Saturday’s Writing.com NaNo Prep Challenge was to write out a brief story involving one of the antagonists of our upcoming NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. I decided to sketch out a short scene involving one of the council members, particularly one of the two judges, of Spectrum, Arnon Raskarat.
Arnon Raskarat sat in the judge’s booth beside Reisha, the other council judge. The case was one Arnon had seen before – a child left abandoned in the Raskarat wilderness by parents who decided, quite harshly, that it was an inconvenience to deal with the consequences of unbridled romantic encounters.
“Go easy on him,” Reisha whispered in Arnon’s ear.
Arnon said nothing, just stared at the unshaven man standing before them. The Fountain of Judgment rose behind the convicted man, crystal clear water bubbling from the top of the stone and glass structure that stood in the shape of a capitalized ‘A’. Arnon wanted nothing more than to watch this man, this delinquent of society, drown helplessly under the fountain’s cleansing waters. He knew Reisha would have nothing of it, though.
“Your child was found dead,” Arnon said in a trembling voice. His anger was almost uncontrollable. “Wasteland cannibals killed her and -” He put his fist in his mouth and bit down on his knuckles.
Reisha picked up for him, as she usually did in cases involving abandoned children. “Peera, you abandoned your child to the wilderness. Now that child is dead.”
The man said nothing. Did nothing. He just stood, hands crossed in front of him, head tilted toward the floor.
“You have nothing to say for yourself?” Reisha pleaded. “This is your one chance to offer a defense, possibly help us understand why you did what you did.”
“Understand?” Arnon grumbled. “You want him to make us understand why he killed a child? A newborn? Defenseless -“
Reisha put a hand up to stop Arnon. It was her way of saying she understood his feelings attached to this case, but that she would be the one to offer the final word. He would object had he thought it would do any amount of good. Reisha could argue that Arnon couldn’t be objective because of his own past as a baby abandoned in the Raskarat wilderness. She would be right. She never did complain about Arnon to the other council members though. He was grateful for this.
Arnon shut his mouth and let her speak the final judgment.
“Peera, you’ve offered no defense to your abhorrent actions. We have no choice but to offer swift justice in this matter. You will, as of midnight this evening, be cast out of the city, into the very wilderness your newborn was left to die in. You will be given until midnight to gather supplies and say goodbye to loved ones. You will not take anyone with you into the wilderness. Those who follow you outside of the city will be killed on the spot. Is this understood?”
Arnon sighed, somewhat satisfied with the fact that Peera wouldn’t be able to bring his wife into the wilderness with him. Justice, he thought, will be served.