Hands up anyone who is not immediately fascinated by courtroom drama. I wonder why we naturally drawn to, say, the Oscar Pistorius trial. Or the OJ Simpson trial – remember that one? I can still picture it nearly two decades later. Yup – it really has been that long...
Where did they find the characters? Judge Ito, the black-bearded Japanese-American who was run off his feet by the media and high-profile lawyers. The clownish Kato Kaelin (where is he now?) who happened to be camping out in OJ’s basement. And my heroine, Marcia Clark the prosecutor. What a lady! Strong, professional, a strength of character like Mount Rushmore – all of that and at the same time, sexy, beautiful, the dream playmate of any thinking American man (and quite a few of the women too, I believe). If I could write a book with such a crazy plot and such a rich cast of characters, I would be able to retire and tour the world on my luxury yacht (crewed by strong, nautical hunks who somehow always have their shirts in the laundry).
Ah, it’s good to dream, isn’t it? I suppose that’s why I enjoy writing. I did have a go at courtroom drama, when I decided a collection of my short stories deserved to be prosecuted. I had a lady prosecutor, of course, and decided the author of the stories would be a well dressed man of a certain age, with a lot of experience under his belt and a twinkle in his eye.
I wrote Foreign Affairs and I tell you what - it was a lot of fun! Really. Priscilla the lawyer is a professional woman with education and principles, who is sternly beautiful and has a figure that does not bulge in the wrong places. Just like me in fact – that is, the me that is hiding inside! Just like I would like to be...
Priscilla has discovered a member of the Tribunal bench has had a secret meeting with the defendant...
What could have brought Susan Chippings to seek a private interview with Trehearne? Priscilla did not like the idea of anyone else having little tête-à-têtes with him. She decided to leave home early on Monday to try and catch Susan before the show started.
The street outside the cinema looked like a circus even so early on a Monday morning. Tee-shirts, base-ball caps, mugs with photographs of herself and Trehearne, or posters of the Foreign Affairs 1 covered with political statements. Everyone seemed to know her and call out, wishing her good morning and good luck.
She entered the cinema by the stage door and asked the janitor to give her a dressing room while she waited for Susan. She turned on the lights around the mirror and freshened her make-up and hair. Susan arrived with ten minutes to spare and was shown straight in to her. It surprised Priscilla to see a different woman enter. She wore a cheeky summer frock with a halter neck. Her blonde hair was down and half hid large gold earrings, but the biggest change was in her aura. She bounced into the room with a smile on her face and a swing to her hips that made her look ten years younger.
“Susan! What happened? You do look nice!”
She blushed. “Oh, nothing really. It's just that it's Monday, and I decided that I wouldn't let this hearing make me feel miserable anymore. Why did you want to see me?”
“Susan, I don't know how to put this. I've been told you had a private meeting with Trehearne on Friday.”
Susan was shocked and immediately defensive. “How did you know?”
“That doesn't matter. It's just that Board members are not supposed to have private meetings with defendants. People could get the wrong idea. Now I need to know what passed between you.”
“But it was private! I can't talk about it. It wasn't anything to do with the hearing, anyway.”
“Susan, you've got to help me. We both work for the Authority and you're meant to support me. I can't go out there this morning knowing that one of the Board members has been talking with Trehearne behind my back. Please tell me about it. Don't worry. I won't repeat it. It's much better that you tell me now rather than out on the stage.”
“You wouldn't! I mean, it would be so awful—in front of everyone.”
“I would, Susan. It's my job to win this case, and that's what I'm going to do. Come on, tell me and I promise it won't go any further.”
Suddenly Susan's face crumpled and she slumped into the chair beside Priscilla and began to cry. Priscilla was guilt-stricken, but she would not give in now. She put an arm around Susan's shoulders and whispered, “Come on, you can tell me.”
“It's just those stories. They were so exciting. I was going home and taking off my panties as soon as I got in because I'd been wet all day. I was forcing my husband to make love to me then and again later in bed. It was so embarrassing. The… the story about him sticking it up that black girl's bottom. My husband's touched me there a couple of times and it was so exciting. I felt awful. I thought I must be sick, thinking about sex like that. I wanted to rush home that morning and do it right there and then. Except I couldn't, and my husband was working anyway. So after it had all finished, I asked John to speak with me privately.”
Priscilla felt sick. “He didn't do that to you....”
“Don't be silly! I just wanted to ask him why I felt like that. He was ever so sweet. I was crying, and he gave me his handkerchief. He said the best medicine was to run home and get my husband to do anything I wanted. He just laughed at me and sent me home, and he was right. I feel much better now.”
“You mean your husband...?”
Susan looked defiantly at her through her tears. “Yes. That's right. He made love to me in my bottom and I liked it. And I like John. I think he's very kind. There, now I suppose you think I'm a pervert as well.”
“No—no. I don't. I mean, I suppose that's your business.” She felt suddenly light-hearted that it had not been Trehearne who had satisfied her need. “I think I like John as well. He's not as bad as his book makes him out to be. Quick, come and sit here and do your make-up. You were looking so pretty earlier, and I made you cry. I'm so sorry.” Priscilla left her with a cuddle and a kiss on the cheek and went up on stage.
Jacqueline lives in Far North Queensland, on the shore of the Coral Sea. She keeps herself busy with her cats and garden, and by writing books - some of which are far too naughty for her own good. You can find out more about Jacqueline and her books at www.jacquelinegeorgewriter.com