Sam Mitchell from “Sins And Virtues” by Cynthia Vespia

What is your story?

My name is Sam Mitchell and I spent the better part of the last two years in a women’s correctional facility…or in simpler terms I was in prison. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m innocent, oh no, I’m guilty of killing my husband. But apparently the self defense case didn’t fly in court…even though it was true.

What is your problem in the story?

After awhile I couldn’t take being housed behind bars with the rest of the rot of society. I planned and I plotted and finally made my escape from the prison treading miles and miles of a frigid body of water. In the midst of the wilderness in northern California I came across a cabin I thought was empty…unfortunately for me it wasn’t. The owner Ben Haskins was home writing. He’s something of a renowned fantasy author. His reality is about to get alot worse than his fictional worlds. Now I’m stuck with a captive and time is running out before the authorities track me down. But I won’t go back to prison…I’d sooner die first.

What do you want?

Freedom. Peace. To have the last few years back. My life was stolen from me, I want to get it back. And I intend to take it by any means necessary.

What, if anything, haunts you?

The time spent with my husband haunts me. He was an abusive man. Drunk and mean. He would beat me until his hands bled. Nevermind the sanctity of marriage. That was a clever way to get me under his control. He started out so sweet at first but once that ring went on his finger and mine he used it to control me.

Are you healthy?

That’s a good question and I’ll answer it because I’ve seen so many women rot away their health, both physically and mentally while they are behind bars. But I’ve always been an athlete and I’ve always been active. When they convicted me I swore to myself I would never let them break me. So I would while away the time in prison by maintaining my fitness level. But am I mentally healthy? You tell me.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Yes, I had a major turning point running into Ben Haskins. So many things have come to the surface for both of us. Most of the time we as humans will lock away our deepest feelings in a tiny box so we don’t have to deal with them. Once that box is open it is like Pandora, revealing everything and leaving you raw.

Was there ever a defining moment of your life?

The day I put my knife in my husbands belly. They defined me as murderer. It is a stigma I want to cast off my shoulders.

What is your most prized possession?

I used to have a collection of knives that I would call “my babies.” They were intricate in design, each one of them held special meaning for me. The biggest of those would play an integral part in the death of my husband.

What is your favorite scent?

My favorite scent is the smell of fresh brewed coffee. We tend to take for granted the simple things in life but once they are taken away from you then you begin to realize how good you really had it. In prison, all they offered was water processed mess. It made me miss a good strong cup of joe.

What is your favorite item of clothing?

I like to stay comfortable. As an athlete in school you would find me wearing sweats or track suits most of the time. And I’m a taller woman, alot of people told me I could’ve been a model, so I tend to have a hard time finding jeans that fit well. Loose fabrics that allow me movement…yeah, that’s the most comfortable. Of course I’ll take anything that isn’t a prison jumpsuit.

How do you envision your future?

At the moment, in this hostage situation with Ben Haskins and the police breathing down my neck I don’t see it ending well. You never know what is around the next corner but frankly I’m not willing to find out what they have in mind for me. So my future, once bright and full of possibility, is perhaps now going to crash and burn. We’ll find out soon enough.


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2 Responses to “Sam Mitchell from “Sins And Virtues” by Cynthia Vespia”

  1. Sheila Deeth Says:

    Great interview–the character really comes to life.

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