2) Alabaster

By Manuel Royal
May 28, 2020 · 206 words · 1 minute

From the author: A reporter drinks it over.

"That trial was big news in Donnetown all right. First off, it was a woman. Just a second -- two more Cutty Sarks, amigo, we're dry!"

Herbert Sorbet had reported on local murders for thirty years. "Shootings, machete hack-em-ups, the '89 backhoe spree. That pastor decapitating his organist on the church bus. Cyanide gas, drowning granny in the soup, tv in the bathtub. Dough-hooks. Mercury fulminate suppository. Gila monster. Like any small town.

"Yvette Vervoot, now: First she hangs him from a tree, then she ties his feet to a 30-foot helium balloon. 900 pounds of lift. Stretched him from six feet to seven. You practically never see a woman charged with that."

He emptied his glass, chewed on the ice and continued.

"Cool? Cool as a cucumber salad with liquid nitrogen dressing. The sketch artists loved her alabaster statue face. By the fourth week -- and this was a ten-week trial, mind you -- they went from using pencil on brown paper to pastels on cotton, the good stuff. I ask you this: how many days can you hold a poker face? She smiled exactly once. Rickhauser looked her right in the eyes and said 'guilty' and she smiled at him. Hey buddy! Can a man wet his whistle?"

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