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A Crooked Judge - Chapter 2


Copyright 2017 J.W. Castor


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Chapter Two

Terry lies on his back on the wooden floor in the well, looking up at the redwood beams crossing the ceiling. The State of California cut no costs when they built this court house thirty years before. He closes his eyes and opens his mind.

Bring me that pizza, that black olive pizza. And don't forget the gin. Gotta have that gin. Sloe gin, if you please, if you wish to please me in diverse ways. Let it slowly go down my throat, let it slowly get into my blood, let it slowly get into my cells and slowly take me into oblivion. Again.

Seriously. Who, in the legal profession, being of sound mind and body, doesn’t drink at least a little hard liquor or indulge themselves to some degree with numbing drugs. Its not like they are a bunch of unaffected sods representing murderers, robbers, rapists, arsonists, pedophiles and other lesser know felons. They are living, breathing people, members of families, partners with significant others, parents of children, neighbors to you and I. And when you suffer, they suffer. When your child is picked up for possession of heroin, they represent the child and they suffer with you through the pain. Infrequently, the addict is their child.

Not too infrequently, when a lawyer becomes a Judge, the offspring become parties to the criminal justice system. And that, dear reader, is precisely what happened to one of the children of Judge Bent, the protagonist of our tale. Not that Judge Bent didn't present a fine, upstanding example for that child. For he did--in public. In private and with his private parts, things were a bit different. A bit twisted. Of course it is easy to look back on his demeanor in his courtroom and in other areas where he held a position of power, such as his coaching his second son's little league baseball team, to find microscopic examples of his perversions -- but that word has bad connotations, not really applicable in his life. We should let his name define the man: Bent. But when his bent inclinations flickered themselves for a brief moment in the public eye, who would have guessed, who would have known, that these were microsecond glimpses through a fogged window to his troubled psyche?

Except his clerk and his bailiff, Trouble with a Capital T.

Terrence O. Bent. Intellectually superior to his peers and well aware of that fact and not afraid to flaunt it. Golden hair, similar to Autie Custer, reddish skin, similar to Autie Custer, and a friend of the bottle, and you guessed it, similar to Autie Custer.

He was called "Tobe," in elementary school, with an elongated "eeeeeee." "Tobeeeeeee!"

He used that as his calling card when he took to the stage at the local high school: "To beeee or not to beeee, that is the question!" Always good for a laugh with the teachers and the girls; and the small waifish boys that filled the stage with their longings and dreams of a different world than the one they were dropped into, dreams of a different set of cards than they were dealt, maybe the ace of spades, the ace of hearts, jack of hearts and a Joker thrown in to keep reality in perspective.

Of course, top of his class coming out of the small town nestled up against the entrance to Yosemite. Runner up in the California State Amateur Golf tournament at Pebble when he was a high school senior. Eagle scout, choirboy, valedictorian, and the list goes on and on and on. Accepted at every university he applied to, up and down the Ivy League trail, and then moving west to Michigan, Chicago, the Californians. Scholastic and Golf scholarships offered, one and both.

Terry chose Cal; also know as California or Berkeley, and more formally, the University of California at Berkeley.

Do you know what Berkeley was like in the sixties? The seventies? What do they say? If you can remember it then you weren't really there. Well, I was there and I remember it and I lived it and I had more of my friends die there than in Viet Nam -- of course I didn't have too many friends in Nam.

One day listening to Jefferson Airplane at the Greek Theatre, my personal performance theater and then just past one hundred eighty days later humping in the jungles of Nam. Damn! After Sergeant Steve left us I had to find someone to acolyte to, somebody that wasn't a total alcoholic or drug addict, somebody that went out in the bush sober and could set the trip wire without blowing us up, somebody that could sense Charlie's ditch with the rusted nails ready to embrace your foot, or see Charlie's trip wire hiding across our path attached to a grenade on the other side.

And I found him. My boy, oh my sweet boy. Donnie. Donnie Klutke. Draftee. Michigan kid. Eighteen years old. Father emigrated after the Big One from Germany where he had been gathered up as a lad of eighteen and sent to the eastern front to plug the leaking dyke that was being breached by the Russians. Donnie was a God fearing Lutheran, a bow and arrow hunter, an expert rifleman -- something in his genetic make up from a Germanic warrior clan that use to demoralize the Romans when they were tormenting Christ.

Same age as his daddy when the German government conscripted him, and now the American government took him for the same toil, but his service was in support to live the American Dream -- the early years of his American Dream that imprint you with themes that will move in and out of you for the rest of your life.

I was university educated and he was high school dropout, but I deferred to his backwoods' ways, and so he became my mentor, my hope to get out of Nam alive.

He had been in country two months before me and before he ever copulated, before his hand had ever pleasured himself, while still virgin and living in the fantasy of the wet dream, he had killed four men whose dark slanted eyes he had glimpsed as his bullet took their lives. He guessed there were a score of others as his M1 had fired helter-skelter through the rain forest in the Mekong Delta before I knew him. He was one of Sergeant Steve's favorites and he stuck with the M1 rifle and that's how I met him. Said his old man used an M1 taken from the Normandy Invasion when he was in Ukraine, being swept back to the Fatherland by the Russkies. Said he had one at the farm in Northern Michigan and could strip it and put it back together under water with one hand behind his back. I know he could and I believe him when he once told me he used it to take down a Northern Pintail at four hundred meters near Lake Michigan. He always spoke in meters and grams, like his father's countrymen.

He was there with Cap'n Cracker and Lieutenant Hirsh and the massacre. He didn't fire his M1 during that slaughter. Said if he had, he would have taken out Cracker and his Sheep.

I like this Kid. He is my height, six feet, my eyes, blue, and blonde Germanic hair with some peach fuzz where he will one day shave and like me, he hates Stephens and the few sociopaths that came to Nam with the idea that they can act out all their criminal fantasies with impunity. The ones that have no respect for human life, that consider their rifle to be an extension of their dick and their dick and extension of their rifle. The ones that call themselves, "The Dogs of War," but have no idea where the name came from and are incapable of reading anything short of Muscle Builder or Stud. Most of the draftees are just trying to get out of Country alive with no permanent scars; these punks are deliberately leaving scars on the natives.

I still think of Donnie in the present tense as we are one, always together.

Moving along the Ben Hai River beside the DMZ, our platoon goes forth to set up traps, to fuck with Charlie, and we are beside one another. Night patrols we buddy up in the bush, one man awake propped up against the other sleeping, waiting for Charlie, waiting for death. I kill my first NVA with Donnie watching, when they attack us before dawn and we are overrun and the dark eyes reflect muzzle light at me as I fire into the silhouettes and scream 'fuck you Cracker I'm not dying in this place!'

Every NVA hut we destroy on our traipses through the Country is painstakingly rebuilt for our next visit to that site the following week. Charlie's showing us that we are only tourists, that when we leave he will always clean his home of our presence; cook some new rice from his fields. Our jets will spur the local eagles to greater heights, our carnaged armor will bolster his huts, and our dead will manure his rice fields. They overrun us when the B-52s go back to Guam for more bombs and then the naval bombardment from the South China Sea takes over our skies. We are the bait for them to take, the fish to be picked in the mouth of the cormorant before being extracted, often in filleted pieces.

Donnie is there when dengue fever overcomes me with stomach pains and diarrhea. For five days I alternate shitting in a monsoon turd hole and barfing up bloody C-Rats. I don't move out of the hole while the NVA sends rockets from across the river with the sound you hear on the 4th of July in the States followed many seconds later by their screeching into the soil and men and machines entrenched in the red clay. Oh, Viet Nam, you large body bag full of American boys. I curse your destruction of the American Dream as I listen to Donnie identify a flock of ducks along the river, describing their resemblance and dissemblance from the Lake Superior ducks

If I were gay, then, he would be my lover.

We talk about what we are going to do when we get back home. He is gonna run the family farm and hunt up in northern Michigan and the Canadian country. I tell him about law school and he laughs and says I'd become a judge and throw people like him into jail. Now I wish everyday that I could throw him into jail with the felons and misdemeanants and I would go there and comfort him and speak of the Six-by truck shrapnel that slowly sailed over our heads, until I wrangled his early release.

He never shaved and he died in Country when we were exploring a bunker complex that Charlie built in the side of a small coastal hill overlooking our camp along the Ho Chi Minh trail. Stephens is behind us, hopped up on whatever came his way and slow to connect the dots and he plows through a trip wire that we pointed out to him and sets off a grenade that sends us to the ground and Charlie comes out of a tunnel behind and shoots Donnie with the French 49 rifle that I shred after I take Charlie out. And I goddamn the Pusher Man during the helicopter flight with the medic and Donnie.

Terry opens his lids to allow the small pools of tears to bathe his eyes.

"god damn the pusher man."

I god damned you to hell and I don't capitalize the Lord's name as Stephens did not deserve or observe, HIM, THOU.

There is the sound of a small "beep" at the front double doors to the courtroom and they are pushed open by pizza boxes as Reno moves through them. She has a gin bottle sticking out of her back pocket and once through, the doors close slowly behind her.

"Mr. Judge Terry Bent, what have you been doing while I been gone?"

"Nothing good while 'you been gone'."

"Oh? I like that." She sits down in front of him, places the pizza boxes on the floor, pulls the gin bottle from her back pocket and holds it toward Terry, who is still prone on his back. "What is your pleasure."? Terry reaches past his head for the bottle and she playfully slaps his hand down. "No, no, no. You start out with that first, then I know we aren't gonna have any desert."

"I promise."

Reno shakes her head.

"Oshun, please, I need that now," as he reaches again toward the gin bottle and Oshun again playfully slaps his hand away.

"We can do this for as long as you like," she whispers. "Why are you lying in the spotlight? You speechifying or reminiscing or both."

"Yes to all. Please."

Oshun Reno, Deputy Sheriff of the County in the State of California, sets down the bottle and rolls onto her knees and leans over Terry. Her body shadows over him, the spot light blocked by her form. She languidly drops her face to his and kisses him.

"The gin, please," he beseeches her.

She pushes her mouth over his lips and gently sticks her tongue through his open lips. He lets her do this for many seconds before he responds with his tongue against hers.

She moves her head back several inches, tongue still touching his lips. "This I like," with a whisper. "First the sweetness." Her mouth drops back onto his and their tongues lightly wrestle with one another. "Hmmm," she hums lightly and continues to kiss him and then pulls out her tongue from his mouth and kisses around his lips for a long time before she runs her tongue up to his eyes and licks his almost dried tears. "A salt lick? I know you didn't cry thinking about me, did you?"

"No."

"Did you cry for the pizza being late?"

"No."

"Did you cry for the gin?"

"No."

"Did you cry for that gangster that you sent up to Pelican Bay last month?"

"Naaa."

"Do you want to tell me about it."

"No."

"OK," and she runs her tongue across the bridge of his nose and over to the crust next to his other eye. "A two eyed cry. Must have been a real sad picture show?"

"Always."

"But you don't want to tell Oshun about it.'

"Nope."

"Lawyer confidentiality?"

"Maybe, or maybe clergyman and confessor."

"You suffering lawyers are all alike."

She kisses him on the mouth and with her left hand, she deftly unbuttons her blouse and then her bra, and lets her breasts fall onto his face. They don't fall lightly, because they are large and they carry weight and they cover and smother his face with a soft sound of skin against skin. Terry finds a nipple and tugs on it lightly with his lips.

"Back with momma," she whispers and he sucks stronger and the mouthed nipple becomes harder and he reaches up with his hand and begins to massage the dry nipple. It starts to get hard and she jumps lightly from the stimulation.

She moves her left hand against his shirt and runs it down to the zipper on his trousers where she touches his penis. She feels its presence behind the material and she rubs her fingers up and down, up and down, on the outside of his trousers. His penis is engorging with blood, it is getting harder. Her right hand joins her left and her breasts fall further against his face, the weight of them pulling down her strong back muscles. With both hands she unzips his trousers and then she reaches in with her left hand and touches his penis behind his jockey briefs.

"Getting closer now," and she gently rubs him for many seconds before reaching under his briefs and pulling it free, "Free at last." She moves her head down to his crotch, but her breasts are so large that he continues to suck her nipples while she puts her mouth over his dick head. She kisses it several times, leaving moisture on it and then she does a deep kiss, taking him all the way into her mouth.

She brings her mouth up, and then down, several times on his shaft and then he suddenly explodes and cries out, "So quick. So quick. I am so sorry for you," and she hushes him and says,

"You needed this more than I. My time will always come," and then she goes back down on him and takes his sperm into her mouth and swallows it. The she slowly, very deliberately, tucks his shriveling up dick back into his shorts and then zips up his trousers and looks at Terry.

He is fast asleep.

"That's my boy," and she lies down next to him and watches him breathe.




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