Part One

An idea I had.

***

My name is David Ortega. And I am innocent.

I am writing this story to get my life back. I don’t know what is going on and I fear I’m going insane. Whoever you are reading this, if you know any way to get me back… please. I need you.

 

I served five years of a life sentence in the Warren Correctional Institution for the murder of a lady by the name of Loretta Barnes—a murder I did not commit. My lawyer was paid a handsome amount by the accuser’s lawyer. I’m almost certain of this. So I was institutionalized without any hope of parole. I’ve never heard of Loretta Barnes and I still don’t know how the blame got placed on me. But such was my lot in life. I fought for three years to get a retrial to no avail. After four years, I grew to accept my fate. It wasn’t easy. Not every rumor you hear about prison is true, but most are. It is a house of horrors, perpetrating one of the biggest lies to dupe the American public: “Correctional.” More like “Punishment” Facility.

On August 1 of this year, I was led by policeman to a room in the prison I had never been. It looked managerial with five men in suits on one side of a mahogany desk. I sat on the other side. The words, “You’ve been found innocent,” came out of one of their mouths and my head was swimming so that I could not focus on anything. I was led out of the prison shortly afterward with nothing but a new set of clothes.

Of course, I immediately looked up my family. I ran to the house I’ve called home for years, where my loving wife and I were to start a family. And that is where the madness began.

Not only did she not believe I was innocent, she believed I escaped from prison! She called the cops as I was there. I wasn’t going to leave at first, but they said they were on the way! So I panicked! I ran… In hindsight, that was stupid. But I didn’t know what else to do.

I ran to my mom’s. She welcomed me in and gave me a big hug and then asked me if I needed any money. I told her I’d probably look for a job… But then she asked where I’d be hiding out next.

Sensing my confusion, she told me she knew I busted out of jail. I had no idea what she was talking about. I was found innocent and was led out the front door of the complex. I did not break out of jail.

She flipped on the news and we watched together. After a few stories about various area summer fairs, the crime beat came on, and my name and mugshot were front and center. The story claimed I had broken out of jail after being convicted of seven murders twenty years ago.

Here’s the weird part: My mom believed it all.

She was there in court. She knew I was (wrongly) convicted five years ago of one woman… not seven random people.

TO BE CONTINUED

***

There’ll be more later in life.

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