Presenting: A harrowing tale of human trafficking, and ghosts who will not go quietly into the night.
The lawyer, the cube & the mirror
I’m wearing my blue suit and gold tie, combing my hair in the bedroom mirror before I leave to act as defence lawyer on day one of the trial.
I’m trying to ignore the people I can see behind me in the reflection of the mirror; sad human beings with heads bowed, their breathing stuttered, their eyes averted from my gaze but the senses of which I can feel staring into my soul with utter damnation.
Ever since I accepted the case I’ve been having trouble with mirrors, as well as a recurring vision of a cube which appears in my apartment; a structure with tiny air holes drilled into each side, and I hear dreadful noises from within this cube – fingernails scraping, knuckles rapping and feet kicking, but no voices do I discern, yet, I know the cube is full of people – suffocating, hauling each breath before them as though it were their last, the gasp of an infant, the death rattle of a grandmother, the wheeze of a man, and the smell… leeching from the holes like rotten vegetables and meat on the turn, bodily fluids, no words, no voices, no screams – just coughing and hacking and the giving up of lungs.
You all saw the news, of the Asian migrants found suffocated in the back of a truck during a random border check; bodies of all generations crammed three and four apiece inside crates labelled as Chinese washing machines.
My client told me she was ready to give up the rest of her trafficking gang in a trade-off for a lighter sentence, and I told her I believed I could represent her to achieve such a thing.
But mirrors and visions… and as I make my way to court on day one of the trial, in the rear view mirror of my car I am troubled by the Asian woman sat on the back seat with a dead child in her arms, and the way her eyes are imploring me to do the right thing as a wordless vapour escapes her blue lips, and I, yes, I, I know that when I face my client and the prosecution and the judge in court in just twenty minutes time… I know I will tell them I can no longer defend such an inhuman crime.
The lawyer, the cube & the mirror written by Ford.
Digital cube art by Ford and Lunapic. 20 Oct 2022.
Atomic Mage editor Ford Waight. Wasp? What wasp? Where?