A Compulsory Decision

His legal assistant was just two steps behind him, and thought for a second that he might stop him before he jumped. The shock of seeing the judge walk toward the open window twelve stories

high and contemplating suicide froze the assistant. He couldn't even utter the words, stop, don't do it.

However, the assistant reached the window just in time to scream in horror, then watch the judge helplessly fall toward the ground silently, twisting and arms flailing as he grew smaller with the plunge. The assistant grabbed the window sill and braced for impact as the judge made contact with the sidewalk below. The assistant stared in total disbelief and then started screaming as loud as he could.

Judge Robert Pine was a hated man. He ran his courtroom like a Nazi prison camp. It was very difficult getting through to him. If you committed a crime he would do his best to throw away the key. He was a racist, anti-gay, anti-feminist and so old school it made the young lawyers cringe. He devalued black and Latino lives, and he hated money-bag Jews. He insisted that the black people were always heavily in debt and virtually unemployable. He also once said that if the Latinos didn't clean toilets or cut grass they too would be unemployable. When a young female lawyer walked into his courtroom, he'd turn a disgusting eye to the sky and to tell God that the world is going to hell in a shit basket. He gave no one a break, even if there were extenuating circumstances.

He once ordered over twelve excavations for a murder case involving two young black men and a senior citizen. No one had the stomach to risk disturbing anymore graves, but Pine had the legal whip, and kept ordering and ordering.

Judge Robert Pine found out he was dying, and a dying old man should not hate. He couldn't help it, he just felt that so many people break the law and expect to go on as if nothing happened. Big shot lawyers help people get away with murder, but not if he's sitting on the bench. He wanted to change the legal system, but it wasn't going to happen in his lifetime.

The death sentence he received from his doctor gave him the strength he needed to write the suicide note. He left it for his assistant to read after he jumped. He had no idea that his assistant read it three times while he was still in his office pacing and contemplating. His assistant also made himself a cup of coffee before reacting to what he just read. Three creams and four sugars, and he also stirred it twenty seven times. His assistant thought, hey why stop a man who doesn't have much time to live.

The judge was plastered all over the sidewalk below the window and it took the assistant several minutes to recover from the shock. The jump took seconds and the assistant wondered if he really did have enough time to help him. The fall however seemed to last for hours. He swore that the judge looked up at him and thanked him for not stopping him. Judge Pine floated for what seemed like an eternity to the assistant, almost like a kite in the sky. The assistant was almost begging for the sidewalk to claim the bloody mess.

A crowd got to the street and circled the body's impact on the sidewalk below, and the dead judge's decision to jump for that crowd was complex and satisfying.

The assistant held the suicide note, which he had never put down during his rush to try to save Judge Pine. The letter felt a lot heavier as he stood in the window frame, looking down at a horror scene, watching the first onlookers move up to the casualty. Almost as if they wanted to applaud. It was a compulsory decision.


© 2016 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 29 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 9 months ago from Dallas, Texas

This one lives up to your fine style of reality and the justice system, Frank. Nicely told. Twenty-seven times!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Pegcole thank you for stopping by :)

Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 9 months ago from Florida

Wow! At first, I was thinking this man sounds like a Donald Trump. I wonder if we should be so lucky one day as to find a note? Alright, that was not nice at all, I do not wish that on anyone, not even the devil himself (Trump).

So, I am a bit confused though, the assistant read the letter before the judge jumped, he knew of his plans, but he read it three times, made himself a cup of coffee, then proceeded to stir that cup of coffee twenty-seven times, before he panicked and ran to save the judge. LOL. That is brilliant right there!!

This was another great story, Frank. I loved it!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Missy thank you so much for reading my flash...bless you

savvydating profile image

savvydating 9 months ago

This story is really "different." I enjoyed it very much. I'm still wondering why I feel sorry for the judge.

This story has to make us think...Would any of us take our sweet time to allow another to kill themselves, given the hateful nature of the judge. One has to wonder. Another good one, Frank!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

Savvy.. thank you for sharing your comment.. bless you

always exploring profile image

always exploring 9 months ago from Southern Illinois

Some people just don't deserve to live. The assistant needs to cut down on sugar. lol

clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 9 months ago from Nibiru

Jump, Jump, Jump...that's what i would be screaming. Not a second too soon for the racist.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you always for your too sweet comment LOL and Clive you're just a bad man LMAO!

MsDora profile image

MsDora 8 months ago from The Caribbean

Death is a deliverer sometimes. For whom in this situation? The judge or the people? We can't just read your stories; we have to think too. Good job!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much MsDora for stopping by :)

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas

Like MsDora commented...your stories always make us think. You painted quite a picture of that judge and why the assistant took his time in trying? to prevent the suicide. Good writing as always!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

Peggy W thank you for reading my flash

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Well I suppose if I just hated everything and everyone, jumping wouldn't look so bad -- even without the death sentence.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

well Eric, I suppose you're right :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

I'm late to the dance, Frank, and yet rewarded for just showing up....great writing....powerful impact with a short punch. :)

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Billybuc for making it over :)

BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 8 months ago from Victoria, Australia

I'm later still, but glad I came. Good story!

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 8 months ago from southern USA

I'm even later, later, later ...Wow, Frank, what a "smash" hit. I guess the hard ass judge gave himself an appropriate sentencing ...the death sentence. Oops, that's so terrible of me! Forgive me. We should all seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God. Your writing is stellar and placed us right there in the compulsory decision.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Blossoms and Faith for stopping by and catching my Judge..LOL :) Bless you both

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 8 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

You painted the scene as well as the sidewalk.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 8 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Amazingly well done. For a man to be that bad would be to second guess human nature and come to the same conclusion. I think I felt a little bit of pity as well as a "good riddance," too.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much mckbirdbooks and aviannovice for stopping by

wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 8 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

Interesting, Frank. This dreaded judge was at least consistent. He was ultimately merciless with himself, as he had been with criminal defendants of color.

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

hey thank you wingedcentaur :)

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 8 months ago from london

Awesome. If I may add, we carry a heavy burden when we do wrong and somehow the Divine always compensates. No one escapes, really. So you show what is seemingly a fitting end for a very bad man. Still, who knows the ways of the Lord? Excellent work!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you manatita for checking out my decision.. bless you bro :)

Genna East profile image

Genna East 7 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

My goodness...I would have thought someone would have pushed Pine out of that same window a long time ago. No one would have been surprised. So he inflicted his own death sentence before his time. Did he cheat death in terms of what lay in store for him in -- much the same way he thought criminals wanted to get away with things? Suicide used to be a crime, but it's academic since the successful perpetrator is beyond the reach of the law. Perhaps the scales of justice aren't so blind -- else those twenty-seven stirs might never have taken place. You have given us much to ponder, Frank, with this awesome, visceral tale. Great write!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 7 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Genna always good to see you :)

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