‘Briefs’, Part 6

To recap: American Vice President Daniel Rydell Overstreet has bribed Superstar Lawyer Octavian Charles to take a dive in his case against filmmaker Ron Howard. Octavian also hired Private Investigator D’Jason Orleans to look into his (Octavian’s) sometime girlfriend Sung Kong after Octavian was unable to find her long-form birth certificate. 

Ron Howard, not the director, sat down to begin his testimony.

“Sup bro,” Ron screamed at the Prosecuting Attorney Octavian Charles.

Octavian turned to Judge Kweli and asked for permission to treat the witness as hostile. It was granted.

“Mr. Howard, I have a couple questions,” began Octavian, “Would you please explain this photograph to the jury?”

The photograph was of Ron Howard and several twenty-year old men sitting in front of a keg flexing their biceps. They were all wearing matching singlets and cargo shorts.

“Yeah man. That’s my brew crew,” at this, Ron Howard made a large barking noise.

Several singlet-clad men stood up to return the gesture and were prompted to leave the courtroom.

*

Government agents burst into the meeting room of Josh Charles LLP. and demanded to see a lawyer straight away.

“I think I might be of service,” said recently demoted Junior Partner Gustavo Solaveva.

“We want to speak to someone important,” intoned the agent.

“Everyone important is in court with the Howard case. You’ll have to speak to me.”

“Fine. The courts have required we appoint our prisoner with an attorney. We want your worst lawyer. Someone to really bungle the case and let it go away quietly.”

Gustavo saw an opportunity to resurrect his career. If the government were involved then whoever this prisoner is they must be important. If Gustavo could get him off then maybe he could become a Senior Partner once more.

“I’m the worst lawyer here,” lied Gustavo, “I prosecuted Casey Anthony and Darren Wilson!”

The government agent cringed and handed Gustavo the briefcase. “Go nuts,” the agent yelled, “It’s the Van Der Miles killer. A real piece of work. Nice hair, though.”

Gustavo leafed through the briefcase until he fell across an all-too-familiar name. Sebastien Van Der Miles, the very same man who murdered Gustavo’s younger brother, Manuel.

He smiled mischievously. At long last, a chance for revenge.

*

“So,” continued Ron Howard, “When I pee in a public urinal I just go all over the seat. Someone else will clean it up.”

The jury gasped. Octavian looked at them knowingly and gave them time to collect themselves.

“Mr. Howard,” Octavian asked, “How would you say you communicate with other people?”

“I text them hey and then never respond to whatever they send back to me. It drives people nuts!” boasted Ron, “Only time I’ll actually text people back is when I need to suddenly cancel plans.”

A woman in the jury couldn’t take it anymore and promptly sprinted out of the jury box and into the night.

*

Private Investigator D’Jason Orleans pulled out his camera and followed the mysterious Sung Kong into the government registry. He was trying to find her long-form birth certificate. He hoped that she would just sorta grab it and then accidentally drop it.

It hadn’t worked so far.

*

“When you’re at the office and you take the last bit of coffee, do you put on another pot?”

“Naw,” laughed Ron, “I don’t even clean up the grounds. I just leave the hot empty pot on so the bottom burns.”

At this, someone in the back row attempted to charge at Ron Howard but was incapacitated by security.

Octavian waited for the commotion to die down and asked, “And who is your favourite rapper?”

Ron cleared his throat, “I only listen to Macklemore and Eminem. I don’t like thugs like Kanye West or J Cole.”

“That’s great,” continued Octavian, “Another question, Mr. Howard. How do you merge into highway traffic?”

“If I see someone in front of me I’ll stamp it to try and get in front of them,” Ron answered helpfully, “But otherwise I just drive twenty below the speed limit and brake suddenly. Sometimes I’ll try and pass people on the meridian.”

Ophelia couldn’t take it anymore. She stormed up to Ron and slapped him broadly across the face.

*

“You slapped a client?!” screamed Bill Will at Ophelia Powers.

“He was being a real dick,” explained Ophelia.

“You can’t slap clients. Especially not when they’re on the stand! Don’t you know how that makes your case look?”

“I’m not going to apologize for slapping Ron Howard,” bellowed Ophelia defiantly.

“Don’t you have anything to say for yourself?”

“Long hair, don’t care,” yawped Ophelia as she brushed some dirt off of her shoulder.

“Well you better start caring,” vociferated Bill as he pulled the blackmail folder containing the photographs of Octavian and Sung out of his pocket, “Or else I’ll use this.”

Ophelia gritted her teeth and spake, “Fine.”

*

Back in the courtroom Octavian turned to Ron and asked, “How did you vote in 2016?”

“I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and then Donald Trump in the general election. It was time to shake up the establishment and there was no way that corrupt hawk Hillary was getting my vote.”

“And when you say hawk,” asked Octavian, pointing to Ron Howard, “You mean bitch but you won’t say it because that’s too obviously sexist?”

“Damn straight, son,” screeched Ron.

*

“My son,” continued Fuego Solaveva, Gustavo and Manuel’s father, “More violence is not the answer. All Manuel ever wanted was to spread love. He wouldn’t want his death to create more pain. He’d want his death to create something good. There’s no good, no justice in this. Just another murder.”

Gustavo gritted his teeth, “But I can’t let him-“

His father cut him off, “Yes you can, son. It’s not your choice whether this man lives or dies. You don’t have to be his lawyer but you can’t be his killer. Do you remember what Manuel used to say?”

Gustavo remembered. Manuel would always say that Love is the answer to hate.

Gustavo wasn’t sure whether he was ready to listen.

*

“So,” continued Ron Howard, “I only vape inside when there are children around. There’s no law against it! Sometimes I also vape in the car when I’m driving around with my high-beams on, blinding other drivers!”

“Objection!” screamed Ophelia, finally coming back to her senses and getting her head back in the game.

“On what grounds?” asked Octavian amusedly.

“Leading? Badgering?”

“Sustained!” wailed Judge Kweli, “The witness is dismissed.”

“That’s not fair!” yelled Octavian.

“Overruled,” whispered Ophelia.

*

Danny Proust was standing on the office treadmill. He carefully stood on either side so the belt would run up the calorie count without him having to even move.

Danny thought this was exercise.

*

Ophelia stood up to deliver her closing argument, “Ultimately, Ron Howard did not commit a crime. The defence rests.”

She sat down.

Octavian laughed to himself. It was a great closing argument. Short, concise, to-the-point, with no room for error. It was great but he could do better.

Only question is: would he?

He stood at the front of the courtroom. He remembered the promise he had made to Vice President Overstreet, that he would throw the case in return for a supreme court appointment.

He could see Vice President Overstreet sitting in the back with a large sign reading: “Supreme Court?”

Octavian stood paralyzed by the moral conundrum he faced. Did he get everything he ever dreamed of by doing a bad thing? Or does he do the right thing and lose his chance?

Time will tell.

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