It's a strange phenomenon and one I'd never thought possible. Perhaps it only happens to those of a delicate nature. You're accused, you know you're innocent. And yet, you rack your mind to find what you could have done to warrant the accusation. I was taken away without an inkling as to what I was being charged with, or why the police felt I was the guilty one. But during the short trip to the police station my mind came up with at least three reasons for my incarceration. Of course, in reality, I hadn't yet been charged with anything. For the moment I was just being taken in for questioning. And it didn't take me long to discover why.

"Mr. Brightwell, we've invited you here to discover what happened to the funds attributed by the Regional Development Council to the Espace Loisirs centre of which, if my sources are correct, you are the current director."

I looked at him stupidly and bumbled a few words, not quite sure what to answer.

"Mr. Brightwell, you are I believe the director of the said centre."

I nodded in reply, only succeeding in exasperating my interrogator still further.

"Mr. Brightwell, kindly reply to my questions audibly, if you don't mind. If this continues, I shall be obliged to note down your lack of cooperation; something I'm sure neither of us wish for."

As to whether or not he wished to do such a thing, I had serious doubts, however I certainly didn't want to antagonise him further. So I volunteered all the information I had, which was, in fact, next to nothing. It seems the Regional Council, enthusiastic about our attempts at setting up a popular cultural centre had in fact accorded us a large grant. This money was to help us set up an art house studio cinema, something we'd been hoping to do for a long time, but as yet had no money to do so. I was most certainly unaware that any such funds had been attributed to us for this purpose. The inspector explained that no trace of this money had been found during the annual audit of the centre's books and the powers that be wanted to know why and what had happened to it. My flight - this was the interpretation the inspector attached to our sudden impromptu trip - to Ireland, apparently just minutes before this discovery had been made, had hardened suspicions against me. The inspector himself had no doubt as to my guilt. His only wish now was to discover to what extent my fellow executives, as he termed us, were also involved in the fraud. It seems both Thérèse and Jean had previously been taken in for questioning and only released because of lack of evidence. This evidence, the inspector now hoped to get out of me before throwing all three of us into jail with the greatest of pleasure.

I replied in all honesty that I knew nothing whatsoever about such funds. I had never been informed about the council's decision, had never taken receipt of the money and had certainly never touched one single centime of what had been promised.

"You'll have to do better than that, Mr. Brightwell. If you want to go down on your own, then just carry on in the same fashion. But if you tell me the truth, then maybe I can help you."

"You mean if I lie to you about my friends..."

Well, I guess given the situation that really wasn't the most diplomatic thing to say. The result was all too predictable. I was charged with fraud and taken back to my cell, where I spent the next 4 days and nights waiting and wondering, accusing myself of all possible crimes and convinced that sooner or later evidence enough would come up to convict - despite my innocence. So I was surprised when the next time I saw the inspector he informed me I was being released. I felt so jaded that I had to get him to repeat the fact to me twice.

"I see you're still using the same tactics, Mr. Brightwell. But there's no need for that now. I only hope you've been treated well during your time as a guest of his majesty. No hard feelings, now!"


Nicely done.

15 October 2008 at 14:18  

I enjoyed this.. now I want to know what DID happen to the money? Is he just blowing smoke? What did he do in Ireland? Curious minds want to know.

15 October 2008 at 15:27  

I'm amazed how long you've carried on this story. Excellent job with constant twists and turns. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.

15 October 2008 at 17:16  

money, what money... it sounds like wall street and the american banks.... tho im bankin on brightwell...

15 October 2008 at 19:26  

No hard feelings That would be awful to hear if something like this happened in real life. And it's sad that it often does.

Great read!

15 October 2008 at 23:02  

That was me in the last comment. I forgot to put my name.

15 October 2008 at 23:02  

Ok, now this is getting ridiculous. I keep hitting that button on accident.

15 October 2008 at 23:03  

this isn't angel...

nice bit of work...

17 October 2008 at 04:36  

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