Today I am using the Three Word Wednesday prompt to practice writing dialogue. The three words this week are: error, jingle and vindicate.
A Grandmother’s Advice
Dave shifted from one foot to the other. He stuck his hand into his pocket and tried not to jingle his keys. He knew the charges were in error, but he wasn’t sure he’d be vindicated.
Judge Bean, a scowl on his face, sat rigidly in front of the courtroom. “David Johnston,” he began, “You are charged with attempting to drive a vehicle while intoxicated. How do you plead?”
“Not guilty, Your Honor, and I would like to explain.”
The judges eyes softened, but only slightly. His voice did not. “Were you intoxicated?”
“Were you behind the wheel of the car, and were the keys in the ignition?”
“Yes Sir, but….”
“It sounds to me like you were trying to drive while intoxicated.”
“But Your Honor….”
The judge frowned at Dave’s interruption, but said, “Your story better be good lad. Let’s hear it.”
“Your Honor,” Dave began, “I left the tavern a little after midnight. I knew I was too drunk to drive. I planned to crawl into my car and sleep it off.”
Eyes stern and unwavering the judge demanded “Then why were your keys in the ignition?”
“Y-y-your Honor,” At this point Dave realized he had pulled his keys from his pocket and the entire courtroom had heard them jingle.” Dave could feel the heat as his face turned red, but he started again. “Your, Honor, out of habit I stuck my key in the ignition. I did not start the car. I just grabbed my quillo, covered up and fell asleep.”
The judge continued to stare, “What the heck’s a quillo?” he asked?
“It’s this little quilt my grandmother made,” Dave replied. “It’s sort of a blanket that folds up into a pillow.”
Eyes wide with disbelief, the judge almost smiled. “You’re kidding?” he asked.
“No Sir. I just covered up with the quillo and fell asleep. Gram gave it to me when I started driving.” Dave raced on, “She told me it was to remind me to not drink and drive. I’d always have this blanket to cover up with. That way, even if it was cold, I would have no excuse for drinking and driving.”
At this point the judge turned his head away. Covered his mouth and tried not to laugh. “How old are you Dave?” he asked.
Judge Bean shook his head and glanced out at the courtroom. Everyone was smiling or worse yet laughing. “Young man,” he said, “My advice to you is to drink less. And David, if your grandmother is still alive, do something nice for her today—Charges dismissed. Next case….”
Dave shoved his keys into his pocket. Relieved to be vindicated he vowed to never make that mistake again.