Page 61 - May 2021 Litterateur
P. 61

Short Story
                  Judge  Coldwater  waded  to  his  bench,  his  robes
                  billowing  behind  him  on  the  surface  of  the  water,  and                                 Rising Water

                  climbed the steps to his seat before ringing the saltwater                                    Kelle Grace Gaddis

                  from  his  gown.  As  a  court  reporter  handed  him  a  dry                                    United States
                  towel, the judge nodded appreciatively before surveying

                  the room.


                The judge looked beyond the arched windows at a protestor bobbing on a Jet Ski.

                The man held a sign that said “Save The Planet!” When he and the judge’s eyes
                met he shouted, “Big Oil is killing us!”




                When  the  protestor  realized  he  had  the  entire  courtrooms  attention  he  shouted,

                “Convict! Convict! Convict” while pumping his sign up and down over his head.
                The judge motioned for the Bailiff to take action. The Bailiff leaned out the door and

                murmured something to a policeman. Moments later, two officers appeared beyond

                the window riding black and white jet skis. They began arresting the protestor who

                was now shouting “Global Warming is real!” and “The end is nigh!” After a flurry of
                activity the police whisked him away in cuffs.




                The judge said, “The jury will disregard the spectacle we just witnessed.”



                One  faction  of  the  gallery  grumbled  over  the  removal  of  the  protestor  for  whom

                they felt allegiance. Others, in expensive suits and lifejackets, shook their heads
                and muttered disapprovingly in the direction of all seeking to undermine Big Oil.

                “Order  in  the  court!”  Said  Judge  Coldwater  as  he  pounded  the  bench  with  his

                gavel.  The  courtroom  fell  silent,  save  the  lapping  of  waves,  the  distant  caw  of

                seagulls, and the whir of jet skies circling outside.



                The judge glanced at the jurors who, in an effort to remain dry, sat on top of one

                another on the top bench of the jury box. Judge Coldwater leveled his eyes at them

                and said, “Please take your assigned seats.”



                Those  assigned  to  the  front  row  obediently  slid  into  their  seats  even  though  it

                meant being up to their necks in water.



                Before Judge Coldwater could begin the proceeding, he was interrupted by a small

                woman thrashing and shouting, "Help! I can't swim!"



                “Bailiff!” shouted the Judge.




                “Yes, your honor?” he asked.





                  Litterateur                                          61





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