A Very Special Episode of “Briefs”

Previously on Briefs: Superstar Defense Attorney Octavian Charles was arrested for treason. His ex-fiancee, Ophelia Powers, used this court case as a distraction to steel Octavian’s firm from him, conspiring with Octavian’s ex-girlfriend Sung Kong, who is a member of a mysterious shadow organization pressuring Octavian to become President of the United States. Kicked out of his firm, Octavian formed a new law firm with his old partner and best friend, Regan Josh.

 

Octavian Charles had woken up a new man. For too long he had let his treason charges hold him back, personally and professionally. No longer was he willing to sit idly by and be dominated by the world. It was time to fight back. It was time to win. He had his day in court today and was going to clear his name. Then he was going to go win Ophelia back.

It was a great day to be alive. Octavian had never been more thankful to remain that way. He put on his Gucci leather shoes one foot at a time, smiling the whole time. He straightened his purple-striped tie, and put his bag around his shoulder.

With a wide smile, he opened the door, took a step out, and then shit his pants so hard he died.

*

“I expected him to die, yes,” Reagan waxed poetically as he began Octavian’s eulogy. But not like this, never like this.”

Regan paused and looked out to the crowd. He saw Ophelia weeping. She was inconsolable.

“I expected suicide,” Regan continued, “We all do it. Lawyers. Law is a sort of death; you create an archetype, an aesthetic, a brand. You make that and you take the you out of it. You kill the parts of yourself that aren’t a part of that brand because they don’t fit. You need to fit. You strip away everything that doesn’t fit until all that’s left is a rough assemblage of learned colloquialities. Whatever you were before, now you’re folksy, now you’re empathetic, now you’re versatile, now you get it, now you fit.”

He stopped for a drink of water. Most of the audience were too fucked on ambien to be listening anymore.

“And then you realize that you don’t fit yourself anymore. The things that don’t fit are what used to make you you. Now you’re not you anymore, you’re them. And you look inside what you now are and it’s nothing more than small things you picked up when you were busy ‘engaging in professional development in a diversifying marketplace’, when you were busy fitting.”

Sung was in the back crowd and she let out a decisive yawn and curled up into a ball.

“So that’s when we lawyers have our moment. We look inside at this sort of heart of darkness and have to address what we’ve become. Some take the rope, some take pills, some smile and proceed to facilitate collaboration with their workplace colleagues. After all, it’s hard to steer out of our waking deaths. After all, if you want to get out of it, you have to move. And moving disrupts this nice fit.”

Regan gestured emptily to the crowd while someone shouted “boo-urns”.

“And the comedy of it all is that it doesn’t come close to mattering. Look at Octavian. He fit as well as anyone could. Whatever there was out there to achieve, he did. All the money, all the prestige, all the accomplishments And you know what? One wrong shit and he died.”

Crickets.

“So, I guess that’s the point of his death, right? We all take wrong shits. We all die. Maybe we can get a little weirder with it. It’d all mean a little more if there was a god out there but, even if there is, kids faces get burned off by drone strikes while Jared Kushner decorates his oval office. That’s really all I’ve got to say about that.”

People were leaving now.

“So fuck it,” sighed Regan, “Get weird with it.”

*

“You know,” began Danny depressingly, “The doctors said that if he shit his pants even a tiny bit softer, he’d be alive today.”

“That’s not comforting, Danny.”

*

Sung Kong haggardly dumped a stack of files on Ophelia’s desk before asking, “Do we have any more plot left?”

“What?” asked Ophelia, baffled by the question.

“This is the end of the season. There are loose strands. We need to tie them all together. Put a bow on it. All the stories need to work together thematically and share some sort of underlying framework to bring out the moral of the story. All of this needs to mean something or the reader feels that their time has been wasted.”

“None of this fucking shit meant anything,” Ophelia yelled back, “And everyone’s time is always being wasted. That’s why we’re here and that’s what we do. It all seems important while it’s happening but then it’s not. A man shits his pants, a man dies, and that’s the end.”

“Right,” scoffed Kong, “But your woeful moralizing doesn’t rap up the story. What happened to all the characters?”

“You want character endings? Fine. Overstreet took a bite out of a homeless person and now he’s in prison. Regan Josh relapsed and he’s back in rehab. Danny Proust was tapped by Trump as the new secretary of state. You, Sung, you work for the Illuminati and you got a big promotion. Great job! I take a cocktail of prescription medications so I don’t have to think about Octavian. By day I’m a midrange partner at a midrange firm. By night, I’m dead. William Chase was never really a character so who cares. Eurydice Jackson was executed. Gardner is sitting on the Supreme Court and was the lone dissenting vote when the Trump court overturned Roe v Wade. The turtle, Rupert, is still the best. Mantis is doing fine. We all forgot about Sheila Baby. Greg Motorola is a ghost. Even I forgot about Gustavo. Sebastien Van Der Miles is alive and coming back next season. Does that tie it up for you?”

“Wait,” responded Sung, “Sebastien is alive? That’s not possible. He got stabbed in court!”

“Whatever. Let’s say he took a fake death potion to slow his heart beat so the idiot doctors would declare him legally dead. They took him down to the morgue and then he escaped from the body bag. Why not? We’ve had dumber twists.”

“I’d buy it. He’s a great character. Plus, this way, we can end on a cliffhanger.”

“Exactly, Sung; because when nothing means anything the only thing that makes sense is to keep going. If we stop, we think, and we can never think. Just keep going.”

“Well, what’s next?”

Ophelia sighed, before starting, “Smash cut to:

*

Interior morgue night. A zipped up body bag lies prostrate on the marble slab. It starts to move. With a sickening zrt the bag starts to unzip from the inside. Lightning strikes. Out jumps a blood-drenched Sebastien Van Der Miles.

He washes the taste of the fake death potion out of his mouth and cackled wildly

Out of his pocket, he pulled out a photo of [Your Favorite Character] and began to tear it up, before violently screeching, “I’m going to kill you [Your Favorite Character]!”

With a sudden, frightening ferocity, he grabbed a nearby knife and sprinted out to the place of work/primary residence of [Your Favorite Character] with the hopes of confronting them.

What a cliffhanger!

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