“How does the jury find?” the judge asked.
The jury forewoman stood up and said, “We find the defendant, Charles Maxwell, guilty of assault and battery.”
The judge looked at the jury and thanked them for their service. He then looked directly at the defendant and, in a somber voice, said, “You have been found guilty by a jury of your peers. You will be sentenced to serve one year at the state penitentiary.” The judge banged the gavel down hard and said, “Court adjourned.”
The defense attorney turned to Charles and silently mouthed the words “I’m sorry,” as the two bailiffs led Charles out of the courtroom.
About an hour later, right before Charles was scheduled to be transported from the holding cell in the courthouse to the penitentiary upstate, Charles’ father came to see him.
“One bit of advice for you, son,” his father said. “Whatever you do, if you drop the soap in the shower, don’t bend down to pick it up.”
“Why not, Dad?” Charles asked.
“Oh boy,” his father said. “You’re not going to do well in jail, I’m afraid. You’re going to be incarcerated with a bunch of men, some of whom have been in prison for years. Many of them have not had sexual intimacy with a woman for a very long time. Don’t be a target, son.”
“But, Dad,” Charles protested. “I’m not a woman.”
“Any port in a storm, son,” Charles’ father said. “And I mean any port.”
Written for today’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt from Susan Spaulding. Thanks, Susan, for using my photo this week.