The Djinn Trials
Diary of an Astral Projector
April 6, 1946: It was a hot day when I was arrested for a heinous act that I didn’t commit. A woman was found dead near my farm, and I was the most likely suspect. How terrible for my wife and two children to witness my apprehension. My wife, Eden believes my innocence, but I fear with the corrupt and biased legal system that I may not see the light of day again.
April 8: Eden came today to see me and her eyes were filled with tears. She said the lawyers around the area wouldn’t take the case. I assured her that everything would be alright, although the few days spent inside the community jail cell has left me believing otherwise. The water tastes terrible and the food is awful. Eden wishes she could do something more for me, but I can see it in her eyes; she doesn’t know if she truly believes my story.
April 11: The lawyer that said he’d accept my case said that I had a reasonable chance of release. He speaks all sorts of jargon I don’t understand and neither does my wife, but at least he’s seeing me in the eyes of an innocent. Either that or he’s a very good actor. Unfortunately, he’s quite expensive.
April 17: Eden and my boys, Abraham and Solomon came by today, but my time with them was cut short because of another man and his wife got into a fight inside the visitation room. I love her so much, but the other guys inside the community room had begun showing their bigotry to me. I know the opinions of theirs are shared by the outside world, but being in such close quarters with them, it’s becoming unbearable.
May 1: They expedited my trial considering the woman, Miss Candice Harrington, was a member of the mayor’s family. How convenient. I wish I knew who done it so I could go after them. I’ve begun to look through all of the people that I could have done wrong, but I’ve been a good man. God knows this. It makes me feel terrible that my children will be known as the kids of a murderer even if it is false. The lawyer is not as optimistic on my case as he was earlier. We’ll see.
May 15: The first day of the trial has begun and Judge Alabaster is clearly a racist man. I’m doomed from the start. Twelve white jury members, six men and six women all look at me in disgust. Why have I been dealt the bum deal? What have I done wrong in my life to deserve such anger? Just because of the color of my skin? Not only that, but my lawyer said my wife had received a few threats. It’s a horrible feeling when I can do nothing but sit here and think about the possibilities.
May 20: The hurried trial resembled more of a shamble of the judicial system than anything I could wish upon another soul. There was no innocent until proven guilty. I was guilty from the start. My lawyer didn’t even put up a good defense and in not so many words, he helped the prosecution. He’d be the first person I’d murder if I got out. May he find his place in Hell for what he has done.
May 21: I was moved to the state prison and the ride helped me understand my situation. Out in the middle of nowhere, a desert surrounds the hole from which I shall be living. My wife is now out of reach with the exception of her fairly infrequent visits. We didn’t have much in the way of funds and now she must take care of the farm.
June 1: They say it was just a fire, but I know it was more. Now, my wife and two boys, who know all about fire safety, are nothing but corpses…what god does this to a person? They won’t even let me out to see my deceased family.
June 5: Autopsy reports show no wrong doing they said. I wish I had a moment with the coroner alone. Without evidence, I won’t be able to do anything once I’m released in fifteen years, five if I’m good.
June 7: They stuck me in a room with another man, a talker. I’m still grieving and this man only wishes to tell me of his wrong doings. Isn’t this against prison etiquette?
June 8: My cellmate’s windpipe managed to permanently shut itself in the middle of the night. It was the first time I killed a man. Leave it to a system such as this; an innocent man is placed into jail for a phony murder charge only to become a murderer. I do not feel sorry for whatever-his-name-was.
June 25: I spent the last few weeks inside the hole. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, but I appreciated it for what it was. It was a time for self-reflection and for the first time since arriving in my new home, I felt a strange level of comfort. I was able to properly grieve over Eden, Solomon, and Abraham, and I even forgave my Lord for the things that had happened to me.
June 26: Why would they put another man inside my cell? Another damn talker…
July 18: Finally out of the hole after the unfortunate events that occurred to my last cellmate. Somehow, both of his legs and arms were broken. I’m beginning to appreciate the hole a little more. There’s an unusual calmness that coats me. Either that, or it’s continual heat stroke. The box must be 120 degrees at all times during the day. My wife and children cannot remain in my mind if I am to live this sort of life. I am beginning an attempt at purging them from my thoughts.
July 19: The warden came to my cell asking me to play nice with the other inmates. The warden didn’t leave my cell alive. Stupid fool. Oh, the beating I received was worthy of the slave days.
August 19: Well, that was the longest stint inside the hole I had ever spent thus far. They readjusted my sentence. I am now in for life. Nothing to lose, so they might as well just execute me. What purpose do I have for inhabiting this establishment?
August 20: They changed the sentence to death by electric chair. A public defender took my case, but I told him that I plead guilty to everything. There’s no need to waste anymore of the taxpayers’ money. He’s a good man and he really does want to help, I can see it in his eyes. Is it just me, or is this trait evident in everyone I meet? Probably too many days in the hot box. My brain has to be on overload at this point. At least I can exist on death row without intrusion from another prisoner.
August 25: The prison guards avoid me, but that’s expected. There’s an annoying bastard that keeps screaming and yelling for no reason. I asked a guard if I could have a moment with that man. The guard just smiled but walked away. I could tell he was thinking about what I asked for.
August 26: I had a moment with that yeller courtesy of the guard I joked with. There is no more hollering and screaming, although my back really hurts. Damn night sticks. I thanked the guard for allowing me to quiet this hallway and he nodded in the slightest bit of approval.
September 10: The first of my execution hearings was today. I told them to get on with it. There’s no point to drag this on. They sent in a psychiatrist to gage my well-being and he was afraid. I was restrained while they performed the tests. Apparently I passed the sanity test. He actually told me congratulations. I appreciated his sense of humor, even if that wasn’t his intent.
September 11: With a guilty plea, they allowed the movement to move forward. Outside the courtroom, a large crowd has gathered asking for leniency and my freedom. When I walked outside, I was met by two different factions. I decided to speak to the crowd and I said that I was innocent before coming here, but I am guilty of murder due to my time in. That seemed to shut everyone up. I don’t think they believed I would put myself out that way.
September 18: They asked me if I had a particular day for execution in mind since I’m one of the few people to actually plead guilty. It’s a strange thing for them since they believe my story. The guards really hated their previous warden and abhorred the fools that I removed from the system. I told them that I’d like to be put out of my misery on December 31 at exactly 11:59 PM. They agreed to it.
September 25: I heard through the guards that the human rights advocates started rallying for my sentenced to be reduced to life in prison or better. What right do they have to deny me my death? I had the guards relay a message to them to cease such foolish manners. I am a murderer now and I deserve my fate. It was sealed the moment I entered this cage of men.
October 10: The advocacy successfully managed to reduce my sentence, stating I knew that I had done wrong and admitted to it. They wanted to meet with me, and it was fine with me.
October 11: The guard from which I had become quite fond of named Officer Kaleroy really despised these fools that wished for my release. He left my restraints slightly loosened. Although these people had good intentions, I was able to somehow see through their plot. They were only in it for the publicity, and here I am about to give them the ultimate promotion.
October 12: I’m back on death row and now I have no one vouching for me outside. My original execution date is still in place. I didn’t even have to change cells, how impressive. The guard actually gave me thanks for not allowing the prison system to become a mockery. I told him that it was a mockery before I came here, but that wasn’t his fault. It’s a racist world out there and little I could do about it. In fact, my physical discussion with the advocates probably hurt the biased views something good.
October 20: I’ve begun meditating quite a bit. It’s incredibly relaxing and I almost feel as if my mind leaves the body. Each time I rouse, the stone cell greets me again.
October 24: The prisoner in the cell across the hallway noticed me performing the meditation and began joining in. Evidently it’s peaceful enough to warrant copycats. His name is Jebediah and although he’s been here far longer than I, his execution date isn’t until a couple years from now. I couldn’t imagine wanting to sit here for that long waiting for death to come. I’d prefer it to be fast and swift.
October 31: This used to be my favorite holiday, Halloween. Now it’s just day 209 of my incarceration. Only two more months and I shall be a free man. I asked Jebediah how long he’s been in and he doesn’t even count. He just said too damn long. I asked him why he’d allow the continuations and suppressions, and Jeb told me he was afraid of death. I also asked him if he was innocent of his charges, and he said yes. I suppose I’m the only honest one around here. I can see it in his eyes.
November 6: Someone attempted a jail break today. Excitement was in the air as the guards chatted with each other after everything settled down.
November 10: I’ve begun exercises in breathing as well as standing on my head. Jebediah continues to mimic my actions, but I don’t mind. Anything to break the tedium. I’ve reached a minute so far with the breathing. He’s at a minute five.
November 17: Eden’s mother decided to visit without her father. I hadn’t seen this woman in fifteen years, so why is she coming now? She said she wanted to see her daughter and grandchildren’s murderer’s face. I told her she’d have to find that man somewhere else. I’ve killed only those inside these walls. Somehow I was able to reach to her and make her believe. It didn’t seem that I’d be so persuasive, but somehow my words really sound honest. She left in a better place mentally than when she arrived knowing that I hadn’t done the despicable act.
November 30: I’ve reached a minute thirty with my breathing. Jebediah is at a minute twenty-five. I tease him for falling behind and he nearly blacked out attempting to beat me. He even accused me of cheating and I asked him why he’d think that’d do me any good. He realized that’s a stupid accusation.
December 12: I can feel Death staring at me and I welcome him. My wife and children are waiting for me afterwards, I know it. Jebediah is good company, don’t get me wrong, but I seriously cannot wait for this New Year. I haven’t had any visits or letters in some time, so I am fully prepared.
December 25: The prison cooked us a nice Christmas meal. It had all the trimmings. After all this time, it’s worth mentioning when tasty food crosses the bars.
December 31: Today is the big day. I regret nothing I’ve done inside these bars. Jebediah said he’s going to miss me, I’ve been his best friend in Death Row so far. The meal I was given was finer than anything I’ve had in or out of prison. A nice large piece of beef tenderloin, perfectly seasoned. They even allowed me a beer. Incredibly, I still feel no fear. Is there something wrong with the way the creator has made me?
January 10, 1947: Why do they have me in rehabilitation? I was supposed to die on that chair in the last moment of last year yet as the electricity coursed through my veins, something unexplainable happened. I’ve lost some motor control over half my body, but it’s slowly returning. They even electrocuted me twice, but for some rationale a third was unreasonable. I may not be the first to escape death during an electrocution, but I’m the first to still show mental activity. I really did find it funny to see the reactions of people’s faces when I coughed out smoke and asked, is that all you’ve got?
January 15: All the tests they ran provided no real answers as to why I survived. Motor skills have all returned, but something is wrong with my eyes. Every person that I see appears to have a halo around their bodies. They don’t notice it, so I just imagine that I don’t see it either. Jebediah welcomed me back to Death Row as I was able to keep my cell. How kind of them. Jebediah asked me if it tickled and I told him no, it hurt something fierce. I have scars where the electricity went in and out of my body at the head and hands. Those are the two regions that are still the most sensitive.
January 25: I’ve been meditating even more lately and it truly feels like I have left this cell. Freedom seems to be coming in a different fashion. The world opened itself up to me and I’m answering its calling. As for the competition with Jebediah, well, I lost some of the capacity for holding my breath. I’m back down to forty five seconds. He’s brought his time up to a minute thirty-five. I’ve also lost neck strength for standing on my head. He’s becoming far more superior in his exercises.
February 10: Considering I’ve lived through an event that should have killed me, the courts had decided to give my case another look through. After all, I was put to death. It’s not my fault they couldn’t deliver. I told them not to bother wasting their time, but this time I wasn’t going to be given a bigot judge. There might be justice found in my prejudice.
February 20: My mind was able to wander passed the walls of the facility. There’s really nothing out there but a vast desert in all directions. It’s difficult to navigate, but I feel hopeful for the first time in a long time.
February 27: It’s Eden’s birthday and I pray for her soul. I was supposed to find her at the beginning of the year, but God’s dirty joke has left me inside these walls.
March 3: They say they’ve found evidence that my house was tampered with before the fire. I was surprised they left it well alone enough to investigate a year later. They also said there were markings on the door indicating a possible barricade from the outside. Little good this does me considering I’m still guilty of murder even if those deaths took place inside these walls.
March 5: I’ve navigated to my house in my dreams. I believe it’s dreams that I course through. I don’t know what I could do or find there, but there has to be a reason why I’m able to do leave my body without dying. I just don’t understand it yet.
March 10: The new judge doesn’t look at me as a black man like the previous judge did. I can see it in his eyes. I believe I will get a fair retrial. I just wish the jury could be as telling. They managed to retrieve a couple of coloreds to assist in the deliberations. I just hope they don’t just vote me innocent because of my skin color. I hope they truly listen to the evidence which was entirely too lacking in the Candice Harrington case.
March 15: I went into the cell next to me with my dreams where a man named Joshua Niles resides. I’ve learned they call what I can do astral projection. Regardless of the name, it still serves the same function. Inside Joshua’s cell, he was sleeping, so I placed my invisible hand upon his head and his most prominent thoughts shown themselves to me. Interesting. What he was sent to Death Row for isn’t what he’s guilty of. He knows that he deserves the death penalty, but not for what he was judged by. Circumstances so similar to mine, I had to laugh. I leave his thoughts for himself to deal with.
March 18: After the retrial had completed, they decided to pardon me from the murder of Miss Harrington, but I shall still serve time for the lives I’ve taken inside these walls. Unfortunately for me, that’s still a life sentence. What was the point of that? Looks like I’ll have to earn my spot back on Death Row. There’s no way I’m staying with the general population. After all, Jebediah will be missing me.
March 19: The challengers cometh into my cell, trying to strike fear into the man that survived an execution. No challengers leaveth my cell and a new color of crimson paint coated the floor. The guards came in and saw me meditating. I could only imagine what they were thinking.
March 20: At least now, the sun isn’t so hot. The hole is where I return. Sensory deprivation they called it. I call it freedom.
March 22: Through a series of dreams, I started investigating the townsfolk nearby my burned down home. Maybe I could get answers for the despicable acts that were thrust upon my family. I believe I know the possible suspects, but we’ll see what their thoughts hold.
March 25: The new warden thought it was a cruel and unusual punishment to hold men inside the hole for more than a week. Shame, because I was feeling quite at home inside there. At least I still earned a spot in solitary so I can continue to search for my wife’s killer.
April 1: Settled into the larger cell than what I had in the hole, they didn’t return me to Death Row. Sorry Jebediah, I guess our therapy session is over. I can hear another man yelling down the block. He’s talking something about ghosts in his cell not leaving him alone. Crazy old man, why won’t you shut up? I don’t think I can last much longer inside these walls with rants of spirits filling the empty space around us.
April 2: I visited that crazy old man in my dreams. Unfortunately, he isn’t so crazy. He really sees these visions of spirits. I could see what he sees when my invisible hands touched his skin. The real question is, are those souls real or not? I suppose with my level of sight, I’ll never know. Regardless of his truth, I cannot continually listen to the cycle of words spewing from his pie hole.
April 3: My buddy Officer James Kaleroy from Death Row must had exchanged shifts with someone on this cell block. I told him what I thought and I asked if maybe I can speak with Ol’ Benjamin. I was fully restrained, but he persuaded the other guards to give me a moment with him. I told Benjamin about what I saw and how I could see what he knew was there.
April 10: With Benjamin calmed down, I’ve begun to adjust to my new cell, although it’s just a slightly larger box than my previous boxes. My investigation with the townsfolk near my home hasn’t resulted in much. Most of the people around those parts were good god fearing people just trying to survive. I turned my attention to the bar in town.
April 12: A man walked into the bar tonight, and I recognized the face of a passing drifter as he called himself when he found my farm. He must have settled in to the town. With the contact of his skin, I had finally found who I was looking for.
April 15: I’ve been following this man named Jacob. Soon enough, I found the last name and it really infuriated me, Alabaster. This was my first judge’s son. I suppose if anyone deserves their place in Tartarus it would be this man and his father. Even as I follow around, I can feel his fueled up hatred towards my race. I have to do something.
April 17: Jacob is in a drunken stupor and he got his ass beat by the bar owner. Somehow I was able to pull him up out of his body. For reasons I couldn’t understand, I let him go and he returned inside.
April 20: Ol’ Benjamin is at it again, singing around the ghouls that keep bothering him. I haven’t seen Officer Kaleroy in a few days and I don’t want to yell back down the hallway, so I wanted to test a theory out. If Benjamin can see the spirits, I wonder if he could see me when I’m projecting myself. It was a success, and Benjamin calmed down with my healing words. I told him that the spirits around him were nothing more than echoes of people in the past. They weren’t here to harm him. He asked me how I was able to come to him in such a way. I told him that I had been put to death and still live. This is my tether to the natural world. He accepted my explanation.
April 22: I lost Jacob a few days ago but found him inside another person’s house. He’s creeping along looking for another young woman to take advantage of. My anger has gotten the best of me and I pulled his soul out of his body. Confused, he thrashes away but is clearly unsure of what to do. I jump into his body and run out of the house. He follows me, so I found a hiding spot to dump his body and allow him to return. I don’t know how to give him a warning because he doesn’t have the right ears or eyes. He cannot see or hear me even outside of his body.
May 15: I kept my eyes on Jacob and he kept his cool for a while. I sent my diary to the only address I knew my letters wouldn’t be opened, a post office nearby my home. I decided to up my activity inside the jail cell and usher in a jail break. If this doesn’t put me back on Death Row, I don’t know what would. I get one hour a day outside of the cell, and during that hour, I showed the guards what I was made of. Two dead and twelve injured. I only hurt the guards that have been complete assholes to me.
May 17: My body is in the hole, but I found Jacob about to try again at the same house. I did the same action as before, pulling his conscious out of his body and hiding it in the ravine nearby. I kept hold of Jacob this time and brought him to the one place that he won’t be able to harm innocents again. I shoved him into my body inside the hole. I returned to Jacob’s body and inhabited it. Although it’s a rough fit, it’s still better than allowing that man to wander freely.
May 21: I noticed in the newspaper of Judge Alabaster’s track record. I figure I could give him a visit. He’ll think of me as his son.
May 22: Judge Alabaster, or Dad as I’m calling him, allowed me to enter his home for dinner. The feeling of intrusion just follows me, but Dad isn’t showing any signs of suspicion. I asked him about what he felt about my case that he judged and I actually got the truth. He said that he was covering for Jacob. He couldn’t let his only son go to jail, especially without a child. What better than to give a random black man the shaft and become the fall for a murder committed by his son.
May 23: I’ve been contemplating Judge Alabaster’s fate and I understand why I’ve been allowed to live beyond the execution. I’ve thought of the most despicable act that one could dream of, and this will be enough to rob “Dad’s” imagery of his son Jacob.
May 24: I will spare the details of my actions, but let’s just say that the judge found his wife and son in an unholy union.
May 25: I returned Jacob to his body after the conflict was in full swing. The judge obviously didn’t believe Jacob’s rant about how his soul was snatched from his body and he couldn’t ever imagine doing that to his mother. A shotgun blast to Jacob’s chest ensured that there would be no continuation of that bloodline.
May 30: Judge Alabaster had become nothing more than another inmate inside these walls. Apparently, many of the men he put away shared the same cell block as him. No special treatment for Alabaster because he also angered many of the prison’s guards by stepping on them while rising to judge status.
June 3: I heard that Alabaster had to go to the hole for killing two of the men that shanked him. It made me laugh out loud and I hope he appreciates the place that he sent me as much as I did.
June 10: Day 400 of my incarceration and I feel as if justice has been done and I hope my wife and boys are proud that I not only found their murderers and the one who had me imprisoned to begin with, but I also showed them their own evils. I will one day be with Eden, Abraham, and Solomon, but I have other crimes to solve within these walls. My own case gave me inspiration to continue.