"My Last Client"
by M. Foard
"I just want to say thanks, Slick," said the ill-favored man standing across my desk. "You're a genius." He plunked down a roll of bills. I took it. He offered me his hand. I didn't take it. "Well, if I know anybody else in a jam, I'll send 'em to you."
He left, but his stench lingered behind. I was a genius all right. Even now, he should have been on his way to prison for murder one.
My secretary Greta stood in the doorway, watching him go. I hadn't seen her come in.
"Every client deserves a good defense," I quipped.
"That's what we say in the business," she shot back. And I was the best - once in the courtroom I would surprise even myself with the strategies I came up with. It was like an elaborate chess game - I was hooked on the challenge. I was also, I had to admit, hooked on the money.
"Aren't we glad we defended this one?" I held up a newspaper article she'd left on my desk. A rapist who'd gotten a short sentence through plea bargaining, now caught in a repeat offense.
"He was going to be your last client, remember?" she said. "Well, it isn't the first time this happened with one of yours."
"Greta," I said, "I want to get out of this whole dirty business. I'm tired of these scumbags."
"You always say that. You've been saying that for years," she reminded me. "To hear you tell it, every client is going to be the last one. You'll feel that way until the next case comes along. Then you'll get sucked in again."
"I guess every case has its fascination," I said.
"Yes, and for you, so does every vintage wine and late model car," she teased. "You have to support your habits."
"Only one thing wrong with what you're saying," I said. "You're right."
"Don't forget, attorneys are good for something. What about the innocent person who needs a defense?" she asked.
"It's been a long time since I've seen anyone truly innocent."
"Well, before you get out of the whole business, you'd better get some lunch. You have another appointment in forty-five minutes."
"I do? Who's that?" I asked, looking at the schedule.
"Mr. Luery. New client. A strange individual."
"What does he want?"
"He wouldn't say."
The story continues...
"My Last Client"
by: M. Foard
© 1995, 1996, 2002 M. Foard
artwork © 1995, 1996, 2002 Jimmi Accardi
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