On Trial

 

“Bring forth the next defendant,” my booming baritone declares from my elevated position. You find yourself being hauled and pushed by two of my lieutenants as the drag you up some stairs. The noise of a raucous crowd grows as you emerge blinking and anxious into the dock. Your eyes dart about the crowded courtroom as you look for recognisable faces but none are apparent. You see elements of familiarity, are those our friends and family, but they seem different in some way? You cannot quite work it out. You just see stroppy wax-like faces, mouths agape, a torrent of bilious noise raining down towards you, fingers jabbing the air, arms being waved frenetically. A seething mass of anticipation and disapproval. The crack of a gavel being wielded cuts through the cacophony and all eyes turn, including your own to me as I sit across and above from you. Attired in judicial robes in accordance with my status, I stare at you, eyes narrowed and you shrink back under this unwavering gaze.

“Well,” I announce, “What have you got to say for yourself?”

You frown, puzzled by this question. You do not even know why you are here. You cannot think straight as there is a throbbing sensation in the middle of your brow and a sickness rising and falling in your stomach. Your shaking hands grasp the rail of the dock but you remain silent.

“I said,” I declare in a louder voice, “what have you got to say for yourself?”

The assembled crowd begin to chant.

“What? What? What? What?”

The noise increases as those who have crammed into the courtroom lean forward creating walls of sneering and sardonic faces all around you. The galleries are packed with eager voyeurs and the noise cascades down on to you. The gavel once again interrupts the crowd and a hush descends. There is an air of expectancy as I and the crowd wait for you to speak. You feel a jab in your side as one of the lieutenants elbows you, a savage prompt for you to talk.

“I don’t understand why I am here,” you say. Your voice sounds weak and quiet but it is apparent that everyone has heard you as there is a collective intake of breath and then you hear the intermittent remarks thrown towards you.

“Idiot!”

“Shameful!”

“So disrespectful!”

“Fool!”

Your eyes go back to me and you see me draw myself up bristling with indignity.

“You don’t understand?” I boom. The crowd start to jabber.

“She doesn’t understand!” “She doesn’t understand!”

“Such impertinence, you should know why you are here,” I declare pointing the gavel at you. The noise of the crowd subsides a they crane forward to hear what you have to say.

“No, I don’t understand.”

“Well you ought to understand and you ought to be addressing me properly,” I continue.

“Sorry?”

“Ah you are sorry are you? What are you sorry for?” I ask seizing on your reply.

“Er I meant I didn’t understand what you meant.”

“Ah, yet another lack of understanding,” I announce to the sound of tutting from the crowd. You can see heads shaking all around you.

“Are you an idiot? A fool? A simpleton?” I ask.

“Certainly not.”

“Certainly not, my lord,” I reply with a smile which bears no warmth.

You frown still unsure what on earth you are doing in this place and who all these people are and most of all why is it that I am sat as a judge presiding over you. I give you an encouraging look. You look left and right feeling uncertain before you speak again.

“Certainly not, my lord.”

“At last some progress,” I say. The crowd nod in approval.

“So, I shall ask you again, what have you got to say for yourself?”

“I do not understand why I am here,” I raise my eyebrows in expectation, “my lord.”

“Well you should!” I explode in a sudden rage.

“Yes you should, yes you should,” repeats the crowd.

“Why am I here?” you say but your question is drowned out by the noise.

“A week of silent treatment,” I announce and slam the gavel down with a loud crack.

“What for?” you cry puzzled and alarmed. There is gasp from the crowd at your question.

“Two weeks for such impertinence,” I add.

“This is not fair.”

“Three weeks for challenging our authority,” I announce.

“You cannot judge me, this is ridiculous, I don’t even know why I am here, I do not know what I am accused of.”

“Three weeks of silent treatment and a dose of triangulation with a replacement of our choosing,” I cry with a gleeful look in my eyes.

“You cannot do this,” you assert.

“What?” I roar, “I can do as I please.”

“This must be against the law; this is not right.”

“I am the law!” I roar.

“Surely you should tell me what I have done?”

“I should not have to do anything that you say, I am the judge.”

“Then what about the jury, surely they should decide whether I am guilty or not, whatever it is I am accused of.”

I look reflective for a moment.

“Yes, you have a point, very well, I shall allow it,” I decree in a magnanimous tone, “never let it be said that this court is unfair. Ask the jury.”

I point towards the jurors sat on the right hand side and you notice them for the first time. They are all staring at you. In actual fact you see my face twelve times staring at you.

“Guilty!” announces the first juror.

“Wait, I haven’t even asked you what I am guilty of yet!” you protest.

“Guilty!” cries the second juror.

“Guilty!” shouts the third.

You shake your heard utterly bewildered by the announcement of these verdicts.

“This is preposterous, no charge has been read out to me, I have not entered a plea and there should be a trial. This is a joke!” you cry.

“Six months of gas lighting to run consecutively to the earlier sentence!” I holler above the braying of the crowd.

“This isn’t fair.”

The pronouncements of guilt continue to ring out as the crowd chant “Guilty, guilty, guilty!” at you.

A man leans into the dock from behind you, he thrusts a microphone under your nose.

“Hello, Ian Sim from the Daily Smear, how do you feel?”

“What?” you reply backing away as another microphone appears.

“Hello, Mark Mywords from the Global Liar, what’s it like to be such a horrible person?”

“I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“Hi, Ivor Stain from Channel Bias, do you think you can cope with this sentence?”

“May Day from Bad News, did your family make you do it?”

More faces lean into the dock, jostling with one another as questions are hurled at you. The crowd’s noisiness continues as its members drive one another into a frenzy. You see my face times twelve as the jurors leap up and down, hooting and laughing as they point and continue to yell “guilty” in your direction. Through it all you can hear my baritone as more and more punishments are added to the already burgeoning list and your head swims with the barrage of sounds. Faces blur, nausea sweeps across you and your heart hammers in your chest. You feel hot, you feel faint and arms grab you from either side and pull you along the dock.

“What’s happening, I don’t understand, what I am supposed to have done?” you murmur.

“Don’t worry,” says a calm voice and you turn your head to see an elegant lady stood next to you, the lieutenants who were once there having disappeared. Who is this woman? Where has she come from? You have never seen her before.

“Don’t worry,” she repeats, “I will take care of him for you,” she smiles and promptly lets you go. She strides from the dock towards me as you teeter at the top of the stairs, the darkness of the cells somewhere beneath you and then you topple forward and crash into the chasm below.

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30 thoughts on “On Trial”

  1. So you waive the “reading of the charges” at these trials. My mother doesn’t, she announces the charges, loudly, and not just to me, but she broadcasts them to my sisters by phone.

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  2. You have done it again HG, that was an incredible story. Unbelievably well written and such a great metaphor for it all. I’m an old follower who’s back, yep back. When I came here to this site I was getting very strong thanks to all Hg’s books that I read on my kindle and this blog.
    The N came back, I let him in a tad, then a little more and well you know the rest…..I had what I believed was a transformed human being at last. 6 prior years of many, many discards and finally getting the strength to leave HIM. He came back with love in his heart, undies get pledges of a life he could NEVER live without me again…..and of course talk of a ring. 2 months of love bombing, love, closeness, normalcy, humanness and then he started the same old routine……AGAIN…….the edginess, the insinuations that I’m beneath him or not very smart, he became irritable, short fused, super busy and overwhelmed, he became and available for everyone but me and he began to respond to ANY kind of normal text, phone call etc with impatience and eventually rage. So I put a boundary out …I WONT PUT UP WITH YOU SPEAKING TO ME LIKE THAT ANYMORE, YOU HAVE MADE ME CRY 3 TIMES IN ONE WEEK. He stopped communication with me after that and has ignored my few emails. It’s been 2 months. Another punishment, discard for my crime as HG so briallliantly describes here.
    Yes, I’m back. Back in the cellar.

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  3. To correct myself he did respond once almost 2 months after his silence and my 3rd attempt at reaching him, he said,” leave me alone. Quit texting, emailing, messaging etc. You do not exist in my world anymore”.

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      1. Much as I love your stuff HG, my being back is bitter sweet naturally.
        Funny how deep down one can think all this knowledge may be wrong after all, you hope your guy is different after all…..

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  4. Another way to view this is the wounded child in you playing “King of the Mountain.” Current partner is being devalued because she is now irritating you. Her once golden traits that attracted you to her, you now find yourself envious you don’t feel those feelings of love and happiness yet within your core. If you can’t feel those, then you must not be perfect…or not superior. That risks you being rejected. So this is the offensive move to project onto her and start the cycle over with someone new to receive plenty of adulation and avoid your worst fear of abandonment.
    I think a lot of readers will naturally focus on the victim in this piece because they will empathize being in those shoes. But the real story in this one is all with YOU my dear. You deflecting on her.

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    1. I am so fascinated by the way of writing and in my mind I make myself a movie, that I failed to see that this could be the sad situation of somebody and on a very cruel way 😢….
      Its like my scape valve of all the pressure at work. ( specially today) to turn words in movies on my head and its for me so easy to do it with your stories..
      So now more feet on the ground ..
      Its was cruel and MLA was right.. The victim 😢..
      But you are so good at this writing

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  5. This is BRILLIANT! I can laugh but I know this feeling. Id tell XN he was my Judge and Jury all the time!

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  6. Wow! All of your writing is very good, but this is outstanding piece of writing. you had me on the edge of my seat. It was triggering too. I could see everything play out in my mind. This reminds me of Kafka’s “The Trial,” but personally I prefer this. You captured that feeling of utter frustration and helplessness in your defendant/victim. Kudos.

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    1. Thank you LO. Indeed it aimed to capture that sensation that Kafka embodied brilliantly in The Trial (and also the Castle) because from what victims have told me , dealing with our kind is very much the Kafka-esque nightmare. Maybe I will just call Lesley Josef K from now on.

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  7. Reading this, HG, it seems you have enormous empathy for the way your defendant/victim feels, because the feelings you describe are spot on. But I know it’s just cold empathy the judge/you can use against your victim if you wish to get more fuel from your victim’s suffering. If only the heat could be turned on under that empathy to turn it warm and used to care for and comfort instead … I know, just a silly fantasy. But I can keep dreaming though, can’t I? Sometimes dreams come true…

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    1. Dreams come True <3 <3

      Come with me, and we will fly together,
      to a place, where we can love forever,

      Take my hand, and we will see tomorrow,
      only joy, and no more tears or sorrow,

      A love I never knew, until I found you,
      I promise that I do, believe that dreams come true.

      Miracles will be, look at you and me,
      heaven helped us to, believe that dreams come true

      In this moment, filled with deep emotion
      hold me tight, you'll feel my true devotion.

      A love I never knew, until I found you,
      I promise that I do, believe that dreams come true.

      Miracles will be, look at you and me,
      heaven helped us to, believe that dreams come true,
      believe that dreams come true.

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      1. Its a song LO. Not invented by me. Its extremely beautiful. Stunning but unfortunately the words not created by my brain ( I am left handed) who is better with numbers and curves than writing LOL. But those words went deep into my heart… dreams come true <3

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      2. Of course! Diestro y siniestro its the same in spanish but I always say handed. I had no clue about Dexter. Thanks !!! I enrich my vocabulary. So its not only a series which Ns watch.. That I learned here from T and Clarence 😂.

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