Drafting–Colton speaks with his attorney, and Sandy

Colton pressed Accept on his iPhone and suppressed his dissatisfaction with the attorney who’d come highly recommended. “You’re up early for a Saturday.”

“It’s my golf day and I’m about at the first hole so I’ll be quick.” Colton visualized Cliff driving his cart, and could hear someone beside him talking, probably on a cell phone. “Hey, tried calling you several times last night.”

“Sorry. I was, well, out of range. Plus, my phone died.” He sat in his recliner, put his phone on Speaker, and grabbed his cigarettes and lighter. “What’s going on?”

“I’ll go first,” Cliff’s passenger announced.

“Court. Monday. 10:00 AM.”

“What the hell. You said my trial wouldn’t be for months.” Colton lite a Marlboro and took a deep pull.

“That’s right, this is about your bond. The DA refiled his motion and the new judge set a hearing. Just be there. Dress nice, and be on your best behavior.”

“Shit man. Shoot me straight. What’s going on? Am I about to go to jail?” Sweat popped out on Colton’s forehead. He remembered Cliff telling him Judge Stewart had to retire. Health reasons. And, to hope his replacement wasn’t some deranged pro-prosecution crusader.

“I hate to say it but the new judge, Judge Rhodes, will probably put you in jail until your trial, or increase the bond amount. Possibly to something you cannot afford.”

Colton lowered his foot rest, stood, and headed to the kitchen. He needed a beer. “Can’t you do something? Why is this happening? Why doesn’t Judge Stewart’s order still stand?” Four months ago, the DA had pulled this same stunt, filed a motion to revoke or modify Colton’s bail, and Judge Stewart had refused to set a hearing. Cliff had said then that given the seriousness of Colton’s crime, a majority of judges wouldn’t be so friendly.

“Listen, I got to go. Be at court early, say 9:30, and we can talk more. Have a good weekend.” The call ended. Colton downed half a bottle of Bud Light.

“Have a good weekend, my ass. That’s fucking easy for him to say.” After returning his half-emptied beer to the refrigerator Colton walked to his recliner and called Sandy. Still feeling the need to talk outloud to himself, he said, “shit, he’s in the same boat I’m in. The only difference is the names of our attorney’s.”

“What the hell are we going to do?” Sandy’s answer left no doubt he was also due in court Monday. “Where you been? I tried calling all night.” Sandy sounded desperate. Colton walked outside and stood on the front porch knowing his best friend believed he still had a tender reed of hope. Unfortunately, that was about to burn up like the morning fog.

“Sorry. I just heard. Cliff called and told me about the hearing.”

Before Colton could continue, Sandy blasted, “Millie’s going to be there. And tell them. Right? It’s time man.” For months he had blamed Colton for their predicament.

“Sit down and brace yourself. We’re in worse trouble than you think.”

“Huh? What the fuck are you talking about?” Sandy had always been pliable, almost like a puppet, especially for Colton.

He started to lie and tell Sandy the best thing they could do is wait until trial and surprise the DA with our alibi, but then decided that was bullshit. Plus, he needed Sandy to help execute the plan that was percolating in his head. “Millie’s gone, left yesterday. Don’t know where she is, but we have to find her.”

Again, Sandy jumped in. “And how the hell will we do that while sitting in jail?” A well-articulated question by the construction worker.

“Pack a bag and meet me at Mitchell’s in an hour. It’s time we go off the grid my friend. Millie’s out there and we’re going to find her.”

“Shit, shit, shit,” was all Sandy could say.

Author: Richard L. Fricks

Former CPA, attorney, and lifelong wanderer. I'm now a full-time skeptic and part-time novelist. The rest of my time I spend biking, gardening, meditating, photographing, reading, writing, and encouraging others to adopt The Pencil Driven Life.

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