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The Fugly Girl Incident: Chapter Five

 


Chapter Five: Verdict

“Have you reached a conclusion?” Scully asked, the tiny figurine in his judge’s wig swaying to-and-fro as he turned to look at the jury who had just returned. It had taken the twelve teenagers almost two hours to reach a decision. The majority of the time had been spent gossiping about the revelations they had heard. “What conclusion have you come to in reference to Prince Moonstone?” Scully asked looking at the foreperson, Marke, Prince of Limbo.

“We’ve concluded that Bishop is innocent of the accusation that he insulted Lady Primrose, your honour,” Marke replied, confirming Scully’s private prediction. “We believe that Prince Moonstone was simply agreeing with Lady Primrose in accordance with his grandmother’s instructions.”

“Thank you,” Scully said, making a note. “And what of Lady Primrose? What conclusion have to come to regarding her?”

Marke hesitated for a moment looking at the other members of the jury before he replied. “We have concluded that she is guilty of maliciously insulting herself with the intention of harming others, of attempting to break a betrothal and lastly of ruining Cupid’s Day by her actions and accusations.”

“I see,” Scully nodded. Now he knew why Marke had hesitated before revealing the jury’s conclusions. What they had come up with would mean stiff punishments for Primrose. “Have you, therefore, any suggestions for how you think Lady Primrose should be punished?”

Again Marke looked at the other jurors and Scully noticed Bulls, a Bim royal nodding her head slightly as if encouraging the young man on. Scully knew Bulls very well, her adoptive parent was Hora, the Alliance High Priest, a role that Bulls would take on when her other died. It seemed that other students were already deterring to her when they had a difficult decision to make. Marke obviously had something to say that he felt required Bull’s permission.

“Excuse me, your honour,” Marke said, finding his voice. “We’ve decided that Lorraine is guilty of scheming against the students who elected her as their president. She’s also guilty of verbal and physical abuse. We feel that she should be removed from her position as the student council president and expelled from the Academy immediately.”

Scully raised an eyebrow in surprise. He had expected the jury to leave the punishment of Lorraine to the facility, but apparently, they were more interested in distancing themselves from the problematic girl as soon as possible. Lorraine had insulted a lot of people and revealed yet more secrets. She had to go.

“Very well,” Scully confirmed making a note. “Do you have any recommendation for how you think Lady Primrose should be punished?”

“We’d prefer to consult directly with her victims on that,” Marke replied. He had obviously been expecting the question and had been prepared for it. “We’ve established that the main victims in this case are Moonstone, Prince of Gondor, Lavender, Princess of Duat and Cupid, Duke of Doom.”

Within minutes the three people who had been named as victims in the case, were lined up to give their victim impact statements. Bishop, who had been sitting on the stage was the first to speak. Unlike his usually cheeky banter, Bishop kept what he had to say short and to the point, “I would like an apology for my grandmother and the rest of my family, my bandmates and the other students who have been impacted by this situation. Most of all I would like an apology for my fiancé, Princess Lavender who didn’t deserve any of this,” Bishop said before returning gracefully to his seat.

The audience mumbled their approval but kept the nose level low as Scully turned to the table where Lorraine and Primrose were sitting. “Which of you would like to apologise first?” The judge asked looking at Lorraine. He would dearly like to see Lorraine being forced to apologise after all she had done to his little grandson.

Don’t look at me,” Lorraine snapped angrily. “I’m not going to apologise. I’ve done nothing wrong. Everything I’ve said today was true. It’s not my fault if the truth hurts.”

Scully did not bother to reply instead turning his gaze to Primrose who stood up quickly. “I’m deeply sorry to Bishop, Lavender and their entire family for all of the trouble I’ve caused. I wasn’t aware that…, of anything that has been revealed today,” Primrose said, blushing deeply as she remembered learning that her feelings for Bishop had been mutual. Primrose did her best to hold back her tears and after taking a moment to steady her voice she continued, “I’d also like to apologise to the members of Foundation for the impact what I did has had on them and on behalf of both Lorraine and I, to our classmates whose secrets were revealed.”

“Don’t apologise for me,” Lorraine snarled, glaring at the girl in annoyance. “I said that I’m not sorry.” Primrose bowed her head in embarrassment and sat back down.

The next victim came up to give his statement. Cupid, Duke of Doom made his way to the stage, flapping his wings furiously as he tried to carry the heavy book in his hands. Cupid looked for all the world like a baby, wearing a onesie in the form of a three-piece suit but he was in fact an old man with an extremely rare, congenital condition.

When the man baby had flapped his way to the stage, he dropped his book onto the podium with a thud and gasping heavily, tried to regain his breath. At last, the Duke spoke “Your honour, I’d like to thank you for the opportunity to speak,” Cupid lisped in his childlike voice.

“I believe that I, even more than Bishop have been grievously harmed by the evil machinations of that wicked little girl,” he said, shaking violently from the passion with which he spoke. “This year my birthday was ruined, I didn’t even get a cake or birthday badge so I have no idea how old I am. In addition to that travesty, all of the marriage alliances in this book that were due to be finalised have been put off for another year.”

Scully nodded sympathetically. “I’ve very sorry to hear that you grace. Do you have any suggestions as to how you would like Lady Primrose to be punished?”

Cupid furrowed his brow as he thought. An idea seemed to occur to him and as the crease in his forehead smoothed out, he smiled a malicious, toothy grin. “Yes, I want you to throw the book at her.”

“Yes, of course, your grace. Lady Primrose will be punished with appropriate severity but how exactly you would like that to happen is what I’m asking. Do you have anything in mind?” Scully tried to explain as politely as possible. Chronologically Cupid was older than him, but he looked like a baby of about six months old and seemed to have the mental capacity of a five-year-old. It was challenging to find a way to speak to him that was both simple enough for him to understand and respectful to him as an elder.

Cupid heaved up his book from the podium and flapping his wings again, he flew over to where Scully was sitting and dropped the hefty tome on the table in front of the judge. Speaking slowly as if to an imbecile Cupid said, “I want you to literally throw this book at the Lady Primrose. Throw it at her head if possible.”

“Er..” Scully began but Cupid interrupted him, shushing him as best he could with his baby like lips. “No, no, don’t interrupt me. I’m your elder and you asked what I want. I want you to throw this book at that wicked girl, right in her head,” Cupid said flying up and standing on Scully’s desk. “If these young children think it’s easy for a man of my advanced years and stature to be working so hard to put together marriage alliances, and then not even to be able to have a birthday party, they’re wrong,” he shouted, stamping his foot.

“Oh sorry,” Scully replied and in the same second he had picked up Cupid’s book and flung it at Primrose’s head.

A gasp went up from the crowd as the impact knocked Primrose backwards and off of her chair. She had reacted instantaneously, blocking the oncoming book with her arms and avoiding a powerful blow to the face.

Scully breathed a sigh of relief. He had been certain that the girl would be able to block the impact, afterall that was something the students at Adhara Academy learned in nursery, but none-the-less, a part of him had worried about what would happen if she had not managed to stop the blow. The girl would not have died but she might have been scarred and she certainly would have been expelled.

Primrose picked herself up from the floor and smoothing down her dress she sat down without complaint despite the fact it was obvious that one of her arms was broken.

Cupid turned to look at Scully with an annoyed expression on his cherub face. He had wanted the throwing of the book to be more theatrical, but Scully had robbed him of that.

“What would you like to happen to Lorraine?” Scully asked before Cupid had a chance to complain.

The man baby bared his stumpy teeth, “I believe that for her part in all of this, she should have a slap on the wrists.”

“Alright,” Scully said starting to get up. At the same moment Lorraine and Cupid spoke at the same time. “I won’t allow anyone to assault me!” Lorraine shouted.

“No!” I don’t want you to do it!” Cupid yelled just as loudly.

“Sorry? What was that?” Scully asked, pausing in confusion.

“I said, I wouldn’t allow anyone to assault me.” Lorraine replied, speaking before Cupid had a chance in yet another astonishing display of rudeness.

“You won’t allow?” Scully mumbled incredulously as the crowd reacted with anger.

“That’s right,” Lorraine confirmed. “I’m not going to let anyone hit me just to please that silly old man.”

“Thank you for the very nice compliment,” Cupid said, beaming from ear to ear at being called an old man. “But I don’t think you’ll be able to stop my niece from slapping your wrists if she wants to.”

Lorraine’s face visibly paled as all eyes in the auditorium turned to look at her. What would the bumptious teenager do now? Cupid had at least two nieces and four great-nieces. One was the future queen of Ptah, another was a Bim-Lilitian hybrid and dangerous imbecile, yet another was a mad scientist with a penchant for dimension jumping. There was also a beauty obsessed android with super strength to match her Bim adopted family, the Queen of Styx and the last, the one he was probably referring to, was the strongest being in the known universe, Roxzamora of Bim, head of security on Adhara Space Station.

There was a sound of movement and within seconds, five women and a teenage girl stood on the stage curtsying to Cupid.

“Uncle, which of us would you like to slap the girl’s wrists? Atropos II, Queen of Styx asked, taking the lead as the most senior in age and rank.

Cupid smiled. He was almost beyond himself with happiness at being the centre of attention. “You’re all such good girls,” he said flying up to Atropos and hugging her. Settling in his niece’s arms like a baby, he continued; “I’m sure each of you could slap her very well and I know how much you want to because of what she’s done to me. That’s why I think it’s best that chibi Roxy does it. She can give a blow for all of us.

Captain Roxzamora Thanyu stepped forward with an almost imperceptible roll of her eyes. There had been no doubt in anyone mind that Cupid had been referring to her when he had spoken of his niece earlier. Nonetheless she, her aunt, cousin, and sisters had all come to the stage in a show of strength after their dear little uncle had been insulted.

“Come!” Roxy ordered, looking straight at Lorraine. The auditorium so silent the sound of a pin dropping might have been heard when Lorraine did not move.

At the table where Lorraine was sitting her best friend Princess Ta-Shra dabbed her forehead with a handkerchief to wipe away the perspiration that was beginning to form. “Please Lorraine, don’t say anything that will get you into even more trouble. Just go up there and take the blows as we’ve been taught. Even if you really do get expelled, we’ll always be friends.”

“Shut up you impoverished imbecile,” Lorraine barked. “When I get excelled, what possible use would I have for you? What can you do for me or anyone? You can’t even help yourself. You’re so poor that, that ignorant hoe Panilla had to steal my clothes to dress up as you. When is it going to get through your desiccated mind that the only reason I was friends with you, was to get to Bishop? At first, I thought that ugly brother of yours could help, and then that simpleton you call a boyfriend, but neither did. Then, just when you finally seemed to understand what I wanted, you decided to marry my man off to your servant born niece. We’re supposed to be best friends but apparently you only use nepotism on family.”

An even deeper silence filled the auditorium as Ta-Shra lowered the handkerchief from her forehead and a ferocious light shone from her eyes as she glared at the girl, she now considered a mortal enemy. “Go!” she ordered under her breath, levelling the full power of her mesmeric gaze on her former friend.

As if in a trance, Lorraine stood up from the table and walked over to where Captain Roxzamora was waiting for her. The teenager stopped inches away from the security officer, holding out her arms in front of her.

“Lorraine Leydon, for your terrible actions in this case, your manipulations, rudeness and general disrespect of Cupid, Duke of Doom as well as your betrayal of your friends and schoolmates, I hereby carry out sentence,” Roxy informed Lorraine using all the theatrics she knew her uncle was desperate to see. She knew girl could not respond. Ta-Shra had tried to be quick by Roxy’s sharp birdlike vision had picked up the subtle use of her powers. Lorraine was under Ta-Shra’s powerful hypnotic powers. Roxy speculated the the Varunian girl had insulted her best friend in the hopes that Ta-Shra would use her powers on her. She had probably been too afraid to walk up to receive the blow herself. Too bad then that Ta-Shra had only ordered her to walk over. As far as Roxy knew, the Duatian princess probably had not hypnotised Lorraine not to feel any pain.

Roxy raised her hand and brought it down swiftly, causing a blast of air to pass through Lorraine’s wrists and down to the stage which was cracked apart by the impact. Instantaneously freed from the hypnosis she had been under; Lorraine gave out an involuntary grunt of pain. Both of her wrists had been fractured by the power of the downdraft.

“Are you satisfied, your grace?” Scully asked, turning to Cupid who was still being held by his niece.

“Yes,” Cupid said smiling. “Fetch my book, will you?” Cupid ordered, gesturing to one of his other nieces. “Come AJ. “Take me back to my seat.” With that Lorraine shuffled back to her seat whilst Cupid was carried from the stage and placed in his specialised chair next to his best friend and business partner, Krumpus.

#

Finally Lavender, the last victim, stood at the podium and gave her victim impact statement. Throwing his shoulders back and holding her head high, the girl said, “Your honour, as everyone present is aware, my siblings and I have only recently been reunited with our long-lost relatives.

I was still getting used to my new status when my aunt, Lovelia, Queen of Bim and my grandfather, Ankh, Emperor of Duat arranged my marriage to Prince Moonstone, whom I had only briefly met at that time. I agreed to the engagement out of respect for my elders, whom I would never dream of disobeying and that is why I am more angered at the disgusting disrespect for the wishes of the elders, than for any harm that has been done to my future husband or myself. I would therefore like to request that Lady Primrose be give a title that will stand as a permanent reminder of her actions. I would also like to add my voice to the call for Miss Leydon’s immediate expulsion from Adhara Academy, a school she was supposed to represent as president of the student council but instead has thoroughly shamed with her behaviour here today.”

Scully nodded, “Well we must leave Miss Leydon’s expulsion to the Academy’s faculty and parent-teacher board as that is for them to decide. In the meantime, do you have any suggestions for the title you’ve suggested Lady Primrose should receive?”

“No,” Lavender replied quickly. “I haven’t thought of anything, but I it pleases the court, I would request that my future grandmother think of a title instead. She is wiser than I am.”

“Of course,” Scully said smiling so that his eyes turned to slits. This was some top-level scheming or a Bim. The powerful race usually relied on their physical strength and weren’t generally known for scheming, but here was a girl whose smooth talking would have been a match for the manipulative Lorraine on even her best day. Lavender was making sure to ingratiate herself to her in-laws even before she was married. Most other Bims, especially the females, would probably have just beaten Lorraine and Primrose to bloodied pulps for daring to move against them.

Queen Pearl who was still sitting in the witness box smiling indulgently at Lavender, privately congratulated herself on her soon-to-be grand-daughter in-law. Her grandsons needed intelligent, powerful wives who could be their strong right arms and you couldn’t get much stronger than a smooth talking Bim. Brains and brawn were exactly the combination she needed.

“Your majesty, do you have any suggestions for the title?” Scully asked, turning to the former queen.

Queen Pearl pretended to think for a moment, she had already thought of many titles she would have liked to give to both the girls who had toyed with her grandson’s lives but there was no need to make that fact obvious. At last she said, “Primrose’s actions in trying to undermine my grandson’s engagement because she wanted him for herself have been quite ferocious and the central accusation in this case was that he had called her ugly when in fact that’s what she called herself. Given all of this, I think the best name for her would be, “The Fugly, that's what the children call this incident after all."

“The Fugly,” Scully repeated thoughtfully, remembering how Emerald had testified about the incident earlier. "Very well. Lady Primrose, from now on no matter what other titles you acquire, you will first and foremost be known as Primrose, the Fugly.” Before anyone could react to the announcement, Scully banged his gavel and said, “This trial is now concluded.” He was tried of this and wanted to get it over and done with before something else happened.

A sound of applause went up from the crowd as Primrose, clutching her broken arm, descended into floods of tears. When she had approached Bishop on that faithful day, she could never have imagined that it would end up like this. Having a personal title was usual a good thing. Epithets were usually a good think, a mark of one’s popularity and uniqueness but a title like, “The Fugly” would bring her nothing but ridicule for the rest of her life. Worse, she now knew that Bishop had fancied her, and his family had seriously considered agreeing to the match. If only she hadn’t tried to break his engagement, she would have been none the wiser about all she had lost.

“Come on,” Ta-Shra said, not unkindly, “I’ll take you to have your arm healed. It’s broken, isn’t it?

“I think so,” Primrose replied, wiping away her tears and brushing her hair back with her undamaged hand.

Ta-Shra nodded, “Ok. Let’s go quickly before anyone comes over.” With that Ta-Shra lead Primrose backstage through one of the stage exists leaving Lorraine alone at their table to take the onslaught she had brought on herself.

Previous Chapter: Chapter Four Part Two

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