The Judge of Bad Blood


The first thing he realized was the incessant pounding of the arteries on his forehead and the deep ache along his left arm and side. At least fifty tons of force held his eyelids down, and try as he might, only his eyebrows rose slightly. Shifting a bit, he found he was slumped on the floor and against a wall warmed by his body heat. Somewhere in the back of his mind observed that it was a tiled wall and a smooth floor. His hands refused to separate from behind his back and his legs outstretched before him ignored his demands to move.

"Ah! You're awake Mr. Matthews. Welcome back to the world of the living!" The voice, clearly female and clearly young, startled him. He buckled and managed to bang his head against the wall, then slid down lower to the floor. He opened his mouth and immediately dove into a coughing fit. His throat felt as dry as the sidewalks on a hot day.

"Shh, shh," she whispered almost comfortingly. He flinched when a hand reached out to pet his hair. Kevin could barely make out a fuzzy blur of frizzy black hair of the girl dressed in green bending over him. A long grey chained necklace swung in front of him. "You were knocked out for quite a while. Here, have some water and rest for a bit."

She brought a rather large pink cup to his lips. The water, while reminding him of the pond water in the front of his yard, was welcomed. When she moved away, he licked his lips and wildly looked around.

The girl - couldn't be older than 25 - moved in a way that made her curls bounce almost in a carefree way as she cheerily went about her business. From what he could make out, they were in the laundry room, the door on the opposite side, the sink and rumbling machines to his right, and shelves and pictures with blurred words to his left. If he squinted, he could make out the closest ones: "Peace and Unity" and "Be the Best You!"

Feeling with his thumbs, he felt thick rough fibers bounded on top of smooth plastic. A glance at his ankles and thighs confirmed his suspicions. Next to his shoes, he could barely make out his shattered glasses.

And there he sat, on the floor, still in his newly pressed suit. In any other situation, he would be horrified at the state of his clothes and the germs that had ingrained into the floor he now sat on. He licked his lips again.

"Who are you? Where am I? Why are you doing this?"

He tried to keep the trembling from his voice, to sound as authoritative as he could possibly sound with his slightly high pitched voice and lanky build. And of course, he failed miserably.

"You are him," she murmured. " You have his eyes, his chin, his blood. By association, you are guilty." This last part she nearly spat out.

"What kind of answer is that?!" He thrashed in frustration and succeeding in startling her enough to make her jump slightly. She then crouched down next to him, making sure to be just out of reach but close enough for him to see her clearly.

"Think. March 6th, 1974." Her brown eyes stared at him pointedly.

"That means nothing to me!" And just like that, he felt the whip of a clothes hanger she materialized out of nowhere and screamed, half in surprise, half in pain. "What was that for?!"

"I wasn't done!" She snapped, then muttered, "You lawyers never listen."

"Anyway," she said, almost calmly as she decidedly settled herself on the sink counter, "it should. It was when your dad ruined my family's life. Blacklisted my family's name and everything."

"What on earth are you talking about?! My father's a judge!"

He could see the sparks in her eyes flamed into naked excitement.

"Yeah, and he was terrible at his judge job and his lawyer job. Biased and everything, just because we poor people got the short end of this stick! Did you know he helped persecute my mom for the murder of her family? She was framed! How could a nine year-old murder her own family?! It messed her up for years! Not to mention no adoptive family would touch her!"

"Look, I'm sorry that this happened to you but -"

"And you! You followed in his footsteps." She slid off her sink pedestal and crouched on the floor next to him again. He had to strain his neck uncomfortably to see her. "Just like your father followed in your grandfather's footsteps. Bad blood all around, and good blood being spilled on your hands."

She cocked her head to the side, almost quizzingly. "And yet, despite knowing what he's done, you saved him from the burning building."

"He's my dad! What was I supposed to do? Leave him behind?"

"Yes!"

Kevin stared disbelievingly at the girl in front of him. "Would you leave your dad to die? How is this fair?"

"Don't talk about my dad like that! He's nothing like yours, and you don't get to compare. Yours is guilty with a heart as black as the ink he used to sign countless innocent people to their deaths. How is it fair to those who died, huh? How?"

"He's my dad."

"That doesn't matter! None of it does! I thought you'd understand." She sighed as if exasperated. "I actually had hope for you, you know."

"Understand what? You're crazy!"

"Your loyalty is admirable, yes, but misguided. Hopefully, that won't lead you down the same path as that monster."

"…"

"Don't worry, dearie. I'll cure you of your disease. I promise."


This was part of a larger story I was planning out a long time ago, but this bit was the only completed part. I'm still deciding if I want to continue it. In any case, I hope you enjoyed!

- Sepharim