Four months later, as Attorney Jed Murphy awakens, he realizes he is outside in an open field.
“Where am I?” he asks as he looks around in confusion, shaking off the drug that had sedated him hours earlier. He tries moving his body, but notices he can’t move his arms.
“Why am I in the ground?” He discovers that he is buried past his elbows, close to his shoulders.
“Attorney Murphy, how are you?” a voice from behind him asks.
“Who is that?” demands Murphy as he tries desperately to look behind him, but he can’t. As he hears the steps walk around from behind and sees the two-tone, black-and-white saddle shoes stop in front of him, he looks up.
“Who are you?” he asks.
She stands in front of him in a t-shirt layered under a black-and-white checkered button-down shirt and a pair of loose-fit Levi jeans, with the legs rolled up to just below her knees. A small, black comb sticks halfway out of her right sock.
The person bends down on one knee and says, “I’m Raina. You defended the animal that killed Nancy Willoughby: Dr. James Posey.” She spits on the ground as she stands up straight. “Attorney Murphy, do you know why you’re here?”
“How did I get here?”
“As an attorney, you should know you never answer a question with a question,” replies Raina.
As Murphy looks around, wondering what is going on, he says, “That guy last night must have put something in my drink.” He pauses for a moment. “I don’t know how I got here, but go get help, now!”
“I am your help, counselor,” says Raina with a light smirk. “I’m going to release you as soon as we finish talking.”
“Get me out of this hole, girl! Stop playing games with me, and help me out of here, now!” yells Murphy, rage steaming across his face.
“You said ‘games?’ Let’s play a game.” Raina kneels down on one knee about six feet away from Murphy, then draws a two-foot-wide circle on the ground with her finger. She pulls seven marbles out of her pocket and places five of them in the circle. She places one of the two larger marbles in front of Murphy and moves back a couple of feet. “You ever played marbles, counselor?”
“What do you mean? Get me out of this hole, now!” he screams. “Do you know who I am? I have pull in this city! I will have you locked up and the key thrown away if you don’t get me out of here!”
Raina stands up and walks behind him. She picks up a roll of tape, tears off an eight-inch strip, and bends down in front of him. “You’re like some lawyers I’ve been around—just can’t keep that flap you call a mouth shut.” She puts the tape across his lips. “Now we can concentrate on this game of marbles.”
Raina walks back to the marbles, kneels down outside the ring, and flicks the shooter marble out of her fist with her thumb. She hits two of the marbles out of the ring. With each shot, she moves around the circle, kneels down, shoots, and knocks out a marble. After four shots, all five marbles are outside of the circle.
Raina walks around and picks up all five marbles. “Not bad for a twenty-year-old girl who hasn’t shot marbles in a few years, huh, counselor?”
Attorney Murphy’s face is red, his veins standing out in his neck and forehead from the built-up anger and his inability to speak.
Raina walks over and picks up the shooter marble in front of Murphy. “You won’t be needing this,” she says as she places all seven marbles back in her pants pocket.
“Now, back to business. Attorney Murphy, you are here today because you assisted in freeing a known abuser and murderer,” says Raina. “You are sworn to uphold justice in the courtroom, but you chose to lie, cheat, disgrace reputations and honor, and make a mockery of the judicial system. When I heard Judge Roberts had died, I thought, you know who would be a better candidate to fill his grave? You, Attorney Murphy.”
Raina kneels down on one knee, smiles, and asks, “Attorney Murphy, do you think I’m pretty?”
Murphy moans and shakes his head in anger.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes,’” says Raina as she blushes. She leans forward, placing her face near the side of his, and asks, “Do you like the fragrance of my perfume?”
Murphy groans loudly, trying to scream, his face red as a pepper.
“I’ll take that as a ‘yes,’ too,” says Raina. She stands up. “It’s time for your punishment, Attorney Murphy. I told you I was going to release you—release you from this life.”
Raina walks over to a pile of white stone gravel rocks as big as baseballs, about ten feet away. “Attorney Murphy, have you ever heard of lapidation, or stoning? In case you don’t know, it’s a practice of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until they die. The reason it’s done in a group is so no individual among the group can be singled out as the one who kills the subject.”
Raina bounces one of the rocks in her hand and looks around. “No group here, so I guess I’ll be the individual who kills the subject.”
Murphy whimpers and shakes his head frantically as tears run down his face.
Then her face darkens, her mouth pulling up into a twisted smile. Justice was the right thing. Always. “Sometimes, there’s no forgiveness to be found. Especially for someone like you. Attorney Murphy, I would suggest you close your eyes and say a prayer, because this is going to hurt. I’ll give you a moment,” she says, then bows her head for a few seconds.
“Okay, show time!” Raina reaches around her back and pulls out an old, worn Barons baseball cap—and puts it on her head.
She takes the first gravel rock, winds up like a pitcher, and throws it. It hits the side of the attorney’s face hard, and he moans in pain. The second rock hits him in the nose, causing blood to come rushing down over the tape across his lips. The third rock hits his forehead; the fourth hits his mouth.
Raina throws the sharp-edged gravel rocks one after another as hard as she can, each one landing against the face and head of the attorney until he is almost unconscious. After Raina throws the fifteenth rock, she just stands there, looking at him.
Then, she takes the baseball cap off and places it back in her pants pocket. She uses the sleeve of her shirt to wipe the sweat off her forehead, then reaches down to get her comb out of her sock. She takes a moment to comb her hair back in place, putting the comb back in her sock once she’s finished.
She walks up to the badly bruised and bloody attorney and says, “You, along with the others, killed my mother. The stoning was for my satisfaction, the game of marbles was just for entertainment, but this bullet to your head is for her.”
Raina reaches around and takes the derringer pistol out of her back pocket. She places it against the top of the attorney’s head, closes her eyes, and pulls the trigger.