Fiction Friday: The Journalist

Breaking STOP
Suspect in custody STOP
Trial of the century STOP

In every hand, pocket, and street corner, digital devices flashed minute by minute updates.

The whole city held its breath.

People wanted to celebrate. To shout with anger, joy, or relief. The long darkness was over at last. The fear, the uncertainty, the grief were starting to dissipate.

But most people knew not to celebrate too soon. They had a suspect, that was all. She was innocent until proven guilty. They didn’t have all the facts and they shouldn’t jump to conclusions. It was too soon to respond. Their hearts beat faster, their minds raced to imagine what was next. But facing the exhilarating rush of emotion, most were able to with hold their judgements. It was too soon to respond.

Nadim stared at his computer screen, furiously typing updates in one window while shooting off messages in the next.

At almost the same moment he’d broken the story he’d started petitioning his editor. He’d never had the chance to serve on a trial news delegation, and he wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.

This was his story, he told himself as he crouched over his computer in the police department lobby.

He didn’t care how long the trial would last, how long he would spend sequestered away with the other members of the media delegation. This was an opportunity to see history unfold.

And it was a tremendous responsibility. He’d have to get to know every detail of the case. To live side by side with the jury, to see what they saw, experience what they experienced.

He’d keep detailed notes and file articles that would be posted nowhere.

And then, when the trial was over, he’d have to make sense of it all. The media blackout the covered the case would be lifted and he would have to report, fully and genuinely, what happened, how it happened, and importantly, why it happened.

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