Word Count: 78,019
Summary of Events:
Traeton was sitting in his cell and overheard two officers talking about how they hoped to see him get a really long sentence. Hadia reluctantly departed from her house one last time and onto the ferry, where she finally saw her family showing sadness at the idea of leaving. Levi was at a family dinner party at his uncle's house and suggested the idea of creating a documentary of Spectaculaire's history that his grandfather wasn't really sold on. Traeton heard the verdict and the judges' final comments on the case and his sentence . . .
Excerpt of the Day:
"Traeton looked over at Mr. Erickson, who was nodding with the judge's words, while the prosecutor looked about set to explode in rage. It seemed that he was not in the least pleased with the verdict, and Traeton wasn't surprised, not with some of the testimony he'd heard over the course of the trial.
There was a bit more for closing remarks before Traeton was led away and to a different area of the courthouse than he'd ever been before.
"Could I talk to Mr. Erickson please?" Traeton asked.
"Just a minute," the officer replied.
Contrary to the officer's statement, however, it took a lot longer for Mr. Erickson to appear.
"So you're satisfied with the verdict?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Well, what does it mean?" Traeton asked.
"You're sentenced to four years of community service, as well as to get your high school diploma, and some trainin' to send you into the workforce," Mr. Erickson replied.
"But where am I staying?" Traeton asked.
"I'm not sure," Mr. Erickson replied. "Considerin' that you're on probation, I'd reckon you'd be stayin' at a halfway house somewhere in town."
"You mean, I'd be free?" Traeton asked.
"No," Mr. Erickson replied. "You'd be under the supervision of an ankle monitor that would broadcast your location to someone at all times, and if you ever go into an area you're not supposed to be in, or go farther than you're allowed, it'll alert the cops and you'll be hauled back. There's also likely to be a curfew that you have to be in the place you're stayin' by, otherwise you'll be picked up."
"Oh," Traeton said, trying not to belie his disappointment. He'd been hoping that his sentence would either be maybe a year to two of prison time, or that he'd be allowed to go free. He didn't want to stay here. He couldn't stay here.
If he stayed here he'd be found, and if he were found, well . . . he'd be killed. He had survived, mostly by maintaining anonymity and otherwise hiding, and now that his name had been published it was out there for the finding, as was his location.
He couldn't let this happen, he had to get away, but the question was, how? How could he get out of this situation? How could he escape and get away to some sort of safe place?
"Was that all?" Mr. Erickson asked.
"Yes," Traeton replied. "Thank you for representing me."
"You're welcome," Mr. Erickson said. "Even if you were somethin' of an interestin' case, I'll admit."
Traeton nodded, although he felt badly, because he was sure that Mr. Erickson wanted to help him, and he was sure the people of Vicksburg wanted to help him, but they couldn't keep him safe after exposing him to danger, and so he had no other choice than to find a way to leave."