It looked as though everyone had been waiting a while. The courtroom, which was bigger than any Frank had seen, was packed–yet silent, not nail-biting rustling silence, real silence. Then, everyone turned. On either side of the aisle, people young and old watched and waited. Frank, not knowing what else to do, waved.
Somewhere, someone, laughed.
“Up here son.”
Frank looked straight ahead, up the aisle, up a wooden tower to the top, a judge. He had no face, but it didn’t seem to be bothering him nor preventing him from acting as someone would if they did have a face. He even scratched it.
Frank walked, not looking directly at him.
“All the way up here,” The Faceless Judge said, motioning to the booth beside him, lower down. As frank walked he glanced around. He noticed many children sitting, watching him expressionless.
Frank made it all the way up to the towering construction and opened his mouth.
“Sit!” the judge said before Frank could make a sound. So, confused but curious, Frank stepped up into the booth. He looked out. A man sat at a table, disconnected from the rows and rows of onlookers by a waist high barrier, facing Frank.
“The last victim has arrived.”
Frank heard it, but didn’t quite understand. He couldn’t stop looking at the man at the table. Frank felt he’d seen him before. He looked sickly, beside him a middle eastern looking man in white robes sat, he began talking;
“Your honor, my client cannot ask forgiveness from this man. For, while his actions may have caused him distress, he did not directly…”
Frank tried to listen but was distracted by something going on behind the sickly man. A large man with a beard and a smile was reaching over the barrier and, a moment later, stuck his finger violently into the sickly man’s ear. The sickly man cried out as the large hairy man burst into laughter.
No one seemed happy as all the proceedings halted for a pair of white-clad men to come and haul the large hairy man away.
“I got you again!” he cried at the sickly man as the doors closed.
An old woman behind the sickly man stroked the back of his head.
“No touching!” a man in white cried at her. She gave him the finger and sat back. The room, feeling a bit more alive, settled. Frank watched the sickly man curiously. He turned to look at the judge who–though faceless–was managing to frown. Frank took the opportunity created by the disruption to finally ask, “I’m sorry, but what the hell is going on here?”
The judge didn’t turn, but did say “you must forgive, or not forgive.”
Frank looked back at the sickly man, feeling himself grow warm.
“Forgive him for what?”
The middle eastern man in white robes stepped forwards. “As I was saying!” he interjected, “my client’s actions had only an indirect impact, therefore the judgement of this man,” he motioned to Frank, “should not be factored into the court’s decision.”
Frank looked up at the judge, then back at the man in white.
“Wait, what am I forgiving him for?” Frank asked, feeling the answer before hearing it. The man in white smiled, “kidnapping your son, of course.”
Frank went warm, then hot, then the heat filled his ears and he didn’t know what happened in the fifteen feet between him and the man. But, when he got there, he ripped one of the man’s ears clean off.
He hadn’t meant to. Frank only realized it once they’d pulled him off, dragged him from the hall–they sat him down outside on a bench and his vision began to clear. The large hairy man was sitting there too. He looked down at Frank’s hands.
Frank opened his hand and the sickly man’s ear dropped onto the floor.
The big man laughed so hard he fell off the bench. Then, standing, he held out his hand.
Frank didn’t shake it, he just stared at the ear, stuck to the floor.
“Don’t worry,” Charlie said, placing a hand on Frank’s shoulder, “he’s going straight to hell and they’ll do a lot worse than that.” He pointed to the ear.
Frank, slowly, began to feel a bit better.
“What now?” Frank asked.
Charlie shrugged, “I got pulled up here for another trial actually, just snuck in there to piss off that bastard,” he pointed to the doors, “his trial has been going on for years.”
Frank started to breath more evenly, he wiped his hands on his pants.
“We need to check the boards, see if your judging or being judged–come on, I’ll show you.”
Charlie started walking. Frank, shaking a bit, followed.
“So, what’s your name?”
“Frank,” Frank told him, trying again to get the blood off of his hands.
Charlie stopped walking. He looked at Frank for a moment, curious.
“Morgan,” Frank said.
“Huh,” Charlie said, then smiled, “looks like we’re going to the same place, then.”
**For more WHWFD click HERE
**Note for new readers: What Happened When Frank Died is a series of stories we have done every Saturday since our challenge began. You can read however many you want in whatever order you want. They are each individual stories. There is a backstory that you can figure out by looking for clues in all the stories but it is not necessary to enjoy them individually.