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Abuse of Process

by Lee Nash

Frozen in dock, hands locked unconsciously behind his back and fingering a horseshoe, our defendant ponders the ignominy of going down over a bruise; he’s under the cosh, in an alien land, in a courtroom shaped like a lunar module. It’s lawyers versus lawyer-slayers, black gowns swishing like stallions’ manes. It’s rodents caught in high beam, the descendant star and the errant equestrian, reluctant leads in a B movie. Plots crossed, a cowboy pilots the spaceship, an astronaut feels for his umbilical cable and finds a holster. A woman puts her feet up, exhibits her socks. Then comes this marvelous moment, the denouement: helmet in Gucci and feet shod with Prada, a rogue produces photos as glossy as newborn foals, the incontestable proof. The magistrate probes the guts in his scales, throws out the bones. White, you shake my hand with a dead carp; her face blanches, cold as cod from the freezer.

Author's Note

This prose piece came to life after I witnessed a friend's court hearing in Bordeaux, France. I was struck in turns by the strange courtroom, the rather bizarre case, the motley crew of supporters, and the lawyer's deft handling of the mess. It was a day to remember for its absurdity.

Lee Nash lives in France and freelances as an editor and proofreader. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in print and online journals in the UK, the US and France including Ambit, Angle, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Mezzo Cammin, Orbis, Poetry Salzburg Review, Presence, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, The Interpreter's House, The Lake, and The World Haiku Review. You can find a selection of Lee’s poems on her website:

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