[Continued from SINLESS SLUMBER (Part III)]
“Where are we?” asked Clara.
“In the hospital” replied John.
“So, I’ve been acquitted?”
“Don’t be so sure.”
“Ah, yes, John. Thank you for bringing her in.”
Clara was shifted back to her ward. John had gone to assist Charlie with the investigation and a junior inspector had taken charge.
Dr. Harvey came in the ward to talk to Clara.
“Ms. Martinez, we meet again. How are you now?”
“Same, only more exhausted.”
“Hmm. Clara can you tell me more about your insomnia? Have you felt anything else? Any hallucinations or nightmares or anything?”
“I’ve been an insomniac for about four months now… after mom died… and I don’t have nightmares or… or hallucinations. Uhh, doctor, I don’t know if it’s important, but Aram told me that I walk in my sleep. I’ve stayed with him for a couple of nights, after my mom died, to cope with the trauma. I… I thought he was joking until –” she drifted away.
“I found myself on the sidewalk this morning. Which is surprising because I slept in my own room! I told Yamila about it but she thought I was playing around. Doctor, what’s… what’s wrong with me? Do I really sleepwalk?”
“I’ll get back to you on that. I’ll go now but you take rest. Okay? Take rest.”
Dr. Harvey called Charlie and told him about what he had learned,
“Inspector, like I had said, the benzodiazepine is making her walk in her sleep.”
“Yes. That means that she is going around in her sleep but is unaware of what she is doing.”
“How serious is it?”
“I can’t really answer that for you but going by the amount of the drug in her blood, its not negligible. You know, she told me that she found herself on the sidewalk this morning.”
“Yeah. I know about that. She mentioned it during interrogation.”
“You think this could be a case of homicidal somnambulism?”
“Possibly, but I’m not the right person to comment on this.”
“Hmm. Thank you, Dr. Harvey.”
“John, I think Clara is innocent after all.”
“I just got a call from Dr. Harvey. He confirmed that Clara walks in her sleep and that she might have murdered Zahn in her sleep. She was saying the truth after all, about the sidewalk incident.”
“In that case, sir…”
“In that case, John, this matter is closed.”
Senior Inspector Charlie Finne had charged Clara Martinez for the murder of Aram Zahn, based on circumstantial evidence. They called it ‘homicidal somnambulism’ – a condition where the accused commits a murder without being aware of the act. Clara Martinez had murdered her fiancé, Aram Zahn, in an unconscious state of mind between 05:30 and 05:50 a.m. on 28th September, 1998. Since she was not fully aware of the murder at the time of committing it, she was not sentenced to prison. She was acquitted on the grounds of insane automatism. However, she was ordered by the court to attend a mental institution for rehabilitation and to prevent any such acts in the future.
This is a work of fiction and is purely for entertainment purposes. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. Drawing any medical conclusions and references from this work is strictly discouraged.