fiction · mental health

Story Starter Challenge


Teresa at The Haunted Wordsmith is the host of Story Starter Challenge. Teresa says:

Welcome to the new Story Starter Challenge!

Every day I will post a new sentence prompt. Use the provided sentence somewhere in your post. It can be a starting sentence, closing sentence, anything you choose. Read it and see where the sentence takes you.

Have Fun!

Prompt: “Thank you, but I don’t think I can do that.”

The prisoner had been locked up awaiting sentencing for 7 months. There had been delay after delay. First his defense attorney had stalled, then the prosecutor. The judge had gotten a letter from the victims’ families saying they were scared for their loved ones’ lives from the perpetrator. A mental health assessment by the jail liaison suggested there were serious mental issues that needed in depth testing. The judge ordered a comprehensive evaluation by the county mental health agency. Pending the report, the case was assigned to Jessica, the probation agent who worked with the special victims unit (victims of sex crimes).

Jessica received the report back from the agency. It stated that Prisoner X needed intensive inpatient psychiatric treatment for a minimum of a year and then needed to be reevaluated for risk level. Jessica distributed the report to all of the interested parties and a hearing was scheduled in front of the judge. As Jessica was Prisoner X’s worker, she went to see him in the jail to give him the recommendations of the assessment.

Prisoner X fancied himself God’s Gift of Women, where he had convinced himself that all women wanted him. This rationalization allowed Prisoner X to rape and torture 3 different women. Before Jessica could even begin to discuss the findings in the assessment, Prisoner X suggested maybe once he was “out of there” they could go out for coffee sometime. Jessica was about to stand and leave the cramped conference room she was alone in with Prisoner X but knew then that someone else would have to take time out of their schedules to explain things to this very disturbed individual.

Instead Jessica simply said, “Thank you, but I don’t think I can do that.”

7 thoughts on “Story Starter Challenge

  1. ooh… A strong woman large and in charge. At the very least she knows the score even though the game inside X’s head doesn’t quite fit in the game of LIFE’s box.

    (…and another prompt to look into… like I need another one… but maybe I’ll just pick a day when I don’t have something else going on.)

    Liked by 1 person

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