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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

By Dennis Van Scoy


Prominent New York attorney Jason Dumont sat quietly in the spacious, great room, engulfed in the historical significance that gave such urgency to the task at hand. He was indeed facing a challenge of unprecedented proportion, a high profile case beyond all imaginings, and although he was
himself no stranger to controversy or “limelight”, the pressures presented
in this defense were already looming insurmountable.

He opened his briefcase, removed several legal forms and spread them
out on the large table in front of him. Jason then tried to shake the intimidation of this private meeting by assessing the vast team assisting him in this cause. Of course there were the eight administrative attorneys from this city, four more in Chicago and finally the six highly qualified people out of his own firm in New York, each having considerable expertise in the field of criminal defense. He was confident in his own abilities, and in the support of this most excellent legal team, yet, the surreal broadcast images from the last three days replayed on a “loop” in his mind, and he was sobered at the very aspect of representing a client who had perpetrated a murder before the very eyes of countless television viewers.

He sat back in the comfortable leather chair, tapping his chin with a pen and staring across the room at the ornate grandfather’s clock. It was one fifty-six, only four minutes until those huge, oak doors opened, and he’d find himself face to face with the pinnacle of legal dilemmas, one beyond equal in all jurisprudence.

His first thought was for cause of temporary insanity, but Jason knew that the ramifications of such a defense would be catastrophic. His mind franticly explored possible motives and numerous possibilities, yet again he understood that only through his initial consultation could he hope to formulate any workable strategy. A part of him just wanted to run across the room to that old grandfather’s clock, hold back the movement of it’s minute hand and cry out, “WAIT! I’M NOT READY YET!”, but that part of him no longer had any power over the purpose and determination that now rigidly ruled in his life.

Two minutes left, and to his distress, he could detect a slight trembling in his hand as he filled a glass of water from the pitcher on the table. “Knock it off!” He mentally scolded himself. It was simply just another client, another case,__ he mustn’t allow his own feelings to cloud his perspective. Beyond the door Jason could hear the mumblings of conversations and the shuffling of feet, doubtless produced by the contingency of guards making ready to enter the room. His heart rate increased as he anticipated the opening of those doors and he quickly gulped a swallow of water to combat the increasing dryness in his mouth. What would be the demeanor of this client? Would it be likened to the persona he had seen in the past, or the murderous force portrayed by the media over these last days?

Soon, the great clock sounded the hour, the handle turned on the oak
doors and Jason Dumont’s destiny intersected with history. He rose to his feet as the client entered the room under heavy guard.
“Mr. Dumont,___” The man greeted as he extended his hand. “___thank
you for coming. It’s a pleasure to meet you at last.”
“Thank you sir,___” Jason replied, taking his hand in friendship. “___I sincerely hope that I can be of service mister president.”

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This article has been read 1097 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Myrna Noyes04/13/07
Interesting concept, but a more dramatic opening would catch the reader's attention better. I kept wanting to know more detail about the murder that had been committed in front of a television audience, no less! The alleged murderer's identity was certainly a surprise, but I would have liked to know more about the case!
Julie Arduini04/14/07
Oh this is a thriller I could see on the big screen! Great ending.
Jacquelyn Horne04/16/07
What a surprise ending! Had it been real, I probably would have fainted. I would really liked to have known what the charge was early on in the story. It would have created a little more "picture". But a good story on the whole.
Sara Harricharan 04/17/07
Pretty good! I too, wanted to know more about this intriguing affair!