This week’s prompt was brought to you by damn good writer Mark Gardner of Article 94!
Prompt 25: Your protagonist is a member of jury about to hear the sentencing of the criminal you just convicted
Nature Made Me Do It
By Eilidh Thain
Judge J.E. Owl called the court to order and waited patiently as the incessant mumbling died down. “I believe we have a verdict,” he asked the jury foreman.
“Yes, your honour. We have come to a verdict,” said Duke Doggie. He handed over the tattered piece of paper that held the weighty decision about the accused’s life to the bailiff. He thought how callous it was for this to be written on a cheap, yellow legal pad — such a utilitarian paper. He believed this kind of decision deserved to be written in script on parchment or something like that.
You could almost hear the collective beating of different hearts in the room as the bailiff carried the verdict to the judge. Every eye in the house was on the folded piece of paper, straining to see if there was one word or two.
Judge Owl opened the paper. Looked at the accused and asked her to stand. “Missy Kat, you are charged with first degree murder in the death of Billy Robin.” A high-pitched chirp pierced the room. Judge Owl carried on, “Your crime has devastated a family, altering their lives forever and you have not shown one speck of remorse. For your crime, a jury of your peers have sentenced you to death.”
Missy howled, her attorney attempted to calm her. “It was not murder. It was nature. Nature made me do it,” she hissed.
“It was a heinous home invasion murder, you monster. You came into my home and took my Billy from me,” squawked Mrs. Robin from the gallery as she broke down, crying into the wings of her mate.
“He was an easy victim – all needy and waiting. You’re the criminal for leaving your babies alone. You’re lucky I didn’t get more of those squirmy little buggers,” said Missy with a dismissive nod of her head and flick of her tail.
“You’re pure evil,” cried Mrs. Robin.
“What are you talking about? How many of my loved ones have I seen carted off by your kind,” screamed juror Sammy Slug at Mrs. Robin.
“Food chain. Look into it, sluggy boy,” said Mrs. Robin with a screech.
“Speaking of food. When’s lunch?” Asked juror Pete Pigeon, eyeing Sammy.
“Hey, can we speed this up, please? I’ve got my female waiting for some afternoon delight,” Randy Rabbit said to the judge.
“Order. Order in this court,” hooted Judge Owl.
“Oh, the judge has spoken,” mocked Missy. “So, you’re suddenly a vegetarian, eating only salad with fake mouse meat. I’m sure the mice would have something to say about that.”
“I sentence you to death by dog, Missy. Your kind of evil should not be allowed in this world.”
“Bring it, hypocrite,” said Missy, her back arching and eyes blazing.
“Duke, follow through with your verdict.” Duke leapt from the juror box and grabbed Missy the neck with a growl. He shook her once, as the witnesses gasped, then released her. They looked at one another, bolted for the door, and said, “and you think cats and dogs can’t be friends. Fools.” And with that they were gone.