“The Judgement card calls for a period of reflection and self-evaluation. Through meditation or quiet reflection, you may come to a point of deep understanding about the common themes throughout your life and what you can do or change to avoid these situations in the future. Judgement tells you that you are close to reaching a significant stage in your own journey. . .”
“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you,” Jared told his girlfriend Ashlen. The words tasted bitter in his mouth. He hated having to apologize to her; it made him panic.
“Are you really? I’ve heard that so many times before from you, Jared. Are you sorry because I caught you or sorry for flirting with Sara and leading her on?”
Jared stared at his feet and scrunched his eyes. He didn’t mean to flirt with Sara. She was one of thosegirls, the kind who put out easily and hit on every guy she thought attractive.
“I’m sorry Ashlen. I don’t like Sara that way, she’s just like that you know –a whore; she hits on every guy and probably sleeps with many of them too,” Jared said.
“Well, why didn’t you brush her off right away?”
He shrugged, sighing.”She doesn’t mean anything to me. I love you Ashlen and I’ve been with you two-years; I’ve told you — I want to be with you forever.”
Ashlen blushed, Jared had said exactly the right words. But something he said about Sara earlier, bothered her.
“Okay, I forgive you for flirting with Sara, but don’t let it happen again,” she said. “If Sara bothers you too much when we see her, wave to me or text me in the bar — I’ll get rid of her fast. I don’t flirt with random guys, Jared. So, don’t flirt with girls like Sara, is what I’m trying to tell you.”
“But I will say this: I think when you and your guy friends pay attention to Sara –her sexually explicit behaviour, her itty–bitty clothes, and when you guys all let her touch you —-you’re all leading her on. She thinks she has a chance with one of you –but you all have girlfriends or fiancées.”
Jared started to get mad. “It is what it is, Ashlen. I can’t control how Sara acts. If you forgive me, let’s not talk about her. I don’t want to spend our night talking about some girl who doesn’t matter to me. I’m grabbing another beer.”
(10 minutes later)
“Jared, you know you not wanting to talk about Sara, it’s kind of a problem for me at the moment,” Ashlen said.
“Listen, you and your buddies call Sara a slut and you’re really just being disrespectful to her as a woman. When you openly call her names, especially to her face, you’re encouraging her to act exactly like the names you guys call her.”
“If you ignored Sara and acted uninterested and normal around her, she’d stop acting how she does.You guys flirt with her and call her names, instead of finding a way to politely tell her to get lost,” Ashlen explained.
“She’s a skank and isn’t going to change her ways because of how my friends or I treat her,” Jared reasoned.
Ashley punched him in the shoulder, not too hard, but hard enough.
“What was that for?” Jared asked.
“You’re not paying attention to what I’m saying,” Ashlen remarked. “How you treat Sara, yourjudgement of her, directly correlates to how she acts. Understand ‘College Boy?'”
Jared started to speak and Ashlen cut him off, “She’s not a slut. No woman is, even if she chooses to sleep around. I mean presumably if she is doing it as a career, it’s different. But what I’m saying is, don’t call women degrading names, especially, when you don’t know anything about Sara forsure.”
“She may talk and flirt a good game, but it doesn’t mean she’s slept with all these guys you think she has. I think most of her bad reputation is nasty rumours. She thinks acting how she does will get her friends and guys –what she believes is the right kind of attention.”
Ashley studied her nails before continuing to talk: “I don’t like Sara because she hits on guys she knows have girlfriends, namely you. But on the other hand, I can’t judge her entire character because I don’t know her. I wouldn’t want to be a called a whore over rumours about me. And I don’t want to put-down other women just because,” Ashlen said hands on her hips.
Jared listened to Ashlen, he knew she’d be mad if he didn’t. Plus, what she said made sense strangely. He wouldn’t want anyone to judge him, when they didn’t know what circumstances he came from. He probably wouldn’t care, but he knew from having a younger sister, judgement of a girl’s reputation was exceptionally tearful and mean.
“Okay fine. I’ll be nicer to Sara and I won’t flirt with her again,” he said carefully, hoping he’d chosen the right phrase for Ashlen.
She smiled and hugged him around the waist, her head resting on his chest. “Yeah, in fact, if she tries again, lets tell her she doesn’t have to act how she does to have friends or a boyfriend –in a nice way.”
“Sara may not care, but then again, it might help her and us.” Ashlen mused. “She can actually find a guy who’s single and likes her, and leave my and my friends’ boyfriend’s and fiancé’s alone.”
Jared nodded subtly, taking a swig of his second beer.”We could try. Maybe it’s better coming from you, than me?” he said.
“I think those words coming from a guy might be more effective actually. We’ll see how it goes.”
“Okay babe. Sounds like a good plan for next time we run into Sara. Do you want to go home now?” Jared asked, draining his beer.
“Yeah,” Ashlen said. “2:00 am is a long night with work in the afternoon tomorrow. I’ll drive don’t worry.”
The couple headed home, satisfied with how they would handle Sara in the future.
Thanks to K.L. Caley for hosting #Maydays. Today’s prompt is something evil.
Brittany Evans was a seasoned District Attorney. She had slaved many hours convicting Jay Brighten of a slew of connected murders. Today, the last victim Vicky Bernhardt would receive justice.
Brighten had viciously killed and dismembered the corpses of young women all over the US. Having finally been caught three-years ago, he was still not remorseful.
As Brittany faced him on the witness stand, his chilling gaze made her want to run.The hollowness of Brighten’s black gaze made Brittany feel as she had every time he was on the witness stand; as if she were staring into the pits of Hell.
“Mr. Brighten,” Brittany said quivering inside, “Did you or did you not kill Vicky Bernhardt, stabbing her an excessive amount of times?”
“Yes, I killed her. I stabbed her seventy-six times to be exact.” Brighten said matter-of-factly.
Brittany was taken aback as usual. Brighten was always frighteningly honest with his answers to her questions. “You were counting how many times you stabbed Vicky?”
“Yes, I counted every single time I stabbed Vicky. I counted for every woman I killed.”
“Why did you stab Vicky and stab all those women, many times?”
Brighten appeared bored as he regarded Brittany.”They were sluts. I don’t care about whores. If they wanted to remain alive they should have made better life choices. Vicky was another whore who needed killing.”
“You believe Vicky needed killing, Mr. Brighten?” Britanny asked scared of what she would hear. Whatever his answer, his words always chilled her to the bone.
“Of course she needed killing. Vicky deserved it. Every one of those sluts I stabbed deserved it. They’re adulterous whores breaking the Ten Commandments. I was doing what had to be done. It’s what God would’ve wanted.”
Brighten sighed as if Britanny was wasting his time. He felt no remorse for his actions it was clear.
“Why did you dismember the dead women? Vicky most significantly?” Brittany asked firmly.
“Same reason. Whores don’t deserve proper burial. Their bodies are already desecrated, so I cut them up like the animals they were.”
The entire courtroom seemed to gasp appalled. Brittany, a trained attorney, felt sick. But then, facing Brighten on the witness stand as she had done numerous times, always made her stomach knot.
“Vicky and those other women you killed weren’t ladies of the night, they weren’t working the streets looking to have sex with men for money Mr. Brighten. Vicky was a university student with a high GPA. She played Tennis. Her boyfriends name was Tom. By all accounts, she was a faithful girlfriend. In fact, all the women you’ve killed have been young professionals or university students with full and happy lives. They were faithful to their partners. What do to say now, Mr. Brighten?”
Brighten had the audacity to roll his eyes. The Judge frowned at him darkly.
“They weren’t married to their boyfriends. They were sluts.That’s why Vicky was a whore and all the rest of those women.”
Brittany couldn’t believe what she was hearing again. Brighten always gave the same horrifying answers.
“Those were real relationships. Many of the girls you killed were engaged. They weren’t sleeping around with multiple partners. They were faithful to their one boyfriend or fiance. They weren’t trading sex for accommodations, food, or clothing. Vicky and every single woman you killed had a job and many were working towards a better one attending school. I don’t understand? Why were Vicky and all these women whores as you say?”
Brighten laughed. “You don’t get it because you’re one.”
“Excuse me?” Brittany said angrily. The Judge called for order in the court.
“They weren’t married,” Brighten emphasized each word. “They’re whores because they were not married to their boyfriends. They didn’t stay virgins until marriage.”
“I’ve read about you and your long-term boyfriend.” Brighten added. “Been together ten-years. You’re a whore. I should’ve killed you too. I should have been less discriminating and killed every woman I could. At least the virgins would go to heaven.”
Brittany was shocked. Her courtroom facade had gone pale. Quickly, she collected herself staring in Brighten’s demonic eyes. She felt as if they were eating her soul, each time she heard him answer a question.
“You’ve been found guilty of sixteen young women’s death for first degree murder along with several other crimes. You pleaded guilty for all of them. You pled guilty to murdering Vicky, the last woman you killed before the police arrested you.” Britanny said with hidden rage in her voice.
“Don’t you care you broke the Ten Commandment: ‘Thou Shall Not Kill?’ Don’t you think when they kill you on death row, God isn’t going to be there on the other side welcoming you to heaven for killing innocent women such as Vicky because you too broke a commandment? By your logic it’s what follows.”
Brighten laughed and laughed. “None of those women are innocent. God will be pleased with me, even though I broke a commandment.”
“So you’re allowed a pass but Vicky and the other women weren’t?”
Brighten smirked not answering the question.
“Answer the question Mr. Brighten,”the Judge ordered.
Brighten laughed maniacally and Brittany felt as if she was going to throw up.
It was years later, but Brighten’s laugh still haunted Brittany’s nightmares. Her dreams terrified her even as she watched Jay Brighten’s execution.
He never showed any remorse or any guilt. Such as many death row prisoners had, Brighten had no religious epiphanies. Brighten still believed he had every right to kill all those women ten-years later when he was finally executed.
I can’t find a place to put my feet, there’s no stepping stones.
And I am remembering where I ran aground a plea to God.
And I can’t understand all this misery, give me stepping stones.
And I can’t find a way to go, does anyone know?
I’m just trying to place my hands along the wall,
And I’m blind to the ways I go, oh no one knows,
cause your supposed to be a sinner a grevious lie or a saintly saint.
But I can’t be a saint or a devil may care, I’m just me in the twilight at the dark.
You’ve got no right to make me do what I don’t want to do when I don’t want to,
Your the heaviness beneath my feet, those cinder blocks.
Cause you don’t understand when I say no, I’m not judging you.
And you can’t judge me back cause I’m, just as lost as you.
You can’t see the look in my eyes, Im glaring at you.
Because you can’t answer my questions, the hard ones that are vital me.
You dig and delve, say you know better, but you don’t know me.
If I decide to do something it’s going to be on my terms, yours are just guidelines.
You pass me along, like I don’t mean thing, you give me cause to be rude.
But I try not to judge and I try to be nice, but don’t ever force me along that road.
I walk and wander where I please, the deal was with you, so just keep your word.
Don’t tell me to respect my religion, when you don’t respect the increment called yours.
Don’t tell me to love, when I am already broken, and the good ones scarce exist.
They bad cling to you like static, so you cannot breathe, and they take away,
Your will to try, your will to strive, I am alive don’t force me to be dead.
Feel sorry him, but you’ve no idea what I’ve gone through with him.
Find me shoes so I can walk, take my feet far from this frost.
Find me a stepping stone, a crack in the pavement to follow down to Oz.
Yellow stones greet me and I have no way of knowing, why you couldn’t,
Provide relief for only a moment, you are my conscience and my tempter.