The Hand of Justice

  • 17 Oct - 23 Oct, 2020
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Fiction

Marcia called this cafe her seat of thought. Summer in New York provided the opportunity to enjoy coffee and pastries at the pavement tables, where she could watch the world go by, and gather inspiration. Marcia was a descriptive author of crime novels. Descriptive encompassed the minutest detail of her characters, their actions and surroundings. Hence her readers overwhelmed by her observation were enthralled to find out what obscure fact was pivotal when solving the crime.

The cafe was an exclusive retreat set in a pedestrian–only side street about five minutes walk from and overlooking the bustling shopping mall. Many of the clientele were business people and celebrities. Marcia arrived mid–morning when she was assured of a single seat and table. She ordered a pot of coffee, fresh cream horns and strawberries, magazine to hand, she would enjoy the ambiance for an hour; leaving before the tables filled.

She noticed a tall man walking up the hill towards the cafe; coming closer she decided he was also attractive. He smiled, said good morning, and sat at a table, but not close enough to allow conversation between them. He ordered coffee, and opened his reader. She had already deduced that he was aged about 45, six ft tall, 168 lb, distinguished, and wealthy. He had black hair, side–burns trimmed in line with ear–lobes, wore Stanton black Moroccan shoes, half inch heel, black cotton pressed trousers, white Dior silk shirt with beige double button cuffs, and an Armani finger watch. She flushed with excitement; he was the unique mystery character that she must have in her next novel. She will build a story of love, deceit and murder around him. Somehow she must find a reason to approach and speak to him. Only by doing this could she fully absorb his face, voice, mannerisms, aroma, etc. She approached his table.

“Hello, my sugar jar is blocked, may I borrow yours for a moment.”

“Please Madam be my guest.” She implanted a perfect picture of him in her mind, but she needed more. She returns the sugar jar.

She quipped, “Thank you I am sweetened.”

He smiled not saying anything, indicating flirtation was far from his mind. Returning to her seat she savored the information she had gathered. A few minutes later there was a loud explosion from the shopping mall. People rushed into the street, both fearful and in order to watch aghast the aftermath of what was likely a terrorist bomb attack.

Marcia noticed her mystery man did not follow this behaviour but instead appeared to ignore the awful event, and walked with nonchalance back down the hill. She was troubled by this, her suspicions aroused. At home she typed out a statement of the events and included a 2000 word detailed description of the man, and took it to the police. The investigating officers were amased at her written account. They showed Marcia some photos of suspects and she identified the man as the BUGLE (Josey Buglasen) an international terrorist. The Bugle was arrested, but denied being in New York, providing a strong alibi. However, the evidence plus the detail that Marcia had provided, led the prosecutors to believe they could break the alibi and put the Bugle behind bars.

The Attorney defending the Bugle had only one avenue of defense that being to discredit Marcia’s written statement. He would put to the court, that nobody who had momentarily faced someone in order to borrow a sugar jar could possibly produce over two–thousand words of detail that described his client to perfection. He would claim that Marcia must have had photographic assistance in order to have written her statement and to have identified his client. He would further claim collusion between the Police and Marcia. Even if he failed to get her evidence dismissed, the doubt created would discredit her, and he would triumph.

He put this assumption to Marcia in the witness box ending with “do you expect the jury to believe you”.

Marcia replied, “Yes, let me explain.”

Marcia began, but the Attorney harassed her. The Judge halted him with a terse, “You have put forth a damming inference against this witness; the court will hear her explanation.”

Marcia said, “I am a descriptive novelist, and am always searching for the perfect subject material. When I saw Mr Buglasen at the cafe, I knew I had found the face I needed for my next novel. I have trained myself to scan a subject into my mind, and build it as a 3D image with everything placed upon it. I do this with intense concentration and at great speed. As an example, before Mr Monteth (the defense Attorney) began questioning me, he crossed the court floor to hand a document to the prosecution, and for a moment his right hand; first the back, and then its palm was close to my line of vision. I scanned those images into my mind and noted the following:

There is a small scar across the knuckle of the Index finger. The finger nails are longer than one would expect, but the nail on the ring finger is shorter indicating an earlier broken nail. The thumb nail has a split upon its outer edge. The nails overall are sturdy, but have beading (Vertical ridges) and the moons (Lunula) are unusually bluish in colour both these anomalies can indicate circulatory problems. The middle and forefinger are unusually the same length. The signet ring on his ring finger is approximately 5 ml width and initialed KCT, and there is a scratch to the right of the letter T. There are ink stains on the thumb and index finger. On the palm of his hand the heart line (Distal Palmar) does not extend to the index finger phalanx and the headline (Proximal Palmar) crosses the whole width of the palm. The small finger is pulled towards the palm indicating a Flexion Contracture. There is a small mole on the middle phalanx of the index finger. The Judge intervened and called the defense Attorney to approach the bench and to hold out his right hand which the judge then studied whilst the clerk of the court read back the explanation given by Marcia. This done with the courtroom waited in silence.

The Judge looked up and said, “The court is entirely satisfied that the witness is totally reliable.”

The defense Attorney glanced once at his right hand, and then said, “The defense rests.”