“Briefs”, Part 11

Previously on Briefs: Octavian Charles was arrested and charged with treason. His nemesis, Dan Rydell Overstreet managed to con and bribe his way into presiding over the case. Also, someone had bribed the President of The United States to pursue the case, offering her a crisp fifty dollar bill in return for her support. Meanwhile, Gustavo Solaveva killed his client on the witness stand and was arrested for murder. His case is currently in court. Finally, Danny Proust has been continually at risk of falling down the stairs. Will today be the day he finally does it?

Junior Josh Charles LLP Partner Danny Proust kickflipped his skateboard into a sick grind down the railing of the office staircase.

“What a sick grind, bro!” Danny yelled enthusiastically to himself.

Nobody listened. Nobody cared.

Danny continued to grind down the handrail when his board hit a rock on the railining and flipped out of control, shooting Danny into the air. Danny, somehow, landed gently on the step, much like a majestic fawn. He maintained his balance and did not fall down the stairs.

Not today, thought Danny cheerfully.

*

Judge Overstreet looked over at Octavian Charles, who was sitting in the witness stand at his trial for treason.

“Fuck you,” mouthed Judge Overstreet as he did aggressive finger guns with his hands, “I hate you.”

Octavian shrugged and looked back at the prosecuting Attorney, William Chase.

“Now isn’t it true Mr. Charles,” began William, resuming his questioning of the witness, “That you committed treason?”

“I have a fifth amendment right not to incriminate myself,” growled Octavian.

“The right is waved!” screamed Judge Overstreet with ghoulish delight.

“You can’t wave my rights. Only I can do that. That’s why they’re called rights, not privileges.”

“Shut the fuck up Ponyboy Curtis!” yawped Overstreet yet again, “I said those rights were waved! If you don’t stop with your dumbass whining I’m gonna straight up murder you.”

“Uhm, objection,” yelled Octavian, “The judge just threatened to murder me. He also called me Ponyboy, which I’m not thrilled about.”

“OVERRULLED!” bellowed Overstreet at the absolute top of his lungs, “The witness will be held in contempt for like eight months after this shit is over!”

“Kangaroo court!” Octavian screamed.

“This whole court room is out of order!” ruled Overstreet, “The witness will answer the goddamn question.”

“I’m sorry to have to ask again, Mr. Charles,” continued William Chase, “But did you knowingly and deliberately commit treason against the United States of America?”

“Of course not,” sighed Octavian, “This whole thing is bonkers. Completely ridiculous.”

Overstreet began to scream, “Perjury!”, and bang his gavel like a goddamn madman.

*

Suspended Josh Charles LLP Senior Partner Regan Josh pulled up his BMW to the street corner and ran into the alley to meet his drug dealer, Greg Motorola.

“I need more heroin, man,” begged Regan, “It’s the only thing to dull the pain.”

“I’m worried about you,” sighed Greg, “This is becoming a real problem. You’re taking too much too fast. I care about you.”

“Don’t hold out on me, man,” yawped Regan as he nervously scratched the track marks on his arm.

“I…. I can’t. I love you, man. I’m not going to be the reason you died. You put my kids through college now I want to put you through this. You carried me, let me carry you.”

Regan’s eyes widened.

Greg continued, “Let me take you to rehab. It’s time.”

Regan pulled a gun out his pocket and pointed it at Greg’s chest. He began to scream, “Don’t make me do it! Gimme the drugs, man! I’m tweakin! I’m tweakin!”

Greg began, “Regan.. I-“

Greg got cut off by the sound of Regan firing his gun, eight times. Greg’s chest exploded like a meat pie and he slumped to the ground, dead. Regan heard sirens in the distance as he searched Greg’s body for drugs.

He found none.

*

Danny Proust was skipping down the stairs when he lurched suddenly and all the marbles he was keeping in his pockets fell out and rolled down the stairs, each individual marble resting on a different step.

This is a tripping hazard, Danny thought intently. He couldn’t even see where all the marbles were now resting. He could easily step on one and roll, causing him to fall down the stairs.

I better take the elevator, Danny thought again, deciding not to risk the now-hazardous stairs.

Good call, Danny. Workplace safety is no joke.

*

Accused Murder Gustavo Solaveva turned to his lawyer, Ophelia Powers, and asked, “Are you gonna close, or what?”

“Oh yeah, sorry bro, I fell asleep for a bit there,” Ophelia explained apologetically.

She stood up and turned to the jury to give her closing argument.

“Webster’s dictionary defines ‘Public Service’ as ‘A service done for the public’. I think that’s an apt description of what Gustavo Solaveva did for all of us when he killed his client, Sebastien Van Der Miles, while he was on the witness stand.”

Ophelia paused for effect before continuing, “Gustavo killed Sebastien so that we might have a chance to live. And life, in this country, in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, begins at the moment of conception. And that life, just like your life, or my life, or the lives of our children, is too sacred to be cast asunder! Like a ship with no captain. Well, on that fair day, Gustavo Solaveva was our captain. Oh captain, my captain. Your captain. Captain Kirk. Kirk Douglas, the actor. A proud American, just like all of you. Tippecanoe, and Tyler too. The pinnacle of writing, that alas the British could never do. And that’s why we took this country back, back from the British. That’s all Gustavo ever wanted to do, to take this country back. He wanted to make America Great Again. Just like Mark David Chapman. And holding him accountable for his actions just isn’t right. And if it isn’t right, then it’s not American. I beg you, go back to your jury chambers, and BE American. Be American for all the unborn children out there, begging for a chance to live. BE American for Gustavo Solaveva. Now is the time. Pick your side. Are you American or is he guilty?”

Ophelia bowed to the jury, “The defence rests, your honor.”

*

Octavian undid his tie and turned to his girlfriend, the mysterious Sung Kong.

“I don’t know how I’m going to win this case,” confessed Octavian, “The judge is against be and William is a great lawyer.”

Sung fiddled with the recording device in her shirt to make sure that their conversation was being cleanly recorded and asked, “Well you’re innocent, right?”

“I’d never admit this in court, I’ll only say this because I trust you so deeply and you would never betray my trust, but I’m not sure.”

“What do you mean? Please speak clearly and enunciate fully,” yelled Sung.

“Well Overstreet offered me a deal and I took it. I backed out, but there was still a moment where I was in the wrong. God, this feels so good to admit.”

“Well you can trust me,” murmured Sung as she discreetly hid her recording device in a duffel bag filled with crisp 50 dollar bills, “I would never betray. No way! You can trust me.”

“Thanks,” whispered Octavian, tears streaming down his cheek.

The two embraced.

*

Gustavo Solaveva sat intently and looked from Judge Reinhold to the jury.

Judge Reinhold sighed and asked the jury, “Mr. Foreperson, has the jury reached a unanimous verdict?”

The foreman puffed his bird chest and yawped, “We have, your honor. In the case of the Commonwealth Versus Solaveva, the charge of Murder in All the Degrees, we find the defendant not guilty. We also award the defendant five thousand dollars and a purple heart.”

“You can’t do that!” yelled Judge Reinhold.

“Just watch me,” growled the foreman.

*

Interim Josh Charles LLP Managing Partner Ophelia Powers burst into Danny Proust’s office and slammed the door.

“Were you playing with Marbles again?” screamed Ophelia.

Danny did his best poker face, kept his hands hidden under his desk, and asked, “What do you mean?”

“The goddamn staircase is covered with marbles again, Danny. It’s a tripping hazard. One of our lawyers tripped and fell down the stairs. He’s in a neck brace and, oh yeah, he’s suing the goddamn firm for having the goddamn staircase filled with fucking marbles. Now let me ask again, Danny, WERE YOU PLAYING WITH MARBLES?”

Danny focussed on maintaining his composure and hiding his hands, but he could feel his lower lip trembling. He summoned all his courage and, using his big boy voice, whispered,

“No, I don’t play with marbles anymore. I’m not a little boy. I’m a big boy. I don’t play with marbles.”

Ophelia glared at Danny and growled, “All right. But if I find you playing with marbles, you’re fired Danny. I’m going to make this very clear: NO. MORE. MARBLES.”

Ophelia stormed out of Danny’s office.

Danny slouched, letting go of all the stress of the conversation. He looked under his desk, to his hands. They were filled with marbles.

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