Dead Trial
Dead Trial

by

Matthew Green


Sergeant Walter Eaton stood at the Police Station reception desk busying himself with whatever it is that Police do when theyíre manning reception, when a person literally walked in through the door.

Now, to clarify, the door was never opened and there was no gap for anybody to climb in through.

He actually passed through the wood without causing any damage at all.

The man walked over to Walter and said: "Iím here to report a murder."

Walter noticed that the man was slightly transparent. He could see the far wall through the manís skull.

"Okay," Walter said, "what is the name of the person who was murdered?"

"Richard Thomas," he said.

"And what is your name, and your relation to the murder victim?"

"My name is Richard Thomas, and the murder victim is me."

Walter was confused. "What?"

"Observe," said Richard, as he passed his hand through the Sergeantís chest.

"I really donít think we have any regulations regarding this sort of thing, let me get the chief."

Richard saw Walter disappear to the back of the station. After a few minutes he heard a muffled argument going on.

Walter pushed the Chief through to the reception area and was saying: "See for yourself."

The Chief composed himself and said: "So sonny, you claim to be dead eh?"

Richard was very polite. "Yes sir."

"Deceased? No longer Living? Inanimate?"

"Thatís right, yes sir."

Walter leaned towards the chief. "Try touching him, guv."

The Chief looked at Walter, who nodded. He reached his hand out towards Richard's chest and had a heart attack when the manís body offered no resistance.

* * * * *

Once the Paramedics had taken the Chief to hospital, and declared his status as Ďstableí, Walter continued with the questioning: "So, do you know who murdered you?"

"Yes, it was that weasel Harry Trooper. He was supposed to fix the brakes on my car and he did a shoddy job. I want him locked away for life." Richard sounded very angry now, nowhere near as polite as he was while the Chief was there.

"I donít think we can put someone in prison for doing a bad job on somebodyís brakes."

"My car wouldnít slow down! I fell over the edge of a cliff straight into the ocean!" Walter noticed Richard appeared to be breathing very heavily, which was obviously impossible as, being dead, he shouldnít have to breathe at all. "It was his fault! Harry Trooper killed me!"

"Well, I suppose we could probably take this to court. Return to your home. Iíll arrange a court date for you and keep you informed."

"Thank you."

Richard turned and left the Ďstation, passing through the door as if it wasnít there.

* * * * *

Richard went down to the Crematorium where his funeral was taking place. Some frogmen had recovered his body and they were now going to cremate him.

He went to the chair next to his girlfriend, Lucy Jane, and crouched down to give the impression that he was sitting next to her.

"I notice Harry Trooper was too gutless to show up," he sneered.

"Please, Richard, donít do this, donít charge your best friend," Lucy begged.

"He has to pay. He killed me for crying out loud."

The vicar suddenly shouted out: "And now, the eulogy, presented to us by everyoneís favorite dead guy, Richard Thomas."

Richard leapt up onto the alter. "Hello everyone. Richard Thomas will be missed by all who are present. Especially me." Everyone exploded in a fit of laughter.

* * * * *

The court case was in full swing. Richard had chosen to represent himself, and Harry had chosen the best Lawyer he could afford, Kingston Bentley. "As my next witness I call to the stand Richard Thomas," Kingston snorted.

Richard stepped into the dock. "Now Richard," he wheezed, "I have great difficulty in figuring out what this trial is all about. Youíre still here, present in the land of the living. Youíve suffered no brain damage. Whatís the problem?"

"The problem, Kingston, is that my girlfriend, Lucy Jane, and I were currently trying for a baby and now that Iím dead, Iíve been robbed of that opportunity."

Kingston didnít expect such a good argument. "No further questions." Richard stepped down from the dock.

"My next witness," Kingston said, "Is the forensic expert who examined the wreckage which was recovered and identified by the witness himself as the correct car."

The Forensic Expert stepped up to the dock. "Now Mr Forensic, what did you find on examining the wreck?"

"Well, Mr Prosecutor, I could find no evidence that the brakes had been improperly repaired, but there again there was no way of telling if they had been correctly and professionally fi-"

"No further questions," Kingston interrupted, "You may step down from the dock."

"But I didnít finish what I was sa-"

"I said you may step down."

"Yes sir." Mr Forensic returned to his seat.

"Any more witnesses?" the Judge asked.

"No your honour," replied both parties.

"Final comments to the jury?"

Kingston stood up. "Jury, Mr Thomasís argument is weak at best, he didnít even have any witnesses, he was totally unprepared for court. It must be said that there is definitely reasonable doubt as to whether this crime actually took place. You know how to vote."

Richard stood up. "Jury, are you going to believe the incoherent rantings of this dangerously obese mortal?"

"Objection. My obesity has nothing to do with anything."

"Sustained. Jury, forget what he said about the obesity, etcetera."

"His whole argument rested on lack of forensic evidence, but I say, Iíve lost too much, my character witnesses said I was a good driver, not prone to losing my concentration, the only way this could have happened is if the car was defective."

"We will reconvene in thirty minutes to hear the juryís verdict. Dismissed."

* * * * *

"Foreman of the jury, have you reached a verdict?"

"Yes we have, your honour."

"And what is that verdict?"

"Due to lack of forensic evidence, we find the defendant one hundred percent not guilty."

Harry was overjoyed. "Hey, Richard, no hard feelings, eh mate?"

Richard threw a punch at Harry, but fell straight through him. "Iím going to call for a retrial!" he yelled.

"Oh give it up," Kingston reciprocated.

Richard begrudgingly decided that Kingston was right And with that realisation a bright light appeared infront of him, yearning him to approach it. He could feel it pulling him, his every instinct told him to move into, just like his every instinct told him to charge his former best friend, and that got him nowhere.

He walked over to Harry and whispered: "I forgive you," and he meant it too. Then he let the light take him to his place of eternal peace, where he spent all his time at the bottom of the ocean, sleeping with the fishes.