Trial and Ego | Teen Ink

Trial and Ego

September 20, 2022
By Anonymous

Author's note:

This is a One Shot Story.

The author's comments:

This is a One Shot Story

The library is quieter than usual, the only noises to be heard being the humming of the librarian's computer, a few people whispering to each other, the rustle of pages turning, and a wet mop hitting a marble floor. The main library is fairly small but contains lots of shelves full of books along the walls. The library also contains four rooms containing books about fiction, history, government and politics, and a room full of children's books. There are a handful of people in the library, the librarian, the janitor, two police officers, the mayor, and four normal people watching the mayor from a distance. The policemen are standing in front of the mayor as he puts away the books he was reading. The janitor sighs and looks at the digital clock on the librarians desk, it is 4:55 pm on a Monday.

“Finally! I can get the heck out of here!”

“Yes, after you put away your cleaning utensils”

The janitor groans

“Yeah, Yeah, I know”

The janitor walks to his closet and quickly puts away his cleaning supplies and uniform. He is about to walk out the door when a sudden scream is heard near the government room. The janitor turns around to find the mayor sitting up on the floor, feeling his back.

“Who mopped this floor!?”

“I did, didn’t you see me?”

“No! And I also didn’t see a wet floor sign!”

“Well I forgot to put one down alright? Besides, you could've at least heard the mop.”

“I didn’t!”

“Well it's not my fault ya can’t hear old man”

The mayor stares at him in disbelief, everyone in the library gasps.

“What’s your name, son?”

“Shean, and I’m not your son grandpa”

The mayor snaps his fingers and a police officer hands him a big sheet of paper from the mayor’s bag. The mayor stands up and walks up to Shean.

“I’ll be seeing you in court, boy”

“What?! You're suing me for mopping the floor?! That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever-“

The mayor walks towards the exit before Shean can finish his sentence. The police officers follow behind, talking on their radio.

“You’d best be ready for friday!”

The mayor and the police officers exit the building. The librarian glares at Shean.

“If I get involved in this, your fired”

Shean sighs

“Don’t worry, I’ll figure something out and everything will go back to normal before you

know it”

“You’d better”

Shean walks out of the library, gets into his car and drives off. Later that evening, Shean meets with his friends at a small restaurant called Food, Water, Atmosphere. They all go to this restaurant when they want to meet and talk. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the aroma of food in the air is succulent and delectable and puts everyone at ease. There is also a small water fountain in the middle of the restaurant. The restaurant isn’t too busy and soon they get seated at a booth quickly, Shean sits on one side while his friends both sit on the other. They chat, order, chat some more and their food comes. Soon after Shean is done eating, the topic of his lawsuit comes up.

“You got a lawsuit from the mayor?!?”

“Yeah, I did. It’s not that big of a deal though”

“‘Not that big of a deal?’ The mayor has been handing out lawsuits like halloween candy these past few months. Every single one of them he’s won, and now he’s sued you”

“For what? Doing my job? Not my fault the guy has terrible hearing, ya gonna eat those fries Luke?”

Luke shakes his head and Shean grabs a handful.

“But Shean, what if he-”

“What’s he gonna do Luke? Revoke my citizenship and make me move somewhere else?”

Shean eats a couple of french fries while chuckling to himself, but his friends look him dead in the eyes.

“What? He can’t really do that, can he?”

Luke slowly nods his head repeatedly, Shean’s smile disappears.

“Duke! Is this true?!?”

“Yes, the mayor can and has revoked peoples citizenship, and thus, they had to move.”

“Oh geez, if i’d know that I wouldn't of called him old”

“You what?!?”

“That is a death sentence my friend, he hates being called old”

“Great, guess my opportunity to quit being a janitor and actually do something with my life will come in another city”

“What? You're not gonna fight back?”

“I don’t know the first thing about being a lawyer.”

“Well, first of all, you would be the client. And second, have you forgotten that your friend is one of the best lawyers in this city?”

“Really!? Who?”

Duke rolls his eyes and groans while Shean snickers.

“Sorry, so you’d really help me?”

“What else are friends for? Also the publicity will be good for my career.”

After eating and paying for their meal, Duke, Shean and Luke go to Duke’s house to prepare for the trial.

“So you didn’t place a wet floor sign?”

“Ugh, look, I forgot to place one alright? Why couldn’t the mayor see that?”

“He probably saw it as you threatening his position. He wasn’t always such a jerk you know, it all started when he became mayor, due to his status going from citizen to mayor I'll bet he got overwhelmed with power. So now he sues anyone who threatens that position and or power.”

Shean and Duke stare at Luke in shock

“What? Just spitballing here”

Duke pulls himself together

“In any case, we still have to think about how I'm going to defend Shean.”

Duke types on his computer while Shean pulls himself together

“Well, it was an accident and he didn’t look too hurt from the fall. Maybe we could say he’s overreacting?”

“Or perhaps, we can use the mayor’s biggest weakness against him!”

Shean and Luke look and Duke confused until they both realize what Duke is talking about, Shean laughs

“I like it!”

“Are you sure you both can win the trial with that argument?”

“Well, if we play our cards right we can not only be found not guilty but also get the mayor out of office!”

Shean and Duke spend the rest of the week planning and revising for the trial, with Luke there to give suggestions and to help in any way he can. Some more days of planning pass and the day of the trial arrives. Duke, Shean, and Luke approach the courthouse confident in their plan. As they enter the courthouse, the mayor is waiting in the lobby.

“What are you doing out here?”

“I’ll give you one last chance, son. Admit your guilt, and I'll only fine you $1000.”

“I’m not giving you a cent, old man.”

The mayor grins maliciously

“Oh, you will regret EVER moving into this city.”

The mayor walks into the courtroom cackling while being escorted by two police officers. Shean groans and Duke sighs

“Well, let's get this over with”

“I’ll be rooting for you guys!”

“Thank you, Luke”

Duke and Shean walk into the courtroom, it's fairly big with a few windows, the room is very clean and has benches near the upper right corner of the room for the jury. The desks at the front are spaced a reasonable distance apart. There are also many benches that go up to the upper part of the room, stopping at a small polished wooden wall. A TV with a dvd player on a moving desk sits in the upper right corner of the room next to the jury. Duke and Shean take their places at the right front desk, the mayor is across from them. Luke sits on a bench close to the front row behind Duke and Shean. Ten minutes later, the trial begins.

“All rise. Shean Hesten and Duke Risenbur, do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”

Shean and Duke respond at the same time

“I do, your Honor”

“And Lawrence Sticbuh, do you-”

“Yes, I do. Can we get this over with? I’ve got more important things to do.”

The judge sighs.

“Very well. Plaintiff, you have the floor. Present your case.”

Lawrence walks in front of the podium.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I was involved in an accident, an accident that could have cost me my life! I was just about to leave the government room in the city’s public library when I slipped and fell on a cold, hard, wet floor. There was no warning, no wet floor sign, and when I asked this janitor for help, he said ‘You could have at least heard the mop, not my fault you can’t hear, old man’. I couldn’t have heard it because the room was sound proof! In any case, I intend to prove that Shean Hesten has all malicious intentions of making my slip and fall on the library floor. Thank you.”

Lawrence sits back down.

“Defendant, you now have the floor.”

Duke stands up and walks in front of the podium.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, today I intend to prove my client's innocence with the fact that the accident occurred due to Lawrence’s current state at the time. Thank you.”

Duke sits back down

“Plaintiff, do you have any evidence to support your claim?”

“I don’t need evidence, if I lose this trial I’ll get Food, Water, Atmosphere closed down!”

Everyone in the courtroom groans. Shean whispers to Duke

“There it is”

Duke whispers to Shean

“Just like we planned”

The judge rubs his forehead

“Okay, defendants. Do you have any evidence?”

Shean and Duke stand up

“We do your honor, a video tape that will prove my innocence”

“I’ll allow it”

Shean enters the dvd into the dvd player and lets the clip of Lawrence slipping on the wet floor in the library play before rewinding it and handing the remote to Duke.

“As you can see here, when the police walk out of the room they walk away from the mopped area. Whereas Lawrence walks straight into it, proving that the police officers heard the mop. So why didn’t Lawrence hear the mop? Well it’s simple, because of how long he's been alive one could only assume it is because Lawrence’s hearing isn’t what it used to be.”

Everyone in the courtroom snickers except for Lawrence, who is mad

“I did hear the mop! I ju-”

“Then why did you sue my client for something that was your fault?”

“I- Well- You just-”

“So the reason you couldn’t hear the mop is because you're old?”

Everyone in the courtroom laughs except for Lawrence, who is furious

“I’m not old! And you know what? If this is how I'm going to be treated as mayor from now on, then I QUIT!”

“So the plaintiff pleads guilty?”

“Yes! Whatever! Just get me out of here! I never want to see any of you again!”

“The plaintiff has pleaded guilty, Lawrence will be charged $1000 and will have to do 20 hours community service in compensation for all his wrongdoings as mayor. Trial Dismissed.”

Lawrence storms out of the courtroom with a bunch of news reporters following him, trying to get an interview. Moments later, Shean and Duke walk out of the courtroom and into the lobby, Luke catches up with them.

“You guys really did it!”

“Yeah, I’m really glad it worked! I definitely couldn’t have done this without you guys”

“Well since Lawrence has quit his position as mayor someone needs to fill the role”

“Yeah your right Duke, we're gonna need a new mayor”

“And you're lookin at him! I’ll run for mayor and make this city great! Though I will need some help. Whaddya say guys, wanna help me run for mayor?”

Luke and Duke smiled to each other and said:

“What else are friends for?”

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