30 Days of Fiction: 21

IN a car dressed in black a man sat, or nearly sat, as what he was actually doing was bouncing up and down on the seat. His eyes starred forward never blinking. His hands clutched the steering wheel as if it were the only thing keeping him from flying out of the moonroof and into the sky. 'Come on, Come on,' he thought as he watched the house on the corner with the one light on in its upstairs window. He was the moth to the light's flame and just as the light went black so did the man stop bouncing. His grip slowly released from his anchor and his hands took on a new task. His face went serious as the mask came down.

 The door opened without a sound and closed without a peep. He stood at the front door for a moment admiring its ornate wooden artwork. He felt the grooves in the wood for what felt like forever before hopping the fence designed to keep out small dogs. He was not a small dog but instead, a large hungry cat pouncing into the backyard where the glass on the back sliding doors was only held together by tape and boards. It had been the victim of a senseless act of vandalism the evening prior. Unfortunately for this cat, there was another animal waiting for its prey in that very yard.

The cat never made it in the house but was instead sitting in a chair feeling the pain from both his head and his wrists. He looked down at them to find that they were connected to the arms of his new chair with steel handcuffs made all too tight for his liking. The dim lighting only revealed a few details as he looked around the room. Brick walls all around, stairs leading upward off in the distance, one all too powerful light that blinded anyone who looked directly at it as one might do if they were confused about their situation.

As his eyes adjusted from to the darkness he saw another thing. It was a dimly visible shape of a large podium or desk. Just then an overhead light flashed on and a door could be heard from somewhere off in the distance. The stairs ached under the weight of the loud footsteps descending them and soon another figure could be seen. He wore a long black judge's cloak and was eating a small orange as he came into the view of the man in the chair and then, without looking over, took his place behind the tall desk.

They stared at each other without speaking. One with wide eyes that didn't blink and one with eyes that seemed to have no other concern than of the orange he was eating.

"Who are you," the man in the cuffs asked calmly.

The man continued to eat his orange.

"You're not going to like how this turns out," the cat said sternly with all sincerity and seriousness.

After the final slice orange matter was devoured, a wet wipe was pulled out of a nearby drawer and the man cleaned his hands and mouth, still staring at the man making threats. His hand disappeared into a drawer and as the hand came back into view a large wood gavel could be seen but in an instant, it was being slammed into the desk.


The gavel banged down reverberating around the small stone room like a thunderstorm.

"You, Albert May Hughes, are accused of committing the following offenses on the date of June 1st, 2018: trespassing, breaking and entering, burglary, and mayhem," the Judge said with authority.

"What," Albert attempted a rebuttal.

"AND, the following offenses on today's date June 15th, 2018: trespassing, attempted burglary and general mayhem. How do you plead," the Judge asked.

"Fuck off," Albery replied abruptly, "What the fuck are you talking about? I didn't do shit. You can't do this. Who the fuck are you?"

"You are Albert May Hughes of Salt Lake City, Utah. Are you not," the Judge asked.

"What," Albert asked and then continued, "Well, I mean, yes, that's my name but how do you..."

He couldn't finish before the Judge broke in, "Alright then, how do you plead?"

"Not fucking guilty, obviously," Albert said, starting to play along, not sure where this was leading.

"It is noted. You have five minutes to begin your defense. If you can not produce a reasonable defense within those five minutes you will be deemed guilty of all charges and sentenced accordingly," the Judge explained dispassionately.

"What," Albert said still quite confused.

"You have five minutes to explain yourself starting now," the Judge said looking at his watch and then back at Albert.

"Uh, fuck. Ok. You said I was robbing someone on June 1st," he asked but was met with only silence as the judge stared back at him. "Ok, that's easy, I was out of town visiting my friend in Vegas that weekend. Let me call them and they will tell you everything."

The Judge did not reply.

"Fuck you man! I was out of town. My friend will confirm it. We were in Vegas all weekend getting fucked up!" Albert said as sweat poured down his face. "Come on!"

"And what about tonight, do you have any explanation?" The Judge asked.

"Uh, uh," Albert stumbled over his words.

"And what about these?" the Judge asked, holding up large black and white printed photos. One Albert sitting in a car at night, another of Albert putting on a mask inside the car, another of Albert walking up to a house, a photo from behind the house where could be seen entering a broken out back sliding door, one of him leaving the same house with a bag. Then he showed him a couple photos taken from that night just before he had been taken to the basement.

"That's not me," he exclaimed. "Fuck you!" Albert was less than calm now and began the rage against his bondage. The Judge simply watched as Albert struggled and then gave up.

"You have failed to defend yourself against these charges. Myself having witnessed you committing all of these crimes deem you guilty on all charges," the Judge said as Albert lifted his defeated head.

"What now," he asked meekly.

The Judge stood up, walked out from behind the desk and knelt in front of Albert as to look him in the eyes.

"Now the sentencing," the Judge said with a slight smile just before plunging a needle into Albert's neck, rendering him unconscious once again.

Albert opened his eyes slowly as the bright sun started to leak in where he found himself unable to move his limbs. He looked down to see the tops of cars rushing past him at an alarming rate. His heart began to race as he realized where he was.

From the perspective of the oncoming drivers passing under the bridge, he looked like a kind of living graffiti. A naked man spread out against the cold concrete of the overpass with the words thief written many times and in many colors all over his body. Soon, the police would take him down and find the photographs that were in an envelope duct-taped to his chest and the news would report that a new vigilante was out there "cleaning up the streets".