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Justice is Served
by Amanda LaPera


A tall, lanky blonde-haired fellow saunters forth. He approaches the bailiff, a gray-headed man with a taste for good food.

“Are you Jebediah Moses Christian?”

“Yes, but I’m Jewish.” Jeb jokes, attempting to lighten the mood.

“I didn’t ask.”

“Then I won’t tell.” He winks.

The bailiff pauses for a moment and lowers his voice. “We break for lunch at noon.”

“Would that mean I win my case?”

“It can be continued.”

Jebediah scowls at the unsavory selection in uniform. “I’ll wait and take my chances with the judge.”

“Your loss.” The bailiff shrugs his shoulders and continues to check off names.

Jeb rests back in a chair, enthralled by the cases before him; it’s like free entertainment. If only he had a bag of popcorn.

“See, is like this, yo’ honor. Me and Jaz here, we was just hanging out at the park, ya’ know, minding our own business and shit.”

Jeb raises his eyebrows and watches the judge’s reaction. The judge appears amused and allows the defendant to continue.

“So, yeah, and then a cop comes up and starts accusing us of shit. He ain’t got nothing on me.”

“He did find a couple of ounces on your person.”

“Oh, yeah, well about that. I ain’t no dealer, ya’ know. My homie, damn clown, had me holdin’ on to his shit, while he was playing some hoops.”

Another hour passes by before Jeb’s case is called. He struts up to the defendant’s table and rests his hands on his hips. The judge announces the charges against Jeb and stares at him expectantly.

Jeb shifts his weight and runs his hand through his hair. He recites his lines. “It was really a big misunderstanding, your honor. As I was leaving work that day—”

“—and where do you work?”

“At Steel Rods Tavern.”

Surprised, she asks, “Isn’t that a gay strip club?”

“Yes, your honor.” And it’s a classy joint, he wants to add, but decides not to. “So, as I was leaving work, I was tired from a long shaft, I mean shift.” He blushes. “I was going to go meet my BFF, you know, best female friend, for dinner. I swear I had no idea that my fly was down. Then I passed by the coffee shop, when through the window, I saw that cute barista wink at me from behind the counter. Naturally, my body reacted. A few women were walking across the cross-walk right in front of me. So, bam, they scream, and I’m here being charged with indecent exposure.” The court room falls incredibly silent.

The judge bites her lip. “Alright, Jebediah. I’ll throw this out, but you really need to be more careful.”

Jeb squeals. “Oh my gosh, thank you so much, your honor.”

After he picks up his court paperwork from the bailiff and heads out into the hallway, he notices a post-it note from the bailiff who had scribbled his number and wrote: Call me if you’re ever in another bind. Beneath that was a photo labeled as evidence. Apparently, a witness shot it from a cell phone camera.

Jeb smirks. Now he knows what he will tip that barista tomorrow.

As the cop arrests him, Jeb reconsiders the bailiff’s offer; after all, he did have a nice smile.