Hostage — Inspired by Holly Becker

Don’t forget to VOTE for last week\’s stories. The “polls” will be open until tonight at midnight (10/3/2011). I’ve had to extend the September Challenge into the first week of October…I got a little behind. Who knew I wouldn’t be able to write 30 short stories in one month? Well, hopefully, you’ll enjoy the stories from this week! Be sure to get your ideas brewing…We’re doing this challenge again in January!

Today’s idea comes from Holly Becker. Holly was week 2’s winner with the story idea for Playing Debussy. Holly is, seriously, amazing. Anyone who knows her would agree with me in this: Holly is kind. She embodies that Fruit of the Spirit better than most people I know (including me). I can’t tell you how I admired her in college for her unselfishness, her readiness to befriend her classmates…again, I’m gushing about Holly. To know Holly is to love her. That is all. Here’s Holly’s 2nd story idea…

Setting; Courtroom. A defense attorney, first case out of law school. Sick with a cold and very nervous. She’s opinionated, tough outer layer is just a shell. Conflict: 30 minutes late from lunch recess and everyone is waiting.

Julie

There’s a reason I’m late. I seem to be tied up at the moment. Literally. It’s really no fun when there’s snot oozing all over my face and I can’t even wipe it on my sleeve. I’m trying to such it back up into my nose. It isn’t working. But it’s probably better that I can’t smell anything. From the looks of this room, I’m pretty sure it would stink pretty badly.

“Hey!” I yell. “How about a tissue or something!”

No one answers me.

“I’d even settle for a baby wipe. Just anything! Come on!”

Today was my very first case as a Defense Attorney. Yup. I’m fresh out of law school. Lucky me, I got on “Public Defender” duty. This case is a no win. Literally. Neither side is going to be satisfied. No matter what the verdict, those kids are going to grow up without parents no matter what happens. But it wasn’t my client who offed them. I’m guessing it’s the guy who has me wrapped up in the itchiest twine in all of Indiana.

As if I wasn’t nervous enough for this trial. We had to throw in a kidnapping, too. Great. Just fantastic. And the dude had to take my phone.

“Could you pretty please bring me my phone? How do you expect me to play ‘angry birds’? Man! This place is boring.”

I’m pretty certain that the police would never call on me in a hostage situation.

Rick

Julie never struck me as a late person. More of a “show up just in time” type. But not a “30 minutes behind” girl. I’ve been texting and calling. No answer. This isn’t looking good.

“So, where’s the chick?” the defendant asked.

“She’ll be here,” I answered. “I hope.”

“You hope? Man, what’s wrong with this system? I can’t afford my own lawyer, so the State gives me the two of you. She’s never done a trial before and you’re a jerk.”

“I’m not a jerk.”

“Whatever. Just do what you got to. I can’t go to jail for this.”

What I didn’t tell him was that if he was found guilty he would be facing the death penalty. Those were facts that I left up to Julie. The only reason I’m here is, well, because Julie needed help carrying the files. And this was supposed to be way more interesting than answering phones all day.

“All rise,” the court clerk says. “The honorable Judge Watson presiding.”

Oh man, we’re screwed.

Julie

If I ever find myself in need of kidnapping someone and holding them captive, I’ll choose a dark, dank, disgusting room. Man, this place is awful. I really hope he doesn’t live here. It isn’t fit for humans.

“Hey, you mind telling me what time it is? I kind of have to pick up my kid at some point today. Don’t want him to get scared.”

Okay. I don’t have a kid. I’m just trying to play on this guy’s emotions. You know, make myself human in his eyes so he feels compassion. I don’t think it’s going to work. Just the way he bonked me on the head and shoved me into his van, well, doesn’t give much hope for mercy.

It was during the lunch recess. The whole morning was spent with the Prosecutor causing trouble and me objecting every single thing I could think of. Let me tell you, objecting is a powerful drug. It’s the power to get the other guy to shut up. We hadn’t even gotten to closing arguments yet. Man, that prosecutor is a blow hard. Anyway, we recessed for lunch, which I didn’t even get to eat, thank you, Mr. Kidnapper. I went out in the alley for a smoke. Yeah, I know, smoking will kill me one of these days. Whatever. And that’s when the guy got me.

I didn’t get a look at his face. He had an Easter bunny mask on. I remember telling he was “tacky” right before he hit me. Lesson learned; never mock a really big dude wearing a bunny mask.

The floor boards above my head are creaking. He’s moving around up there.

“Could you spare a girl a glass of water?”

The door opens. Bunny mask man is coming in here. No glass of water. No tissue. Is that a gun?

Rick

The judge is looking at me with a disapproving glare. As if it’s my fault Julie’s late.

“Son, you’re going to have to proceed without her,” he’s nodding his head as he says this. “She’s 35 minutes late. I simply can’t wait longer.”

“Sidebar!” I yell.

“No.”

“Can you say no to a sidebar?”

“I can do whatever I want.”

“Chambers?” I’m literally shooting in the dark with that one. Well, not literally. I don’t have a gun or anything.

“I’m the one that calls chambers.”

“Your Honor,” Mr. Big Shot Prosecutor says. “The Defense is clearly staling. I think we should proceed with or without the lead attorney.”

“I object.” They haven’t caught on yet that I’m not a trial lawyer. I’m Julie’s secretary. Yeah. Go ahead. Make fun of the dashing young man who happens to be a secretary. Just know this, if you need something filed, there’s no one more efficient. And, no, I will not get you a latte. Jerk.

“On what basis?” I think that Prosecutor actually just stuck his tongue out at me.

“My cell phone is ringing,” I say. “It’s Julie.”

“Well, answer it.” The judge has his head on the big desk thingy. “And put it on speaker phone.”

“Yes, sir,” I say, pushing the buttons that think will put Julie’s voice on the speaker. “Hey, Julie. Just letting you know; you’re on speaker.”

“Listen, Rick. I’m being held hostage by the Easter Bunny.” Julie sounds kind of calm. So, I figure she’s messing with me.

“You are the worst liar I’ve ever met. Seriously, the judge is listening.”

“Oh, hey, your Honor. Listen, I’m not kidding. This dude has me in his basement or something…what’s that?…Oh. He just told me it’s more of a crawl space than a basement…A Michigan basement? Oh. Well, that’s interesting. Why do they call it a Michigan basement?”

“Julie, get on with it.” What the heck is she doing? “Where are you?”

“Like I said, I’m in a Michigan basement here in…where am I?”

The judge is looking none-too-pleased. “Madam, please get on with it! Where are you and why aren’t you here?” His voice is like James Earl Jones’. But here’s the funny thing: he looks like the guy on “Yo-Gabba-Gabba”. So funny.

“Presently, sir, I’m being held hostage. Now, don’t worry. This guy isn’t hurting me. He’s willing to tell us where we are.”

“But who is he?” The judge’s voice is a little less fierce. More like when James Earl was the voice of the Lion King’s dad. What was his name? Oh, I’ll Google it later. Anyway, kind of regal, but not ticked off. So, not Darth Vader James Earl. Why in the world does my mind get off on these tangents?

“Well, he’d rather tell you when somebody comes to get us. And I’m really hoping you guys can get here fast. I’ve got to pee.”

She is such a spazz.

Julie

Okay, here’s the deal. The Easter Bunny turned out to be a guy named Mickey. Well, not the real Easter Bunny. The guy in the mask that kidnapped me. And don’t think that the irony of a kidnapper being named Mickey escaped me.

See, Mickey witnessed the crime. He saw what happened. But he was way too scared to come forward. Gang members are usually discouraged from tattle telling on their fellow gang members. And, yes, just like you, I’m wondering how a guy named Mickey survived in a gang. He, however, didn’t want to see an innocent man go to prison. So, he thought, very wrongly, that if he could kidnap me, the trial would stop. Little did the poor kid know that I’m really not all that important. Not even close.

After I explained that to him, he wiped my nose and untied the twine. By the way, I discovered that I’m allergic to twine. Huh. You learn something new every day.

Anyway, I told him that to really make a difference he’d have to take the Prosecutor. And that would be a federal offense. Which I’m still not sure is true. But, you know, I am a lawyer. What else do you think they teach us at law school? So, I told him that if he’d let me call Rick, I’d be able to get the Prosecutor to come to him. And that, with his statement, we’d be able to make a deal on the kidnapping. Another detail that I wasn’t totally sure about.

So, I called. Well, you know that. And they came and got us.

Turns out that my first case was dismissed. My client went home to his family. Rick decided that he didn’t want to come to court with me anymore. And I’m already working on my next case.

And, yes, I’m working on quitting the smoking thing. I don’t want to meet up with an Easter Bunny wearing Mickey ever again.

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