several visitors at the jail.  But the last one was completely unexpected, both because it was after visiting hours and the identity of the visitor.

“Mr. Sinclair, how can I help you?” Andrew asked politely when the prosecutor was escorted in.

“I’ve seen a lot of suspected murderers end up with adoring females, don’t often see one come along with an all ready formed fan club, though,” Sinclair mused.  Andrew looked at him questioningly.  “I saw your friends leaving as I came in,” the lawyer explained.

“Oh right,” Andrew smiled.  “But somehow I doubt you came here to discuss my friends.”

“Yes and no.  I guess I just… I felt like I should come here.  I’ve spent days telling people about you and I don’t even know you.”

“Seems like that would be common in your line of work.  Do you visit all the people you prosecute?”

“You’re the first, actually.  Y’know, I didn’t want this case at all.  It just fell on my lap.  Jacob hurt a lot of people,” Sinclair explained, finally taking a seat across the table from Andrew.

“I know.  But that doesn’t mean he deserved what he got.”

Sinclair felt nervous as he caught the pressing but kind expression on Andrew’s face.  He began to fidget a little in his chair and there were a few moments of silence.  When Sinclair at last spoke he changed the subject completely.  “It must be nice to know regardless of what happens, your friends will stick by you.”

“It is.  Though I feel some concern for them.  Prison visiting rooms aren’t exactly the environment I’d choose to have them in.  They’re a loyal bunch but I wouldn’t want them coming here or to wherever I’d get transferred to for the rest of their lives.  As some of all ready vowed to do,” Andrew’s expression was one of tenderness as he spoke.

In contrast, Sinclair’s expression grew darker.  “Or just the rest of your life.  Prison life is hard, Andrew.”

Andrew only shrugged, unworried.  “God will be with me.  Just as he was with Jacob.  Just as he’s with you.  And all His children.”

Sinclair shot up from his chair then.  “I, uhh, need to be going,” he stammered. 

“Have a good night, I’ll see you Monday may be.”

Sinclair turned back around once he was outside the room.  He saw Andrew being led away.  “I think I’m going insane, he… he glowed…” he muttered.  Then he continued on, leaving the jail and walking out into the dark night.

Meanwhile, Andrew settled back down into his cell.  He glanced at the clock out in the hallway, his pocket watch having been confiscated.  8:58.  Two minutes later, as it had for the previous six nights, music began to drift into the cell from the room below it.  Andrew took a deep, relaxing breath, whispered a grateful prayer, and sunk onto the cot.


The call came early Monday.  A verdict was in.  JenniAnn’s grandparents’ cabin was pure chaos as over a dozen people flew around trying to get ready.  At a quarter after nine, Adam pulled into the courtroom parking lot.  Some reporters looked on amusedly, thinking the circus had come into town, as they watched everyone pile out of the van. 

Jess carried Andrew’s leather jacket, confident that he’d be able to put it on just as soon as the verdict was read.  JenniAnn hugged all her friends then took her seat at the back of the open van with Lulu. 

“Andrew will be back with you really, really soon,” she encouraged.  “He has to be.”


The jury was led in.  Everyone watched anxiously as Eben was called upon to speak for his fellow jurors.

“Have you reached a verdict?” Judge Bellamy asked.

“We have your honor,” Eben answered.  The bailiff came and took a piece of paper from Eben and brought it to the judge.  He read it, nodded, and looked out to where Andrew and Tess sat.

“Will the defendant please rise?”

Andrew and Tess stood.  The now three rows of Andrew’s supporters held in their breaths. 

Judge Bellamy nodded to Eben.  “On the count of murder in the first degree, how do you find Dr. Andrew Ellis?”

“We hereby find the defendant…”

“He’s innocent!  Andrew didn’t kill Jacob.  I did!  I’m guilty!” 

Everyone stared in complete shock at David Sinclair who had jumped up from his seat.  Everyone except two.  Andrew had known it was Sinclair all along.  Though he was sorry it ever came to that, the angel was relieved that the man had finally come to terms with his crime and was going to take responsibility.  Eben was the only other being in that room not surprised.  For his part he shot Andrew an icy stare.  In all the confusion, no one noticed him exit the jury box and slink away. 

Andrew was surrounded by his friends who hugged him and cried tears of happiness.  Jess handed him his jacket and he promptly put it on and beamed at them.  Then he glanced over to where David was being cuffed.  Andrew knew he wasn’t yet quite finished.


“So you’re not at all curious what the verdict was?” Adam asked, as he, Tess, and Andrew stood in the now empty courtroom.  They’d made sure everyone got back to Dyeland safely and Andrew had promised to meet back there with them that evening for a proper reunion and celebration of his reinstated freedom.

“Not really, it wouldn’t change anything,” Andrew answered.  Then, as if on cue, the paper Adam held with the verdict on it transformed into a dove.  The three angels watched as it flew out the window, smiling after it.

“Well, Angel Boy, you handled yourself very well,” Tess complimented Andrew and gave him a hug.

“Thanks, Tess, couldn’t have got through it with out you.  If I ever get arrested again you’ll be my first choice for a lawyer,” he grinned at her.

“Thank you but I’d just as soon not reprise my role.  I’ll admit, babies, I was a little worried when Eben and Stella entered the picture.”

“I’m sure I’ve not heard the last of either of them,” Andrew frowned but then shrugged his shoulders.  There was no sense in worrying about it.  “There’s one more thing I have to do here, then I’m going to meet up with the girls at Monica’s Café.  See you two then?”

“Wouldn’t miss it!  I happen to know there are bottles of ginger ale with both our names on them waiting,” Adam answered then, clapping Andrew on the back disappeared. 

“See you in a bit, baby,” Tess hugged him again and then disappeared herself.

Andrew looked once more around the courtroom and then left the building and walked to the jail house next door.  He signed in and was escorted to the visiting room.  He felt odd sitting on the opposite side.  In only a few moments, David Sinclair was escorted in and took the seat across from the angel.

“Thank you for coming, Andrew, I just wanted to…  I’m sorry.  For what I put you through.  For not turning myself in that first day,” Sinclair apologized, remorse clearly written on his face.  “You must hate me.”

“David, I don’t hate you.  I’m not happy about the decisions you made.  About what you did to Jacob.  But I don’t hate you,” Andrew stressed.

“The funny thing is… I believe you.  From that first morning I suspected you were… I heard Jacob call your name as he lay there.  I thought… thought may be he was delirious.  Because I couldn’t see anything.  Then he said ‘The light…  I see it, Andrew,' and I was sure it was a hallucination,” Sinclair recounted, his eyes brimming with tears.  “But the other night, when I came here.  I saw it, too.  The light.  It seemed to come from you.”

“The light comes from God.  I am only His messenger.  And, David Sinclair, he wants you to know He is not happy with what you’ve done.  He knows the pain you felt when you learned Jacob and your wife were having an affair.  But violence, murder it wasn’t the answer, David.  You ignored His guidance that morning.  And you ignored it every morning since then when He whispered to you that you needed to confess.” Andrew was now standing before David, light enveloping him.  His face had been stern but now softened.  “But this morning you resisted the temptation to try and hide away your guilt.  You spoke out, David.  And now, though your body may be imprisoned, only now is your spirit truly free.  Free to embrace God’s love for you, the love He’s had for you since the day you were created.”

“I-I do.  Thank you.  Thank you,” David uttered and knelt down and prayed there on the jail floor.


Andrew was just about to exit the jail for a final time when one of the guards ran up to him.

“Andrew!  I just wanted to let you know it was a pleasure getting to know you.  I knew you had no place here from the moment you arrived.  I’m glad you got out but I’ll miss our chats,” the man held out his hand.

Andrew readily shook it and smiled at him.  “Well thanks Dan, it was good getting to know you too.  Made it all a lot more bearable.”

“Oh hey, are you going to be seeing JenniAnn any time soon?”

“Yeah, I think so.  I didn’t know you knew her.”

“Huh.  Guess I forgot to mention it to you!  Yeah, I used to live next door to her family’s cabin.  Anyway, she forgot something of hers here last night.  Let me just go run and grab it,” Dan explained, turning towards the door to the basement.

“She came here?” Andrew asked, puzzled.

“Every night since you got here.  Darndest thing.  She’d come around 9, leave about 10.”  Dan waved at Andrew to follow him.  “She was always a little eccentric, even as a kid.  So I guess I thought may be she was just trying to give the place ‘positive vibes’ or something.  Seemed harmless enough.  It wasn’t as if she’d be around the inmates.  The third night she showed up I let her in and then returned to my post by your cell.  It all clicked then.  This room is directly below the cell you were in.  She was playing it for you.”

“Playing what?” Andrew questioned.

“Here, it is.  Get this back to her, will ya?” Dan handed Andrew a CD.

Andrew stared down, incredulous, at the CD Dan had thrust into his hand. 

“No offense but you guys have some odd tastes in music!” Dan opined.  “What language is that even?  Latin?”

“Yeah, it is.  Thanks, Dan.  I’ll get this back to her.  It was good to meet you,” Andrew again shook the man’s hand.

“Same here.  Hopefully next time under better circumstances,” Dan grinned.  Then the two returned back upstairs and Andrew left, walked to a near by alley, and disappeared.


Monica’s Café was packed with Dyelanders when Andrew walked in.  A loud cheer erupted from the crowd and a keg of ginger ale was hauled out.  Andrew made his rounds, ginger ale in hand, thanking everyone who had stuck by him during the previous week and those who’d kept him in their thoughts.

He approached Jess.  “Jess… leader of FAN,” Andrew started with a wide grin.  “Boy was Bellamy unhappy with you!”

Jess laughed, “It was totally worth it.  Here, I saved one of these for you.  I thought you could put it in your scrapbook.”  She withdrew a colorful pin with “Free Andrew Now!” printed on it.  Andrew laughed and accepted the pin and then hugged her. 

“Thanks Jess, all you did really meant a lot to me.  Visiting me, the protests, getting news back to Dyeland,” he thanked her.

“Any time.  But if at all possible… try to stay out of jail,” she requested.

“Oh don’t you worry, I intend to,” he readily assured her.  Margherita came up to him then and he hugged and thanked her also.  After chatting a few moments he asked, “Hey, is JenniAnn here?”

“Last I saw her she was in the kitchen.  She, foolishly as she soon discovered, asked where amaretto came from.  I believe Gloria’s still regaling her with the answer,” Margherita answered with a wink.

Andrew swiftly made his way to the kitchen. 

“Y’know most people believe amaretto is actually derived from almonds but really it’s made from apricots.  The earliest reference to it is from the 1500s when…” Gloria prattled.

Andrew walked in and stifled a chuckle when he saw the glazed over expression on JenniAnn’s face.  He cleared his throat to get their attention.

“Sorry to interrupt, I just wanted to thank you Gloria.  I think your testimony really helped me out,” he told her, his expression one of bemusement as he recalled Tess’ horror over the reference to the Ecstasy incident.

“No problem!  I was just happy to help and very happy to see you out and about, Andrew!” she enthused and then hugged him.  “That reminds me, I told Adam I’d help him with something.  JenniAnn, remind to start with Luini when we get back to our discussion,” she told the woman and then exited.

“I believe I have something of yours,” Andrew divulged.

“Oh?” JenniAnn asked nonchalantly.

“Dan asked me to return it to you.”  With that Andrew withdrew the “Feather on the Breath of God” CD from his jacket pocket.  “I wondered why you’d stayed away the whole time.  Turns out you hadn’t.  There were a few nights I got really Homesick.  This helped, thank you,” he said and hugged her.  

Despite JenniAnn’s best efforts, a sob escaped, and she pulled away.  “I-I wanted to come visit but I felt awful.  All these years joking around about a murder trial.  I mean when Adam came and told us I was flipping taking notes about a goofy musical revue on the topic!  I wanted John to get to play it on the show.  May be get him an Emmy, hear his speech.  Make a top ten about the speech!  But I never wanted this but still I felt… guilty.  I never wanted you to be…  It was horrible.  And… and I just couldn’t see you like that.  B-but I couldn’t not do anything and so… so I got the CD and… Then Eben showed up and I only felt more guilty and… I’m sorry,” she wailed.

“Lady…  Hey, it’s okay.  I never thought once that what was happening was anything you wished for.  And you had nothing, *nothing* to do with Eben’s appearance.  I know that.  Don’t cry,” he tried to cheer her. 

She took a deep breath and started madly brushing tears from her face.  “S-so you could hear the music?”

“I could.  Every night.  From 9 to 10.  I couldn’t imagine why I heard it… but I did.  Just one question, though,” Andrew smiled slightly.


“How’d you get out of the cabin every night with out anyone knowing?” 

“Y’know those ladders people sometimes have in like dorms and stuff?  The rope kind?”


“Those are quite convenient,” JenniAnn grinned.

Andrew chuckled.  “Why am I not surprised?  Listen, I have to go talk to a few more people but then why don’t you come rejoin everyone else?  Unless you want me to send Gloria back so she can finish educating you about flavored liqueurs?”

“No!” JenniAnn exclaimed then smiled and quieted.  “Yeah, I’ll be right out.”

With that Andrew left.  He talked to Audrey and Daisy, thanking them both for their help with legal matters.  He thanked Cliff for keeping an eye out for everyone.  Tess, of course, he heaped more gratitude on.  He congratulated Monica on her assignment at the newspaper that she’d wrapped that same day. 

"Aw Andrew, you have no idea how hard it was to be objective with those newspaper articles.  I so wanted to write that you were innocent," Monica admitted as she hugged her friend.

"Aww, I know you couldn't, Monica.  But just having another friendly face in the crowd helped," Andrew assured her.

Monica smiled and then grabbed a thermos from the table behind her.  "Here, I wanted to bring you some orange juice and ginger ale while you were in prison, you know, as payback for when you brought me coffee after I was arrested for...  well, you know."  Monica blushed in remembrance of her arrest after getting royally smashed from Irish coffees.  "I didn't think it would look right with trying to be unbiased so here it is now."

Andrew happily took the thermos and hugged her again.  Then he surveyed the crowd.  “Hey, where’s Adam?  I wanted to thank him also.  And…”

Andrew looked on in shock then as Gloria stepped onto an area of the café reserved for musical acts.  “Testing…  1... 2... 3...”  When she had everyone’s attention she announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, angels, magicians, and pets,” she added with a nod to Lulu who had leapt into Andrew’s arms.  “The king has re-entered the building…”  Then she hopped off the stage and yanked a curtain back.  Everyone burst into wild applause when Adam, hair greased back, and wearing a white jumpsuit with rhinestone accents started into “Jailhouse Rock.” 

“Oh dear Lord…  Why are you letting that boy do this?” Tess beseeched but even she had to admit it was amusing.  

“Thank you, thank you very much,” Adam said after the song had finished.  Everyone cheered and then an impromptu karaoke party started up, much to Tess’ chagrin.  The party lasted well into the night then everyone returned to their respective homes, grateful that justice had prevailed and that Andrew was free. 


Well, there ya have it.  Hope you enjoyed it.  I'd like to thank the following people:

Audrey for listening to me rant about the lost murder trial episode when she was co-president with me.  Also for her input when I told her I was actually gonna write my take on it.

To everyone else, past and present, who had to listen to the rant.

To Jess for, again, listening to me go on and on about the murder trial.  Also for her input and for reading this over for me to ensure it made at least some sense.

To About.com from which I learned the origins of amaretto. 

The following TBAA episodes alluded to in this story were: "Pandora's Box", "Heaven's Portal", "A Feather on the Breath of God", and "Voice of an Angel"

The phrase "Nor iron bars a cage" is from Richard Lovelace's poem "To Althea from Prison"

Naturally big thanks to everyone involved with TBAA: producers, actors, directors, etc. 

And, lastly, to that reporter who started the murder trial rumor.  I was really angry with you, whomever you are.  But with out you, things just wouldn't be as much fun. 

Oh and also apologies if there were any major legal or jail-centered errors.  Never been arrested or hauled into court myself and watching "Law & Order: SVU" doesn't quite make one a legal genius. 

God bless,
Jenni who does admit to sometimes using baking as a coping mechanism

If you'd like to take an "Andrew on trial" personality quiz please see JABB 163 Option 2.


Newsletter 164