Churos went there alone, although he was surrounded by a scattered platoon of guards and officers all charged with the task of escorting the 5’8″ teenager to court. When the doors to the court opened, it was clear that the media circus was in full swing.
The smile that drew across his lips made some of the officers uncomfortable, but they held ground and continued escorting him to his position before the judge. Media reporters and those coming to see the show began to fall quiet even before the mallet had come down to call order to this place.
With cuffed hands, the teen remained standing before the judge who glanced down past round glasses to the seemingly ordinary defendant.
“Churos DeSoto, you have been found guilty in accordance with United Earth law of refusing to pay taxes, breaking curfew on seven accounts, and assaulting of an officer. Do you have anything to say for yourself before I sentence you, young man?”
That smile never left Churos’ face. His head lifted and he blew a strand of hair from his brown eyes. “Yeah.”
The court went silent, eager to hear his response, but the next sound that met their ears was the clanking of metal cuffs against the floor. Churos’ hands had not moved, nor had he lowered his hands beneath the podium at which he stood.
Police and guards were quick to rush the boy, yet they found their task difficult. Their grabs and shoves found only air, though the boy was clearly visible. They pulled their weapons and leveled them at the kid, and the silent standoff lasted several seconds before the judge called order. The presiding arbiter had a frightful look on his face, which would only be worsened by what the boy would say next.
“You’ve all heard the rumors, and maybe some of you know someone like me. We are here now, and we’re not going away. I’m not going to jail, your honor. I’m not going anywhere except where I want to.” The teen turned to look around at the circle of officers pointing guns at him.
“I allowed myself to be taken here because I want to bring a message to the people. Stop living trivial. Stop picking at everything you see that doesn’t fit your mold. Myself and others like me won’t conform to you, and you won’t get rid of us with bullets or force.”
In a moment of clarity a reporter blurted out amongst the pin-drop silence, “What are your demands?”
Churos turned to her and smiled. “Trust us.”
With that he turned and walked through the eastern wall onto the street. No one stopped him, no one flinched and no one knew what would happen next. For now, the game was in the hands of those like Churos DeSoto.
365tomorrows launched August 1st, 2005 with the lofty goal of providing a new story every day for a year. We’ve been on the wire ever since. Our stories are a mix of those lovingly hand crafted by a talented pool of staff writers, and select stories received by submission.
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