Guide to Moral Living in Examples: Verdicts

"I'm being framed!" Jack Sawyer said to the courtroom. "What kind of killer would sign his own eight by ten signed glossy photograph and leave it with the victim's body?"

The crowd murmured.

The jury returned a not guilty verdict, and Jack Sawyer left the court that afternoon as a free man. Jack decided to celebrate by killing another victim and leaving her in the river.

He was more careful, this time. On the eight by ten signed glossy photograph of himself that he left at the scene, he sprinkled a special powder that he'd purchased from from a dollar store. The next morning, when he opened the paper to read the coverage on the latest victim of the River Killer, he was happy to have spent the dollar. Whomever looked at what he had sprinkled the powder on went as blind as a cave bat outside at noon.

"INVESTIGATOR STRICKEN BLIND," the headline read.

Jack prepared himself a screwdriver and flicked on the television.

"And the first investigator on the scene has gone blind from an unknown cause," the reporter said.

Jack chortled and sipped his mimosa. He changed the channels.

"-the doctors are baffled as to the sudden onset of the blindness-"

"Hah!" Jack said, slapping the remote to change the channel.

"-the investigator has been discharged from the hospital-"

Jack turned off the television, smiling, sipping his drink and staring at the brick wall of his neighbor's house opposite his patio.

His doorbell rang.

Jack answered it. A woman in a very smart pant-suit stood on the stoop. She wore very dark sunglasses and tapped a white cane against the sill of his door.

"Hello," she said. "Are you Jack Swanson?"

"If you're the media, no," Jack said, smiling. Then he remembered the dark sunglasses and white cane. He put his smile into his voice. "But if you're just a gorgeous babe, then yes."

"My name is Cordelia Ross. May I come in?"

"Sure thing," Jack said, stepping out of the way. Cordelia tripped her way into his house and he had to help her find a chair.

"Sorry, I'm not very practiced at this," she said, waving her white cane in the air. Jack already had his favorite killing knife in his hand.

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yes," Cordelia said. "Only happened the other day, in fact."

"You mean this morning, around one thirty in the morning?" Jack asked. "When you found the corpse that I left in the river?"

"Nope," Cordelia said without missing a beat. "But thank you for confirming my suspicions. I can smell her blood on your knife."

Jack wasted no time in trying to stab Cordelia, who fell out of her chair to avoid the knife. She left a leg where it would trip him, however, and he plowed into the pantry door. Before he could recover she was behind him, her powerful arms binding his into a pretzel.

"Listen," she said with very stinky breath, "you really ought to be careful about who you stab."

"Please, it wasn't me! I've been framed!" Jack hollered in a very loud lie. "I didn't kill that girl! I don't care what you police think!"

"Oh, I'm not police. I'm her girlfriend," Cordelia said.

"So your blindness-"

"Has nothing to do with the troll powder that I smelled on her body when she came home. That stuff causes blindness, you should be careful with it."

"What?" Jack asked. "She...came home?"

"Oh yes. You see, my girlfriend and I are werewolves, and you didn't use a silver knife," Cordelia said. Jack finally realized why her breath smelled so bad: it was the stench of rotten meat.

"Don't kill me!" Jack said.

"Oh, don't worry, I won't," Cordelia said. Jack heard the door to his apartment open.

"Hi, honey," said a voice that Jack had last heard the previous night. "You prepared dinner and everything, you shouldn't have!"

The Moral: even werewolves have to go out on dates.

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