Thursday, June 11, 2009

Trial in the Death of a Critic

by David Docherty

Sequestered in the jury box, the days passed horrifically. How could this have happened? What deviancy leads to such miscarriage of justice? Who could and would devise such a plot? Questions like these torment the mind, scathing the very soul. Adding insult to injury, not being able to unleash the nightmare by talking it over with those owns holds near and dear cages the demons in ones own bowels.

Unsolved mysteries.

A literary critic, found dead at his desk, no discernible cause of demise, yet his brutal suffering obvious upon the silent corpse. Nearby a note, not written but pasted together with foul words cut from his own nasty reviews, no signature attached. Words of hatred spew forth, such as should never be read.

And yonder sits grimacing prosecution attorney, ceaselessly caressing his prized piece of evidence, a voodoo doll found in the writer's guild meeting room, porcupined with pens, pencils and even a feather quill piercing where a heart would lie in a real human being. The doll itself noosed about the neck with typewriter ribbon and hung eerily from the reading lamp which stood beside the very chair the reviewer so arrogantly occupied when he sat in on open mike nights.

Twenty weapons and dozens of fingerprints. More defendants than jurors and yet only one question needs answered. How could this have happened? How could anyone want to prosecute the death of a critic?

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