The Blue Lion
By Mike Stevens
Richard Sellers snuck through the dark shadows beside the mansion. He had planned this for months. He had read every article with any information, and recently purchased the house next door to give him easy access. He had watched the house all that time so he knew what times owner Carl Dagger was out of the house, and he would be able to steal the famous Blue Lion statue. It was priceless, but Richard only wanted it to prove to the world that he was a master thief! He walked, covered by the shadows, until he came to a small window which led into the kitchen, which in turn led to the small sitting room door that housed the security cabinet containing the Blue Lion statue. He had seen Dagger leave, so the house was empty. He cut a small hole in the window with his glass cutters, and reached in to unlock the window. Then he raised the window pane and shimmied through the opening. He barely fit, but at last he was inside the silent mansion.
He was now standing in the dark kitchen. He then made his way to the door into the living room, which in turn would lead to the door of the small sitting room that housed the cabinet of the pornographic Blue Lion. He started to open the living room door, and immediately a blinding strobe light began flashing. Then, when he'd begun to recover some of his eyesight, he pulled open the door to the small sitting room and, "The Theme of the Pink Panther" blared loudly and shattered the silence. And to the serenade of the music, he danced and crashed into the dining room table. As he turned to find the source of the loud music and shut it off, his coat somehow caught the tablecloth, pulling the china place settings off and sending them crashing to the floor, where they shattered, resulting in a huge mess. He finally grabbed the stereo from which the obnoxiously-loud music emanated, and flung it to the floor, where it first played warped music, then fell silent. There was no longer any need for him to be quiet. Now, speed was the top priority. Maybe if he was fast enough, he could grab The Blue Lion and still be away before anyone could react. With that thought in mind, he grabbed a chair from the dining set, and smashed the glass case in which The Blue Lion was held. Immediately, the air was filled with the high-pitched shrieking of an alarm, but he ignored it, grabbed the statue, and thrust it into his pocket. Then he stumbled over to the front door and started running across the yard in order to make his escape. He had almost begun to think he had lucked out, when suddenly a shadow fell across the lawn, and the next thing Richard saw was a baseball bat, just before it slammed into his head and his world went dark.
Judge Harold Knob rapped his gavel mightily over and over upon his desk. "The court will come to order! I want order!"
The people in attendance had just witnessed Police Officer Zack Trades testify that the defendant, one Richard P. Sellers, had been detained by Trades after leaving the house of his neighbor Carl Dagger. He had been searched, which turned up The Blue Lion statue. The statue belonged to Dagger, who had previously testified he didn't know Sellers and certainly had not given him permission to keep it the statue at his house, as the defendant claimed. Sellers, acting as his own attorney, adamantly denied that he was attempting to flee with the stolen statue, and stuck to his story.
"Members of the jury, have you reached a unanimous verdict?"
A well-dressed woman rose. "We have your honor."
"What say you?"
"In the matter of the State of Wisconsin verses Richard P. Sellers, we the jury find him guilty of attempting to steal The Blue Lion."
A cold dread ran through Richard Sellers. In saving himself some money by representing himself, he had been found guilty. He had no one but himself to blame. He slumped down in his chair as the judge announced,
"Richard P. Sellers, a jury of your peers has found you guilty of attempting to steal The Blue Lion. This court will announce its sentence one week from today. Court is adjourned."
Richard Sellers sat behind his desk nervously awaiting Judge Harold Knob's sentencing announcement. He could be lenient, as this was his first offense; or he could give him the maximum sentence of 15 years. He hoped the judge was a fair and merciful man. Just then, the judge swept into the courtroom, saying to the spectators,
"You may be seated."
After the commotion of everyone sitting down, the judge said, "The defendant will rise. Richard P. Sellers, you have been convicted of attempting to steal the statue known as The Blue Lion. As this is your first offense, I have the option of going easy on you,"
Richard was ecstatic; the judge was going to show him some mercy. He understood everyone makes mistakes; not that Richard considered his thievery attempt as a mistake. His only mistake was getting caught!
The judge continued, "however, the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced of the need to meet out a harsh sentence to discourage somebody else who's considering stealing as a way to earn some quick, easy cash. Society's fed up with it, and I'm fed up with it! Your sentence will serve as a reminder to would-be criminals that they may want to reconsider their chosen career path. Therefore, it is the judgment of this court that you serve 15 years in a federal penitentiary. That concludes today's session."
Richard Sellers stared at Judge Knob as if he had just plunged a knife into him. 15 years? Knob must have been kidding, but it looked like the joke was on him, and he definitely wasn't laughing!