eos qui carcerati sunt ab inimico,
et solve ligatos quos divina vis
(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
as featured on the TBAA ep of the same name
Nor Iron Bars a Cage
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
“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
“Definitely! Adam would make a great Billy Flynn!” Jess said
“Hey, didn’t Andrew say he’d perform one number?” Margherita
JenniAnn nodded. “Yeah, he did. Anyone seen ‘Les
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
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
“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
“Andrew. He’s been arrested. For murder,” Adam
“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.
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
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
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 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
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
“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
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
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,”
“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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
“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
“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
“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
after hearing the shots. He recounted the events of the morning
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
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
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
“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?”
“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
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
“What the heck was that all about?” Jess questioned.
“I have no idea… But, I fear… Oh no…” JenniAnn looked
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
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
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
“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
“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
Sinclair shot up from his chair then. “I, uhh, need to be going,”
“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
her friends then took her seat at the back of the open van with
“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
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
“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
“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
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,”
“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
“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
“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
“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
Andrew stared down, incredulous, at the CD Dan had thrust into his
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
“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
“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
“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
“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
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
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
crowd. “Hey, where’s Adam? I wanted to thank him
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
“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,
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
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