Sins of the father


Arthur Arensdorf and 11 other members of a jury of peers, convicted Richard Nixon’s grandfather, Dick the trickster, who lived 525 years ago, for gross negligence which led to the suicide death of Leonard Hoffman, former owner of the Watergate Tavern and Inn.

The initial charges were filed by the attorneys, Bath, Waters and Canard, representing the members of the original Boston Tea Party in 1773.

Arthur was greeted with silence when he walked into the jury room. No one was very happy about convicting a man in the 1700’s and sentencing a 21st generation grandson for the crime. Times had changed. The crime rates were down and the governments of the New World Order had to be able to fill those asteroid prisons for which they paid an undisclosed amount. No longer were there any prisons on earth. Everyone in that jury room knew that it was ludicrous, unethical and malfeasant to convict criminals from the distant past and make present day relatives pay for the crime. Kanisha, juror No. 6, overheard a cop saying that they would be going after females as well.  They recently lowered the age for trialling as an adult, to 8 years old.

The 12 jurors were uncomfortable as the inquisitor treated the innocent grandson like his own hostile witness and charged the poor, confused guy with witness tampering. He was his only witness. It was coming up on the time for sentencing pleas. They would have to listen to Richard’s mother plea for her son’s life. The regional criminal actor would be playing Dick and begging the court not to put his grandson away for life.

A recess was called after hearing the sentencing pleas.  Arthur had never seen a criminal actor before. He came dressed for the part and disguised for his own safety. Finally they were called back in. The recess was too long–they had even eaten another meal.

The Judge looked tired. Of course no one knew that he had refused to have one of these abominations in his court, to no avail, of course. Right after the sentencing, Judge Stoica was officially retired; severed from the system.  He couldn’t stay and pass sentence on the innocent.   All he could do was help one man.

With everyone standing, he spoke to the defendant.

“Brother Richard. I apologize for the inconvenience to you and to your fellow Brothers at the Monastery.  I would like to thank the jury for their efforts, and Brother Arthur for agreeing to be Foreman. I have heard all the plea statements.  Therefore, I sentence you to 18 months, which can be completed under house arrest at the Monastery of St. Aloysius, or you can complete the 18 months on a prison asteroid.  It is up to you, Brother Richard.  What say you?”

“Your honor, I choose the prison asteroid.”

Flash Fiction Challenge #25 at Thain in Vain
Prompt:  Your protagonist is a member of the jury about to hear the sentencing of the criminal you just convicted.
Word Count:  463
Thank you Ms Thain for hosting the Flash Fiction Challenge at Thain in Vain

18 thoughts on “Sins of the father

  1. Hi Lucy, I had to read this one twice, and then realized how clever a plot it was. The idea of having to go back in time for past criminality and making present-day generations (innocent) pay – and just to fill the empty prisons on asteroids is interesting. Very creepy in a futuristic way. I like your imagination, and the way you put it all together.

    • Thank you. Do you remember the asteroid prison from Keys open doors? The two story lines will sort of connect. A sequel to this one will be the background to the other on the other blog. It’ll be weird. Did you notice the names of the attorneys back in 1773? Bath, Water and Canard. Carnard is french for “duck”.

      Actually I just had nothing for that prompt. It was the best I could do considering I’m running out of steam.. I might take off a week or two from the prompt, except for Thain’s–I’ve been with her since the very first prompt, I can casually work on a couple of writing projects or not.


  2. When you spend the big bucks, you’d better as hell fill those prisons! This was a very clever plot–trying family generations later. Nice work! I love the Brother Richard opts for the asteroid prison. Excellent work as usual, Lucy! TiV

    • I laughed as I wrote it. It goes back to a story I wrote for further in the future about the prison asteroids and the prisoners calling each other “Brother”, dressing like Monks etc. It’s on my other blog called “keys open doors”–another writing challenge. So, this story provided me the origin for that Monkish behavior–Brother Richard.

      What do you mean “i’ve said too much already”? Lucy

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