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Cradle To Grave

Nadia held her head low, as she was seized, and arrested. She felt every single eye on her, including that of the demon. He leaned against the cruiser, smirking and giggling, like a spoiled child, at Nadia's expense.

It didn't make any sense. She was only protecting her child.

In the squad car, Nadia was confined to a small, cage-like area, where she sat cuffed, and discombobulated. With tracings of snow on her red cheeks, from where she had been shoved into the ground. Through the closed window, she could hear the muffled voices of the policemen outside.

"Medics say she's all clear... But have psych asses her once you get her to the station. Seems delusional."

"I mean, no doubt. Did you see how fast she was goin'? Honestly, if their wasn't a child in the back. I probably woulda' lost my job over that one. Putting her baby in that sorta danger. Just awful is what it is."

"That was her kid? Yeah they pulled a background on her. She's been caught with felony drugs, with her daughter in the vehicle when that child was a baby."

"Oh I hate people like that."

"I know right? And she was in a crash with her husband, eight years ago. He didn't survive, and she was driving. Sounds like she may be a danger."

"How on earth was she allowed access to this child after that?"

"I don't know man. The system's fucked."

Nadia rolled her eyes, and watched the black van drive away. Holding the child, she knew in that moment, she would never, see again.

A tear rolled down her fair skin, and planted itself in the crevasse of her lips. Two men climbed into the car, and they left, as Nadia took one last glance at the scene behind her.

All the way to the station, Nadia felt unraveled by the constant glares, made into the rearview mirror at her. Clear directed stare's with the obvious intentional messages. 'You're a scumbag.'

When they reached the destination of Nadia's dread, she was yanked from the vehicle with an unnecessary force.

"Watch it buddy." Nadia yelped through confusion, rage, and a slew of emotional torment. This only made the cop grip tighter, proving that he could easily acquire more power over her. Nadia struggled in his ferocious constraint's. She grappled and fussed, all the way to the tiny room, where she had been tossed.

She was bound to the table with chains and cuffs. The cold, metal caused each hair on her arm to become erect. Her stomach growled, and flushed with anxiety. For about an hour, she was left alone, to sit, and to relive what she had done. This was a type of torture, she could not bear to face. She watched, as Damienka appeared from the shadows, of the dingy, cement corner.

"Damienka!" She perked up.

Police analyzed the security footage, as Nadia, began to reveal her true colors.

"Damienka, you're here! I love you baby, I always will." Her demeanor was soft and kind. Not at all what one would expect from a mother who intentionally put her child in danger on the road, just hours before. But that wasn't at all the main concern police had noticed.

Nadia was rocking back and fourth, grabbing her hair, and talking to the wall. It was apparent, that she was either mentally ill, on drugs, or attempting to get a lesser sentence, on reason of insanity. The truth would come out eventually, they would break her, if it took all night.

"What are you doing here!" Her demeanor flipped from doe-eyed, and in love, to aggressive, and violent without warning. Nadia rattled her chains, screaming and crying at the demon. "What do you want from me?"

At the sight of her explosive tendencies, a psychiatric evaluator was sent in. Along with a couple officers, to defuse the situation.

"Nadia? I'm doctor Smirnov." He held out his hand for Nadia to shake, but she remained fixated on the blank wall ahead. Smirnov relaxed his hand, returning it to his side, as he cleared his throat and sat down.

"Nadia, I understand you were in an accident. Can you tell me about that? What happened leading up to the collision?"

"Collision?" Nadia began in a muffled voice.

"Yes the collision, you were in a crash with your daughter. Do you remember that?"

Nadia shook her head, her eyes staring perpendicular to the wall. "No, Ana was with Mary. He died, oh he died I couldn't save him."

"No, no-one died, Nadia."

"They all died, so many of them."

"Who Nadia, who died?"

"Damienka, the babies, who didn't die?"

The room was so silent, you could hear a pin drop.

"Nadia, what do you mean? What babies?"

"He made me do it. I wanted to protect her."

"Nadia, what did he make you do?"

"I killed those babies, all of them, all of them are gone, gone. They're all gone Damienka. Gone, gone, gone."

Ivan Smirnov felt a lump of saliva fall slowly down his throat. Lingering like paste as it gummed, adhering to his esophagus. A ball of nerves filled his stomach, as he cleared his throat, and held back the raging emotions. "Okay, Nadia? Where are the babies you killed?"

"In the garden." She giggled through the sentence, shaking her head in disbelief. "He made me."

"Who made you?"

As her long bony finger, reached out, Nadia pointed clear passed Smirnov, and to the wall behind him.

He nodded, and scribbled something down on his clipboard.

"Okay Nadia, I'm going to grab one of my colleagues, and then we can further this discussion." With that, Smirnov stood, and made his way out the door.

"She's displaying very common behavior of someone who is either psychotic or on drugs. We definitely need to do a drug test, but, in my professional opinion, that woman is not of sound mind to stay on trial. She needs treatment for psychosis."

"I completely agree with you Smirnov." The officer, who had been watching the security footage, nodded his head and folded his arms. "I'm gonna request a warrant for her house, as well. Where did her record say she was from again?"

Another officer piped in, "Record says, last residence she had was in Stavropol, Artelneyy Per., bld. Eleven."

"I'm gonna be sick if we actually find... you know, dead babies in her garden."

"Same here."

"Who's Damienka?" Smirnov inquired. "Her husband who died in a collision, she was the driver." Smirnov came to the realization that she had been confusing details, between the two collisions. He nodded his head, discerning the scenario in his mind.

"Drug test came back positive." One of the officers handed the results to another. "She's on high levels of ketamine, no wonder she's so disoriented. The woman's high as a kite right now. She probably doesn't even know what's happening, why she's here. "

Having spent weeks in county jail, Nadia was quite used to the solitude. She had gained a knack for vomiting, she did it every single day, without fail. The withdrawal hit her hard, with nausea becoming her new normal. She shook constantly, and had random outbursts of rage, causing her to flail about, in the vicinity of her cell. Smashing her head against the walls, and banging on the bars with her fists of steel. Through each painfully drawn-out night, Nadia remained awake, and alert, counting down the seconds, in the dark.

She was granted only public defense, due to her lack of finances. With this in mind, Nadia was well aware that this day, would rely heavily on luck, or lack there of.

Arguments were shouted back and fourth. Dead babies, vs. insanity. Illegal Ketamine usage vs. a prescription of a harmful substance, by medical professionals, who failed to follow up. Psychosis vs. intentional murder. The list goes on and on. Nadia listened to the horrors she had committed. Watching as the jury gawked at her like a caged animal.

When the final verdict was announced, the gavel came down, and the judges voice echoed through the courtroom.

"I hereby sentence Nadia Mikhailov, to life in the psychiatric facility, Serbsky Institute. She is to obtain treatment, and rehabilitation on the bases of her psychotic behavior. She will be able to do this, while not being a harm to herself, or to others ever again."

Nadia felt her heart open wide as she jumped to her feet, and began to beg. "No, I can't be locked up for life. Please, no." Her attorney took hold of her shoulder, whispering in her ear.

"This is what we were going for Nadia. This is much more preferable to the alternative."

Nadia squirmed and continued her theatrics, as she was practically carried out the door.

"This is not the end, you here me? You'll see, I'm innocent. You'll see."

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