This post was co-published at talanhorne.com. You may find it has better formatting on the other site.
*The atmosphere in the courtroom is noticeably changed. The cloud of dread that often hangs over the chamber has taken the day off, and the sun cheerfully peeks in through the window. There will be no arguments today. Only a few formalities.*
Justice Byclericalerror: “The defendant will please stand.”
*I rise, and Mr. Devil's Advocate stands in a show of solidarity*
JB: “The severe breach of protocol caused by the bailiff's criminal actions is sufficient grounds for a mistrial. You understand this?”
I do, your honor.
JB: “Good, because we're not going to do that. Though this trial has proven to be highly irregular, the facts revealed herein have established the truth of this case, namely that you cannot be guilty of murdering Dr. Heliogabalus because he is most definitely still alive.”
JB: “Furthermore, no charge of attempted murder, or of assault, would be appropriate. This court has experienced firsthand the dangerous nature of the once-supposed victim. Any action you have taken against him can reasonably be classified as self-defense.”
JB: “To that end, I have decided to hand down a judgment of acquittal. There will be no verdict, and no possibility of retrial. You're a free man, Mr. Horne. This court is adjourned.”
Mr. Devil’s Advocate: “See? You can always count on me to get you off the hook.”
I guess your actions did force Horatio to reveal himself. You did a good job...Brady.
Mr. DA: “Oh, stop acting so surprised. Is it a crime to have a first name?”
It might be a crime to keep it hidden for so many years. Seems like the kind of thing a shady criminal would do.
Mr. DA: “Hey, I never claimed I was above being a little shady. It's practically a requirement at my...eccentric workplace.”
Though I suppose all the real thanks goes to your ex-wife, since she, y'know, saved all our lives.
Prosecutor Downarrow: “Aw, it was nothing.”
It was enough. I've never seen Horatio so afraid of anyone. And I'm the guy who almost killed him with explosives. I'm sorry that it resulted in your first court loss ever.
PD: “I don't see it that way. I like to think that I'm not so much losing a court case as I'm gaining an adorable new pet.”
Dexter, the Talking Chinchilla: “…”
PD: “But I might ask what you're going to do with yourself, now that you don't have a murder charge hanging over your head.”
Well, there's still a lot to take care of. Hint Guy still isn't 100% over his injuries. And there are still so many topics to blog about. Not to mention that I've ramped up my publication efforts and am still attempting to take the world by storm. What do you think I should do next.
PD: “Actually, as a prosecutor, I would advise that you try to avoid the spotlight for a while. The first few months after an acquittal are a dangerous time for people like you. You're going to get hounded by paparazzi and exposé writers, all claiming to know the 'real' story.”
That's some good advice, I guess. And you'll have to forgive me, because I'm not going to follow it even a little.
Playing a New Game
A lot of things have changed in the past year. I've quit one miniseries. I've tried new things on the blog. I got a new logo. And I've grown up a bit.
But the most important thing now is to make a name for myself, and I am going to do just that. Over the last few months, I've come to realize that it's not just about being so good that they can't ignore you. It's also about being so loud that they can't pretend you're not there.
So this year is going to be different, in one way or another. Exactly what I'm doing is a bit of a secret, but there has already been a significant change in how I operate my public face. And bigger changes are on the way.
It's not exactly like winning a murder trial, but it's at least a little like winning a metaphorical trial. My right to keep living, to keep having chances at the life I want, has been in question. But the judgment is a positive one, even if I won it by the skin of my teeth.
I hope you'll still be around to see it when it grows into full bloom, because life is going to get pretty exciting then. And if you've stuck with me so far, then I just want to say thank you. You have made things a bit easier for me.
Next week, the blog will be back in full swing. I hope you'll all stick around to see it, because you never know when things are going to start taking off.
Keep your fingers crossed.