A Chapter by Peter Rogerson

The Judge begins to see how he has been deceived.


The man lounged on a wooden slatted seat outside Toowitty’s family nest and spat tobacco-stained spittle at the judge.

“So how did it go, bird-brain?” he asked.

Toowitty was more than merely unhappy: he was totally miserable. The Counsel had given him a roasting, and deep inside his being he had the feeling they might be right to do so. Things had been said. Things like,

“You know, sir, that no man ever born can be trusted...”

“You must be aware why the Forest keeps itself to itself...”

“Why never the twain shall meet...”

“That no good ever came from even the briefest conversation with men!”

“That they believe themselves superior to all other races...”

“And that they’re wrong!”

“After all, they actually eat a great number of birds with chips and sauces...”

“And you’re a bird!”

Toowitty sighed and then looked the man straight into his eyes, his owlish beak almost quivering with an emotion he rarely felt, one he might have called rage had he known the word.

“Don’t call me that, Jules Junkface!” he tried to snap, but failed as his words came out weakly. With little vehemence to the tone of his voice. Indeed, feebly.

The man laughed. “I’ll call you what I like, birdie-tits!” he scoffed, “you can see that I’m here and here is where I plan to stay, so just you get used to it and get all the other cretinous creatures of the forest to bow down before me when I take my first foray into their midst this afternoon!”

Toowitty looked alarmed. “Why are you talking to me like this?” he asked, a tear forming in the corner of one of his huge eyes. “I thought we were friends. I thought you were going to show me a thing or two...”

“And so I am, little peewit!” grinned the man. “I’m planning on showing you how a real man can take over this little corner of hell you call your Forest, and get real power by taxing everyone until they squeal with pain! And when they die of starvation, all the little urchins you call your chums, when their bodies litter the byways of your stinking little kingdom, there’ll be nobody skilled enough to look into their emaciated remains and discover that I poisoned them by dropping little tablets of toxin into their lakes and streams and even muddy puddles! And you’ve seen to that, bird brain! You’ve locked your only pathologist away for the rest of his days! You’ve played my Ace card for me!”

“But what of loyalty?” gabbled Toowitty, “what of all the things you spoke to me about? What about the promises you made, of great riches for everyone of the forest?”

“You mean, what of my spiel? The little lies I told you to get you on my side? What of them? You can’t have believed them, surely?”

“But truth is … so important...” The judge was at his wit’s end. “Truth is what binds us together. Truth is what ensures that everyone’s life is filled with harmony and joy,” he added.

“Truth? Pah!” Jules Junkface spat at Toowitty, his lopsided grin one of pure contempt. “And here’s me debating truth with a bird brain! I’ll tell you what’s going to happen, my little feathered friend. I’ll establish the rules right here and now. I’m going to become the Lord of this domain! I’m going to be the one and only power the folks round here will ever know once they’ve got over the shock of losing everything they ever had!

“Let me tell you how it works, and you’ll like it!” The man grinned again and spat again and kicked a passing white mouse until it sailed high in the air and landed head first on the rough bark of an ancient oak tree.

“Ouch,” complained the white mouse as it died.

“It works by making everyone believe in something, and here in this forest they are going to believe that I am the giver of all that is worthy and good in life to everyone. That if I am pleased then the world will carry on turning as it always has, that day will follow night and night follow day, and the world will be unchanging. And they will believe it because it will be put in writing, printed in jet black ink, and posted through everyone’s door or letterbox. They will read the printed word and believe it because that’s what people do. It doesn’t matter what race they are, what shape or size, they will believe! And those who are strong will be encouraged to slave for me and those who are small and weak will die. That way we will have weeded out the simpletons and unworthy leaving only strength and wealth. Theirs the strength, that is, and mine the wealth!”

“Forest folk aren’t that stupid!” protested Toowitty.

“Oh, but they are, and my evidence for saying that is yourself! Why, I came upon you and I was lost in the forest and almost dying. And what did you do? You fed me! Yes, you, and as I ate your victuals I spun little stories to you, made you believe there was more than you could see or touch or even hear in this great big world of ours. And you believed me! You even passed a silly judgement on that monkey pathologist of yours and locked the only creature capable of discovering the truth when the little folk started dying! You fool, owl, you absolute simpleton of a fool!”

“Then I will release him!” snapped Toowitty, beginning to see the error of his ways and understanding the way he had been deceived. And even then he thought it might not be too late to put things back as they were.

“You and whose army?” leered the man.

And with those words he leapt to his feet and grabbed hold of the Judge, holding him painfully tightly in two savage hands.

“See,” he said, his spiteful voice tainted with obscene joy, “see, I have you and I will keep you safely away from your silly folk. And if you’re a good tweety-pie I’ll let you live, at least for a little while, because I, being a man of a superior race to yours, know full well that all future things can’t be plainly seen and maybe you will come in useful some unexpected time soon.”

And brusquely he pushed Toowitty into his own nest and hammered wooden joists across its entrance until inside it there was only darkness coupled with the smell of avian fear.

© Peter Rogerson 12.10.18

© 2018 Peter Rogerson

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Added on October 12, 2018
Last Updated on October 12, 2018
Tags: Judge, man, cruelty, dominance, imprisonment, monarch


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..