by M. Mitch Marmel & E.O. Costello
© 2010 By E.O. Costello and M. Mitch Marmel.
All characters © E.O. Costello and M. Mitch Marmel.
Just shoot me now.
My ears had gone straight down and were staying there as I tried to shut out the guy’s testimony.
As well as trying to calculate how much liquor it would require to wash the memory out of my mind.
I had been groping around in the dark . . .
Hmm, that’s an odd bedpost . . . oh, ICK . . .
Grace was definitely not amused, and neither was I.
The son was still giving testimony.
“Was your father angry?”
“A bit, sir.”
“A bit? I should expect he'd be very angry. The gropes of wrath.”
A few of the constables groaned at that.
The teenager having been sent to sit down, the duck then addressed the father. “So, what do you have to say for yourself? Bear in mind I know your potions, Mr. Hung. I brought one to Los Angeles the last time I was there, but a cop busted it at the corner of Hollywood and Vine.”
In contrast to the son’s testimony, the older Mr. Hung was rather brief and to the point. The two bottles of attar of roses that had been confiscated were duly identified, and Mr. Hung acquainted the Court with the fact that Willow had left money on the counter for the attar.
Actually, twice as much as the bottles were worth.
While the Court pondered this bit of news, Rosie deflected an attempt by Randolph to peek under her skirt. He pronked away as she exclaimed, “Justice isn’t just blind – it’s dumb!”
The vercachter duck looked at me. “Miss Baumgartner, if you don't keep quiet, I'll hold you in contempt of court. Better still, I'll just hold you. Kiss me, you fool!”
“Well, I never!”
“That's not what Inspector Stagg says,” he said...and I sproinged my claws at him.
“Now now, let’s put a pause before the clause, please.”
I knew enough about how things were done in court to say, “I’d like to make a motion – “
That earned me a leer. “I'd like to see you make a motion, too, Miss Baumgartner. But I suspect the Inspector would object. Anyway, Miss Baumgartner, I'll just bet you want to make a motion, with you being a dancer and all. Can you do the Dance of the Seven Veils, with Six of them at the cleaner's? If you have only one veil, that’s going to make you bolder.”
“Ey, Boss,” Benelli said, “Miss Baumgartner’s got two – “
“Quiet, Benelli. Of course, if she has only one veil, that's going to make her Boulder.”
“She's-a still got two-“
“That's enough out of you, Benelli.”
“Eyyy, I can keep-a this up all night.”
is how this mess started in the first place, I'm thinking.”
The news that Willow had paid for the perfume seemed to put things on a different footing, and after Willow explained the circumstances again, this time to Mr. Hung, he was inclined to drop the charges against us.
Julius jotted a note, then fixed the son with a beady eye. “Now then Sonny Boy, do you wish to press charges?”
“No sir, I want to press – “
"Shut up, kid. Haven't you had enough fun for one night?"
"I said zip it, kid. I want to get things over with quickly. There’s a canasta game going on in the jail."
“Well, sir, I did get it done quickly..."
"I see you 'round here again, I'll have you arrested."
"By a policefemme?" Vai Ree asked hopefully.
Julius gestured with his smoke. "GET. OUT." Randolph immediately charged after the young otter, honking and pronking as he chased him out of the courtroom.
The bailiff, Fennecman, cleared his throat. “Your Honor, I think we're losing the thread of this case.”
“No, if we lost the thread in this case, it would get a lot more interesting, Fennecman.” Julius sat back, put his paws behind his head and said, “I think enough has been raised around here this evening, if I'm any judge, which is open for debate. Say, Miss Fawnsworthy, have you got the car for the ceremony yet? If not, go to Mr. DeSoto, and tell 'em Julius sent you.”
Benelli asked, “Whatsa that mean, boss?”
“Wasting the Althing’s time. I'm usually on thin ice with them, Benelli.”
“We'll let you skate on that one, then.”
“I no gotta the hat. I gotta the chapeau. She keep a watch on me.”
“Must be a cheap watch.”
“She's a dollar watch. You gotta wind her.”
“Oh, so everyone gets a turn? Miss Fawnsworthy, I'm inclined to be lenient on you. Okeh, that's a lie. I just want to be inclined on you. Anyway, the quality of mercy is not strained, which is more than I can say for the orange juice at Shepherd's. I'm going to dismiss this case with costs.”
“How much did this case cost?” asked Willow.
“It cost us all an hour's sleep and some of our sanity,” Rosie growled.
Benelli laughed. “Ehhh, it's May. It's too early for Sanity.”
Rosie, undeterred, said, “I'd like to file a petition to dismiss.”
looked shocked. “Such language, Miss Baumgartner! What do you
want to do with dis miss? As if I didn't know.” He waggled
his eyebrows at her.
Somehow I managed to avoid killing a judge, and the final outcome of the affair was that we were all let go with a warning to not do anything like it ever again.
No problem here.
We had the attar, though, and things were back on track even though it was sometime around two o’clock.
As we went upstairs to my digs Vee paused and turned to Gwladys and Willow. “We will not speak of this, girls,” the minkess said. “To anyone.”
“Don’t worry,” Willow muttered.
“Good idea, Vee,” Gwladys said. “If Allan finds out we made such a hash of a simple theft, we’d lose our pensions.”
Willow said, “I just want to get out of this damned suit.”
I couldn’t help myself. I leered, showing teeth as I said, “Well, some ninjas DID do their thing in the nude..."
threw the hood of the catsuit at me as the older ladies chuckled.
We split up after that and headed back to our respective hotels. Gwladys and Vee parted with me and wished me a good night.
My nerves were so frazzled by this point that I broke my one-drink limit and had a belt or two before getting ready for bed.
I did a little reading before putting the light out.
The dream I had was wonderful.
Reggie, me, two beautiful children.
I woke up feeling that Grace and I had earned the right to be happy.
Amid clouds of pink marshmallow, Grace heartily agreed.