Leigh Anne - Chapter 16
By Barbara Lynn Terry
Part 1 - Roger Simmons is admitted to the county jail.
Roger Simmons was taken from the courtroom by deputies of the Abbot county sheriff’s department, to the Abbot county jail. He was taken to a tier where there was only one cell left open. The hardened, convicted felons, wanting to know if he was a plant, asked Roger questions.
“Hey, new guy. What’re you in for?” Asked another prisoner.
“Attempted arson. But, I was told if the district attorney has his way, I could be charged with first degree arson.”
“What did you try to burn down?” Asked Big John, a six foot, four inch, two hundred and ten pounds of solid muscle.
“A school that allows a faggot to play on a girls tennis team,” Roger answered.
“Which school?” Asked the first prisoner.
“Hampton Senior High School.”
“Are you talking about Leigh Anne Smythe?” Asked Big John.
“Yeah,” answered Roger.
“Have you ever seen her play?”
“No, I was going on what my daughter told me, and she said that she was told this by a friend of hers.”
“What is your name?” Asked Big John.
“Roger Simmons. What’s your name?”
“I’m Big John Edwards. When you get inside the walls, I am going to make your life miserable. Burning down a school because you heard something from someone who heard it from someone else. Either you have rocks in your head, or you hopped the train instead of getting brains.”
“Hey, my daughter has never lied to me.”
“Except to get you in trouble. Did your daughter know what you were going to do?”
“No, because if she did, she would tried to talk me out of it. If that didn’t do any good, she would have called the police.”
“So,” Big John started to say. “Here you are. If she didn’t call the cops, how did you get here?”
“Two cops were just driving by and saw me with … they just saw me.”
“Whose your attorney?”
“Martin Williamson. He’s the same idiot I fired because he wanted me to plead guilty, but, the judge appointed him anyway.”
“I just love poetic justice. Why did your attorney want you to plead guilty?”
“Listen Big John, I don’t think my being here is any of your business. I resent being asked forty questions, simply because I’m new here.”
“I’m making it my business, grunt. Why did your lawyer want you to plead guilty?”
“Go to hell, Big John.”
“You wait til they open these doors tomorrow morning. I’m going to wipe out the tier with you.”
“Big John, you do what you think is best. I will be very nice and let you have your way. You want to fight, well, by all means, fight. But, don’t expect me to help you.”
What Roger Simmons wasn’t being told was, that Big John was convicted of first degree murder by killing a man with his bare hands. Big John lifted weights, but did not use any steroids. His muscles were natural.
“Hey grunt, if I were you, I’d stay away from Big John. He can make you a very sorry person.”
“What is your name?” Asked Roger Simmons.
“Amber Delia McCarthy.”
“Amber, that’s a girl’s name. Right?”
“And, what if it is?”
“You must be one of those faggots.”
“Mister, I may be TG, but I can kick your butt around the block a few times.”
“I may have been mistaken about Leigh Anne, but, there is no mistaking you. There isn’t a faggot born that can kick my ass.”
“He’s all yours. Amber,” Big John said, with a kind of laughter in his voice.
“Why, thank you, Big John. Would you like to sell tickets? Because this is going to be a show worth seeing.”
“Don’t hurt him too bad, Amber, just teach the grunt a lesson.”
“Don’t worry, Big John, I’ll leave enough of him to stand trial.”
That night, Roger Simmons had a fitful sleep. That night he kept hearing mocking laughter about him getting the tar knocked out of him. He was wondering what kind of people were in jail. He had read about this person and that one, being convicted of heinous crimes, but had no idea of the mental makeup of such people. He was finding out fast.
The next morning, the hall was full of clanking doors. These were the cell doors being opened. Amber Delia McCarthy waited for the deputy to leave the tier. Then she went over by Roger’s cell.
“Well, grunt. Here I am. If you think you can teach this faggot a lesson, then you are free to try.”
“Look, I have enough troubles without you two adding to them. I need to figure out why my daughter told me something that wasn’t true.”
“Wait a minute. Is you daughter on the Gaynor Senior High School tennis team?” Asked Amber.
“Yes, she is. Why?”
“Well, the radio said that Hampton had won the regional tennis tournaments fair and square and that their last rival, Gaynor Senior High School swore they would have the trophy they felt they were cheated out of. The radio reported that Gaynor Senior High School were sore losers. I also understand some of the Gaynor students were arrested.”
“Listen grunt, you had better toe the line here, or we will mess you up. Setting fire to a school full of children is not what I call fair play. Your daughter’s friend lied to her, so your daughter lied to you.”
“Get off my back. Big John,” Roger said, with anger in his tone.
Big John picked Roger up and put him in his cell. Big John then closed the cell door.
“That is for your own protection. You keep mouthing off, and you may not make it to your trial. Don’t worry, I’ll bring your breakfast tray to you when it comes.”
Roger Simmons had that far away, “I’ll kill you,” look in his eyes. He sat there, laying on his bed, when Big John came and put a tray in the service slot in the cell door.
“Here’s your breakfast. The next time they let you out of this cell, stay to yourself and keep your mouth shut, or someone is going to shut it for you. Remember, this isn’t high school, this is the school of hard knocks.”
Big John left to have his own breakfast, and Roger just sat there staring at the food. He wondered how he got in this predicament. All he was trying to do was scare the Hampton Lady Tigers in to surrendering the trophy to Gaynor. He laid the tray back in the service slot and laid down. He hadn’t touched a bite.
All that day, Roger didn’t eat. It was like he was sick inside for allowing himself to be put in this situation. He can miss one, maybe two days of work, but he couldn’t miss more than that. Roger, never having been in the legal system, started hating himself even more.
It was about six o’clock when a deputy sheriff brought Roger his complaints as issued by the district attorney. It read as follows:
“The State of Michigan, Plaintiff vs. Roger Simmons, Defendant, Case number F-7892, brings this complaint as follows: That the defendant, Roger Simmons, did on January 24, 2016, in the city of Comity, County of Abbott, attempt to burn down the Hampton Senior High School, by means of a Molotov cocktail; to-wit: A beer bottle filled with kerosene and had a cloth wick. That the defendant did, with malice and forethought, light the said cloth wick, after being told by a passing police patrol to drop the weapon. The defendant refused and did make an attempt to throw the said beer bottle at the said school, supra, and was promptly shot in the leg by one of the police officers, stopping the defendant from carrying out the act in total.
“It is therefore prayed that the defendant, evincing a depraved mind, be arrested and dealt with according to law and that a warrant issue for the same. Sworn on this 25th day of January, 2016 by James T. Farnsworth, Assistant district attorney, Abbott County.”*
Big John grabbed the complaint from Roger’s hand and read it.
“You are something else. You do realize that first degree arson carries life in prison. What made you do something like this?”
“I’m not sure, any more. I mean, I thought I knew, but now, I’m not so sure I wasn’t set up.”
“How are you going to plead, guilty or not guilty?” Big John asked.
“Not guilty. But, the court appointed me the same lawyer I fired, because he wanted me to plead guilty. I wish I could get a different lawyer.”
“Go to the first cell, and ask him to help you. I am sure you can change lawyers. Simmons! Sorry for giving you a rough time. We had to make sure you weren’t a police plant.” Roger looked at Big John with surprise in his expression. “Yeah, these cops are sneaky. They’ll put a cop in here to find out if we will reveal any information about the charges against us.
Roger Simmons read and re-read the criminal complaint. All of a sudden he wasn’t so confident that what he had done was the right thing to do. He stood to be locked up for the rest of his life, if he was convicted. He called for the deputy and asked if he could make a phone call.
“Sure, you make your call. I’ll give you fifteen minutes. Who are you calling?”
“My daughter to let her know where I am.”
“Okay, fifteen minutes.”
Roger dialed his home number, and his daughter answered the phone.
“Hello, Cheryl, listen carefully. I’m in the county jail charged with arson. No, no, listen. I tried to set Hampton on fire with a Molotov cocktail, but I was caught. Cheryl, I stand to be in prison for the rest of my life, if I am found guilty. No, sweetie, there is no bail. No! Baby, no. Do not blame the Hampton Lady Tigers. They had nothing to do with what I was going to do. I found out, that just attempting to set the school on fire, I can be charged with first degree arson. I have been. Tell your mother where I am and why. Do not say it is the fault of the Hampton tennis team. Cheryl, that trophy does not belong to Gaynor, the Hampton team did win it fair.
“What do you mean, what has fair got to do with it. It has everything to do with it. If you take any reprisals against the Hampton team, I will personally sign the papers admitting that you are delinquent, and that you refuse to listen to me.” Roger Simmons hung up the phone. “Thank you, deputy.”
Roger was returned to his cell block.
“What did your daughter say?” Inquired Big John.
“She said the Hampton Lady Tigers will pay for me being in here. She wouldn’t listen to me. When I told her that Hampton won the trophy fair, she said what has fair got to do with it. I am afraid that Gaynor Senior High School is headed for criminal prosecution. I found out too late that the Hampton team had won the regional tennis tournaments fair and square.”
“It was on the radio that Hampton had won the regionals and were on their way to the state tournaments in Lansing,” Amber said to Roger.
“I don’t think that will matter to my daughter’s team. They felt they were robbed of their glory because they claim that this Leigh Anne person is not a female. I think Gaynor Senior High School is going to turn out the most criminals of any other high school. I’m not saying that everybody who goes to high school is going to be a criminal, But, in Gaynor’s case, I think they are the exception.”
“We can only wait and see,” Amber said, thoughtfully.
Part 2 - The next day after the trophy celebration.
The regional championship trophy was placed in the trophy case in the hallway, just to the left of the office as you face it. All the students viewed it as they walked by the display case. During the school day, which was postponed because of the victory celebration, several students came to the school to view the trophy. One student, who actually went to Gaynor, stepped up to the display case.
“This is our trophy, and we will get it, one way, or the other. It is up to you. Now get rid of the faggot, or we will! We mean what we say." Cheryl Simmons, who did not get to play in the tournaments because of a sprained ankle, stepped up to the case.
“Not only is this trophy ours, because Leigh Anne Smythe is not a girl, but the faggot had my dad arrested for the fake charge of arson. Listen up, Hampton, we will have our trophy as well as kick that faggot’s ass. Nobody lies about my father." At that time, two deputy sheriffs walked in to the school.
“Which one is Cheryl Simmons?” Asked a deputy sergeant.
“I am,” Cheryl answered the deputy.
“I’m afraid you will have to come with us. Your two accomplices have already turned themselves in. They told us about your plan to kill one of the Hampton high students with your father’s gun. They described the gun, because you showed it to them.”
“I never said I was going to kill anyone with my father’s gun, just kick that faggot’s ass.”
“Young lady, save your talking for the judge. I am sure she will be only too happy to hear what you have to say. Now come with us. The rest of you Gaynor students will leave this school. You are not students here.”
“Yeah, and what if we don’t leave? Then what’re you gonna do?”
“Any Gaynor student still on these premises when we get back, will be taken to the detention center.”
“We’re just here admiring the regional tennis trophy.”
“Yes, and threatening to steal it, too. All Gaynor students will be out of here before we get back.”
“We can’t steal something that is already ours.”
“What is your name?” The deputy sergeant asked.
“Bill Johnson, what’s yours?”
“My name to you, is deputy sheriff sergeant.”
“You dumb ass cops, you’re all alike. Why don’t you tell us your name, or are you afraid of the Gaynor students.”
Bill Johnson had brass knuckles, and made the mistake of patting his left back pocket. When was searched, the deputy sergeant said, “Mr. Johnson, please come with us. Now!” Yelled the sergeant, “All Gaynor students will leave this building, right now. If the rest of the Gaynor students do not leave, they will come with us. And we will match your student ID’s to the person and school. Do I make myself clear?!”
Nobody moved, so the sheriff’s deputies started looking at school IDs. Every Gaynor student was taken aside and told to stand by the lockers on the other side of the hall. Every Gaynor student was separated from the Hampton students. The deputies then started searching the Gaynor students. A female deputy was on the way to search the girls.
During the search of the Gaynor students, revealed some of them were carrying stiletto switch blade knives; some had home made guns. All the Gaynor students were arrested.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that the students of Gaynor Senior High School not only do not play well with others, but are also sore losers. The Gaynor Lady Cougars, as well as the rest of the Gaynor student body, is in for one hellacious shock when it comes time for them to go to court. Good luck, Hampton, and congrats on your victory.” With that, the deputies left with their charges.
“Leigh, these Gaynor students are insane. They think they actually won. Only a sick minded person would think that way,” Roger Dobkins said, not only to Leigh, but to everyone else, too.
“Leigh, you are going to need protection from the Gaynor people,” Patty Langston told her friend.
“I thought this whole thing was taken care of, when Geri Watkins and her boyfriend were arrested. Apparently, it is the entire Gaynor student body that is dangerous. If I travel with my friends, instead of alone, they will think twice, because they won’t want anyone seeing them do anything to me.”
“Leigh, call us, and we will come to go where ever with you,” Darlene Haskins added.”
“Leigh, my mother can drive us where ever we need to go,” Patty added to what Darlene had said.
“Yes, and the Gaynor students won’t want to do anything in a public place like a mall, or even a restaurant. I had better stay clear of them, at least until after the state tournaments are over. I have a sneaky suspicion they are planning something at state. But, we will have the campus police protection, as well as the Lansing police department. So, whatever they are planning, won’t work.”
“You may be right, Leigh. But, all the same, it is safer in numbers, than alone,” Darlene answered her friend.
“I agree,” added Patty Langston.
Then Leigh had a really bright idea.
“Hey! I just had an idea. What do we do when the chips are gloomy?” Nobody said anything. “We go shopping. Who’s for going to the mall?”
This is one of the main reasons why Leigh made friends so easily. She had the knack of turning a gloomy situation into a fun event; like going to the mall. All the students around her, said they’d love to go to mall.
Patty called her mother and said they were going to the mall, and would she meet them there. Patty told her mother what had happened, and that they were going with Leigh, not only for her morale, but for her safety as well. Patty’s mother said she would meet them at the mall.
“Leigh, you know all this started with Geri Watkins and her boyfriend. That was because Geri Watkins was afraid of your ability to play tennis. She knew you were better than she was. Now she has contrived this story that you aren’t female at all. The rest of Gaynor believed her, and decided to get you out of the game, one way or the other.”
“Leigh,” Roger Dobkins was saying. “We could go directly to the security office and let them know we are there and what has been threatened.”
“Yes, Roger, that sounds like a very good idea. That way they can keep an eye on us as we go through the mall.”
“We need to stay one jump ahead of Gaynor, because if they can, they will try and catch us off guard.”
“Your right, Patty, so, we must be ready for anything they can throw at us.”
They arrived at the mall, and the first thing they saw was a gaggle of Gaynor girls, waiting just inside the food court doors. They went toward the doors, when a mall security officer told the Gaynor students that they couldn’t block the door. The Lady Cougars moved aside, and did a sweeping motion with their hands, while bowing, beckoning them to come in to the mall.
“Your ass is our Smythe. Telling lies just to have someone arrested.”
“I am sorry, but I was at the victory party. How could I have called the police on anyone?”
The girl was Debbie Adams who was disqualified from playing in the last game of the tournament. She made a move toward Leigh, who moved back by the security officer. The officer turned to see Debbie Adams trying to grab at Leigh.
”What’s going on here? Why are you trying to harm this girl?”
“Girl?! This ain’t no girl, this is a wannabe girl.”
“Just a moment, we can settle this right here.” The security officer, Richard Deacons, thirty five years old, took out his hand held radio and asked for a female security officer to meet them at the food court doors. When she showed up, Richard spoke to her. “Celia, please take this young lady in to the ladies room and make sure she is who she says she is. There seems to be some discrepancy.”
Celia Dodge was a two year veteran of the mall security force. She was a nice person to get to know, and Leigh went with Celia, to clear this matter up once and for all. Leigh went in to a stall and took her jeans down to her knees. The security officer asked her to take her panties down as well. What Celia saw, confirmed what she suspected. They went back out by Richard.
“What’s the verdict, Celia?”
“One hundred per cent female, Rich. I think these girls are jealous of Leigh Anne’s ability to play tennis. Yes, ladies, it was on the radio, and television news. So, now, what we need to do, is find out why you, Miss, were going to attack this girl.”
“I … uhm … well … I …”
“I thought so,” Celia said, squinting at Debbie Adams. "Young lady, and I use that term very loosely, you will have to follow me."
The Gaynor Senior High School Lady Cougars stood there dumb struck. They now had no reason to hate, dislike, or attack in any manner, Leigh Anne. Richard looked at the girls who just came in.
“You ladies must be the Hampton Senior High School Lady Tigers.”
“Yes, sir we are,” they all said in unison.
“Well, congrats on your victory, and good luck at state. Enjoy your shopping. The rest of you will either have to leave, or join your … friend in our office. Which will it be?”
The Gaynor Lady Cougars left the mall, shaking their heads. Some of them were thinking they had been fools to listen to Geri Watkins. But now, it was too late to make apologies.
Part 3 - The shopping trip goes off; without a hitch?
The girls all went toward the Gap, their favorite store in the whole mall. As they neared the Gap department store, they met a very familiar nemesis.
“Well, if it isn’t the faggot and its entourage,” Geraldine Watkins said with venom in her tone.
“Geri, do you wish to join more than half of your squad in jail, or the detention center? You started something that wasn’t true about Leigh. That was only because you are jealous of Leigh’s ability to play tennis better than you. Leave us alone.”
“Not, Miss Langston, until you give us the trophy that is rightfully ours.”
“You apparently haven’t been told. Leigh is one hundred per sent female, both in body and soul. She has been examined by a female security guard here at the mall. If you don’t leave us alone, we will ask that you be taken to the security office, and again, be turned over to the police. Which would you like to do?”
“Well, Miss Langston, let me see,” Whereupon Geraldine Watkins grabbed Leigh, only to be grabbed by a security guard.
“Let me guess, a Gaynor student.”
“Yes, Richard. She’s the one who started all the name calling and other lies about Leigh,” Darlene Haskins told the security officer.
“Is that so? The star player of rumors, name calling and lies, simply because you’re jealous of someone else’s ability. What a waste of a mind. Well, young lady, let’s go. I’m turning you over to the police.”
What made Geraldine Watkins situation worse than what she thought it was, is that she was released to her mother’s custody, with the promise she would be in court, one week from yesterday. Now she is going, not to the detention center, but, to jail.
*This is not the official felony complaint pursuant to the MCL Judicial Forms statute. But, it will suffice for this story. MCL stands for Michigan Compiled Laws.
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