The Verdict

Simon loves a good steak. Not just the variety one can chance upon at a the fly-by-night restaurants. He likes his steak rare.

A few hours ago, he had just given his verdict upon the messy case of Lovely Paulita. The District Attorney (his attentions were noble) fumbled on his arguments, leading the Defense to point out every loophole he presented. Simon wonders if a better attorney could have won this case.

Simon does not like letting bad men go. The joy of convicting a murderer can only be matched by the tenderness of the steak he is eating. They are not mutually exclusive. And what Simon hates above all is knowing that the accused is guilty but being inable to sentence him.

He does have a better solution to such trivialities. He takes them out to dinner, whether they consent or not is beyond the point. For instance, Javier, the acquitted murderer of Lovely Paulita. He is seated in front of Simon, his torso tied by thick ropes to the wooden chair, a gag securely placed in his mouth.

Simon could never release Javier to the public. His eye meets that of Javier’s. Javier is perspiring as he forces himself free from his bonds. Simon slices his meat, the juice dripping from the cut portion. He smears more sauce onto that piece. He stabs it with his fork. All this time, he doesn’t break eye contact from Javier, who can do nothing but tremble.

Grinning, Simon puts the piece of meat in his mouth. Delicious.




THIS IS THE TAROT CHALLENGE, a 78-day writing challenge where everyday I pick out a random card from my tarot deck and write something about, against, inspired by, based on the card by the day’s end. The works can range from poetry to fiction to drama. When the card is from the major arcana, the title of the work should be the card name. When the card is from the minor arcana, the title can be different but the card drawn should be revealed at the end.