Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pricks and Pones

When the judge called for the defendant to be brought in, a curtain of gasps and whispers from both sides of the aisle preceded him.

Detective Stoole turned to see what the all the commotion was about, and nearly spat his tongue out when he saw the defendant's face. The man was black and blue all over his head, the left eyelid swollen and hanging over his cheek like the top of a soggy portobello mushroom. His jaw was veered to the right, and as he creaked his mouth open painfully with each step, the Detective could see he was even missing a few teeth. A prison guard had to hold the man steady as he walked up the courtroom to his attorney.

Stoole, mouth still wide open, spun to look at Warden Billingsley, who was standing just a few rows down from him. Billingsley raised his eyebrows and smiled widely back at him, and then conspiratorially rubbed his nose. Detective Stoole held his hands out, palms up, and mouthed something at him.

The Warden's smile didn't fade, but he mouthed back, "What?"

Detective Stoole walked down swiftly and stood next to the Warden. "What the hell have you done to him?" he asked, quickly but hushed.

The Warden couldn't help but let out a quiet laugh from deep in his belly. "Ah, don't worry, Detective, none of it will come bite us."

The Detective looked at him still puzzled. "But--why? What did you have to beat him up like that for?"

At this, the smile on the Warden's face turned into an annoyed frown. "Damn pervert, Stoole. He got what was comin'. Come, this isn't the first time you've seen this. I mean--what if it was your child, huh? It's a good thing you caught him, too. But you should know all that--you're the one who charged him."

Detective Stoole was utterly confused. What the hell was Billingsley talking about? "But it--it wasn't that bad," he whispered.

"Uh, I think," snorted Billingsley, "I think I know what's bad, and what's just utterly sick, Mr. Detective," he said, tapping a wad of paper that was folded in his pocket. It was a copy of the arresting charge that Stoole had filed.

Stoole snatched the document from the Warden's pocket and unfolded it quickly. He scanned through the details, and then he grew very still. "Oh shit," he said, "oh shit, oh shit".

Warden Billingsley peered back at him. "What?"

Stoole looked back. "The charge. It was supposed to be 'Downloaded porn illegally'," he said, "not 'Downloaded illegal porn'".

No comments:

Post a Comment