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“The court will now hear the matter of Jamison vs. Pritchard. Will the plaintiff and the defendant please step forward.”

The soft hubbub of conversation fell away into an eerie silence as the two men walked forward. Cameras had been forbidden; the silence was broken by the scratching of pencils upon paper as the courtroom artists tried to capture the faces of the two men who were about to make judicial history.

The two men and the court’s officer stood before the new Judge. She was beautiful; an imposing figure that towered over them. Her polished bronze skin caught the dim light that filtered through the windows and shone with a deep glow. The blindfold over her eyes accentuated the graceful curve of her jaw, the elegant shape of her neck.

She held a sword aloft in her right hand, high above her head, and in her left hand, a pair of scales, thrust forward.

The court officer spoke to the plaintiff. “Place your right hand on the scale and state your full name for the record.”

Nervously, the plaintiff stretched out his hand, glancing upwards at the impassive face of the Judge.

“Lloyd Brenton Jamison,” he said, placing his hand palm down on the scale.

The court officer turned to the defendant. “Place your right hand on the scale and state your full name for the record.”

“Steven Alan Pritchard,” he said loudly and defiantly, placing his hand on the scale with an audible slap.

“The Judge will now issue her verdict,” said the court officer, taking several steps back.

The Judge whirred and clicked as the gears within her bronze body ground out their calculation. The plaintiff looked up nervously; the defendant stared defiantly back at the court observers. The court officer shuffled back another step.

The sound from within the Judge ceased. The court seemed to hold its breath for a moment.

Then, with a hiss of steam, the sword fell.

The court officer raised her voice to be heard over the shocked gasps of the audience.

“The court finds the defendant guilty.”

© Kari Fay

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