Shorty sat, his leg twitching on the bench in the holding cell. There were three other guys in here, all of them mean looking, all waiting to hear the dreaded roll-call to be dragged off to the Judicial chambers to be tried by Judge and jury. One guy, in his late fifties with 5 days of growth on his chin was pacing up and down the cell parallel to the bars. He was muttering to himself - something about throwing caution to the wind. The kid was sat on the floor playing patience with some battered old cards, and the other guy - the really annoying one - was staring at Shorty and scratching his nose. Finally Shorty snapped.
"Whaddya want for Chrissakes? Huh?" Shorty shouted.
"Seems to me like you're the only one in here not nervous" the annoying nosescratcher replied.
"Well I got me an cinch. No jury in the world is gonna convict me of what I done!" Shorty sneered.
Now the other two turned their attention toward the conversation between the two men on the bench. Shorty felt a flush of red through his cheeks and forehead. He didn't like being the center of attention. That was the only thing he was worried about in that court. The conviction itself was a piece of cake.
"So what did you do, buddy?"
"I'm not your buddy!" Shorty spat, "And I don't wanna talk about it. Talk about somethin else, will ya? How did the Yankees do in the playoffs?"
"I heard you was in here for rape!" .... all heads turned towards the voice that had just uttered those words. It was the guard. "Raping a GHOST!!!" he continued.
The silence that ensued for the next thirty seconds gave Shorty plenty of time to feel the heat of condemnation that the jury might give off. He hoped not. In fact, he had hoped for a round of laughter when the guard exposed his dirty secret.
Finally the kid broke the silence "You raped a ghost? What did it feel like?
"You sick bastard! That's ... that's ... Necrophilia in the least!" the pacing man shouted. "Don't you have any respect for the dead?"
Shorty had been through all of this before, with his lawyer and in his own mind.
"Look, the little bitch was asking for it. I mean, she's the one comes into MY bedroom every night! And you should see her, she's a real piece ... so this particular night - I'm feelin real horny and there she is - like clockwork. Every night at 3:15 am she turns up - so I grab her, tie her up with her own chains - and wham bam thank you ma'm hey hey! You see - I thought about this - we've all heard a story or two about ghosts raping women. Does anyone believe the women? Heck no! They get sent off to a nuthouse. Now that ain't fair as far as I'm concerned. So by raping this sweet sweet dead chick I'm just evening the balance."
The three men considered this point for a few seconds.
"Yeah, but that ghost chick didn't deserve to get raped" the kid piped in.
"How did you get caught?" asked the nosescratcher, the original inquisitor.
How did I get caught? That was one question Shorty had no answer for. As far as he knew, ghosts didn't have rights. In fact, there was a huge discourse going on in intellectual circles about whether ghosts really exist or not. So to be arrested and prosecuted for forced sexual intercourse with an incorporeal entity was outrageous to say the least. When it boiled down to the cold hard facts though, Shorty had shtupped the see-through little whore because he thought he could get away with it. The last thing he had expected was the cops breaking down his door at five in the morning.
"Look I dunno how I got caught! I guess the dead slut ratted on me. But what I wanna know is - since when have the cops been listening to what ghosts say?"
The guard pulled out his keys and everybody's eyes focused in on them.
"Raymond Bell - you've been called for. Come on, Shorty, time to go."
Shorty, only known as Raymond by his widow mother, slowly stretched and stood up. As he walked past the three men he stopped and said, "Tell you one thing though - that cute ghost was the best lay I ever had!"
Shorty walked, with the guard, in his handcuffs towards the steps which led up to the court. As he slowed, the guard pushed him and he stumbled.
"Hey watch it!" Shorty shouted
"You're going down for a long time you pervert!" the guard shouted back, "Now get on your feet and walk!"
Shorty walked, reluctantly, up the stairs and into the courtroom. He was escorted to the desk where his lawyer, Artie Wingowicz sat.
"You ok?" asked Artie
"Never been better" Shorty replied. After all, he had the best defense in the world - ghosts don't exist!
The door at the back opened and there was a hush as the judge walked in. Tall and austere, with grey hair and a mean look in his eye stood Judge Aldridge. He sat down and peered through black pits of emptiness at Shorty.
You see, Judge Aldridge had been dead for over 50 years ...