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Who Did Sin by cgb
Summary: "There are those who say she's difficult." A short story about Marty Glenn from "Minds Eyes" (Season 5).
Title: Who Did Sin
Author: cgb (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Category: V. Other character.
Archive: Gossamer, etc
Summary: " There are those who say she's difficult."
A short story about Marty Glenn from "Minds Eyes"
At first it's nothing more than a mass of light and
reflection, a stark contrast to the dull greys and
dark corners she has become used to. This is all she
understands about image: light and dark, corners and
bends, the various hues of colours she can't put names
to. It might as well be noise. She doesn't know what
it is, but it seems familiar. It might be a memory, or
an hallucination, because there really isn't certainty
to the visions. She's pretty sure she's never been
with him when he dreams and she thanks God or
whichever bastard is in charge for that. She takes
note of the movements of light patterns and the
texture of the ground beneath him and she realises
it's the ocean, it's the freaking ocean.
The experience is fleeting. He doesn't care about the
ocean and he doesn't stay long.
The Baylor librarian tells her she's not the only
blind prison inmate in the US. "You're not even the
only one in Delaware," she says.
The librarian's name is Dorothy but she insists on
being called Dottie. Marty finds her amiable and
quick-witted, a long way from living up to her name.
Dottie arranges Braille books to be sent from a prison
in Boston so that Marty can spend her time in prison
"rehabilitating through the power of literature".
"Yeah? Then why are the books coming from Boston?"
"Apparently the guy in Sussex doesn't read much."
"What'd he do?" Marty asks.
"Fraud," the librarian says. "He's a con-artist."
She asks for "War and Peace". She's not sure she wants
to read it, not even sure what it's about, but she's
heard it's a big book and she's betting it's even
bigger in Braille. Dottie will have a fit.
"Did you know that Delaware has the fifth highest
incarceration rate in the country?"
"We do our best," Dottie says. The library cart
squeaks in its casters as it's wheeled out of Marty's
cell. It sounds like a small animal, something
rodent-like. Tomorrow is Saturday and Dottie doesn't
do rounds on the weekend so it will be three days
before she visits again. It's a long time to go
Inmates are supposed to have family visit on the
weekend. For those without family there are various
prison outreach volunteers who are willing to listen
to a desperate convict in need of an ear. She hopes
she never gets desperate.
She meets Emma like this only it's Emma who exhibits
all the signs of desperation. She instigates contact
with Marty, asks her is she would like someone to read
"You gotta be kidding me, " she answers.
"I - I just thought." Emma is with a church group.
There are several and Marty forgets which one Emma
belongs to. She doesn't sound very old. Possibly in
her twenties. Probably hasn't been doing this for
"You think I can't read?"
"No. no, I was just."
There are those who say she's difficult. There's a
woman two cells down who has screaming fits and a
woman in Cell Block D who has narcolepsy and is prone
to falling asleep in the shower, but they say she's
difficult because she should be grateful they're all
trying so hard to help the poor little blind girl out.
The poor little blind murderer. Funny how quickly that
tag falls off the end.
Two weeks later Emma brings her a small stereo. It's
the size of a basketball and box-like in shape. She's
not good at 'thank yous' no matter how grateful she is
so she rewards Emma with conversation. "So Emma,
you've read the bible, right?"
"Yes." Emma sounds wary.
"Well there's a story in the bible about Jesus healing
a man who is blind from birth, isn't there?"
"Jesus gives him some mud to rub in his eyes?"
"Ahm." She hears Emma shift her position. "I think
that's how it goes."
Marty smiles, tries to set Emma at ease. "I like that
"Oh." Emma is relieved "Of course you do."
"Yeah. If you believe enough it just might happen,
"Anything is possible in the Lord," Emma says.
Sometimes you don't even have to believe. Lazarus was
dead. How could he have faith in anything other than
his own oblivion? Still, there are probably blind
people out there who deserve the gift of sight more
than she does. They're been praying for it.
The next week Emma brings her a Braille bible with the
story about the blind woman bookmarked. She never
reads it and she sends it to the guy in Sussex when
she is released.
She really is difficult but she doesn't have anything
Her parole officer has just seen her file. He tells
her he's never met a blind murderer before. She tells
him she's never met a parole officer before and he
laughs. It's a forced laugh. She makes him nervous.
"No one thinks you're a flight risk," he tells her. He
leafs through her files and "mmms" occasionally. "The
FBI agent on your case was unavailable for comment
during your parole hearing - it's a shame because he
spoke very highly of you."
"They told me," she says. She wonders what happened to
him. He smelt like leather and aftershave and his
partner smelt like soap. It was weird having someone
"Do you have somewhere to live?"
"The outreach programme is working on it."
Blind people don't see. This is the crux of the
matter. She's special and she should be impressed by
that. It should make her believe or something. Believe
Instead she can't help thinking of her parole officer
and the way he's wishing he didn't have to do this to
a blind woman.
The sound of footsteps on parquetry is unmistakable.
It says 1973 in spite of the newly installed security
system and the sound of rap music coming from the
first floor. A sighted person would tell her that
buildings from the 1970s look a certain way but they'd
probably be surprised to know they have a particular
The super wears hard heeled shoes so she says,
"'Morning Darryl" and smiles at the surprised silence
"Good morning, Miss Glenn," he says, eventually. He
follows her into the lift and says, "blocked drain in
He's friendly in that overly congenial fashion. The
kind of guy that says, "how about this heat?" and
"cold out today"; a propensity to state the obvious in
an effort to make conversation. She hates making
conversation but she's softened a little since they
let her out of jail. These days she knows how to let
She's not without her sense of humour, though. She
chooses this encounter to tell him about her stint in
He reacts suitably intrigued. "Yeah? What the hell did
He's really saying, "what *could* you do?" She takes
way too much pleasure in telling him. "I killed a
He laughs. She should have known he'd laugh.
"You don't have to believe me."
The lift stops at the sixth floor. It's his floor.
He's halfway out the lift when he turns around. "All
right, how did you do it?"
"I shot him."
He laughs again. "Right," he says.
"You don't need to see someone to shoot them."
"No," he says. "But it helps."
He steps out the lift. It closes and continues its
climb up to the 11th floor.
It doesn't bother her that he doesn't believe her and
she doesn't really want to be seen as a murderer.
And the point *is* difficult to make. How would she
tell him? How would she tell anyone beyond that
strangely intense FBI Agent with the exasperated
She didn't need her sight to shoot him. She had his.
She could see herself, see the gun, see it pointing
right at him. It's not a story she gives up easily.
She hears the lift open, steps outside and bangs her
cane against the wall until she's counted two doors
and she's on the third: hers. The apartment is quiet.
The windows are covered by curtains, which came with
the flat, and she draws them open so that she can lean
a hand against the glass. They tell her you can see
the ocean from the eleventh floor.
The memory is fading. She tries to imbue it with her
own recollections. She gives it the feel of sand
beneath her fingers and the sound of the waves as they
break on the shore, but it's a pastiche of different
experiences, no longer reliable.
She takes her hand off the glass and draws curtains
She doesn't miss sight because it was only pretty once
and even then she didn't know how to make the
distinction between the shifting light and shadow and
the ocean she held in her imagination. The images have
far to go before they catch up with the world as she
Still, she wishes she could have seen the bastard's
face when she shot him.
"Teacher, who did sin that this man was born blind?
Was it his sin or his parents?"
This is a great episode of the X-Files and a great
character. All props to Lily Taylor and Tim Minnear:
love your work.
"We're a package. Love me, love MacGyver"
Selma (The Simpsons)