Sinéad O’Hart

Sinead O'HartSinéad is the winner of Vol 3 – 16. She is short, can’t tell left from right under pressure, and tends to fall over a lot. She loves luxuriating in words and can’t abide bad spelling. Creating stories from her head gives her more pleasure than it probably should. She has a very patient husband, very over-stuffed bookshelves (huzzah!) and a weakness for strong tea. When she grows up, she would like to be Nanny Ogg.

Follow her at her blog and on Twitter.

***

Judge, Jury, Executioner

He looks so fine up there, his head thrown back, a thick pulse thudding at his throat. If it weren’t for his shackles he could almost be in church, a pillar of righteousness.

But instead he’s in the dock, and I’m here.

The judge reviews the evidence, making it sound even more damning than the prosecution had. Gruesome injuries, he drones. Overwhelming strength. I tremble, but the defendant doesn’t hang his head; he stays straight-backed, his eyes fixed in the crowd, on one face in particular.

I don’t have to look to know which one.

When I caught my husband sneaking out at night, I did nothing for the longest time. I waited. I chose my moment carefully, following on silent feet. When I saw him embrace another man – this man, whose life I’m about to judge – a rage like hellfire filled my bones and blood.

So I crept to his house. I murdered his wife. It was as if a demon overtook me.

And when they dragged him to trial, this fine innocent man, he confessed. To spare my husband, he confessed. To spare me the shame.

‘Madam Foreperson. Your verdict, please.’

Like a coward, I rise and condemn him, and his eyes never leave my husband’s face.

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