« Week #216 - Historical Redemption (or: Sin, Lizzie) »

SA Prompt | SA Results | BB Code
Date: 9-19-2016
Word Limit: 1200
Words Written: 11,475

Judges (crits):

Audio Recap: Lizzie Borden Week
Week Archivist:

On August 4, 1892, property developer Andrew Borden and his wife Abby were found murdered in their home, executed by numerous hatchet blows. Their daughter Lizzie was arrested as a major suspect in the crime, owing chiefly to the testimony of apparent sole witness, the housemaid Bridget Sullivan. After a contentious and publicized trial, Lizzie was acquitted of her crime, but as the quoted ditty above suggests, her perceived guilt followed her anyway, and she lived a pariah before passing away more than 30 years later.

To this day, no one's certain if she really killed her parents - both Lizzie and the maid's testimony was confusing and contradictory, the evidence on the scene was constantly being tampered with either by the witnesses or investigators, and Andrew Borden was by all accounts a nasty S.O.B. with no shortage of enemies - but her guilt became so memetic that as far as pop culture's concerned it probably makes no difference. In the foreword to his short story "Hitler Painted Roses," prolific author and legendary crank Harlan Ellison suggested that, depending on how cosmic justice actually functions, there's a good chance Lizzie Borden is burning in Hell for a crime she didn't commit. And that just ain't cricket.

Which brings me to the prompt: in 1200 words or less, write a story that absolves Lizzie Borden of her crimes. I'm being as broad as possible here - there are no constraints on genre, the story doesn't have to take place in the 1800's, it doesn't even need to feature the Bordens. Just so long as you find some way to pull Lizzie's feet a little further away from the fire, just about anything goes with content. I'll view more ambitious interpretations favorably so long as they stick the landing, but my one stipulation is no time travel. What happens in history, stays in history. Likewise I won't be too picky about research, but a quick glance as the relevant Wikipedia article would no doubt benefit many of you.

9 Total Submissions, 4 Total Failures:

Failures who signed up but did not submit: