Courting Drama

‘Could you turn your head please? A little more, perhaps? Perfect. And you – I’m not getting enough from you at the moment. I want rage. I want impotent indignation. Imagine that you’ve just received a parking ticket you didn’t deserve. You can see the car park attendant walking away, smirking. That’s more like it. I want to see spittle flecking from your snarling lips. I want to see veins popping in your neck, capillaries bursting in your eyes. Excellent. And you, miss. Can you adopt an expression of horror, as if you are a moment away from swooning? Nice, nice. Even if you want to…that’s right, hand over your mouth in astonishment. I can tell you’ve done this sort of work before. Leave me your details after the shoot please.  And now we come to our antagonist. Don’t anyone move into his light. For this to work, sir, you must drip contempt, you must ooze superciliousness. That’s right, curl your lip and point. The man across from you isn’t your match, remember; he is hardly even the same species. A creature of little intelligence and even less breeding, he will be beaten into apoplectic silence by your wit, your logic, your forensic attention to detail…’

‘Mr. Phillips…’

‘I’m getting some great stuff here, guys. Hold it for just a little longer…’

‘Mr. Phillips…’

‘Ideally we’d have a storm lashing the building, rain cascading down the windows, lightning flashing onto the faces of our protagonists, the electric lights flickering. Unfortunately we’ve no budget for such luxuries. What we lack in money we must make up for with dramatic fervour. Perhaps we could do with a couple more spectators in the gallery up there. Maybe a late intervention from a court clerk with a hitherto-unseen piece of evidence…’

‘Mr. Phillips!’

‘Yes, your honour?’

‘Approach the bench, please.’

‘Yes, your honour?’

‘Mr. Phillips, notwithstanding the fact that this case concerns a very minor road traffic violation, I think the court has indulged you for quite long enough this morning. If you can’t capture the drama of the courtroom whilst sketching as proceedings continue, then I’m afraid the job of court artist might not be for you after all.’

Matthew Richardson is a writer of short stories. His work has featured in Gold Dust magazine, Literally Stories, Near to the Knuckle, McStorytellers, Penny Shorts, Soft Cartel, and Shooter magazine. He is an absentee member of the Glasgow Writers Group, a PhD student at the University of Dundee, a lucky husband, and a proud father.

Not necessarily in that order

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