"There's not much doubt in any of our minds that no complete idea springs fully formed from our brow,
needing only a handshake and a signature on the contract to send it off into the world to make twenty-five billion dollars.
The germ of the idea grows slowly..." - Walt Kelly

Friday, May 28, 2010

A cliche to end all cliches

"I guess it's time to face the music," Randall said, climbing down from the passenger's side of his father's pickup truck. He smoothed out his suit and then shut the car door behind him.

"Just bite the bullet, son," his father told him. "Better safe than sorry. And besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that if you spend this whole time lying through your teeth and they find out, that'll be the straw that breaks the camel's back."

Randall made a thoughtful face and nodded his head solemnly.

"And don't even get me started on the media coverage," his father said. "If you thought it's been bad so far, trust me, just the tip of the iceberg."

Now Randall felt nervous. His thoughtful face warped into something more terrified. Leave it up to his dad to take a delicately calm situation and inadvertently inject the heaviest dose of tension possible. He waited as his father put quarters in the parking meter, and he could feel every clank of the change as it rolled into the metal contraption.

Randall's father turned from the meter and saw his son staring at the pavement. He walked over and put a hand on Randall's shoulder.

"Penny for your thoughts, son?"

"I don't know, dad," Randall said, moving his hands from his belt loops to his pockets and back again nervously. "I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place here, and the only way out will be by the skin of my teeth."

"Well," his father said in a very wise tone of voice, "I won't beat around the bush, finding a simple way out of this will be easier said than done. Nonetheless, unless the prosecutor makes a killing with his evidence, really solidly convicting you will be like finding a needle in a haystack."

Randall nodded slowly and looked up at his father.

"Thanks dad," he said. "I'll play it by ear, I guess."

"That's the spirit, sport."

They walked up the steps to the courthouse, and the prosecutor was standing just in front of the stately, wooden double-doors, briefcase in one hand and Starbucks in the other. He smiled wickedly at the pair as they ascended the final few steps, then took one last long gulp of his drink and crushed the paper cup, tossing it into a nearby trash can.

He narrowed his eyes at Randall and pointed ferociously, as if redoing his stance and putting all his weight on his front foot would make the action more poignant.

"The buck stops here," he snarled. "Murderer."

Playing on my iTunes at this very moment:
Foo Fighters, Skin And Bones

No comments:

Post a Comment