Slam Dunk

7AFBD860-DCD0-4D12-AD96-61CBB3588695Kenneth stood at the back of the empty courtroom and welcomed the respite as the jury adjourned to begin deliberations. It had been a long and grueling trial, at times lackluster and at other times quite spirited. But it was now out of his hands.

When he was assigned the case by the district attorney, Kenneth thought it was nearly identical to a case he had successfully prosecuted a few decades earlier when he was a young attorney. But once the trial began, he knew that his co-counsel, Cheryl, was right when she warned him that there’s a storm brewing.

“I’ve never heard so many lies come from the mouths of so many witnesses as I heard at this trial,” Cheryl told Kenneth.

“And for that reason, it should be a slam dunk,” Kenneth said. “But we’ll find out when the jury comes back if they bought the lies or if they find him guilty of obstruction of justice.”

Written for Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge where the line is, “There’s a storm brewing.” Also for Teresa’s Genre Writing Challenge where the genre is “legal thriller” using the above image from David Mark @

And for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (respite), Word of the Day Challenge (lackluster), Ragtag Daily Prompt (identical), and Your Daily Word Prompt (lies).

Sunday Photo Fiction — Any Port In a Storm


“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.

A Simple Question

6A42CD9F-1A4F-43F8-AE8E-A37E493B0BE8“It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, Mr. Avery,” the lawyer said.

Beads of perspiration were forming on Tom Avery’s forehead. He looked helplessly at the judge, who was sitting at the large desk on his right.

Having run out of patience, the attorney also looked up at the judge and said, “A little help, your honor.”

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge said sternly.

Tom sighed. “It’s not a simple question.”

“Yes, Mr. Avery,” the attorney chided, “It is that simple. Yes or no?”

Tom cleared his throat, looked up at the judge, then over at the jury, and finally at the lawyer. “It’s not just black or white. There are gray areas. It’s complicated.”

The lawyer threw both of his arms up in the air out of frustration. He didn’t want the members of the jury to think he was badgering the witness, but he needed an answer. “Your honor,” he said, pleading with the judge.

“Answer the question, Mr. Avery,” the judge warned, “or I will hold you in contempt.”

Tom was now sweating profusely. He weighed his options carefully. Finally, he looked past the attorney at the plaintiff sitting at the table behind the lawyer.

“Okay, fine,” Tom said. Focusing his eyes directly on the plaintiff, he said, “Yes. My answer is yes.” A murmur ran through the courtroom. “Yes, Amanda, those jeans do make you look fat.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “black.”