(Curtain comes up revealing a small, plain bedroom with the body of a young lady laying on the bed already covered, and an empty bottle of pills on the nightstand. Standing in the room is Sheriff O'Riely and Charles Flint.) Sheriff: What was your relation to the girl?
Charles: I was her friend, that's all.
Sheriff: Had she ever threatened to kill herself?
Charles: A few times, her step-father…(coroner marches into the room)
Coroner: (To Sheriff) What do we have here?
Sheriff: Looks like a suicide, girl about 15.
Charles: 16, she was 16.
Sheriff: Probably an O.D. on sleeping pills, you see the bottle over there (points to ;the bottle). Pretty boy here found her.
Coroner: (Examines the body some) How did you come to find her?
Charles: I came to pick her up to go to school, when I got no answer at the door, I peeped through the window and saw her there. I forced my way in but she was already dead.
Sheriff: Why did the lack of an answer concern you so much, maybe she was sick?
Charles: Well, she was the type of girl to never miss school, I knew something had to be terribly wrong. (there is an awkward silence as the Sheriff makes some ;notes in his book and the coroner resumes his work)
Coroner: (To Sheriff) She has some bruises around her eyes, someone hit her and hard, possibly with a blunt object.
Sheriff: (To Charles) What do you know about this Charles?
Charles: (Stammering) N-N-Nothing, I swear!
Sheriff: (loudly to Charles) This girl has been beaten and now is dead and your story doesn't seem to make much sense and I want to know what is going on!
Charles: It was her step-father ok! (Fights off some tears) Her step-father beat the hell out of her. One time she threatened to kill herself. He put her in a mental hospital for half a summer! (The other two men look stunned)
Sheriff: (Takes a moment to regain his composure) You had better be able to back up what you just said. (Charles sits on the floor with his head in ;his hands) Look at me when I'm talking to you! Because her step-father is a state senator, if you're wrong, he will make you sorry you were born!
Charles: It's true, I swear!
Sheriff: I hope you know what you are ;getting into. (To Coroner) What else have you found?
Coroner: Well, I found this pill bottle suspicious. The label has been torn off. We don't know what it was, or who it really belonged to.
Sheriff: (Takes bottle) Do you recognize this?
Charles: Yes, they were her Amaxol pills, a sedative, she brought them to school to take with lunch, they kept her calm.
Sheriff: Ok then…
Coroner: (Pauses, looks up) Wait a minute… Amaxol wouldn't cause death unless it was taken in astronomical proportions, so that couldn't be the cause.
Sheriff: (To Charles) There is something that you are not telling us…
Charles: (nervously) I've told you everything, what more do you want?
Sheriff: (Grabs Charles by the collar and brings him to a standing position) Tell me!
Sheriff: Tell me now or with God as my witness I will put you out of your misery right this second.
Charles: It's cyanide that killed her! (crying now) She couldn't take what her father was doing to her. I hooked her up with a guy who sold poisons…Oh my God! I killed her. (crying worse)
Sheriff: Is there anything else that you are not telling us?
Charles: (Weakly) No. (Sheriff lets him go, he collapses onto the floor) (A door slams and the girl's step-father, Senator Livingston walks into the room)
Senator: What is going on here?
Sheriff: We have some questions we would like to ask you.
Coroner: (Looks up from his work) Your step-daughter is dead, an apparent suicide, however, we have some questions about some bruises on her. That boy (points to Charles) says that you abused her.
Senator: I most certainly did not!
Charles: It's true, she told me everything, it's true!
Senator: I loved her like she was my own!
Charles: Did you love her when you broke her nose? Or what about when you broke that wooden dowel over her head, did you love her then?
Senator: You lying piece of trash! (Hoists Charles up and throws him across the room but the Sheriff and the coroner prevent him from following up.)
Sheriff: (To Senator) You are under arrest for child abuse, you have the right to…
Senator: I know my rights. (Senator is handcuffed and escorted out by the Sheriff) (Sheriff returns)
Sheriff: (Sits down and takes a deep breath to regain his composure) Now Charles, I have to place you under arrest for aiding a suicide, you have the right to…
Charles: (Stunned) What? I was only trying to help her, her life was a living hell, I was only trying to help! He's the one who made her life miserable. (pointing out the door) It was him!
Sheriff: That doesn't matter. Come with me please. (Charles is handcuffed and escorted out by the Sheriff) (The Sheriff returns and the two men resume their work, the coroner looking at the body and Sheriff making notes) ( A scuffle is heard outside, followed by a ;gunshot both men ;rush out and the Sheriff returns with the Senator who has sprinkles of blood on him.)
Sheriff: (To the Hall) Is he dead?
Coroner: (Offstage) Yes, he's dead, a shotgun wound to the chest.
Sheriff: (To Senator) Well, it looks like you can add murder to you charges Senator.
Senator: You'll never get me for child abuse, no evidence without the boy. Speaking of him that "murder" as far as you know and can prove was self-defense. By the way, you may want to put the handcuffs on tighter next time.
Sheriff: (Putting a new pair on) I trusted you, I'll never trust you again. (Shoves the Senator out of the room) (Sheriff sits down on a chair and puts his head in his hands) (Coroner walks in)
Coroner: You ok?
Sheriff: Yeah, but he's right though, with his position and our evidence he won't spend a night in jail.
Sheriff: You know, it's times like this I wonder if it's worth it. If there is such thing as justice.
Coroner: I think there is, he'll get what's coming to him, it's only a matter of when.
Sheriff: Well, it won't be soon enough for me, for her, or for Charles. (Storms out of the room leaving the coroner in awe, the curtain drops)