Monday, August 31, 2015

A novel I am writing--The Diary of Rosalee Gibbs

 I have been working on writing this novel for the better part of this last year. I'll be finished within the next few months. I am posting the first four pages for you to enjoy.


                               The Diary of Rosalee Gibbs by Martha Rose Woodward

                                                 Chapter One
   I am in jail. Not prison. I have not been tried and convicted of a crime by a jury of my peers. I was arrested and thrown in a cell in the Knox County Detention Center which is a modernized name for a jail dreamed up by some consultant.
  I am currently wearing a size extra large, orange jump suit, white socks and size 8 green flip flops. I have been given a thin pillow and a rather small blanket. If I want to use the toilet there is one in my cell. If I want something to eat or drink, good luck because there is nothing available until meal time rolls back around.
  The actual Knox County Jail is a few miles away from where I am being held. It is located within the main building in Knoxville referred to as the City-County Building. That jail is not large enough to handle all the prisoners who come and go because as time has moved along in the history of our town, the population has increased. With more people moving in crime increased making a need for more beds for the criminals who were arrested. Therefore, the county built the facility where I find myself tonight.
   My name is Rosalee Gibbs. I am writing this diary because I have many things on my mind. I have to make some sense of how I wound up accused of murder.
   I am mad as hell that these idiots have trumped up some nutty charges against me. They say I killed my mother and step-father 35 years ago. Who comes up with this bullshit? True my mother and step-father died under suspicious circumstances, but their deaths were ruled as accidents. It appeared at the time that the gas line in the heating system in their new home in Chattanoogna, Tennessee had sprung a small leak. It was determined that leaking gas killed them in their sleep.
  Do these yahoos, who have accused me of murder, actually believe that a freshman college student plotted to kill her parents by punching a small hole in a gas line with an ice pick? I mean, people die from all kinds of reasons, like being poisoned, for instance. 
  I was given the honor of being arrested by the sheriff of Knox County, CC Clemons. I guess I should feel honored because most folks are arrested by one of his lowly deputies. Yes sir, CC himself came to my front porch. When I saw him drive up into my driveway I thought he was stopping by for a quick visit like he has done for many years.
    CC and I became friends when he was a cadet in the Junior Police Division of Cadet School. Over the years CC and I have been involved in numerous highly publicized crimes with CC as a representative of law enforcement and me as a reporter for the largest paper in town The Knoxville Times Newspaper.
    I am currently 66 years old. CC is 50, but I tell you the god’s honest truth, if I was not married and CC was a few years older, I’d be chasing him all around town.
   CC is one sexy dude. He is tall, muscular and has the clearest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. He is prematurely white headed and kind of chubby. His entire face sparkles when he smiles and he is dripping with charisma. CC is the kind of guy every woman wants to sleep with. Every man wants to be him. Did I say he's black? Yes, that is correct, CC was the first black man to be elected as sheriff of Knox County, Tennessee. And folks up North think we in the South are behind the times. We vote for the man here in this county, not for the color of his skin. 
  My career as a reporter began when I was given an assignment to serve as an intern for the Knoxville Times Newspaper. It came about during my junior year at the University of Tennessee as I was majoring in Journalism and Communications. That was over 30 years ago.
   Along the way I rose up through the ranks and am now the main writer for the paper. Have you ever heard that saying that an opera is not over until the “fat lady sings”? I am the fat lady in that comparison. Readers of our newspaper tell us they feel like they really have not heard the news until they have read my feature articles. The photo of me that typically accompanies my articles was left out of the paper one day due to a snafu and all hell broke loose.
  Not only am I well-loved and well-cared for in this county, I get my pick of the most interesting news stories.  If there is a noteworthy, criminal trial going on over at the courthouse folks expect that I’ll be on hand writing the play-by-play. One of the judges said I reminded him of a television program that used to be on air staring Angela Lansbury. He nicknamed me “Rosalee, Murder She Wrote” and made everyone in the courtroom laugh.
   Since I am in jail and have a lot of time on my hands, I feel the need to sort things out in my mind. I would prefer to write my thoughts in my diary, only thing is I have to write it in my mind because, for once in my life, I do not have a pad and pen in my hands.

 Maybe this is a good thing. A girl could go to prison for life for confessing to crimes by writing in her diary. I am not saying that would or could happen to me, but in my line of work I have seen it happen. 

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