An Ugly Affair

The twin stacks of paper weighed the table down under thousands of g’s of emotional weight.  Gary looked at the left one.  That one was the last will and testament of Charles Davis the senior, the recently deceased sausage king of Trenton, New Jersey.  The second was the divorce papers for Charles Davis the junior and his wife of twenty-four years Gwen Davis, soon to be Gwen Paris.  Gary had crafted hundreds of both types of documents during his time as a family practice lawyer, but never had to deliver both in the same day.

The door to his office opened up and his secretary, Janice, poked her silver haired head in.  “Ms. Davis is here,” Janice said.  “Where would you like me to seat her?”

Gary looked at those two stacks of paper and shook his head.  “Might as well bring her in here,” he replied.  “Make sure to let Charley in as soon as he gets here.”

Janice nodded.  “Will do,” she said as she pulled her head back outside his door.

A moment later Gwen marched through the door.  The black dress she wore might have been something one would wear to a nightclub, but on Gwen it took on aspects of a suit of armor.  She cowered behind it as she took the seat Gary pointed out for her.

Gary looked at those piles of papers again.  “Look, Gwen.  I should recues myself from this.  I…”

“That will not be a problem,” Gwen said, cutting Gary off at the verbal legs.  “After these past few weeks I would like to keep this amongst us.  I trust I will not have to worry about your professional integrity, or will I?”

Gary shook his head and stared at those documents.  “No,” he said.

The room was silent for what seemed like thirty minutes, but was really closer to three until Charles came through the door.  Charles was in his usual suit and tie, but he was disheveled and the smell of whiskey softly permeated the room.  He gave Gary a weak smile and shrug of the shoulders.  “Sorry about that,” Charles said.  He took off the suit coat and hung it on the coat rack.  “I was toasting Dad with the guys from the plant.  I got a bit too into it and almost forgot.”

Gwen folded her arms and looked down her nose at Charles as she looked up at him.  “Memory problems?” she asked.  “Sounds typical.”

Charles looked at Gwen at turned red.  “Yeah, well I got here, so let’s get this crap over with,” Charles said.  He then looked back to Gary.  “I don’t mean you do crap.  It’s just this'” he gestured at Gwen, “is never going to go well.”

Gwen gave a short staccato laugh.  “You should have thought about that before picking your grave.  Now you get to lay in it,” she said.

Charles flinched, and his eyes began to water.  “That’s the Gwen I know.  Full of finesse and tact,” Charles sneered.  “Want to go spit on the old man’s grave stone?”

“No, only yours,” Gwen replied as the temperature of the conversation dropped by fifty degrees.  “Your father was a gentleman, unlike his pathetic two timing son.  What about you Gary?”

“Look guys, I think this is a bad idea,” Gary said.  “I really need to recues myself.  I could lose my license to practice over this.”

Gwen snapped her eyes to Gary’s and he felt them boring into his soul.  “We already discussed this.  I am not going to talk to some stranger about my personal business.  You owe me at least that much dignity.”

Charles took the other seat in the office.  “You’re Dad’s executor.  You need to at least do the will.”

Gary pointed at the pile of papers representing the last will and testament of Charles senior.  Without that damn thing Gary wouldn’t be in the trouble he was in.  Of course that wasn’t true, it was his own foolishness.  Still he had to figure out a way to get out of this.  “I can ask a different partner to adjudicate the will,” Gary said.  He turned to Gwen.  “They can use the documents I’ve drafted.  You won’t have to talk to anyone except the judge when it gets to court.  Your dignity will be intact.”

Gwen shook her head no.  “We do both here.  Now get started.  You are wasting my time,” Gwen said.  Gary looked over to Charles from some help, but Gwen cut in, “Unless the two of you need a moment alone.”

Charles was about to explode, but Gary cut him off with a look.  Charles went from pissed to bemused in less time it took Gary’s heart to skip a beat when he realized saw he had lost more than he had expected.

Gary pointed at the pile on the left.   “Okay, first the will,” Gary said.

 

 

 

Two hours of hell later, Gwen walked to the door.  She paused before opening it.  “I expect my copies of the documents by the end of the week, and I want my part of the trust to be available in a month.  I have some travel planned.”

Gary put his hand up.  “I can’t get things through that quickly,” he said.  “I can’t promise that.”

“You moved pretty fast when you had the proper motivation,” Gwen said.  “Make it happen.”  She then left the room, the door slamming closed the final punctuation mark to end the conversation.

“Btich!” Charles exclaimed.  “Now you see why I did it.  She is such an ice queen.”

“That’s the reason you did it?” asked Gary.  “Really?”

“What, wait what’s wrong with you?” Charles asked.

Gary shook his head.  Too bad he didn’t use that part of his body more often lately.  “It was all about getting back at her, wasn’t it?” Gary asked.

“Don’t you go all girly on me,” Charles said.  “Not you too.”  Charles got up and swept the papers and books off of Gary’s desk.  “Not you too.”

Gary looked at the contents of his desk on the floor.  “One dumb move after another.  He got up from his desk and headed to the coat rack.  “What are you doing?” asked Charles.

Gary took Charles’ coat off the rack and held it out to him.  “It’s time for you to go.  I’ll send a courier over with your copies,” Gary said.

Charles took the coat from Gary.  “Look, I didn’t say it right.  I’m sorry.  Please come over.”

Gary opened the door.  “You are sorry, but not about us,” Gary said.  “I was stupid for falling for you in the first place.”

Charles flipped Gary the bird.  “We could have been something,” Charles said as he stormed out of the office.

Gary closed the door slowly.  “Yeah, but I would have been Gwen.”

The Trial of Adam part 2

Alice Abernathy had graduated top of her class from law school, and that was the low point of her career.  That was why Adam had hired her.  That and they had dated a while back,  She had dumped him for a multitrillionaire playboy who thought he could get a prenup worth a damn past her.  She now was so rich she owned a few small planetoids.  Still, when Adam had called she had come running.  The publicity from defending a murderer who happened to be the federation’s foremost xenobiologist and an A list celebrity of his own right was too good to pass up.  She was even doing it pro bono.  Well, kind of.  She had first publishing rights, but Adam didn’t care about it.  He still held holograph rights.

Alice was still beautiful enough to take his breath away, but right now Adam needed that awesome brain than that rock hard body located under that dark blue suit.   “So what is the betting line?” asked Adam.

“You are dead by morning is two to one,” Alice said, no hint of a smile in her eyes at all.

“Now that would be swift miscarry of justice,” Adam said.  “We still have to go through all the appeals.”

Alice pointed at the table.  “You might not want to do that,” she said.  “They are offering you a deal.”

“Okay, Adam said.  “Lay it on me.”

“Exile to the newest penal world.  There you will work on identification and classification.  You will have some autonomy, but you would still be a prisoner,” Alice said.

Adam picked up one of the sheets of paper.  It was written in the arcane legalese that only those who had pledged their being to the system were allowed to learn.  He didn’t like that thought since that would mean the system got one step further than he did with Alice, and his ego wouldn’t accept that.  “So that should take like ten years, fifteen tops.” Adam said.  “What happens after that?”

“After that?  There is no after that,” Alice said.  “You settle in till that long dark goodnight.”

Alice would have been a poet if she didn’t love putting people in their place.  “That’s bullshit,” Adam said.  “A life sentence?”

Alice actually stomped her foot.  He had gotten under her skin.  She still had a flame for him.  “Bullshit?” she asked.  “You murdered fifty people on that colony.”

“Allegedly,” said Adam.

“No, not allegedly anymore.  You were found guilty by a sitting jury.  You are a murderer,” Alice said.

“They committed suicide,” countered Adam.  “If they had listened to me they would all be alive and I would have won yet another Confederation Star of Science.”

“You told them to starve slowly while you took the only emergency spacecraft out of the system,” Alice said.

“And they stupidly decided to go hunting on a world I had already declared uncolonizable.  The creatures were so poisonous and borderline sentient that unless you flattened most of the forests from orbit the settlers would be overrun.  Staying in the settlement pod was their only chance.  Yes, it would have been uncomfortable, but most people can stand a two month fast and recover with little or no lasting effects,” Adam said.

Alice looked at him that told him he was crossing a line, but he had been silent about this for so long.  She never let him get on the stand to testify for himself.  He could have shown that idiotic jury and judge that he had done what was needed.  “The Federation needed to know before the next settlement ship put out.  The teleport gate had collapsed so there was no other way than to get far enough to engage a wormhole.”

Alice crossed her arms and looked him in the eye.  “You did it because you wanted to have the credit of your fiftieth world identified and classified.  You knew that Pederson was about to file and you wanted to beat him to the punch.”

“Is that what you’re writing in your version of the story?” asked Adam.

Alice didn’t even blink.  “The worst thing about it is you had room to take ten of them with you.  Ten less people to share what little food was left.”

“Ten more idiots to live with,” Adam said.  Alice looked down her nose at him in disgust.  ”You know exactly what I mean Alice.  Don’t lie to yourself, much less me.  You would have pushed the bastards out the airlock as soon as you were in vacuum.”

“But I wasn’t there to do it,” Alice said.  “I didn’t leave those people to die since help took over four months to get there.”

“It wasn’t my fault I had technical difficulties with the wormhole generator,” Adam said.  “I’m not a dumb engineer.  I’m a scientist.”

Alice poked her finger into his chest.  “It was your fault.  The jury has said so.  Now I was able to get this deal for you and I suggest you take it.”

Adam turned away from Alice and walked towards the door he had come in.  Once again he wanted to scream.  Didn’t they see what a mistake they were making.  He was worth not fifty of those settlers, but fifty thousand at least.  If he wasn’t there when they arrived they would have died in mere days.  He at least had given them a chance.  Still, here he was.  He needed more information.  “What are the alternatives?” Adam asked.

“You will be sentenced to death by scattering teleportation,” Alice said matter of factly.  “I have been told in no uncertain terms that this will be the end game for the state.  No other offers, no other possibilities.”

Adam didn’t turn around.  His thoughts scattering in the hurricane force winds whirling through his mind.  “After everything I have done for the Federation?” he asked.

“Because of those things, and the strings I pulled you are getting one last chance to work,” Alice said.  She walked up behind Adam, but didn’t not reach out to console him.  For some reason that suited him for the moment.

“Look, I can get you your own accommodations, separate from the general population.  You will still have a lab and a chance to do your magic one last time.  Who knows what might happen,” Alice said.

Adam didn’t move a muscle, the winds finally settling in his head.  He didn’t want to do anything to disturb their natural flow.  He looked for patterns, just like he did in the biomes he studied.

“Look, the populace wants you gone.  This deal was tough to get. I promise I’ll work on getting you back sometime,” Alice said.

Finally Adam saw the pattern and he shook his head in disbelief.  He turned and looked Alice in the eye.  “Tell them I’ll take it, but they are making a huge mistake,” Adam said.  Alice looked relieved.  “Oh, and just because I’m exiled doesn’t mean you get the holograph rights.”

Alice shook her head and moved to the door and pounded on it.  She called out, “Henry, the bastard’s all yours.”

The Trial of Adam part 1

Adam Durst looked at the bars of his cell and contemplated if this whole thing was real.  His lack of freedom told him it was, but still Adam was in disbelief.  He should be outside these walls, flying through space on his own exploration mission.  To boldly go where… well wherever he wanted.  Didn’t they get it?  He was an explorer, plain and simple, but now he circled the cell like the caged animal he was.  “This can’t be happening,” he said to no one.

That’s why he startled when a voice replied.  “Mr. Durst, it is most certainly happening.”  The owner of the voice materialized around the corner of the hallway.  Henry was an old school guard who was secretly counting the days till he could get out of jail and into retirement.  Following Henry was his lap dog and trainee, Wendell.  “Time to meet your lawyer,” Henry said.

“Should we shackle him?” asked Wendell with a grin on his face.

Henry shook his head.  “I don’t think Mr. Durst will give us any troubles.  Wouldn’t you agree?” Henry asked Adam.

Adam didn’t like Henry, but could respect the man.  Wendell, well he was going to either be a tyrant when Henry retired or out of the system as a statistic.  “I’m a model prisoner,” Adam said.  “I walk a mean walkway.”

Henry didn’t even acknowledge the joke.  He just unlocked the door and waived Adam threw.  Adam walked through and pretended to check the nonexistent pockets of his orange jumpsuit.  “Sorry Henry, I must have left my tipping money in my other suit,” Adam said.

Wendell got into Adam’s face.  “You think you’re funny?” Wendell asked.

Henry put a hand on Wendell’s arm, moving him out of Adam’s space.  “Mr. Durst, are we about to have an issue?” Henry asked.

Adam rubbed his shoulder in remembrance of the last issue he had with Henry.  Sucks when you trip and fall hard into cell bars.  Especially when an old guard who is still built like a linebacker falls on top of you.  At least that’s what the accident report had said.  Yep, old school.  “Nope Henry.  No issues,” Adam said.

Henry nodded and closed the empty cell door.  He then gestured down the wide hallway and the three of them began to walk in a line, with Adam in the middle.  They walked in silence till they came to the private meeting rooms.  Henry unlocked the third one, opened it up, and waived for Adam to walk in.  “Miss Abernathy is waiting for you,” Henry said.

Adam nodded to Henry and entered the room.  Alice Abernathy sat at the table, her briefcase exploded over the entire flat space.  This was not going to be fun.  Henry began to close the door, but Adam stopped him.  “Henry, when you retire you should look into being a doorman.  You would be so good at it, and you would still get to wear a uniform,” Adam said.

Henry smiled a very flat smile through pursed lips.  Adam knew he would pay for that one later, but maybe Henry wouldn’t do anything because Alice had heard the exchange.  Henry’s eyes seem to say the same thing, but then Adam caught a glance of Wendell.  There was a promise of a whole lot of hurt there.  Yep, definitely a statistic.

“Miss Abernathy, he is all yours, unless you wish us to take him back right now,” Henry said.

Alice sighed and shook her head.  “That is tempting, but no, I need to prep him for sentencing tomorrow,” she said.

“As you wish,” Henry said to Alice, but he kept his eyes on Adam.  Yeah, maybe old school would allow for some extracurricular activities tonight.  Adam shuddered as the door closed.

A Writer’s Dilema

Slowly the world resolved itself and Dorothy walked out of the house.  “Crap,” she said, noticing the feet sticking out from underneath the house, “I’m going to need a lawyer.”

 

‘Do you want to play a game?’

David reached behind the computer and flicked the switch.  “No, not really,” he said.

 

“Life is like a box of chocolates, you eat the whole box then puke them up,” said Forrest.

“Why do you say that?” asked the African American woman sitting on the bench next to him.

Forrest pukes in her lap.  “Because it hurt my tummy,” he said.

 


 

I look at my computer screen.  “I can’t even write good fan fict!  Time to hang it up,” I say to myself as I push away from the computer.  I pause before getting up.  “Then again, maybe one more try.”


 

 

Dr. Who stepped out of the tardis and into the hot African jungle.  The man in front of him seemed to go blue with streaks of lightning for a moment.  As the man looked around, trying to get his bearings Dr. Who said, “Dr. Beckett I presume?”

Dr. Becket replied, “Oh boy.”

 


I smile.  “I’ve still got it baby,” I say and dive back in.