Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)
TITLE: In Defense of Lollipops
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A collective gasp filled the courtroom.
“Objection, your honor. That lollipop could have been eaten by anyone.”
Benlek sighed, his gelatinous form rolling upward and downward. He was accused of consorting with the enemy; an enemy his people deemed unworthy of attention, consideration or even compassion.
“The child’s slobber is all over it.” The opposing council glided toward the bench, his blob-like body leaving a sticky trail upon the wooden floor. “As previously stated, two eye-witnesses identified this design as identical to the one Mr. Benlek offered to the youngster.”
“Overruled.” The yellow-hued judge bobbed his oversized body. “I’ll allow the candy.”
“I warned you this would be biased.” Benlek’s advocate jiggled a bit as he whispered to his client. “You sure you want to take the stand?”
“Of course I’m sure.” His response was a hiss. As far as he was concerned, he’d done nothing wrong.
“Mr. Benlek?” The judge was now looking at him. “We’re all very interested in what you have to say on your behalf.”
“Yes, your honor.” He felt at twinge of fear as he started toward the bench. It was almost certain he was going to lose. Benlek knew this from the beginning but now that the end was approaching, he was feeling a little apprehensive.
“Would you like to explain the event in your own words?” There was hatred in the judge’s eyes. Benlek could see he’d already been convicted.
“There’s not much to tell, really. I was in the park when I heard a child crying.”
“A human child.”
“Well, yeah.” He attempted to keep the irritation from his voice. “I went to investigate and found a little girl on the pavement. She had a skinned knee.”
“Explain that in a little more detail for those who don’t understand.”
Benlek glanced over the room’s inhabitants. It was amazing how little was known about a people so passionately hated. “Humans have different pieces to them.”
A murmur swept the room.
“They have arms, legs, finger, toes…” He went on to explain, somewhat enjoying the expressions of horror the various blobs were displaying. “And they have skin which stretches over everything and holds it all together.”
“So then a skinned knee-“
“When something breaks their skin,” Benlek interrupted the judge, “It creates a hole in them and some of their fluids escape.”
There was a thud as one of the blobs fainted.
“It seems to cause them pain because the child was making a terrible noise. So, I stayed and tried to cheer her up.”
“You admit to giving her the candy?” The opposing counsel spoke to Benlek for the first time which invited a rather icy stare from the defendant.
“I never denied it.”
“He’s guilty!” Another blob within the audience bobbed up and down. “Boil him! Boil him!”
Benlek could only smile, a forward motion of his own jelly-like form indicating the frenzied one. “Human children like it when we do that. They think it looks funny.”
The court erupted in outrage, variously colored masses bobbing and thrashing about. It was quite an amusing display and the defendant could only laugh.
He was also beginning to see the humor in it.
“Order! Order!” The judge bellowed, his resonating command quieting the room. “I’m ready to begin sentencing.
“You haven’t convicted me yet.”
“Very well.” Benlek wasn’t surprised. There no rhyme or reason to the proceedings aside from providing entertainment to the public. He was beginning to wonder how he ever believed in such a flimsy institution.
“Mr. Benlek, I hereby sentence you to boil within your own masses.”
The crowd cheered.
Benlek found himself distracted. During the sentencing, he noticed a small speck of light shimmer into existence above him. It hovered a moment before diving straight into his gelatinous form.
A soft voice seemed to speak from within. “For your compassion, you will be delivered.”
He began to change. Arms sprouted from his bulbous mass and legs were soon to follow. A strange tightening in his chest only caused momentary panic before a layer of skin surrounded his new bipedal form.
Newly-formed fingers grabbed at a tablecloth and he wrapped it quickly around him. The roomful of blobs seemed much less intimidating and decidedly smaller. They all stared up at him, fear and hatred swirling within their liquid expressions.
Someone hit him in the knee.
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