Meg and the gang

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Chapter 2: the wheels of justice start to turn
(by Kim Etheridge, added on 4 April 2017 11:33 PM)

“Say, what do you want for supper tonight?” “Meg, you know we’ve only just eaten lunch,” Patsy said. “I know, but if I’m going to have to get something out to thaw, I’m going to need to know what you girls would like, before I do it,” I said. It will take all afternoon, if we have to thaw something like hamburger meat.” “Do you ever make homemade pizzas?” Drew asked. “Pizza would be great,” Sandra said. “Yes, I can make a good pizza,” I said. That news made Drew’s day. The phone rang.

Sandra grabbed the phone. “Grace Residence,” she said. “Yes, she’s right here. Meg, someone from the D.A’s office wants to speak with you.” “Thank you, Sandra,” I said and took the phone. “Can you put that on speaker, Meg?” Sandra asked. “Please, Meg, since it concerns all of us,” Patsy said. “Of course, girls,” I said. I put the phone on speaker. “Hello?” I asked. “Meg, this is Grace Love, and I’m from the D.A’s office,” the lady said. “Good afternoon, Miss Love,” I said. “Please call me Grace, since we’re only on the phone,” she said. “Are you prosecuting the case, or are you the D.A’s secretary?” I asked. “The D.A. assigned this case to me this morning,” she said. “I see,” I said. “Are you going to question us on the phone?” “No, I’m calling from my car phone. I’m on my way home from the office, but I need to come to your home and see you and the girls. Which street do you live on?” “My address is 777 Mercy Street,” I said. “It’s the first house. You can’t miss it.” “Hey, I’ve just turned on to Mercy Street, and I’m right outside your back door,” Grace said in astonishment.

After I hung up the phone, the doorbell rang. I immediately opened my door. “Come in, Grace,” I said. “Thanks, Meg,” she said. “Let’s all go into the den,” I said. “That couch in the den is very comfortable and soft,” Drew remarked, as we headed for the den. “Meg, I spoke with Dr. Parker and Miss Powell today, and they both told me about your part in this matter, so I don’t need to ask you any questions,” Grace said. “OK, I’ll be fixing up my pizza dough, while you’re talking,” I said. “Are you fixing them pizza tonight, or is it going to be for another meal?” she asked. “We’re having pizza tonight,” Sandra said. “Yes, and we’re all looking forward to it,” Patsy said. “I see,” Grace said. “Well, Girls, I need to ask you all some questions about your home environment and about the abuse you endured at the hands of your mothers.” “I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, Grace,” I said, “but take it easy with Drew. She’s the youngest, and she’s really scared. Sandra, Patsy and Sherry are scared, too, but Drew’s been the most traumatized.” “Don’t worry, Meg,” Grace assured me. “Since I’m not the defense attorney, it’s not my job to cross-examine these girls. Just leave the girls to me, get your pizza dough ready and rest easy.” I sighed with relief. An intense feeling of peace overtook me, and I immediately felt better. Thank You, God for giving me Your peace and for sending Grace to us, I prayed, as I began gathering ingredients for my pizza dough. God seemed to be telling me that Grace would be a good friend and a good prosecutor for the case. I knew that He’d take care of the girls and me.

Grace questioned the girls extensively. It didn’t take too long, to my surprise. I thought she’d need at least an hour or two to figure out what the girls had gone through at their mothers’ hands. It only took half an hour. Once Grace left the house, Drew felt a lot better about testifying in court. It didn’t take long for things to start happening. The girls’ mothers were arrested that afternoon and charged with the following: child abuse, assault and battery, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and assault with intent to commit murder. For the sake of the girls, and because of their youth, the story was never released to the media, thank God.

That would’ve been the last thing we needed, to have reporters and journalists parading around my front lawn or standing on my back porch shooting photos and shouting questions. The next day, Grace called me back and said that the preliminary hearing would be held the next afternoon at one. “Who testifies at the preliminary hearing?” I asked. “Well, we have Dr. Parker and you, Meg,” she said. “Great, the girls don’t get to testify until the trial,” I said, and she agreed. “I hope the defense attorney won’t attempt to cross-examine the doctor or me tomorrow,” I said. “If he does, that’s not a good move.” “He’s a she,” she said. “I see,” I said. “You’re right, Meg,” she said. “Don’t worry. The girls shouldn’t be nervous about tomorrow. This defense attorney’s good, but she’s not stupid.” “Great,” I said. “All the girls have to do tomorrow is just show up for court and listen to the testimony and the judge’s ruling about whether or not he’ll bind the defendants over to the grand jury for a future indictment. They’re not formally charged as of yet, and they won’t be until a bill of indictment is issued.” “You seem to know a lot about the law,” Grace said. “I used to watch courtroom dramas on TV when I was growing up,” I said. “I’ve also read a few legal fiction books in my time.”

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