02 November 2013

Scratch Esquire: Chapter One

I looked at the pieces of paper the detective handed me. Most of it was a simple lawyer-client contract for representation during a criminal trial - except for the fourth page. It was a piece of paper dyed to look like papyrus and the ink on it was maroon.

The Client agrees to pay the fee heretofor agreed upon in the following manner. The Client shall immediately pay a non-refundable retainer of three thousand dollars ($3,000). For the next fifteen months the Client shall pay no less than two hundred dollars ($200) per month, due on the fifteenth (15th) of each month. In the sixteenth month the Client shall pay a final amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000).

Should the Client fail to pay or be more than five days late on a payment, there shall be a lien placed upon his soul to Sammael Scratch Esquire. Said lien shall either be redeemed upon full payment or due in full upon the death of the Client.

Underneath the print there was a line with a signature in a brighter red ink: Joe Washington.

As I set the papers down on my desk, Detective Martin held out a thick manila envelope. “I’ve got eleven of these so far. Apparently, he offers a discount to anybody who will sign a contract with that in it.”

“Well, okay, that’s weird, Carl, but what do you expect me to do about it?”

“I want you to prosecute the guy.”

“What for?” I asked.


. . . 

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