The Inclination of Our Lord
Jerome C. Keith, Brandon Yi
Piece by Jerome C Keith. Image titled “Warrior Pulling on Horse” by Brandon Yi.
The bang of the gavel silenced the cacophony of the courtroom as the defendant took his seat. His eyes traveled to the large mural of Lady Justice on the acid-washed slate floor. She stood one foot raised on a law book, her arms outstretched with a short sword in one, and scales in the other.
The magistrate didn’t bother calling for order, instead he put down his gavel and picked up the crucifix that was the staple of his sect and held it above his head. The crowd quelled to a murmur then full silence and placed their palms together in front of their face. The defendant tried to pull his hands up to pray before the sign of the Lord, but the shackles refused him. Prayer was not for criminals.
“Laudetur Jesus Christus,” the magistrate offered.
“Laudetur Jesus Christus,” the courtroom responded.
The Inquisitor sat beside the defendant in silence, and the defendant did his best to hold back tears.
“Do you have anything to offer, Inquisitor?” the magistrate asked.
The defendant looked to his Inquisitor and waited. “I offer the fact that my client is undeniably innocent.” The courtroom threated to burst into another uproar and the magistrate shined the crucifix upon them to mandate their silence.
“Your client was found with his hands around the throat of a priest who died from brain damage two days later in the hospital.” The magistrate lowered his crucifix and glared at the Inquisitor. “Had Father Callahan not been gifted his last rites your client wouldn’t even be looking at the inside of a courtroom.”
The Inquisitor stood and walked until he stood on Lady Justice’s law book.
“The examiner found evidence of elevated levels of dopamine and glutamate in him, yes?”
“Where is this going, Inquisitor?”
The Inquisitor turned to those witnessing his opening statement. The air was pregnant with the presence of the Word and the Inquisitor prepared his tongue for the caesarian he felt the case required.
“Recent studies into the revelations that our priests receive has enlightened us to a new fact,” he waited for each of the witnesses to meet his eyes. He began to walk up Lady Justice’s vision. “When our Lord channels them they have the exact same chemical elevation my client experienced.” He strolled back to his client and patted him on the shoulder.
The magistrate did not look amused. “You mean to imply—”
The Inquisitor cut him off with a chuckle. “I only notify the court of the fact that my client received a revelation from our Lord when he attacked the priest.”
“You believe our Lord wanted one of his priests injured.”
The defendant pulled at his chains, tried to raise his hands, and found himself again at a loss. “I believe questioning who our Lord chooses to inhabit is beyond us,” he turned back to the witnesses. Now they refused to look up.
Their Lord breathed down their necks.
“To have faith is to believe our Lord without question. If science has found that the best of us have a chemical reaction in our bodies to deliver the Word then who are we to deny?”
He turned back to the magistrate. Now he stood at Lady Justice’s waist.
“Do you believe that our Lord is incapable of showing us his inhabitance?”
“This is not a question of my belief.” The magistrate began to wrap his fingers around his gavel. “It is a clear cut matter that your client attacked a priest, a man of the Lord.”
The Inquisitor stepped onto the scales of Lady Justice. “I do not deny he attacked the priest. I simply ask if you’re willing to deny that our Lord inhabited him. Because your position magistrate deems you proper to deliver your judgement upon those who fall before him.
“This means that your opinion decides what the flock believes. So I ask again, do you believe that our Lord is just in his decisions.”
“Yes, Inquisitor. Our Lord is just.”
“Then to convict a man for what he did during a revelation from our Lord would be contradictory to that.” The Inquisitor stepped onto Lady Justice’s sword and smiled. “As you magistrate are yourself an instrument of the Lord’s justice I simply serve to remind you of the facts. And the fact of this case is that man cannot deny our Lord’s inclinations.”
“Your statement has been taken into account, Inquisitor. Anything else?”
“Only that when the evidence is presented I’m sure you will find in favor of our Lord’s justice.” The Inquisitor walked back to his eat and sat down. He did not know if the Word had been delivered, but his word had.