It's All Very Funny Until Somebody Loses an Elbow
So this guy Johnathan Harker comes into my office yesterday to talk about his upcoming case, which, in all honesty, does not look good. The villagers want to see somebody ride Old Sparky for killing the Count, and let's face it, Harker's prints are all over the murder weapon.
His alibi is the worst problem. He says that this creature, this "vamp pie"----or maybe it's "vampire", I forget----is hundreds of years old, and can change into a bat at any time. Now if that's true, why didn't he just kind of flip and flop around inside his coffin when Harker opened it up? I mean, I can't even kill an inert fly without a sophisticated sighting mechanism. Then Harker claims that he had to drive a stake through the guy's heart as the sun rose, or he would live eternally. So I guess if I chopped Dracula up into thirty thousand pieces with a Cuisinart and left the pieces at Ground Zero in Los Alamos, he'd just pop back into shape like a Nerf ball? Right.
The thing that disturbs me most is Harker's rap sheet. 1887: He shot a man he claimed was turning into a werewolf, and it turned out the guy was just itchy. 1889: He claimed the illness of a twelve year old girl in Georgetown was due to demonic possession, when in fact, she had simply eaten too many brownies. And then last year, he boosted a chamberpot from the Vienna Marriott.
Now listen, I can understand this kind of behavior from a young kid. Hell, when I was eighteen I was probably dropping wolfsbane every night and staking everything that moved, but after the age of thirty, if someone causes you a problem, you don't just find yourself a lathe and start cranking out the instant bypass sticks! And for God's sake, apparently vampires can't even enter your home unless you invite them in! Harker's ready to take a flamethrower to the kid who comes around to collect for the March of Dimes, but he can't seem to keep the evil undead out of his foyer.
What I have to do with this guy, I think, is separate him in the jury's minds from this Van Helsing nut and make it seem like Harker was just the patsy in this whole affair, a crazy kid who thought it would be a kooky lark to pursue the Prince of Darkness across two continents in a quest to put an end to his reign of supernatural tyranny. He refuses to cop a plea, even though I could get him off with ten, fifteen years tops---he could be out of jail by the time the Depression hits. I'd have him plead insanity, but I don't have to tell you how we treat the mentally disturbed in this century. I had a client once say on the stand that he sometimes felt sad over his grandmother's death, and they had that bastard's frontal lobe in a beaker before lunchtime.
I told Harker honestly that what I saw when I looked at this case was a bunch of dorky white momma's boys who got liquored up and spooked by too many episodes of Tales from the Darkside and who got up there on the Borgo Pass with a few wolves and gypsies and just snapped their cap. Guess what? Mr. Dracula has no prior arrests for draining the blood from his victims to achieve eternal life. (He does have one indecent exposure rap on him; apparently he dropped his pants in a Radio Shack once on a dare from this troublemaker called Renfield. Don't even get me started on that walking straitjacket. I'm bailing him out of the clink every three days; he's intent on putting the entire insect kingdom into a shot glass.)
So, yes, it's been a tough week at the firm, to say the least. Now that I come to think of it, I may not even be licensed in any way to practice law. Sometimes I look at the degrees on my wall and it's sort of obvious that I'm really just a cooper. You got any anvils you need sanded?