Adam Ash

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006



She had never been as alone as she was now.

When they walked her into the police station, they stripped her, led her naked through a passage past several men and put her in a cell with nothing in it but herself.

Not a chair, not a table, not a bed, not a mattress, not a pillow.

Only one thing. A spoon.

Ten minutes later they threw in an orange tunic.

She put on the tunic and picked up the spoon.

Two temporary possessions. The only things she had with her. The only things she could communicate with.

There were also the walls. No windows. Only walls.

She was in a windowless box with a tunic and a spoon. Was she some kind of riddle in a mystery novel?

She did not know how long she was there.

She slept. She woke up. She looked at the spoon. She felt hungry. The hunger went away. She slept again. She woke up. She prayed. God, don’t abandon me. She made a mark in one corner against the wall every time she woke up. She thought it marked the passage of a night, but how would she know? The light in her cell was always on. She had made four marks when she woke up again, and made a fifth mark, and the door opened.

It was Esther Todd, incongruously dressed in a fur coat.

“Eve. Oh, God. I’ve tried. They won’t let you come with me, my dear. It’s out of my hands. They want a test case. We’ll get you an attorney. The best. We women have to stand together. This is an excess of the Bureau; I don’t care what they think of what I think. This is why women need power. If the arrogant gender gave birth to babies, we would never have had this law. They do these things because they know, deep inside their arrogance, that men need women more than women need men. Do you need anything?”

“I’m hungry.”

“I’ll get you some food. What did they do to your hands?”

“It wasn’t them. One of my patients went crazy.”

Esther returned with a chocolate bar, a packet of chips, a banana, a ham sandwich, a cup of peach yogurt, a soda, and an orange. The Patriot Unit was not housed in a chic area.

Eve ate it all while Esther looked at her. She didn’t use the spoon, except for the yogurt.

“Who was the father?” asked Esther.

“I’m not telling anybody.” God was the father.

“Why not?”

“There was no issue. There is no father.”

“The father must share the blame.”

Never, she thought. I will not depend on a man, especially not in this. I am my own woman. I make my own decisions.

“This is regarding me and my decision, no one else.”

“Why are you being stubborn?”

“I’m not being stubborn. I’m being myself. I have my own independent focus. I’m not going to run to a man now, am I? I stand on my own two feet.”

“You will need an attorney.”

“I want a female attorney.”

“It may have to be a man.”

“I prefer to be represented by a woman.”

“We’ll get you the best.”

Eve felt teary, but swallowed hard.

“Eve, you have to be strong. And if all else fails, you must claim one point in your defense. You must say you were raped.”

“I wasn’t raped.”

“If it looks like they’ll find you guilty, say you were raped. Extenuating circumstances.”

“I don’t want to say I’m raped. It’s not true, is it?”

“You must establish a precedent for the women who will follow you. Say you were raped. Otherwise who knows what they can do to you. And to the women who will follow.”

“What can they do to me regarding this?”

“They can give you the death sentence.”


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