The Glass Gavel

January 16, 2010
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“I…I…I don’t know…” the sweating man responded, defeated. “I was drunk at the time. The entire night was a blur.”

Honorable Judge Queenie K. Washington-Brown gave little attention to the stammering man, for his fate had already been sealed. Instead, her attention was directed to the cold, glass gavel rotating between her fingers. She amused herself with memory of the many questions she received concerning the strange mallet’s two engravings, one on each face. When asked about the ruby-red rose, she would simply laugh and push the question out of her mind, never mentioning that it so happened to be both her favorite flower and color. Other times, when a friend or family member saw the colorless cross, cane, and celestial star and concocted a question, she would always avoid mentioning the iron-clad, cruel inflexibility that was religious belief.

“He was drunk. How typical. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, don’t allow this murderous drunk to walk the streets. Who knows what poor, innocent child could be next? With this, I leave you to your verdict.” The eyeglass-donning prosecutor returned to his seat.

The jurors debated for less than an hour – a sign that is never be fortunate for accused party. Honorable Judge Queenie K. Washington-Brown was not surprised, though; destiny cannot be restrained.

“Has an anonymous verdict been reached?” Queenie asked, not to fill her own pre-educated knowledge, but instead to keep with regulation.

A woman at the end of the juror’s bench stood. “We have, Your Honor. In the case of involuntary manslaughter, we find Clyde Montel guilty.”

Honorable Judge Queenie K. Washington-Brown nodded for a moment. She lifted her gavel to gaze once more at the cross, cane, and celestial star and then began her decree. “Death is rarely a fortunate event. It is even more unfortunate when death arrives before it is written in God’s book. I must say that I am absolutely appalled that someone would trade safety for a shot of brandy and a sip of liquor. For this reason, I believe I am within my boundaries to issue the punishment of life imprisonment. Mr. Montel, consider yourself excused.” Gavel in-hand with the cross, cane, and celestial star facing the dark wood of her stand, she lowered her fist twice. Queenie then looked to the floor, and it was clear no more would be said.

“Got another case for you, Queenie,” Steve the Bailiff stated with a smile. “Rape-homicide. Should be interesting. Mr. Devon won’t know what hits him.” He then walked off with a few throaty cackles.

Queenie sighed as she quickly skimmed through the case file. She then looked to her left and her right, her front and her rear, and then lifted her gavel once again. She rotated it through her fingers in the manner she knew so very well. Suddenly, she slammed the mallet to the desk. She then lifted it, twisted her wrist, and was greeted with a glow of red.

“You are a lucky man, Mr. Devon…”

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Mandy said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 6:58 am
Good Job Lee... I remember this story.Congrats!
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